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Do Clubs have the best means of selecting their Selection Committees?
All the Clubs that I have been associated with (as a member, opponent, socially) have their selectors elected by members. And this seems to create a fair bit of 'discussion' one way or another - selectors look after themselves and their mates, selectors do not have a clear way of assessing all players, etc..
In professional sports, players are not involved in selection, which are 'appointed by the Management Committees. Consider the AFL, State League soccer, even the State Bowls sides.
Should bowling clubs consider doing the same? The Management Committee could 'appoint' players (or even non-players who would be able to give their full attention to the job, or any other person who is considered competent (as opposed to being 'elected' because they are seen as good guys).
The Management Committee of a Club have the ultimate responsibility of developing the objectives and strategies to achieve the Club's desired results (winning a premiership, promotion, being sociable, etc.)and should thus appoint selectors whom it believes is best able to select sides to achieve these goals.
The Club's objectives and goals should be clearly advised to members who are then able to consider if their own aims are in alignment this that of the Club. Similarly, prospective selectors should present to the Management Committee how they intend to select players in various sides.
I'm sure that many people will be able to pick holes in my proposal. But let's look at the alternatives to see if there is 'a better way'.

Dave Scott
I don't mind it Dave. You hear of plenty of examples of clubs being decimated due to the election of a poor selector or committee member, and while you can't stop the selection of committees, having the selector that is on the same page as the committeee has merit.
Also inherent to the problem are players not accepting being told when they have had a bad game/handful of games and get demoted accordingly, accusing selectors of bias or having no idea and then leave the club at seasons end. It is an unenviable position as the selector is trying to play his own game and also noting the performance of players and relying on skippers being honest about the game their players have had (and also they have had)
For example at Bassendean, last year and this season we have a selector for the PL side who does not play in that side, and for me found it worked really well because he couldn't rely on what he saw but rather had to gather as much information from a multitude of people from that team and then made reasoned choices on the team.
Maybe the best selector in your club is not your best player??
Many years ago (15 to be precise) I asked a respected member of the Yokine bowling club what the policy was on warming up on the green before a game of pairs. I still remember his words “It’s not the done thing!”
A few weeks ago I get a call from a member of the Stirling Bowling Club inviting me to play in a game of Saturday pairs. I turn up to be greeted by opponents who have been out for a lengthy period warning up!! I determined to say my piece at the completion of end one and did so.
A new player at my own club (Yokine) expressed disappointment that he had recently turned up to play at Yokine only to be confronted by experienced players who had been warming up prior to the game.
Keen to hear thoughts?

Wayne Coffey

Re Roll up etiquette letter from Mr Wayne Coffey Strange game bowls.
As far as I am aware it’s the only game in the world in which pre match practise is not only frowned upon, actively discouraged, severely limited but also, to a certain extent, actually illegal.
Must be because we are all so good we none of us need to practise.
The only salvageable aspect of last season’s mid week bowls fubar was the allowing of a pre game practise if you so desired.
The notion that a governing body is allowed to prevent sports participants from practising for as long as they wish prior to a game on the surface that is alien to them & that they will be competing on is quite absurd.
“Sorry Mr Federer, there’s a wall out the back for that sort of nonsense”
“Two three woods each gentlemen is the range limit”
“Oi !!! No hammy stretches nor sneaky little sprints Usain”
“Anyone found damp prior to the 5 metre springboard will be disqualified”
“The nets will be closed prior to & during the test”
“No fondling your balls before bounce down lads”
Graeme Archell

11th May - Men’s Promotions, Demotions Pennants (Saturday & Thursday)
The automatic promotion or relegation of the top and bottom sides should be honoured as per the Bowls WA Handbook 2019/20
Challenge or Promotional Finals
This idea should be abolished completely for the following reasons.
The length of time of about six months is just too long to sustain continuity in the season per se as well as the teams.
• There are far too many unknowns and variables to make these matches fair and reasonable.
• Some clubs may not survive this crisis.
• There will be players who have left one club and joined another club, which is normal each year. In a possible scenario, the club that a player has left may be drawn to play his new club in the proposed play offs.
• It is more than possible that players may be away on vacation when September 19th occurs.
• The date chosen for these matches is not suitable for those clubs with only grass greens. The players at these clubs will not be able to practice on a suitable green, or indeed a green that has been passed fit for Pennants. This would seem to mean that all of these vitally important matches would have to be played on synthetic greens. This is simply not fair to those clubs with grass greens.
• Finals, as we all know, are usually played immediately after the completion of the season proper.
• There may be players who are intending leaving a club and have therefore not renewed their membership. How can they then play in one of these finals games, if they are not financial?
• Why has only one date been chosen for these finals? Players may rush back from being away, and then not be able to play if the games are abandoned. They then have to wait until the start of Pennants to play again.
• A lot of bowlers do not bowl in the off season, so they would need to start practicing at least two weeks before the 19th, maybe then interrupting their holidays etc.
• From a selection perspective, it would be an onerous task just finding out who may be available.
• Why leave clubs and players on tenterhooks for such a long time, for an event that may not happen, either due to the weather or Coronavirus?

Thursday Pennants
Personally I congratulate Bowls WA for attempting to introduce a different format for what I consider a pretty tired competition on Thursday’s. However we must remember that the majority of bowlers that do play on a Thursday are in the older age bracket, and they clearly don’t like the concept of sets play. I quite liked the set play format, but it definitely lacked atmosphere, mainly because of not having an aggregate type competition.

Regards to All Bowlers and Keep Safe
Jim Stewart

29th April - What extraordinary times we are living in at the moment, Corona virus? And not the one when too many have been had out of the bottle the night before. Social distancing, hand sanitiser and limited loo paper. Unbelievable.
All these would not have been envisaged a few months ago!
These different times have led to a pennant season cut short by one or two qualifying games and finals to play. A very difficult position for the organising body of any sport.
This unprecedented position may lead to unprecedented measures to finish what was a nearly completed season.
The pennant season could be completed in its entirety when the all clear has been given. The qualifying, finals and promotion games to commence as soon as allowed. A revised fixture of events that contribute to other awards (champ of champs, triples etc) would be played; with the bowls wind-up to be held as soon as practicable after these games.
All completed in about 6 weeks. Unavailibility of greens would be a factor here. Some games may have to be played am and pm, with the same rules as outlined in the forum notes being followed regarding players qualification. Synthetic greens could be utilised and shared between clubs.
This completion of the season will most likely lead to a delayed start to next year. If this was to occur, a couple of options may be a later start to the season and a later season (will it really matter if we finish after Easter?) or a revised shorter fixture could occur.
Extraordinary times may mean extraordinary measures need to be taken. I am sure bowlers will understand if changes from the normal are made to finalise the season in a satisfactory manner.
Other topics from the forum agenda to think about during our enforced hibernation.
The new Thursday pennant model was trialled and failed miserably, costing the clubs hundreds of dollars in revenue with the early finish. The format should be scrapped in its entirety. Changes to our pennants need to have positive and quantifiable outcomes before they are introduced.
Ladies Saturday pennant should also play the same number of ends as most other games and an earlier start would help to sort things out. They also need to have a 10 team competition. Manning had 2 teams (a quarter of the field) in top division last season.
This would not be such a problem in a 10 team comp. In fact the rule of clubs having only one team in premier league has caused more problems than has fixed and should also be scrapped.
Trying times all around. As Linda has put to your site. Keep in touch with all your mates and loved ones. Hopefully you keep healthy and we will be out again on the green soon.

Cheers to all.
John Goddard
In line with the release of the WA Premiers relaxation of outdoor social gatherings, as from Monday 27April, are BowlsWA going to allow clubs to play bowls social within the then current restrictions

Ian White

I think you'll find activities that require the sharing of sporting equipment is still banned. Bowling clubs could place restrictions on the usage of equipment, ie bring their own or not use them at all, but I reckon us bowlers will just have to sit tight for a week or two more before going on to the greens again.
I think there is a misconception that these restrictions are decided on by Bowls WA, until the judgement comes down from either our Premier or Prime Minister that expressly says we can return to sport, then it's fairly pointless posing scenarions about why we shouldn't be returning.
When we eventually come out the other side of this crisis we can expect that a lot of clubs will be doing it tough financially. We are told that we are almost certainly heading for a recession which could turn into a depression worse than anything any of us have ever experienced.
Perhaps the time is right for club administrators to talk about saving money in any area possible. This could bring us to a subject that none of us want to be the first to raise. How necessary are the sandwiches or other eats after a game of pennants? Why can we not simply have a beer before heading home. Some may argue that it only costs a few bob so why worry about it, but multiply that by your four rinks and then by the number of teams playing at home for the real figure. The actual costs have been escalating over the past few years.
I could stand to be corrected but I am told that it does not happen on the eastern seaboard. So why here?
What are the views?

Ian Edgar
In reply to Ian Edgar's letter that proposes clubs might cease to present food after pennant games, I would say that this measure would hasten the reduction of active players that has already been a concerning trend in recent years. The two clubs that I have participated for in competition charge around $5 per week to pennant players to cover costs. And it does actually cover the costs of food to my knowledge.
I for one would be reluctant to order two alcoholic drinks to consume with no food to accompany.
It would be seen by many to be mean spirited and probably not as a means for clubs to balance their budget.
Sam Frosh
I think that's a good point you raise Sam, it is probably a good responsibility of a club to be serving food at the same time as alcohol.
25th April - The 2019-20 Season was disrupted by two factors: - Inclement weather causing the cancellation of a number of matches during the season. This is a factor that is an on-going problem which occurs almost every season which has the capacity to adversely affect some Clubs who may play less games during the season than some of their competitors. Some argue that this is merely ‘the luck of the game’, whilst others will argue that games should be ‘postponed’ rather than ‘cancelled’ with the postponed games played on a Friday night , a Sunday, of a ‘free’ Saturday. There are augments against such suggestions – some Clubs may not have adequate facilities for night bowls, Sundays are often committed to State or Club events, there are just not enough Saturdays available in an 18-week season (which could be resolved by having a 14-week season).
- The covid-19 pandemic has led to the decision to cancel the last two rounds of Saturday Pennants, and the last round of Mid-week Pennants, and thrown the determination of Pennants winners, promotions and demotions into chaos.
A proposal to be put to the Presidents Forum is to have ‘automatic’ promotions and demotions (as defined in the current Conditions of Play’). That is, one promotion and one demotion in each Section. For Saturday Pennants, a second promotion/demotion as specified in the Conditions of Play will be played on Saturday 19 September, but there will be no Pennant finals played. However, if this date is not available – for whatever reason – there will be no second promotion/demotion in each Division/Section.
It seems to me to be a futile exercise squeezing in playing the 2019-20 Pennant finals in September, immediately preceding the commencement of the 2020-21 season on greens that a few years ago were not considered adequate to commence the Pennant season before November.
I suggest that Pennants be awarded to those sides which have finished the season on top of their Division (by virtue of the highest points/percentage over other Section winners in the Division). This was the means of determining Pennant winners, promotions and demotions prior to the introduction of finals and challenge play about ten years ago.
I have not looked closely at how the proposed changes would affect the Ladies Pennant competition, but I suggest the current Selectors (both Men’s and Ladies) give careful attention to any such changes and refer any comments to Bowls WA through the Management Committee by the deadline of 15 May 2020
David Scott

20th April - With reference to item 4 of the Agenda for the upcoming Presidents’ Forum it appears that the suggestion from Bowls WA to finalise Saturday Pennants is as follows:
1) All automatic promotions/demotions are honoured, based on the ladder position after round 16.
2) Further promotion/demotion play offs will be held on Saturday 19 September, with no alternative date. So, should it not be possible to play on that date, the 2nd promotion/demotion will not occur.
3) There will be no Pennant Finals played.
If, as suggested Pennant Finals are not played, then there will not be a 2nd promotion from 1 White, and only 1 club will be relegated from Premier Division. This is extremely unfair on the 1 White clubs whose position on the ladder at the end of the season would have given them a chance of promotion through the Pennant Finals. Equally, it is unfair that the side finishing 2nd bottom in Premier League will not be demoted.
I don't think this is quite right but will seek clarification. I read it as being that the normal promotion/demotion system will take place that weekend, which is 2nd plays 3rd in the morning and then will play the challenge game in the afternoon
If promotion/demotion play offs can take place, then why can’t Pennant Finals be played at the same time?
It's a fair question and I'm sure it was discussed. Like you, I can't see why they couldn't, and while we may argue that transfers happen, availability etc, the same rules would apply for the promotion/demotion games. Another letter below about this
My suggestions are:
(1)That Pennant Finals should be played on the weekend of 19/20 September, just as they would have been on 4/5 April, with pennants being awarded, and promotions/relegations settled according to the rules already in place.
(2) Or, if there is a reason that Bowls WA do not wish to play finals on Sunday 20 September, then the following scenarios for each division:
Premier Division – On Saturday (19th) morning the clubs that finished 1-4 on the ladder play off, Doubleview v South Perth, Bassendean v Manning. Winners to play in afternoon for the Pennant. Mosman Park and Warnbro are demoted.
1 White – Automatic promotion awarded to Sorrento. On Saturday morning, play off between Wanneroo (2nd) and Rossmoyne (3rd). Winner promoted to Premier Division, and plays Sorrento in afternoon for the Pennant. Osborne Park (4th) and Kardinya (5th) already have Premier League clubs, and could not be promoted anyway. Demotions as per rules already in place.
1 Blue – Gosnells and Quinns Rock automatically promoted and play off for Pennant, with other promotion and relegation play offs on 19 September, as per current rules.
All other Divisions’ automatic promotions/relegations honoured, with pennant finals and promotion/relegation playoffs conducted on Saturday 19 September per rules already in place.
As an aside, why is the Presidents’ Forum Agenda not placed on the Bowls WA website/ Facebook page? Surely that would be an easy way of keeping all bowlers informed of what is to be discussed, and allow them to give feedback to their club’s representatives, ahead of the meeting.
I know you sent this to me a couple of days ago and I waited until it was posted on the Bowls WA website, so it is there now for general viewing.

Grant Nicol

Not sure what BowlsWA plans are regarding pennant finals, but I for one would be in favour of playing finals.
Obviously as far as the season goes, the home and away portion is finished with the top four settled in all divisions.
I noted that in a recent interview, Ken Pride mentioned that the promotion/challenge games would be played on a weekend in September, not sure of the exact date, but if that is the case why cant all teams qualified for finals also play their finals that same weekend.
I believe most players would be in favour of it, would be interested to see what others players thoughts are.
We play the whole season to qualify for finals so if the current situation around the world with Covid-19 allows for it, I believe it would be the right way to end the season.
Anyway, just wanted to share with you my thoughts and maybe get a poll up and going to see what other players think.

Gavin Faulkner
Tend to agree with you Gav, not sure why the pennant finals could not be considered to be played that weekend. Perhaps every year we could have a Charity Shield similar to the English soccer, where we have the Top 4 from the previous year play 2 knockout games 1v4 and 2v3, with the winners to play each other for the shield and encourage those not playing to come along and make the day a big charity fundraising appeal like we had so successfully at South Perth this year.
13th April - Just to throw another spanner into works. what are your, and others, thoughts on making Thursday pennants open gender? so no restrictions on gender, including positions they can play.

Bob Jones
Actually Bob I really like the idea. In this era of gender equality we have one of the few sports where men and women can compete equally against each other. I don't see any reason why we can't have a system of competition of Saturday being Mens Pennants, Tuesday being Ladies Pennants, and Midweek being Open Pennants. Many other states now have their Open Pennants on Saturday, must admit I like my Saturday competition being men only, but I also enjoy playing with and against the ladies in carnivals and the like, so why not have a pennant competition that all of our sexes can play in.

14th April - If we go mid week any gender i can say this will be end of mid week pennants ps dont no what you mean about other sports with ladies and gents playing together ? Golf no football no cricket no rugby no soccer no, i just think this is not the solution. Bill Owen

19th April - In response to Bill's letter, I don't know why you are comparing other sports. Under the Federal Sex Discrimination Act certain sports qualify for the exception in the case where " strength, stamina and physique of the competitors is relevant to the outcome". Courts and tribunals have ruled that strength, stamina and physique is irrelevant to the outcome of lawn bowls competitions, and therefore lawn bowls does not qualify for any exception in relation to sex discrimination laws.
I don't understand what your problem with allowing open gender is?
At a time when many clubs struggle to get enough bowlers to fill sides each week, surely any strategy that boosts numbers is a positive thing?
Selection would be no different to how it is now, you would still have to be good enough to get into the side.
Surely you want the best players you have for each team in each division, to give your club the best chance of winning?
To state that open gender would be the end of midweek pennants is a big claim to make without giving any reasons or facts to back it up.
Other states already have open gender pennants, so why do you think WA should be any different?
Change in any form may be uncomfortable for some at first but if it means the difference between our sport surviving into the future or not, surely it's worth it.

Bob Jones

In my opinion, the ladies should play their Tuesday bowls on Thursday prior to the men’s Thursday pennants. If the ladies started at 9.30 roll up 9.15 they could finish by 1 & then the men continue to play there games. Benefits (1) the ladies would be playing on better & quicker greens, because the green keeper has two extra days to prepare. (2) I don’t know how many times I have heard the ladies complaining re the greens on Tuesday are slow . (3) I believe the green keepers would be wrapped to have extra days to prepare there greens. Re any Gender for Thursday please give some thought to some of the older clubs that only have 1 women’s team, playing currently on Tuesday pennants, championship (club) on Wednesday & there is also a Friday night ladies competition. Thank you only my opinion

Roger Barns
Yeah thats also not a bad idea, but it's gonna need a big radical shift in thinking from the ladies. It does mean we are expecting the ladies to make big changes to their comp, ie change to Thursdays or Saturday mornings but you are right in that there are more positives to be had with them changing.
With your second point about open competition, as it stands with Ladies playing Tuesday, Friday and Saturday if Thursday became open gender then like all pennants it is optional to compete in it. If they find the grind too much with club comps on Wednesdays then they don't play Thursdays.
5th April - Kardinya Bowling Club conducted an end-of-season survey regarding the match-day format for midweek bowls. Not surprisingly, bowlers gave the sets-play format a big thumbs down. A staggering 76% of them indicated that they wouldn’t play midweek bowls next season if the same format was repeated. See below the full survey results, which will be forwarded on to Bowls WA. In my opinion, probably the most disappointing thing about the sets-play experiment for midweek metropolitan men’s pennants was the lack of widespread consultation among players beforehand.
As we ride out the Covid-19 crisis, I wonder how many clubs will struggle, if not fold, when the bowling industry emerges on the other side of this current pandemic. I’m thinking mainly about clubs that still have to pay for greenskeepers while their income has been severely curtailed by clubhouse and bar closures. Remember that grass continues to grow during these lay-off periods and greens still need to be cut and renovated. Hopefully the Federal Government’s stimulus package will help mitigate financial stress for those bowling clubs with ongoing wages bills.
Kardinya seems to be on track with plans to replace its A Green (the one in front of the clubhouse) in coming weeks. Contractors have assured the club that its workforce is still intact, and that they are ready, willing and able to install a new sand-filled synthetic green as soon as the product arrives (scheduled for late April). Once that happens, work on installation of the new replacement green will begin right away. Product for the new Kardinya green is the same type and colour as the one at North Beach.
The results of the survey sent to all midweek pennant playing members is as follows:
1. OPTION 1. 2x 9 end sets plus 3 end tie break. NIL
2. OPTION 2. 2x9 end sets with no tie break. NIL
3. OPTION 3. 18 ends aggregate score for rink and team points. 52%
4. OPTION 4. 21 ends aggregate score for rink and team points. 48%
On the question of preferred start time, we had suggestions from 12 noon through to 6pm(under lights). In the final analysis 52% preferred 1.30 pm start.
On the question of whether you would play next season if the current sets play format was to continue, 24% answered yes, 76% answered no.

John Terrell
27th March - Let's end the debate on a format that was quite disastrous, it won't be back so there is no need for a gabfest on the subject.
How about we seek out a format that would/may be popular. The traditional 21 ends can be dull, I was thinking about this very briefly the other day.
How about a 9 person team playing 4's, triples and pairs? ends to be played? How about 4's @ 17 ends, 3's @ 19 ends and pairs 3 bowls straight @ 19 ends. Go back to the 1:30pm rollup.
With nine players, maximum cars for travelling from the Club would be 2, as quite a few go direct from work, often probably only one car required.
the 9 person format would make it very competitive at the top and smaller clubs with a top division around 1 Blue or White will be able to compete well against larger clubs 2nd side.
From week to week selectors can get creative (good luck boys!) and switch players from one discipline to another. The pairs would be great match practice for Saturdays with a leader having 3 bowls and the Skip a little more scope to play attacking the head. I think newer bowlers would certainly find it more entertaining.
Just an idea anyway, I was scathing at the start of last season so here's my idea to improve things. Happy for criticism's constructive or otherwise.

Keep well people.
I asked Nifty how the aggregate would work, as this would seem to have been the biggest hurdle faced by midweek this year
3rd April - Points could be 2 - 2 - 2 and 4 for the Agg. Could play an extra end for draws so no ties.
What do people think of this? My initial thought on the aggregate would be the fours play 17 ends and 136 bowls, the Triples and Pairs play 19 ends and 114 bowls each team. Is the equal aggregate fair then, the pairs and triples players play more bowls, so do you have to juggle people around to give them an opportunity at each discipline? It seems to me to be even more mickey mouse than the sets play which is currently the rules, which I think will be disbanded anyway. Aggregate will only work if all players are playing the same discipline over the same ends. But love the outside of the box thinking, I think something different in Midweek is great, it just creates a different style of competition that we can play competitively, outside of the standard 21 ends Fours competition.
25th March - Here are results from our member survey regarding the Thursday Pennant format. We have sent the results to Bowls WA with a covering letter but thought it would be a good talking point during this period of no bowls.

We asked our Members to answer several questions and to comment on their perception of the current format.
Our Members were asked;
Question 1. Are you in favour of the new Thursday Pennant format?
Question 2. Did you choose not to play this year because of the new format?
Question 3. If you answered NO to question 1, summarise what you don’t like about the format
Question 4. If Bowls WA reverted back to the old format, would you be prepared to -
a) Reduce the number of ends to 18
b) Re spot the jack on dead ends
Question 5. If Bowls WA maintained their position on the new Thursday format for next year’s season, would you play?
Our Club has 72 positions for Thursday Pennants and we had 68 Members respond to the survey.
As the responses to questions 1 and 5 illustrate, our Members were overwhelmingly against the current Thursday Pennant format.
Results are as follows;
Question 1 No = 97% Yes = 3%
Question 2 No = 90% Yes = 10%
Question 3
Responses to Question 3 were predominantly concerned that there is no longer an aggregate and therefore, no team participation across the 3 rinks. The perception is that it is no longer a team game but rather a rink game that is anti-social and counter to the spirit of Pennant competition.
The team who plays the best does not necessarily win the match. A rink can win set1 by 10 shots; lose set 2 by 1 shot; lose the tie break by 1 shot; be 8 shots up overall and lose the game.
The sets play format sees some rinks finishing up to an hour before others, with earlier finishers leaving to go home before completion of the other rinks. This leads to a disjointed fellowship experience for players and impacts on the drawing of raffles and bar sales.
The concept of time saving with this format was one of the prime reasons for the change, however, it does not seem to have come to fruition.
Question 4a No = 43% Yes = 57%
Question 4b No = 35% Yes = 65%
Question 5 No = 59% Yes = 28% Undecided = 13%
The initiative to try something different on Thursdays was appropriate and commendable, however, theresponse to our survey and the feedback we are hearing from visiting players tells us that the players think the format is inappropriate for Pennant competition.
Jim Newton
Leeming Bowling Club

Thanks Jim for the survey results. Another bowler has sent to me a similar list of question which i have created on Survey Monkey which I will release soon for other readers of Bowls 360 to comment on.

The more the season has progressed and the more I hear about the aggregate not being a factor the more it has annoyed me. There are 12 points on offer every game, so what there is no aggregate! Aren't other rinks interested in supporting those rinks still playing even when they have finished? The tiebreaker carries 2 points to the victor, that goes towards the "team" points and a higher position on the ladder. Why would you be going home and not supporting your fellow teammates in achieving the 2 points? I don't understand. It's still a team game, it's still your club playing for 4 points each rink. I would even suggest it is more important to support your teammates on other rinks because there are more points on offer to win

In fact if you look at the ladders in each grade, the difference between first and last is quite close, considering there were 12 points on offer every week, last year was 6. All 1st division midweek ladders are about 60 points between 1st and last, so with 12 points on offer it's about 5 points per point earned (I hope that makes sense). In Saturday pennants for example there are 8 points on offer every game. In PL it is 7 points difference betweeen first and last per point earned, in 1 white even more pronounced, 10 points. Blue North is 7 and Blue South is 10. What this shows is that the competition is much more even in Midweek because of sets play. Isn't this better for the teams and players playing in it? I wish I had access to ladder from last year as I bet we would find the difference between first and last to be more than this year. Wouldn't the players in clubs that are struggling look forward to a competition where if they get belted in the 1st set, still have the chance to win the game? You say there were examples of teams winning by 10, losing by 1 and then losing the tiebreak is a bad thing. It's a good thing if you lose by 10, win by 1 and then win the tiebreak. I'd be staggered if there was 1 player where they didn't experience both sides of this coin this season.

In hindsight they should not have showed wins and losses because it was inconsequential to the ladder. It really didn't matter if you got more shots than the opposition, that wasn't the way Midweek worked this year, and I think bowlers were either unwilling or unable to cope with the change in style. For what it's worth I enjoyed the change in style, we have played aggregate for ever, we play ends up apart from singles in every carnival. It's a shame we won't see it again as it was something new and different.
26th March - Dear Sir Just a few points if I may regarding mid week bowls. First of all, your obvious support of the new format has allowed you to take some liberties with facts..
“All Carnivals are ends up” !?! Excuse me !!
Outside of the PBA, State Mixed Pairs, Masters Mixed Pairs and Indoors, which are all state events, all club carnivals are played over a certain number of ends aren’t they? Happy to be told of a carnival that isn't.
Secondly, during conversations with fellow bowlers during this bastardised & now abbreviated season, I have yet to meet anyone whose opinion was sought prior to the adoption of a format that is obviously & almost universally detested.
Secondly, this has been addressed on numerous occasions so I will highlight to you again. In order for changes to be made to our bowls, the matter is discussed at the Presidents Forum, and then ratified at the AGM. If you as an individual didn't know about it, then consult with your clubs committee as they were notified. I am part of my clubs committee, we posed the question to our bowlers about what was being proposed and asked for feedback. If your club didn't do this then it's on your club, not Bowls WA
Perhaps those who play the game might be consulted in future regarding any changes to the format.
So every change they want to enact needs to voted on by every single bowler? A logistical impossibility.
After all, if the many thousands who play it have less say than the few who control it,( bearing in mind that very few watch it ) it is ultimately doomed.
With this theory every sport is doomed. Do you think the club cricketer is consulted with every law change? If you aren’t happy with the direction that Bowls WA are taking, it’s an easy process to volunteer to be on a committee and ensure that are held to account in your eyes.
And finally, you opine that “To lose by 10, win by 1 & then win the tie break is good for those who win” No it isn’t, it’s absurd & ultimately it is bad for the game. Whether one benefits from, or is disadvantaged by the absurd, it is still absurd..
No problems, I don’t find it absurd, surely our plans is to win a game of bowl, if you play to have a bit of fun on a Thursday afternoon, maybe someone needs to start a social bowls gathering at your club? Last time I looked nearly competition we play in, even corporate bowls, there is a winner and a loser and occasionally a draw. I don’t know anyone who just plays for 2 hours and then goes inside for a beer without keeping track of the score, unless you are practicing.
Regards Graham ( formerly known as glass half empty ) Archell.
I notice you didn’t comment on the positives of the format that I opined about. Isn’t an even competition good for bowls?

27th March - 1/ I think your definition of *ends up* differs from mine. Carnival victors are determined by the number of games won in a *shots up* format are they not. If the victors were determined by *ends up* & everybody played the same number of ends wouldn’t everyone be declared the winner ?
Probably right, I was meaning more shots up played over a defined number of ends, it is essentially the same. Sets play needs shots to win, but that's all you have to do is win the set and it doesn;t matter if you win the set by 1 or 10, all you have to do is win the set. Ends and shots don't matter like it does everywhere else is my point.
2/ I find it difficult to believe that all of those I conversed with during the season, and they were legion, had been advised of the changes, supported them & then discovered they didn’t like them after all, and further that all clubs had been asked to comment & the majority supported the changes. ( BTW what was the majority feedback of your midweek members prior to implementation? )
Quite obviously all bowlers weren't advised of the change, but you can't expect Bowls WA to consult all bowlers. There is a process that all CLUBS were consulted.
3/ I did NOT suggest *every single bowler* be consulted *on every single change* so I’ll respond no further to that daft comment
You said "those who play the game", isn't that everyone?
4/ Of course players are consulted prior to significant changes to the sport they play. To suggest otherwise shows remarkable ignorance of other sports.
Players were consulted in this process as well, as mentioned numerous times earlier
5/ You contradict yourself & highlight the major problem of the changes when suggesting we should all support the last team playing in the quest to win. We don’t because, most times, the game has already been decided due to the failing of the format & the aggregate no longer being of any interest.
The result of your rink has been decided but not theirs. They are still playing for 2 points that your team will be benefitting from. And they are your friends and teammates. If you don't want to support them then that's on you, not on the format of the competition.
6/ I didn’t mention the positives because, quite frankly, apart from the extended practice time which was subsequently not allowed, there weren’t any.

I remain yours in half empty state
Graham Archell 27th March - I read with interest the letters about Thursday pennants. Having played this entire season, and garnered plenty of opinions as well as my own. I can only think that while the change in format was worth a go, a business mantra comes to mind: if you try to tell your customers what they want, instead of giving them what they want, you will not go far.
My experience is that the changes are almost unanimously disliked for several reasons. Probably the biggest is no link between the rinks that an aggregate provides, maybe some way of adjusting this while keeping sets format may make it palatable, such as having the total of the sets contributing to an aggregate while still enabling possible tiebreaks for rink wins. This would also stop the situation of playing out a set for nothing other than shots up % which has happened quite a bit.
I hope you have a good response to your survey and will be interested to see the results.

Paul Knight

Thanks Paul. I think we can safely say sets play will not proceed next year and will revert back to a shots format. Whether it's the same as Saturday is yet to be seen. Aggregate in sets play whether it's ends or shots won't work as you have the same problem - you don't know during the game what state of play you are in at any given time. You could calculate everything at the end of the game who has won or lost the agg but it's really immaterial. Sets play is based around winning the set only and nothing else
23rd March - Hi. I am a bit concerned after reading the West Australian bowls results in today’s paper with a number of clubs still having bowls being played at their venue. I am sure that bowls wa sent out a message for all clubs to forgo any playing of bowls inc social bowls due to the virus. Is this correct?

Trevor Thompson ( playing member of the Willetton bowling club)
All Bowls WA can do is recommend they stop, ultimately it is up to the individual and the club whether they choose to do this. Like you I'm staggered if clubs are continuing to do this, especially now that the clubs have to be shut.

18th March - There must be loads of speculation as to how Bowls WA will conclude the currently suspended Pennant competition.
I would like to suggest that BWA adopt the same principle as is used in actual pennant games - i.e. if 56 ends are not completed due to adverse weather etc, the game is drawn. If 57 ends are complete, then the game is deemed to be complete, and a result is effected.
I believe the same could be applied to this or any season - i.e. if say, 14 games have been completed and the season is halted due to the Covid-19 Virus, then the ladder positions should stand, and all play-offs for promotion be decided by overall points/percentage, or what ever method they choose to use Just pointing out, I am a little bias as my team sits 9 points clear at the top of First Blue South, but it is in my humble opinion, a viable and fair solution.
I would be interested in other readers opinions.

Dave Bradbury

16th March - My take on the Covid-19 virus and the potential closure of our pennant season.
Surely common sense will prevail and we will be allowed to finish our pennant season.
There are measures we all can take to protest ourselves and others from spreading the virus. Use correct hand washing and self hygiene, rather than shake hands with teammates and opponents a simple acknowledgement or fist bump reduces the risk substantially and of course if anyone is feeling unwell them stay home.
As we are a low spectator sport the risk is minimal. Club members will still socialise at their clubs, club events will more than likely still be played,
Of the 1 million + population of Perth, there has been 28 confirmed cases and the majority of those have been travellers. I just dont see that there is any reason to panic.
I realise my opinions may be in the minority, however if we all use common sense and are aware of the risks then the season can play out and Bowls WA can re-assess in the coming weeks.

Gavin Faulkner

A sensible approach i think, would be to play the remainder of games and encourage no handshakes/contact. If people feel unwell ie sore throat runny nose etc then be respectful to others and do not attend your or other club.If bowlswa do cancel games then allot 4 points to each team per game, then the season isnt wasted.

Roger Thomas

12th March - I just received an email from my club (Kardinya) with information about COVID 19 from BA (via Aaron Delaporte)
I am a great proponent of the fellowship aspect of our game , between teammates & opponents alike , but I guess as this disease spreads we have to question the advisability of handshaking , handing bowls to teammates & opponents & high fives because of hand hygiene
I am interested in the opinions of others in our bowls community
Steve Back

For those that have not yet seen the email from Bowls WA, below is a copy -
Club Executives,
Please find below information from Bowls Australia CEO, Neil Dalrymple. Bowls WA continues to take advice from Bowls Australia and relevant government agencies for any future actions. Should clubs wish to take their own specific actions (ie no handshaking) it is recommended announcements be made pre-game to avoid embarrassment.
From Neil Dalrymple CEO Bowls Australia
See below our latest advice which can be published or circulated to any members of the Australian Bowls community. Further updates will be provided when more information is received from the applicable agencies.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Advice to Australian Bowls Community
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is increasingly having an impact on the global community and is a rapidly evolving issue.
Government organisations, public health units and the World Health Organisation (WHO) continue to provide accurate, timely and detailed updates relevant to the whole community.
This communication is intended to provide an overview of the currently available information related to the virus and what measures and precautions members of the Australian bowls community should put in place.
This advice has prepared from the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) and the Department of Health (Federal Government).
(Updated: March 11, 2020)
• Coronavirus impact on upcoming national and international events (Updated: March 5, 2020)
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a new virus. Symptoms range from a mild cough to pneumonia. Some people recover easily, others may get very sick very quickly. There is evidence that it spreads from person to person. Good hygiene can prevent infection.
COVID-19 was first reported in December 2019 in Wuhan City in China.
The most common symptoms are fever, cough and shortness of breath. It can be difficult to tell the difference between COVID-19 and other common respiratory illness particularly in the early stages of illness. Individuals should consult with their doctor by calling ahead. The doctor can take a thorough history, including travel history, perform a physical exam and make a recommendation regarding testing for COVID-19.
How unwell does COVID-19 make you?
COVID-19 results in a spectrum of illness ranging from possible asymptomatic carriage, common cold to severe cases requiring hospital admission. In a small minority of cases, COVID-19 can be fatal.
How contagious is COVID-19 and how does it spread?
Analysis of the number of cases from the Diamond Princess suggests that COVID-19 is more contagious than seasonal influenza.
This can change based on the circumstances the outbreak is occurring in and it is expected this will be refined over time as more is known.
The virus is transmitted primarily through respiratory droplets. There is ongoing research to determine if there are other possible modes of transmission such as faecal or through the air.
How do I reduce my risk of getting COVID-19?
Hand hygiene remains the single best action individuals can take to reduce their risk of acquiring any respiratory or gastrointestinal tract infection. While COVID-19 is a global concern the number of cases of influenza globally far outweighs the number of COVID-19 as reported on the Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS). Annual influenza vaccination remains an important infection prevention measure.
You should be vigilant with frequent hand washing using soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub. Make sure you adhere to 'illness etiquette'. If you are coughing and sneezing, do so away from people into a tissue, your elbow or hands. If you cough or sneeze into your hands, make sure you wash your hands afterwards. Seek medical review early if you are feeling unwell.
Should I restrict my physical activity?
The risk of becoming unwell with COVID-19 without a history of travel to countries listed by the Communicable Diseases Network Australia (CDNA) in the last 14 days is very low. As a result, there are no current restrictions on Australians participating in or attending sporting or large public events.

What specific challenges do bowlers need to consider when evaluating infection transmission in higher risk environments (pennant, competitions, events, etc.)?
• In a team environment, there will be increased proximity and duration of physical contact that can facilitate the transmission of respiratory and gastrointestinal pathogens. Research in respiratory infections in travelling sporting teams suggests that the most likely pattern of spread occurs from within a team, rather than from external sources.
• Close physical contact with an opponent may expose a player to risk. For example, tennis has effectively no contact between opponents. Combat sports, however, may involve significant close contact for minutes at a time. Risks related to bowls include picking up teammates or opponents bowls, shaking hands, etc.
• Size and proximity of crowds attending the event. Any mass gathering represents an increased opportunity for infection spread. WHO has produced a document outlining the Key Considerations.
• There is no need to alter your exercise or training if you are feeling well.
• There is no need to wear a mask in public if you are well.
• If you become unwell prior to travel, it is recommended that you organise a review with your GP prior to travel, to ensure it is medically safe to travel.
• If you become unwell and are due to play or train, it is recommended that you do not attend training or competition, and organise a review with your GP to ensure it is safe to train and minimise infectious spread

Keep up to date with developments!!
In response to you Steve, I think it would be advisable for a few weeks to not shake hands, maybe a pat on the back instead? You still want to display good will to your opponent before and afterwards but hand contact seems to be a way to transfer the virus, but more importantly then moving your hand to your mouth is the critical factor.
There has been a great deal of mis-information talked about the Ashley Sharp/Justin Opie situation last weekend – time to state some facts.
South Perth and Doubleview sought to alter their fixture from Saturday to Friday night – noting that this is a requirement before the season commences, the clubs put forward a reasonable argument and it was approved on the 20th November. Ashley Sharp and subsequently Justin Opie were unavailable for that Friday fixture due to work and a family commitment respectively.
Each were selected in the South Perth 1 White side for the Saturday fixture vs Osborne Park.
The sides were published on this site and as a result there was a query initiated from the Bowls WA office; in the interim an Osborne Park representative made a further “unofficial” query on the same matter. The facts were obtained from South Perth and forwarded to the Fixtures & Events Committee for a determination on their “eligibility”. The committee voted (4 not play), 1 (play but not as skippers) and 1 (separate the players for potential differing outcomes), 1 member did not vote.
That decision was communicated to South Perth.
South Perth decided to play Sharp and Opie in spite of the F&E decision and Appeal it under (Rule 18 – Pg 17) of the BWA Handbook. Bowls WA through the F&E committee did not change its decision as some say on Saturday, but South Perth noted there was no point in not playing them and then Appealing. Hence they played.
The Appeal will be heard on Monday morning by the Bowls Management Committee as required, where they will decide on the points and percentage allocation from the game.
Ken Pride
CEO Bowls WA

Unless I am misreading the situation with Justin Opie and Ash Sharp, then I believe the common sense, pub test, scenario should apply. Both of these guys should have been allowed to play, after all, isn’t that the idea, to encourage players to play bowls. Two fine bowlers who had done nothing wrong, and neither had their club for that matter.
The sub committee that made this decision, perhaps need to think again.

Jim Stewart
13th March 2020 - Let me first say that Bowls WA decision on the whole sharpiegate was a total farce. They have set precedence, that NO PREMIER LEAGUE PLAYER FOR WHATEVER REASON CAN BE DROPPED to the clubs second side which in South Perth's case mind you is the second strongest league in WA Metro!!.
So does that mean if you cant play that week then your not allowed to get dropped to the second side of your club, does that mean if I have work or family commitments and cant drive all the way to Warnbro to play as I have work straight after pennant that I shouldn't play this week in the clubs second side??? Really Bowls WA, no wonder the sport is dying.
Here's a couple of reasons why Bowls WA should take a long hard look at yourself and the decision you have made;
Bruce Eagles Sorrento played ALL of last season in PL as a skipper and bowl extremely well. State over 60's pairs winner STATE! Has played 12 games in Sorrento's second side in DIVISION 2 Sect 3 as a skipper won 10 games and only lost 2 with a plus nearly 100 shots up. The side has won 15 straight and are 105 points already which Bruce has help win 12 out of 15 games unsure as to why he has missed 3 games. But more importantly DIVISION 2 not 1 White.
Neil Bolton Cambridge been a fixture in the top side the last couple of seasons still in the top side at Cambridge PL. Pretty handy PREMIER LEAGUE bowler, RD 9 played as a skipper and the Cambridge side won Division 2 Sect 4, irrelevant that his rink lost they still took 6 points away. But more importantly DIVISION 2 not 1 White.
I have played in the top side and the second side at my Club and our club is in Division 2 against one of the players mentioned above does that mean Bowls WA is going to take the 12 games off Sorrento that Bruce has played in or the 6 Points off Cambridge as a PL player played in the side for 1 week for whatever reason???
What is Bowls WA telling me that Bruce and Neil are Crap Bowlers and mean nothing in comparison to Justin and Ash. They didnt just go to one white they went to Divison 2 4 levels below PL
What about the other 18 teams in DIVISION 2 that play Sorrento and Cambridge. Are there needs any less than Osborne Park's, are they worth less because they aren't in Premier League or 1 White. We are the people that pay the fees that help in the survival of this sport and play the game because we enjoy it and love it. But when we are being treated unfairly or not equal then something needs to be said.
Shame on you Osborne Park for making a compliant and Shame, Shame, Shame on you Bowls WA for clearly only caring about Premier League and 1 White the feeder league to PL.
What about the 288 players not in those 2 Divison 2 sides and the countless players that have filled in those 2 sections for the 18 clubs. Now that your decision has set a precedent in Sharpiegate why isn't someone at Bowls WA going thru player lists and rectifying all the points and notifying clubs of the loss of points??? I'm sure these 2 players are not the only ones.
Ohhh I forgot we are not in Premier League or 1 white! Divison 2 and all of the lower division clubs means nothing.
Shame on you Bowls WA.

Kind Regards
I think this letter seems to sum up the misconceptions about what happened with Ash Sharp and Justin Opie, and the letter above from Ken Pride outlines it quite clearly. Osborne Park DID NOT send a letter to Bowls WA, and no official complaint was made. The rules that were in place at the time (and have since been altered) meant that these players were not permitted to play in a lower division. Common sense since has prevailed as detailed in an email sent from Bowls WA to all clubs in February that a slight change in the Integrity Rule had taken place, whereby if a club has a game altered days (like South Perth and others on a Friday night) and a player cannot take his or her place in that team due to legitimate reasons such as work amongst others, then they can play lower down. Hence Ash Sharp playing last weekend in White will not be reviewed because the rules were followed.
For Bruce Eagles, he started the year with some serious health issues and could not play and since returning has taken his place in a lower side as he finds his form and strength. Not sure about Neil and the circumstances there, but people do fall out of form, get dropped, find form, get promoted again. You can't label a player as a "Premier League" player and then if they lose form then they can't play bowls anywhere.
Finally I doubt anyone would agree with you that Bowls WA cares only about higher division players. If that was the case they wouldn't have a heat rule in place which primarily is in place to look after our older players in the game. There is a process in place for clubs to lodge disputes about any game. If your club feels hard done by the selection of players in a game against your club, then you can lodge the protest and have the details heard. I think it is unrealistic for people at Bowls WA to trawl through every single player after every single round and ensure they are playing at a level commensurate with their playing ability.
14th March - Shame on you Sean Whozewhatsit, you failed to research before your long winded opinion.
Please refer to the letter from Ken Pride BowlsWA CEO. FYI, never at any point in time did Osborne Park make any written or formal complaint.

Neville Stevens
I had the pleasure of playing in the Willetton Twilight Fours on Friday 24 January 2020 and just wanted to share how well the club conducted the tournament. I was blown away at how far the club has come since I last played there about 9 years ago.
The evening was 2 games of 13 ends with $1000 bucks up for grabs for the winners and entry fee was only $60 a team. Impressively the entry included roast beef and gravy rolls and the salad bar.
The club has clearly turned a corner from its days spent in a demountable building, they have put in two fantastic sand filled synthetics (the one I played on easily ran 16.5 seconds) and the general atmosphere of the club was fantastic.
The volunteers were exceptional and you can clearly see that there board and management team have put a lot of effort in which I think deserves to be acknowledged.
I encourage anyone looking for a game to get down to Willetton when they run another tournament as I can promise you, you will not be disappointed.
You can see that the membership base they have are passionate about their club and talking to Miles Kemp who is a past member there, that passion clearly never leaves as he was speaking so highly of what the club is doing.

Kind regards,
Cody Packer
Hi Simon, Wow....anyone witnessing the scene at Sorrento Bowling Club over the weekend would, I would venture to say, have had to be impressed. The 2 days of Pairs Finals was not only full of sensational skills, fantastic sportsmanship, and terrific camaraderie, but was in my mind an incredible advert for our great game. It is easy as a bowler of now 50 years vintage to reflect on performances and the performers I have witnessed over these years and I must admit that it is often discussed at length the 'way it was' by our 'vets' in the game when we cross paths. And so it should be. Anybody involved in the 80's/ 90's in this state were witness to some incredible lawn bowling skills and absolute masters of the game were on display. It has also been questioned whether those 'heady heights' could ever be reached again.
Well fear not.....the young (and possibly not so young) stars of our current group of local bowlers were on display over the weekend and they were awesome.
I am of course aware there are others who also possess these skills and who didn't get the opportunity to showcase it in the pairs finals, but those that were competing on the weekend have shown to all present that the games future in this state is clearly alive and in very good hands indeed.
Congratulations to all of you who were involved as I believe you are serving as wonderful advocates for our great game of lawn bowls.

Chris Lander.
This was sent to Bowls WA and to here

10th November - Dear Mr Pride

I wish to lodge my personal objection to the format for men’s midweek pennant competition, the earlier start time and the pre-game roll up.
None of these changes are an improvement to my enjoyment of the game, in fact it is the exact opposite. Many of my team mates are of the same opinion and I believe we are the silent majority. I understand a number of clubs are considering or have elected to withdraw from the completion on the basis of their players not wishing to be involved in this format of the game. This will cause byes and further reduce my and others enjoyment.
This format is extremely unpopular. It may well be the format that is played at Commonwealth Games and other professional level competitions, but we, the majority, don’t presume nor wish to emulate those who attain such standards and high performance. Our reason for participation are completely different; 3 to 4 hours on a Thursday afternoon, team environment, serious but friendly competition followed by an hour or so of convivial socializing. Just two weeks in and our rink on both days off a little after two hours of play. It hardly seems worthwhile.
I respectfully request you and your board review the rules and conditions for the men’s midweek competition with a view of returning to the previous format for the commencement of the second round of fixtures commencing Thursday 16th January 2020. I’m not fully cognisant of the motivation or reason for the change, but notwithstanding I am cognisant of the effect and implications, both of which are in my opinion extremely detrimental to the sport and will further erode participating numbers of club memberships and players. I emphasise that this opinion and request is mine personally and not of the club to which I belong or play for. As stated though, I believe I am part of the vast majority and also that your board has an obligation to administer for the benefit of all.

Yours for the good of the game.
Brett Owen

10th November - I would like to add my thoughts to the discussion on midweek changes this season.
Our club had 3 practice games under the new Thursday format with mostly positive feedback. We just completed our first Thursday pennant game (first week washed out), and personally, I really enjoyed the changes and different strategies that are needed under the new conditions of play. In fact, the midweek changes were the reason that I decided to play Thursday pennants this season.
The only minor issue I can see with the new set play format is that 2 rinks can finish playing and another rink may have 2 ends and a tie break to go. In saying that, I have played many pennant games when all rinks have finished but I still had 4 or 5 ends to complete the game. So that scenario can happen in both pennant formats. In fact, it happened in our game Saturday. The last rink on had 4 ends to play and was fighting for the aggregate. We had 2 rounds of drinks before they finished!
I have played some Thursday games over the last few years purely as practice for Saturday. During that time, I have witnessed a more “carnival atmosphere “ which I have not witnessed on Saturday games. For myself, I play my serious pennants on Saturday and treat Thursday as practice. Before anyone thinks I am not trying for my team on Thursday, I still play to win all games. My question to players that dislike the new format would be, why does Thursday have to be the same as Saturday?
Bowls competitions consist of many formats. The PBA World Bowls Tour play singles and pairs set play, the BPL is triples set play. I don’t like 3 x 3 pairs, but I still play in competitions that have that format because I love bowls. I spoke to a player last week who thinks we should still play 25 ends and have afternoon tea at the half way mark. He still plays bowls, that format is just his preferred way.
Some of the arguments that are being espoused about the changes remind me of the debate over test cricket and 50 over cricket back in the day. There are now 3 formats of cricket that are accepted by players and spectators alike. There are hybrid games in most sports today with different rules and scoring. We must stop trying to compare apples with pears. I would like to congratulate BowlsWA for trying something different.

Peter Wachmer
8th November - At the start of the season I was looking forward to the new Thursday format.
Sorry, we have given it a go and I think it needs to be rescued fast. I think if we see out the season a lot of harm will be done. Immediate action is required.

Ian Edgar

7th November - I appreciate and understand as a former Board member of BWA the amount of thought and work that goes on behind the scenes as they develop new methods to arrest the declining numbers playing Metro pennants.
However, I can't reconcile the fact that in last weeks game against another Sorrento team we outscored them 74-38 with the final result a 6-6 all draw.
The new format (which is perfectly adaptable for singles) encourages players to play what I call "Carnival shots". That is, you play only for your own rink to win by as many as you can safe in the knowledge that you are not letting other team members down. On the other hand when you play "Pennant shots" you are much more circumspect because if it goes wrong you have a negative influence on the other 12 players in the team.
I think the majority of people that play pennants enjoy the fact it is a team game and you can still influence an aggregate in a losing team. In fact I have seen losing teams celebrated much more than winning teams because of their efforts late in games. In my humble opinion the new format does not bring that.
Of more concern is (in my club at least) is the number of bowlers who have withdrawn from Thursday's citing the new format and those positions have not been replaced by new bowlers.
I hope I am wrong and players fall in love with the format but I am just not feeling or seeing it.

Kindest Regards,
Tim Murray

In response to Mr Tim Murray. Dear Sir To score twice as many points as the opposition & then complain about the result being declared a draw would apparently make you a ‘glass half empty’ kind of guy who, should you have partaken of a compensatory beer following the bizarre proceedings, the missus would be much better off without.

Yours in dumbfoundery
Graham Archell

30th October - From our sports correspondent Hot on the heels of the unqualified success of & surge in crowd attendance at Midweek Pennants as a result of rules changes other major sporting codes have adopted a similar format with the following very real possibilities -
1st QTR 2nd QTR 3rd QTR. 4th QTR
EAGLES 6:5. 8:9. 2:2. 2:5
DOCKERS 0:2. 0:1 2:3. 3:0
REALLY .......!!!!
PERTH GLORY coast after knocking in 6 in the first half against a hapless Melbourne Victory who score an injury time consolation goal.
One half each & Victory win penalty shootout REALLY...........!!!
TIGER SHOOTS 62 63 68 69
RORY SHOOTS. 74 76 67 68
RORY declared Open champion after winning one hole play off following scores level at 2 days each REALLY..........!!!
LOOK on the bright side, with the earlier start everyone got home in time for tea with the Missus.

Graeme Archell
Obviously Graeme you are a glass half empty kind of person. If you are a glass half full person, you would see that from a Dockers, Victory or Rory perspective, they are loving the change in format! And if you don't love spending time with your missus then maybe she is with the wrong person...
And as someone pointed out to me today, plenty of sports have sets play. Imagine a game between Nadal and Federer, nadal wins the first 2 sets 6-0, 6-0, Federer wins the next 3 6-7, 6-7, 6-7 and wins Wimbledon. Nadal has won 30 points to 21, but conveniently you did not include tennis, or Volleyball, Table tennis, squash etc in your argument. The fact is Graeme, sets play is a part of sport contests around the world and I bet you haven't batted an eyelid about them ever.
Midweek Pennants is sets play, Saturday pennants is shots play. Different, but the same.
Graham Archell wrote :Dear 'glass half full person' First of all, regardless of how we may consider our respective receptacles, they both contain the same.The rest is semantics.
Not sure what this is saying

Secondly, your comment regarding my 'missus' & any relationship thereto was unnecessary & offensive.
If you want to denigrate your missus by preferring to spend time at a bowls club in a letter to me then you leave yourself wide open

Thirdly, your comparison of bowls with tennis, table tennis & squash is spurious.
You haven’t said how it is spurious, it is sets play, it is the same. You win a set, you win points. Not sure how that is confusing to you.

Bowls is a team sport, the others are individual sports ( whether Volleyball is a sport is debatable ) Fourthly, I would indeed &, I hazard to guess so would every exponent of any game you care to name 'bat an eyelid' were the rules to be changed in such a perfunctory manner without any consultation with those who gain pleasure from the partaking.
Questioning volleyball as a sport is an odd line to take, it’s as much a sport as bowls is. Tennis has pairs, as does table tennis. Tennis has the Davis Cup, it is a team sport, played with sets play. You say their was no consultation, the clubs were all informed of this and agreed to the change, the change was then mentioned at the AGM. You may not like it Graham, and that is your right, but the process for change was adhered to in a proper manner.

Fifthly, please explain to me again how midweek bowls & Saturday bowls are the 'same game' when the same score can produce a different winner & how, in a team sport, there is no need to stay & cheer my team mates when there victory or loss is of no consequence.
Not sure, the idea of bowls is to get as many shots before the opposition bowls, so yes it is the same game. The scoring is different the game is the same. Your fellow teammates are playing for points the same as you, why can’t you cheer them on in a tiebreaker to see them get the points. Don’t you care about them and their rink?

Yours sincerely
Graham 'half full' Archell
You may not like playing sets play Graeme, that is your prerogative, but don’t pretend to dislike Midweek purely because it’s not an aggregate style competition. It is a nonsense argument. You dislike it because it is different. Tactics are different, scoring is different. Starting time is different. Roll ups are different. Must be bad then, so let’s pass judgment before a bowl has been bowled. You pretend to be a half full person, but really you are a half empty person.

Dear Sir I acknowledge you will neither print nor probably respond but I think that a shame.
Many things are, as you say, divisive. Politics is divisive, Sport is divisive, is anything more divisive than climate change.
Should we not discuss these things ?
Surely to not discuss a matter solely because it is divisive is unfortunate.
All things should be able to be discussed in a civil manner.
We have opposing opinions. That's not divisive. As you say, I'm half empty, you're half full.Discuss it. Celebrate it. That's life.
Regards Graham Archell.

Well let’s get it straight, I am not in favour of the new midweek bowling system. More to the point it would appear that quite a few other bowlers are of the same opinion.
I disagree with your explanation about how it was introduced. The bowlers were not informed about this new type of game and if any information came to our clubs in the off season it was not fully discussed or voted on by those involved.
Bowls WA have introduced a format that is not wanted by the midweek bowlers in the disguise of improvement in the game.
If BWA wanted to make change to the format of pennants they should have been open about it and had input from the bowlers involved and not by the back door in secret.
I have noticed that we no longer have 6th division now and the 5 th division has 7 teams less with two division having only 8 teams and one only 7 teams. So much for improvement in player numbers.
I have just returned from watching the first game of midweek pennants and found that after the 8 th end on the score boards, the 9 th end was played and the score boards returned to 0-0. So had no idea who won the first set.
Same thing for the second set of 9 ends, no idea who won what. How did we go lads? We have no idea? Was the reply.
Your reference to tennis and other sports like cricket etc are not parallel comparisons. Tennis has been played in sets for many years. Cricket added other formats, they did not replace the original concept.
If BWA wants to introduce a new format, start one on a different day, or play an evening competition. Then those that want it can play in it.
Just because others do not like the new format I am shocked that you would respond to the last gentleman about his wife. Such remarks are not warranted and an apology would be appropriate.
Bowls has been played for many years in the original format, I am not referring to minor changes or rules. But in a format which produced team spirit, but now each rink is playing for them selves, there is no aggregate win. You are not trying to get a 4 to win the aggregate for your team, you are now trying to just win your rink.
If someone comes up with an improvement to the game let’s go for it, but don’t drive your members away. I know of several bowlers who are now considering giving the game away completely including Saturday as they enjoyed the midweek, but now are saying as we aren’t playing midweek I may go for a trip instead WITH THE MISSUS.

Rocket Rod

Bowls WA needs to ensure they keep those who participate by ensuring they remain happy. Rather than try to change bowls to suit people who currently don’t play... it’s about time they realised that there is a HUGE variety of sports available nowadays... unlike in the past.
Creating a schools level competition is the best was to gain new young members. Currently Footy, Soccer, Basketball, Rugby, Gymnastics, Netball and Athletics dominate the primary and high schools phys Ed curriculum... why??? Because those sports provide FREE competitions, coaching and equipment. Until bowls wa do the same statewide we are way way back in the line.
The change to sets play on midweek has resulted in me no longer wanting to play midweek but left with little choice as I set my week up to give me Thursdays off. As a friend said ‘give it a go you may like its, well I don’t but Thursday is practice for Saturday and I have committed. Any major change should have been voted on by every bowler... survey us bowls wa and unlike the previous survey, actually listen to the responses... the two one blues should not exist!

James Davies

I realise that as a lady bowler, the Midweek Pennant changes don't affect me at all, so I just wanted to comment on the amount of people who say these changes came in without any warning. I went to my Clubs AGM earlier in the year where it was an item on the agenda. Much discussion was had and it was voted on as to whether we agreed or didn't to the change. Or should I say, only the men voted. I think that some of the people who are blaming BWA for this change with no warning should actually go back to their club and ask why these changes were not communicated to them in the first place. Or maybe they should go to an AGM or two and find out what is happening.
Saffronne Alden

I don't play midweek pennants, but i have spoken to a lot of people about the new format & I believe the biggest problem with the new format is that you are no longer playing as a team of 12.
Teams instead are only playing as individual rinks & can't do anything to affect the overall outcome of the game other than win their 2 sets.
It takes the whole team aspect out of the game, whereas on Saturday, you are a team of 16 aiming to outscore your opposing 16.
The earlier start time I think will also have a negative effect on player numbers, as it makes it harder for people who work to consider playing, it also means that teams playing away will leave the away club around 4:30 - 5:00pm putting them right in the middle of peak hour traffic, why not start at 2:30 - 3:pm which would open up the game to workers & also mean when driving home you only get the back end of the peak hour.

Just my thoughts.

Ryan Moyle

Just a comment/question on the new format.
I am in favour of the new format. My only question (which I raised at the AGM) is why a 3 end tie break and not just a 1 end tie break (as they are trying to shorten the game time).
I was informed that the rules of sport (bowls) stated that for set play, there needed to be a 3 end tie break. This being the case, why is the BPL only a 1 end tie break, surely they follow the same rules?

Jim Newton
Leeming Bowling Club

The kitty will be re-spotted and the game time starts 15 minutes earlier at 1.15pm, so the game will naturally be shorter. I know with the BPL that a 1 end tiebreaker is extremely cutthroat and can be unfairly biased towards the person winning the toss and giving away the mat, thus having last bowl (which can be a whole new argument about the positives of that!). But a 3 end (may be only 2 if you win both those ends by enough) tiebreaker seems a fairer way to decide the winner.

As for the BPL (and in fact the PBA is the same where they have tiebreakers decided by ends and not shots which contravenes world bowls rules), I don’t know for sure but can only guess it is because it is a separate body outside of the World Bowls and they can set their own rules surrounding play. If you look at the Ultimate bowls Championships, they have a scoring system which definitely contravenes the scoring rules but it also operates outside of World Bowls and while they would take most of the rules across, they are free to change any they like. As a Pennants Competition we would be unable to do that.

Personally, I have never played any kind of set play before, but I am willing to give this format a try.
The earlier start time seems a step in the right direction, and being able to roll up right until the game starts appears to be a good idea too.
The set play format is very different to our normal Pennants, having no aggregate worries me a little, but, hey let’s give it a go.

Jim Stewart

Yes being sets play makes calculating aggregate very hard. Once the first set has passed the scores reset for the 2nd set, so at the 9th end of the 2nd set people would be running around trying to work out what everyone scored in the 1st set. It's become too complex, so yes the foundation of our team sport has always been the aggregate but with sets play you can continue to encourage your teammates next door but their result won't affect your result, enabling you to focus on your own rink and win.
But glad to see you have approached with an open mind, it will be good to assess at seasons end about what worked and what hasn't worked.

2nd June - It would appear the changes to midweek as outlined by Bowls WA have created some discussion points around the traps with varying degrees of like and dislike. I've received 2 letters from people wishing to remain anonymous.
There is a lot to like about the new Thursday Pennant format. The 1.00 start and subsequent earlier finish to assist with travel time, the ability to partake in a 30 minute roll up is most welcome. And set play offers an exciting alternative to the traditional 21 end game, I think it will be more dynamic.
However Lawn Bowls Penant competitions have been traditionally a team game where all the rinks vie for the aggregate. Under the new format as I understand it winning a rink becomes paramount, the score irrelevant and the combined team score also irrelevant. The buzz of your rink needing to lift to win the aggerate will no longer exist.
I like the playing format I think that the scoring could be improved. My thoughts are that the team aggregate at the end of the two nine sets should determine who wins the 3 points on offer with 1 point for each rink win.
I notice that the 3 end tie break will be decided by ends, not shots. I believe that this is breaking too far from lawn bowls tradition where the winner has been the one with the highest score.

Yeah a few people who have spoken to me are a bit surprised at the tiebreaker being ends and not shots, and also no aggregate. Like any change it may not be the best solution the first time around but in subsequent years if found not to be right then it can be changed, the primary thing is trying a different way to play competitive bowls. It may not work either, but we won't know unless we try.

Hi Simon, have you seen the outcomes of the recent BWA forum? Is it an old April 1st post? Best kept secret the new Midweek format, what a bunch of donkeys! I can't see how the president's and Club Reps could approve or confirm the idea. I certainly never heard about it, I don't think the representatives can have a mandate to approve without discussing at club level.

Well, others have also thought this way, have also heard a few people say they won't even play midweek next year. All I can say to that is try it first and then decide. If you don't like after 4 weeks then withdraw but if you are a committed midweek bowler then don't let your club down and continue to play. As part of the committee that put forward this proposal I can tell you it wasn't a throw away 5 minute discussion, plenty of thought went into it with lots of changes before we settled on a change we thought would enliven the competition a bit. Time will tell if it works but unless people enter the Midweek season with an open mind then we won't get a proper outline of the future.
As for the 2nd point, Bowls WA did release this to the clubs before the forum, so the committee or the President had plenty of time to discuss and gather feedback. A similar situation happened last time with the reduction to 8 teams. Perhaps bowls club committees and Presidents need to be more communicative with their members about these sort of changes, it's significant and should have been discussed either by a newsletter, a Presidents email or a letter on the noticeboard. If you as a member didn't know, perhaps you should be asking the question of your committee?

10th JuneI think it's great that Bowls WA are willing to try a new format for pennant bowls and using Thursday mens pennants to trial any new ideas is a sensible strategy. The sets play format proposed has the advantage that it allows a rink that has a slow start and is well beaten in the first set to still be able to win a point by winning the second set, rather than have no chance of winning a point based on the current format.
However, my concern is the proposed scoring system with the majority of the points often decided by a 3 end tie break rather than on aggregate. An example is as follows:
Rink 1 :
First set 20-5, Second set 9-10, Tie break 1-2, (shots 30-17), Your points-1, Opposition points-3
Rink 2 :
First set 17-3, Second set 7-10, Tie break 1-2, (shots 25-15), Your points-1, Opposition points-3
Rink 3 :
First set 19-4, Second set 10-12, Tie break 1-2, (shots 30-18), Your points-1, Opposition points-3
Based on the old scoring system your team would receive 6 points and the opposition 0 points based on a comprehensive win on all rinks and an overall aggregate win by a comfortable 35 shots.
Based on the proposed scoring system, your team would receive 3 points and the opposition 9 points which seems hardly fair given that all rinks have comfortably out-played their opposition. Even if one of your 3 rinks had won their tie breaker, your score would be 5 points and the opposition 7 which still seems unfair given how comfortably the 3 rinks have outplayed their opposition.
An alternative scoring system could be to give a point for each set and 2 points for each winning rink based on aggregate rather than based on a tie break. For the above example, this would result in 9 points for your team and 3 for the opposition.
Another alternative scoring system is to give a point for each set and say 4 points for winning the overall combined aggregate for the 3 rinks. For the above example, this would result in 7 points for your team and 3 for the opposition.
One problem with an aggregate based scoring system with sets play is keeping track of the aggregate on the scoreboards. However, a scoring system based on aggregate rather than on a tie break seems a fairer system to me.
With the state sides just about to head off and represent out great state I wish them the best of luck and hope they do us proud against formidable opposition. Nevertheless, I do have some thoughts of my own about the make up of the mens team moving forward into next year and beyond. Below is my opinion on what our state side should look like. I understand not all players made themselves available for the squad but here it is anyway:

Anthony WilliamsShane KnottDaniel TrewhellaDaniel Brown
Scott WalkerGlenn PaulingJustin OpieJohn Slavich
Justin SmithAaron SmithKyle McIlroyDavid Rankin

My rationale is fairly simple. Break up the rinks into two pairs, find two players with brilliant chemistry and a proven record of performance together and combine the two pairs into a single rink.
For example, Ant Williams and S Knott play at the same club, are good mates, and have won the state pairs together and runners up the following year - tick. DT and Browny say no more, and there you have a rink that I think could match it with the best in the country.
Scotty Walker and G Pauling once again same club and good mates have won the state triples - tick. Justin Opie and Chevy just won the masters pairs together in a canter, and there you have another rink that I think could match it with the best.
Justin and Aaron Smith a bit of a wild card but you know there's going to be awesome chemistry and quality bowls, and we all saw how well Kyle and Ranks played together against the best in the world just recently in England.
I know selection is a thankless task and this email is in no way intended to criticise what the selectors have done this year, I actually think the boys will do very well. However, I also think that team chemistry is seriously underrated and my opinion of the best 12 is based on a methodology more than anything else.
Once again good luck to the teams we will all be watching and supporting you. Anonymous

It's an interesting and different slant on the selection of the state side. Must say it is a very good looking team off the bat, but it does leave out exceptionally good players like Clive Adams, Matt Mitchell, Cody Packer, Kevin McKay amongst some others. It also takes away that some players don't want to represent the state or aren't committee to do the things required of them, but taking all that aside, I like how you think outside the square a bit to get a side. What do others think?
I was reading the letter regarding the state selection process and it is an interesting concept. Systems like this are not new and have proven to be very successful. Paul Azinger adopted a similar method to this as captain of the United States golf Ryder Cup team to defeat Europe in 2008. It is commonly known as the "POD System" and it works around building pods within the team to build team morel and closer relationships. Interestingly the US stopped using the Pod System after 2008 and lost in 2010, 2012 and 2014, but Davis Love III then went back to it in 2016 and it paid off as the USA won 17-11. Maybe there is something in this???? This is a link to the article here if anyone is interested.
Once again I went to see a state event at Bassendean (Mixed over 60's pairs) and once again disappointed by what I witnessed. I have seen all the entry forms for the state events and they clearly state "club uniform or whites". Today at Basso I saw 8 people out of any sort of uniform. Mufti with no Bowls WA logo on them at all. A few had Henselite or Taylor shirts and they have the three bowl logo, but still aren't club uniform or whites. It's about time Bowls WA had a crack down on the dress code or just put on the entry form " just wear any old thing you want to"

Craig Hamilton

I have just read the letter to you regarding the Over 60 event yesterday at Bassendean whereby the writer stated that he saw at least 8 players who did not adhere to the dress code.
I wonder if the writer has looked at the conditions of play which clearly stated that the dress code was to “adhere to the dress standards as noted in the Bowls Australia Policy.” Bowls Australia have approved the use of coloured clothing which has been an added bonus to the attraction of bowls . Many clubs are now adopting a social club shirt, which has the approved BowlsAustralia logo on it, made by an approved company and best of all locally made, so the revenue is generated back into Bowls in Western Australia? I would think that almost all players who play in state events, many choose to wear bowls approved attire, however should they be playing in a final, they wear their club uniform, which I guess with all clubs is their pennant uniform.
I hope the writer was there at Bassendean to see some fantastic bowls by some very , very experienced bowlers who have given back to bowls as much as they have got out of playing our great sport, and not there to be looking for something to gripe about.

Linda Warburton

It is disappointing to hear someone complaining about uniforms which is such a menial part of the game. Surely we just want good players to turn up. What they have on is not relevant.
What about players who have sponsors? Personally I don’t see how it matters, or why we should care about this. Clubs know when you play for them and it shouldn’t matter if you wear something that isn’t representative of your club.
It’s time to grow up.

Mike Browne

Must admit it seems a mountain out of a molehill situation. As long as players are wearing bowls affiliated clothing, it surely doesn't matter what colours they choose to wear. As Linda alluded, all players complied with the rules of the competition, so "nothing to see here people, move along"

As I said in my letter, the 8 people I saw at Basso had non bowls gear on. There were others with "Henselite"/"Taylor" shirts, at least they have the bowls logo on them. The 8 in question were not in bowls clothing, I remember one in particular was a blue "Sportsco" shirt which only had the makers logo on it.
Yes, I did watch some great bowling and was an enjoyable day.
I also had friends who were watching at Sorrento and unsure of numbers, but the same applied.
I can only remember the entry forms I filled out for the State 4's and the over 60's pairs and it clearly stipulated on the form "Club uniform or whites." I think it does matter when it is stipulated as such.

Craig Hamilton
The top of your webpage clearly states bowls without bias therefore I would like to know why the highest winning margins have only been published this week in red division after our rink were soundly beaten by a far better team, After 16 games I find this to be a slightly bias write up to all clubs and divisions that are struggling in the competition. As a member of Bowls WA I would like to request that this email be posted on your website.

Phill Leyland

Hi Phill and thanks for your letter. I publish all letters I receive unless the writer does not wish it to be so. In regards to the record, well it is a record and of interest to those who have an interest in Premier League bowls. No side has got over 50 shots before. No game that I have found yet has created over 200 shots. No margin has been as high as 92 shots yet in my records. These are significant scores and I post not only because I was a part of that side that won but because they are significant milestones. It's unfortunate that Morley were on the receiving end, but that's bowls, someone is always a loser when records get broken.
I've been quite fair about Morley this season in a year when they were never going to win any games but the attitude of the 16 has been first rate every week, I hear that from all the opposition clubs, and despite the margin of the game on the weekend, it was again first rate in what must have been difficult for them all.
I play at lake monger. There are 3 ladies in total, two in their eighties and myself. We all play in the men's pennants in Saturday and Thursday comps. As the club has 10 or less women, we can play in any of our clubs men's teams, but we must play as men complying to men's rules. There are only 45 bowling members in total at the club, 2 teams on Thursday and Saturday so without us women, we wouldn't have the numbers for even those teams.
My reason for the email is, recently I entered myself into the 2nd division and under singles and yes, I do know it says men's in the title, but having read the eligibility criteria and considering I play in the men's pennants, I didn't see anything that precluded me from entering.
I received an email from Bowls WA telling me I must be mistaken and that it was not an open gender competition.
I'm not asking for it to be an open gender competition.I am asking that when the eligibility requirement is having played at least half the season in men's pennants 2nd division and under and I meet that requirement, that I be allowed to play.
I think it is wrong to say I can play as a man in pennants but then not in a competition for men's pennants players.
What are your thoughts?

Debbie Saunders
Thanks for your letter Debbie, an interesting point of view but I think it falls down because the event is listed as the "Mens 2nd division and under" and not the "2nd division and under pennants" state titles. So even though you are entitled to play in the Mens Pennants as is the rule at the moment, it is restricted to men playing in the event.
Maybe down the track it will become an open 2nd division and under event which could incorporate both men and ladies who play in the 2nd division and under in both Tuesdays and Saturdays but at this stage that is not the case.
Did receive an interesting letter during the week but wishes to remain anonymous and not to publish the letter. The contents of it are about the Ladies Premier League promotion demotion. As we all know a rule was enacted last year that prevented the Premier League in either mens or womens having more than 1 side in that comp. WE see in White for the Ladies, the top 2 sides are Melville and Thornlie, 3rd and 4th placed Manning and North Beach are ineligible for promotion, and so Melville and Thornlie no matter what the result of the final achieve promotion. I proposed the question to Bowls WA about the mens, Mosman Park seem assured of promotion but what if Kardinya then earn promotion, does that mean the 9th placed side in PL gets a stay of execution? I was told no, the next best placed side in White will get that 2nd spot.
Fast forward to the ladies and the expectations are that Melville will not exist next year and the players from that club will split and go to other clubs, so if, and that's an if for all you Melville members, if Melville does not exist, who gets that remaining spot in the PL? It falls to 6th place Yokine (5th ended up being Mosman Park), Yokine a side that won 7 games out of 18. That team would get hammered in PL and would not be enjoyable at all for them. First year in, and the "no 2 teams in PL" could potentially be tested. Should that rule exist anyway, is it a bad thing for a club to have 2 sides in the 1 division? It happens in White, why not Premier League? You can see in the ladies that Manning, North Beach and Mosman Park quite strong White sides, what we don't want is a Premier League with those 3 clubs having 2 sides in the PL so you can understand the rule.
If Melville fold, it will make for an interesting off season decision as to who fills that 9th spot in the PL. Must admit I haven't read the entire rules so there may be something in place to account for this but an interesting discussion piece

The decision to limit Premier League on Tuesday and Saturday to one club side was done as much as looking to the longer term future as to the coming season. I think it would be agreed that having “multiple” sides from clubs in PL does not benefit the sport or the competition. The situation is more prevalent in the Ladies Competition where it would be conceivable that clubs such as Manning, Mosman Park or Sorrento – large well performed ladies clubs could work their way into PL and a 10 team competition (or god forbid 8 team), and end up with 3 or 4 competing clubs.
Already this year we see Manning’s 3rd side finish on top in 1 Green Sth and gain automatic promotion to 1 White and their 2nd side already playing in 1 White finish 3rd. It is a challenging but not inconceivable leap for them to finish 1-2 next year and suddenly have 3 sides in PL for 2020/21. That could not be allowed to occur and was recognized by clubs at past Forums, hence the rule.
In relation to this year we see Melville and Thornlie earn the right to PL next year and Vic Park Carlisle and Leeming demoted. Relatively straight forward except for the uncertainty surrounding Melville, Thornlie’s promotion is another story again, but that can wait. There are contingency options for Melville should they not be on their current site next year. That contingency is built around whether they formally MOVE AS A CLUB such as through amalgamation to an alternate venue or whether they simply disband.
In the former option the promotion to PL will go with the club, in the latter it will not – promotions are won by clubs not by players.
Yokine will not be promoted to PL as per the details explained on Page 41 of the Handbook.


Ken Pride
Chief Executive Office

With the looming state side selection being finalised thought i’d throw my team selection in


Am I close ?? Am I miles away ???
Always a good talking point 👍

Craig Greenhalgh

Brown (sk), Rankin, M Mitchell, Grigg
Slavich (sk), Knott, Williams, McIlroy
Packer (sk), Adams, Brandsma, Walker
Reserve: Holt


I was lucky enough to assist with the state trials today while Slavich, Knott and Adams are in NZ for the BPL. I will put my selectors hat on briefly, the teams are being selected today and will be announced tomorrow the 25th Feb. It is a great squad of 16 and they could all play with honour in April but there can only be 12. This is my 12, good luck to the 16

Brown (sk), Rankin, Adams, Grigg
Slavich (sk), M Mitchell, McKay, McIlroy
Packer (sk), Knott, Brandsma, Bates
Reserve: Williams

Simon Alden

Slavich, M Mitchell, Brandsma, Adams
Brown, Rankin, Holt, McKay
Packer, Knott, Williams, McIlroy


Slavich (sk) Knott Mitchell Williams
Brown (sk) Rankin Grigg McIlroy
Packer (sk) Adams Brandsma Walker

Nick Reagan

Is it time for an open discussion over the shade cloth over the greens at Kardinya Bowling Club. It is with complete confidence in the integrity and quality of the Kardinya bowling Club and its many skillful and quality members. I have not played at Kardinya this year but have played there previous seasons so it is not with a feeling of sour grapes at losing a game, a team from the club I belong to played there yesterday but I have seen none of them so this is not any of their opinions but solely mine.
I am not a new bowler having played for many decades under all conditions and on all surfaces but I know from previous experience at this club the problem is the amount of light restricted by the shade cloth so much so that it is hard to see the score boards at the opposite end of the greens, the rolling shadows are caused by the over protective nature of the shadecloth which would not be present with a lighter fabric, Every club has a home ground advantage with wind direction and green surfaces but the advantage here is above and beyond all others, even with good eyesight the amount of light on the green is not normal to any outside sporting competition.


George I think I know the club that you belong to and the team from your club that played at Kardinya on the 14th February I would have thought that not being able to see the scoreboards on that day would have been preferable to your guys !

Steve Back

I was genuinely surprised that so many people object to the inclusion of composite teams in state events.
There are state titles at stake. The best players deserve to win regardless of which club they happen to be playing for.
I think composite teams are great. You get the chance to play with a wide range of players that you might not necessarily have the opportunity to play with during the pennant season. Imagine playing alongside your family or best mates and even have the chance to win a state title with them.
Want to win a state title? Work hard, practice, play as much as possible. No one wins a state title by accident or without putting in the effort to improve their bowls.
If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best. I'm definitely not deterred by the inclusion of composite sides.
I believe the exclusion of composite teams would have a negative effect on the competition. People would potentially miss out on playing because they are unable to form team from their club.
I can see this being a problem for some of the smaller country clubs who are already feeling disadvantaged in relation to the scheduling of the state events.

Thanks Anonymous, I'm sure about 10 years ago we trialled club based sides for the state fours I think it was and it was a resounding failure, more people dropped off than before I think and it resorted back to a composite nature. Watching the Australian Championships I think Queensland still has their state titles as club based events but they are the only ones. I could be wrong on that and stand corrected.
You know I believe that we all have a responsibility to make our state representatives better by playing against them. Yes they will probably beat us, but it is another competitive game that they play. When our state team was strong, we would have double the entrants to our state events, but we didn't have double the number of registered bowlers. Did these people back in the day think they could win? Don't think so, but they inadvertantly made our top bowlers better because they had to play extra games. Maintain form, play more big shots to win games. It's conditioning them so when they play against the other states, they can re-create. I will always play state events, even when old, to give our top bowlers more games, more bowls, more shots to play to win.

It bemuses me that bowlers are concerned about composite teams. We are playing state championship events for heavens sake.
My concerns and they are well known that the pennant season of 18 games is too many. Clubs are finding it so difficult too run their own events in the time frame.
We missed the boat in not trying something different for this season because some bowlers are frightened of "change"
We must give our sport the opportunity to find itself in the community as other sports are or planning to do.
My last comment: Climate Change is an issue to our sport and maybe in the future we will be forced to make changes??

Ray Povey

State Team Squad, Indeed some interesting selections.
I see the criteria for any sports state squad as;
- Past performances in state carnivals.
- current form and results in major events.
- potential (future)
- characteristics to fit into state team environment.
For these reasons I am perplexed that my 24 year old son Mitchell has been overlooked. He has played premier league at Doubleview and is now playing at South Perth. His performance in being runner up in last years Blue Ribbon event, the state singles, tick form and "potential" boxes.
In that tournament he defeated;
- Mick Martin in sectional play
- Daniel Patterson 21/20
- Grant Stokes 21/18
- Matt Ayres 21/6
- Russell Bates 21/9
- Charlie Slavich 25/22
Before losing the final to Warren Holt 21/25. Holt went on to also win the champion of champion singles.
6 premier league players and a country champion. 3 of these players are now, justifiablely in the state squad.
I know some will dismiss my comments as "a father's bias" but performance facts don't lie. I commend the selectors for adding Cameron Harris to the squad; acknowledging his progress through premier league and the state fours victory. A young man with potential to be a strong state player.

Terry Cranswick

Thanks Terry for the letter, as I alluded to some people would consider themselves stiff to miss out and Mitchell would be one of them. It would be a tough job being a state selector as there are always going to be some hard decisions to be made.
I personally would like to see a rationale for selections, some people pick themselves with performance over the past year or two but whatever the reason it would be good to know why they have chose these 26 specifically.

Simon Good write ups on the sides series, it is appreciated by many bowlers to be able to read about how our teams are doing, it's a shame that there wasn't more coverage of the games from those that were there in Darwin.
The players did do very well and it appears they were unlucky on a couple of ends, which as we know, if only we had got that one end it would have changed the out come.
Good to see the girls do so well, and the guys had some tough battles against some seasoned eastern state sides.
For the future it would be good if BWA could give some thought to promoting our sides and giving some coverage of the games. The games in Darwin had coverage, but I did not see one WA game on FB.
If any written coverage was posted, I must have missed it. With the number of BWA managers, coaches, selectors etc that were there and the fact that someone has the ability to transmit the game through the internet many people were disappointed.
I am sure lots of people have seen the FB posting over the weekend, and thought that Martin had posed his post very well. As a sport living country don't we all question our teams ability to win games, our coaching staff to bring our teams to the top, our selectors ability to find the best in the state to play the best side possible for that week. Injured or underpar players are left out and replacements found. It's on the TV every day, that the coach is under scrutiny, that the selectors are being questioned about the inclusion of players and why others are overlooked time after time.
It is a big talking point every week at pennant selection.
Are our fees being spent in the best interest of WA bowlers, is also a fair question. It is not a taboo subject. I for one want to see my money spent on our bowlers so that they can do the best for the rest of us that are not good enough to be selected. We are the supporters and we are paying towards the costs.
It would appear that we had a large contingent of support staff at the event, that's great, but did that cost come from the bowlers of WA also.
I saw that some guys are sick of being questioned about their inclusion, or lack of success in games, or how they got in the side, or if you have never played you would have no idea. Now that's a shame if they pulled out, as we need talented players, but it is part and parcel of being in the spotlight.
The questions being asked are normal queries, the appearance is that if you were to play at a few select clubs your chances of selection are greatly increased, is that not true. Are our administrators considering others with the ability to win being seriously considered or is easier to select from those in close contact with them?

Rod Revell

I think this letter echoes a few bowlers thoughts out there, and there are a few that won't agree. You raise a couple of interestings questions which I think I can comment on. I also don't recall seeing a game televised by Bowls Australia, I also don't recall a Tasmania or ACT being covered either so they didn't discriminate against us individually. I, like you, would have loved to have watched the guys or girls play with our own eyes, I'm not sure who was up there apart from Ken Pride and the selectors, but I don't think electronic coverage is their strong suit, so sending someone else with the only job of covering games may well be an expense not justified, as much as we would have liked it. I recall the radio station SportFM a few years ago with Sherro, Mike Zusman and someone else covering them all on radio, that was fantastic but the cost was covered privately.
The other point you raise is the questions asked by yourself and Martin about spending and the like, as bowlers I also feel we are entitled to ask the questions, we may not like the responses! But we all contribute and we want to see the best results achieved. I think we did, it was a fine effort by our team and so close. Next year!

I say well done to the state team apart from the first game the boys played well, they all give a huge amount of their personal time in practice prior to this event and i am sure they all gave 100%, also to the selectors and the coach well done, they also give a huge amount of time.

Bill Owen

After watching most of the BPL , the suns fought valiantly but just didn’t get over the line .
As WA players ,do we drive to much ??
We seemed to have to many short bowls. So is that the reason we drive ? The other sides very rarely drove. Preferring to draw , draw ,draw
I’m just asking as to the tactics we use over here compared to the eastern states . Cambridge always seems to be there about in the 5 a side at Helensvale , so is our game plans and tactics wrong , or don’t we have the talent pool of the east ?

Wayne Rayner

I would like to know how they select the Perth Suns PBL side.
Over the years i have watched with disappointment as shorley we have a better standard of bowlers we can send.Clive Adams has had his go several times and failed, Chevy is a character is good for the sport but most of the others have come up short.
We should be doing better than we have.

Unhappy PBL watcher.

It's funny how 2 people can watch a game of bowls and walk away with 2 different perspectives of the game. I thought Alex Marshall was brilliant, the way he was able to draw when in trouble, never drove but only played with solid weight in the games I saw was inspirational. I had the opposite thought to you Wayne - maybe I'm playing the game wrong by drawing when in trouble, maybe I should be driving when down like Sherriff, Wilson, Bester etc do. The amount of times I saw drives being played and luck entering the equation to win games was far more than a draw shot to win the game. Except Marshall. In my eyes he is the best bowler in the world today bar none, especially indoors.
So to answer your question Wayne, yes I think we drive too often, not as a state and collective, but that seems to be the way the game is going. We as WA players either don't have as much luck as others, or don't execute the drive or weighted shot as well.

For Unhappy BPL player, I don't think you could find better bowlers though, John, Clive and Helen are first picked for the state team every year. Perhaps we do need some new blood, but if the new blood is of a lesser quality, surely the result will be even worse than it is? We just have to accept that at the moment we aren't good enough, when in a 3 on 3 environment. Hopefully our 2 sets of 12 for the sides series next week can show that as a state we have some heart and can fight through the obvious talent difference that the powerhouse states possess, but I am quite comfortable with the selections made to represent WA in the BPL. They weren't that bad, just not good enough. Sometimes it happens in sport.

Simon Alden
P.S. - I think the Suns may be selected by Bowls WA, they do own the licence so to speak so they have the final say on the composition of the team.

Hi Simon, now that the season is over I would like to respond to a letter posted on your site by John Terrell on the 17th of March 2018.

John’s comment, that the Morley Bowling Club is a basket case, is disappointing and disrespectful to the club and its members. Unfortunately the actions of individuals who make these public statements without having researched the facts are not only damaging the reputation of players and clubs but they are also damaging the game of bowls in general.

The facts are that there were a number of reasons for the group of bowlers, named by John, for not bowling. Some had work commitments some had medical issues one was suspended and some decided to support the suspended player by also not playing.

It needs to be understood that the Morley Bowling Club has a strong management committee that is committed to looking after the interests and needs of its members and, where ever possible, fostering the game of bowls. Maintaining a great club culture and good values are the committee’s number one priority. In addition these ideals are also the views of the vast majority of the club members.

Over the past year we at Morley, like a number of other clubs, have certainly had issues to deal with and the committee has made decisions that have always had the club members, club values and club culture at heart.

A demonstration of the committee’s commitment occurred just prior to the last pennant game of the season when the Morley Management Committee had to make one of these hard decisions in the interest of the clubs members and values. The consequence of that decision and the subsequent actions of a hand full of premier league players identified that there was a different culture and value set between the club and those players. The final wash-up was that four players resigned and moved on and two players were suspended.

Yes, with six players out of the top side, these decisions may hurt our premier league aspirations for next season but if it helps maintain the club’s integrity it is well worth it. It must also be said that there are a lot of very good players in the bowling fraternity who would love to play premier league so we don’t see numbers as an issue.

So we, at Morley, know that we are not a club in turmoil or a basket case but a club that cherishes its values and culture and will not shy away from making the tough decisions in the interest of our club.

Vince Princi

MBC President

As an interesting follow-up to the desertion of Top Division bowlers from Innaloo at the start of this season it is worth taking note that some of them took advantage of this situation to enter and dominate the second division and under competition this year. Rod Revell who won the singles and was a finalist in the pairs (I don't know the result yet) and Ted Alden the other finalist in the pairs. Mitchell Cranswick also entered despite being runner up in the State Singles this year. Peiter Harris has assured me that this is perfectly legal but I think the issue needs consideration before next years competition.

Peter Callison

To which I wrote back to him as follows -

Hi Peter, Yes one of those quirks, if they had stayed then they certainly would not have been eligible although the club demoted itself to Division 2 and I think finished bottom so if they'd stayed at Innaloo and the club demoted itself then they still would have been eligible anyway! Do you want me to post the letter or are they just musings?

Actually I want it posted as surely I am not the only one who thinks the rules need to be adjusted. I believe the rules already include a clause which states that entries that are not considered in the spirit of the competition will not be accepted. Perhaps a more formal indication such as has not played Division one in 5 years would more appropriate. Basically I would just like it out there as a discussion point - personally I was disgusted.
Then Osborne Park managed to add to the debacle by scheduling the finals of the singles on a green without lights, forcing them to change greens for the last few ends.
By the way Innaloo had both teams demoted on Saturday. On Thursday 4th division was demoted and second held on by 3 points. Rod Revell may have had a good year but those that remained loyal did not.
What made it worse was that the runner-up Glen Martin was so deserving of the title - one of the most dedicated players in the State.

Peter Callison

Well where to start! Quite obviously I disagree with everything Peter has said and as it is my wedding anniversary I haven't got time tonight to respond. I will write my thoughts tomorrow on this but do you agree or disagree with Peter?

Feel free to send a letter in response in my Contact page

Mitch Cranswick played all year in division 2, and in division 3, on a Thursday would say he is more than eligible to play in the second division and under singles, cant see the tie up with him doing well in the state singles.

Bill Owen

I was reading the letter in regards to 2nd Division and under events. Having just completed a season in 2nd division Red, I can honestly say that there are many very good bowlers, many of whom have played 1st division getting around in the lower divisions. In our division alone there is Daniel Wood, Robert Hunter, Travis Vallance, Dinko Bacich, Vincent Santostefano, Michael Yates, David Downey, Mitchell Cranswick, Darryl Flintoff, Colin Moore, Graeme Wake, Max Brown, William Tepania and Marin Sokol. These are only the players In 2 Red that I know who have played in Premier League. I am sure there are more. What I am saying is, if you enter a State event, any state event, you must be prepared to play some very good bowlers. There is no free ride. Keep up the great work

Peter Wachmer

I read with interest on Peter Callison's musings regarding the 2nd division and under championships played on the Easter weekend, I have also read Peter Wachmer and Bill Owen replies.
For the people who don't know by now 30 to 35 bowlers (male and female) left the Innaloo Sportman's Club prior to the start of pennants due to the problems they had with the administration personnel of the club, nothing at all to do with the bowling club as I am sure that a majority of the players would not have left if the problem had been solved, it is documented where all these bowlers went to.
Myself, Rod Revell and Paul Harber joined Bassendean for the new pennant season with all of us harbouring a desire to break into Bassendean top side in Premier League. Unfortunately we were not good enough with their strong line-up to play Premier so we all settled into their second side which was 2 blue and played there all season, which we all enjoyed.
For Peter Callison to say that he was disgusted absolutely baffles me as like Peter Wachmer I too saw lots of ex 1st division players playing in the 2nd division during the tournament, for him to say this was unfair means that he obviously has sour grapes on losing, the way to combat this Peter is to get better at bowls.
Congratulations to Osborne Park for running this event for the lower grades the problem they had at the end was not of their making but due to players still in both events that also happens during the Country Week carnival.


Ted Alden

WOW, I have just returned from Fiona Stanley Hospital, where I have been receiving radiation treatment for the last 5 weeks every day, and my second dose of Chemo, which runs for a 5 hour dose. To find I have caused more trouble and I didn't even have to try this time.
All season I have been nursing the cancer and the selectors have had someone on standby in case I was unable to play due to the sickness.
A large contingent of bowlers, both male and female left Innaloo BC for our own reasons and moved to many different clubs. I joined Innaloo about 8 years ago when they had 2nd division blue, and worked with the players there to win each week. We attained 1 st div Blue in the first year, we won that to go to 1st division White, which we maintained for a season. With some players joining Innaloo we managed Promotion to 1 st Division Red and maintained it for a season. I can honestly say we enjoyed our time at Innaloo, until the new manager destroyed the atmosphere last season, with his violence and verbal abuse against women and men, and when the committee supported him over 50-60 bowlers, many left, and some more who stayed to try to keep the club going left during this season when they discovered the error they made.
Three of the guys (Paul Harber, Ted Alden, and myself )joined Bassendean BC and we're hopeful of a run in the Top side, but the selector felt his top side was full and settled on his preference, which allowed us to play in the second side of the club, or should we have abandoned Bassendean? I don't think so.
Ted Alden has had a bad run over the past few years, from being the top skipper, then a series of illnesses that could have killed him, and left him wondering if he could bowl ever again, but the fighter that he is saw him train and practice until he had the ability to have a go a the lead in a side, which he has done for several years.
Drew Daley suffers with his damaged spine and may well have to have it fused in two places, but plays each week often in pain.
I take my hat of to these two guys and will argue with anyone about their qualifications to play this year under the conditions of play.
My self, well those that know me and what I am going through, will understand when I say, Bugger you Peter, want to win, learn how to bowl better as we all do.
My thanks to Glen for a great game, I am sure you will give it another good try, it was just my turn.
My thanks go to Trevor Barron and Os PK for running the tournament and agree the last game was on the wrong green as there was no lights, but Trevor said either D or E, and Glen preferred D, and I didn't care as I'd played 4 games already and just wanted to play, never even considering lights until we found that we couldn't see the kitty or the marker with a cigarette lighter, lol. So we simply exchange greens which was similar and unknown for both bowlers.
Didn't hear Glen say to anyone that I shouldn't be allowed to play, and I never said but often thought it that if he changed clubs he could play easily in a 1 st division side.
Sorry Peter I have to disagree with your logic and cannot see any reason to make things more complicated by adding more rules and clauses to restrict bowlers, I have know so many guys that are worthy of playing in a higher division, but prefer third division as they play with their mates and were then allowed to play third div and under games.

Rod 'ROCKET' Revell

I have read the Peter C letter with some concern. I watched the game with Rocket and Glen Martin literally on the edge of my seat. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that in times to come Glen Martin will be a name equivalent to Champion in lawn bowls. I consider both players friends, and while I am truly impressed with GM’s ability, work ethic, commitment and stellar progression in bowls in a very short time (GM has also been a champion athlete in other sports), and in general I consider him a winner in life, and as a person.
Rocket won the game, and yes, they moved green due to a complete failure of vision due to loss of light. You could not see the end of the green. The game was contemplated as likely to end much sooner than it did by the OP, who ran a fantastic tournament and catered for a massive influx of players who all wanted the opportunity to contest a competition and they did it well. Hats off to the Park and Trevor Barron and Murray Bateman for logistics, and John Roach for umpiring with Martin Swift, and to the numerous and extensive OP people who marked, did the kitchen the bar etc, ad infinitum.
In truth, what Peter’s arguments seem to mainly be about the bowling ability of the players like Rocket, who is lightning-in-a-bottle as far as bowls is concerned and one of the deadliest skippers in the game. He came first I think of all the skippers in our division … 2nd division this year. He also played amazingly well given his chemo and radiation treatments at the same time as the competition. He also came equal third in the other pairs discipline and might have fared even better had he chosen his playing partner more wisely.
Peter when you contested the novice singles last season at Innaloo, after 15 or 20 years out of the game, … I think you also said to me you placed in the final 8 of the state singles one year, and had played Premier League: nobody said to you; you were disloyal or disgusting. You certainly weren’t what I consider a novice, you have played bowls before and at a fairly high level.
I had thought you a better man that you are, there is nothing but truly high praise I can give Rocket for his loyalty, bowling ability and upstanding nature as a man. Equally the same to Glen.
As for the documented issues that surround some people who were targeted at your club, my old club (for six years), and Rocket’s club for 7 near 8 years, and people more senior to us who had more than 20 and 30 years who were not prepared to put up with … truly disgusting treatment. What is wrong with you? People don’t have to put up with terrible treatment, this is lawn bowls. Further, I think Rocket has been to four or five clubs only in 30 or 40 years of bowling! I myself have been to 27, and I am trying to find a uniform that doesn’t make me look fat.
I trust you will stay at Innaloo forever, with your loyalty of … is it a year yet? I am disappointed in what you have written and the tone and the entitlement it displays.
The spirit of the game was never in question during or after it was played, and won and lost, with only you left with a bitter and resentful letter, and a Parthian Shot at a great man.

PS - a big congratulations to Ted Alden and Drew Daley from Basso for winning, and Gary Lewis and Ben Marino (who dismantled me easily) from Midland Morrison on coming 2nd.
To everyone like me who went in the comp and played, and those we played against and everyone else who enjoyed it very much: I am looking forward to playing again next year and seeing you all again. Thanks to the rank and file who are in the end the ones who make any event a success, and for making it possible.


Rob Amos

I have read with interest the comments regarding the 2nd Division and Under Championships and yes I competed in these Championships and this is not sour grapes as I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I don't think anyone begrudges ex Premier League or ex 1st Division players competing in these championships, one of the players I was up against was ex Premier League but is now at a club whose top side is in 3rd Division so he and others in the same boat are more than entitled and welcome to play. I think the main bone of contention is that players who play 2nd Division Saturdays and then 1st Division or Premier League on Thursdays are eligible. Correct me if I am wrong but I understand all the winners played Premier League on Thursday. If the competition is 2nd Division and Under why is it not 2nd Division and Under for Thursday competitors as well.
Congratulations to the winners and thank you to Trevor Barron and Osborne Park Bowling Club for putting on such a successful tournament.

Wayne Molloy

I think the writers above have summed it up better than I could have done. To be 'disgusted' when these bowlers have broken no rules or done anything wrong except for entering a tournament they had every right to enter is a poor choice of words. This event is not a Bowls WA run event, it is run by Osborne Park and as such they make the rules and enforce the rules. If Innaloo wish to run a 2nd Division and Under (but only if you haven't played Division 1 for 5 years or Midweek Division 1) then they probably could.
I also don't recall seeing a letter last year when Phil Park from Swan won the event, who played Division 1 the year before and after, and you neglected to mention Drew Daley who also played Div 1 the year before with Mosman Park, so your angst is not really about Revell or Alden playing Division 2, but I suspect it's more about them being one of the many who left Innaloo with all the off field dramas.
Perhaps you need to direct your energies to re-building Innaloo, forget who was there and focus on the list you have and show that the club has turned the corner and people will join the club again in the future.

Simon Alden
It both saddened and angered me to read the two ridiculous submissions from Peter Callison. I congratulate those who replied on their integrity, as this could well have become very nasty.
I too attended Osborne Park over the weekend and thoroughly enjoyed watching the high class games unfold. No one could have asked for a better singles final, both Rocket & Glenn deserve congratulations on their performance. Also the men's pairs, a brilliant result for Ted and Drew. Rocket, Robbie, Ted and Drew did not deserve the comments made towards them and I strongly believe, that Peter now owes them and the Osborne Park Bowling Club a written apology. I trust he will post it on your site sooner rather than later.

Debbie Watson

I hate to be another whiner but here we go.

I love lawn bowls. I love the game, the people and the sense of community.

In saying that, there’s something that I find extremely frustrating and I can’t see it changing anytime in the near future.

People are often shocked to hear that the major women’s pennant competition is played on a Tuesday morning. I know many women who are unable to commit to playing Tuesday pennants because of work and/or study commitments. There are some women who take annual leave from their jobs and others who negotiate their hours with their employer to make themselves available to play (sometimes resulting in a loss of hours/pay cut).

Some of us aren’t in a position to do this and therefore miss out on playing in the more competitive format of the game. Saturday pennants is looked at as second grade. It is two rinks as opposed to three, 18 ends instead of the standard 21 and there’s no Premier Division. Often referred to as “picnic pennants” it is looked down upon by men and women and it’s disheartening for those of us who want to go out and be taken seriously as competitive bowlers.

This isn’t a complaint about Bowls WA. I appreciate all of the work they do that allows us to go out week after week and compete in various events.

In saying that, I see a very grim future for women’s bowls in WA if something doesn’t change. It is going to be exceedingly difficult to attract new (young) female bowlers to the game if they are told that the only pennant competition that is worth playing is played on a Tuesday morning.


Funnily anonymous, I was talking to my wife about the parlous state of ladies bowls at my club (we had 3 men fill in for their last game of our only side at the club), and she contemplated playing bowls next year to build it up again. When she asked what time the ladies play Saturday she was told 1.45, same as the men. She likes to watch me play bowls so that was out. What about Tuesday she asked, well they start at 9.30am I think, I said. So I have to take the whole day off and not a half day? Yup I said, well I can't do that she said and another potential lady bowler goes by the wayside. Why don't ladies bowls start at the same time on both days? Whether it is at 9.30am on Saturday or 1.30pm Tuesday, why is it so different? The men start at approx the same time Thursday/Saturday.

Simon Alden

In response to your question about why Tuesday and Saturday bowls for the ladies are at different times, I cannot answer that but I will tell you why it is in the mornings on Tuesday. It was originally set up for the ladies so they had time to drop the kids off to school (hence 9:30 start) and then it would be finished with time for lunch and a small chat, and then they could go a pick the kiddies up from school. I doubt very much whether many (or any) of the ladies playing at the moment are actually being benefitted by that because, as Anonymous says, most of the 'younger' ladies playing are taking time off work to play, not fitting it in between school duties.

I have heard around the traps however that ladies do like the early start as it gets us finished and off the green before the real heat of the day kicks in which is inevitably after lunch.

Also, I have heard many ladies negate playing on a Saturday for the heat reason and also the very same reason your wife won't play, they like to watch their hubbies play in the afternoon. A switch to a morning start time on Saturdays for the ladies might very well see more interest in Saturday playing and may start to build up to it being seen as a more competitive day. If I remember correctly (and I am happy to be corrected here if I'm wrong) the most recent survey that went out asked the question as to whether Ladies Saturday Pennant should or could be changed to 9:30am start and I believe that got an overwhelming yes vote.

Two cents, in.

Saffronne Alden

• Its generally accepted that women these days have to work, even after having kids, the lifestyle and cost of living these days is such that we go back to work.
• Yet…Tuesday pennants is still considered to be the pinnacle of women’s bowls. If you have aspirations of playing top competitive bowls and looking for state selection, most likely you are going to have to play Tuesday pennants.
• For most people this means taking a day off work/working part time or missing out. Yes there is Friday and Saturday pennants which were designed for working women, but state selection from these two playing groups is few and far between. I know I certainly only got considered after I started playing Tuedays, even after being a junior and after being a part of previous development squads.
• So that one day a week costs that woman not just their weekly game fees it costs them forgone salary/wages. In my case this is almost $300 per week I lose from my pocket. So over 23 weeks by the time you thrown in some pre-season practice matches…$6900, plus $250 membership, plus $190 in weekly green/game fees over the season…that’s $7340 before I’ve even bought a drink.
• And then we have all the events that matter…the ones where if you are trying to get a look in, you have to play in and play well. This is things like masters, state events, consistency singles, 100-up. And guess when they are mostly held…that’s right, during the week. So you either have to take time off work or miss out. And yes, it’s a choice thing, but for those aspiring players it is really the only choice you have.
• There’s a total of 23 days’ worth of these events. The average person receives only 20 days of annual leave per year. Makes total sense right?
• For the 2017-18 calendar if a working woman wants to play in all the top level events, as well as Tuesday pennants, they are going to have to take a total of 41 days off.
• Is it not time we (the women) start transitioning to weekend bowls so that we can allow and encourage a younger generating of players through, not to mention keeping the younger demographic that we currently have?

Hailey Adams

I can only see positives of shifting ladies Tuesday pennants to Saturday mornings, most would only work Monday - Friday and greens will be prepared for mens in the afternoon anyway and also bar staff would be there by the time they finish.
Times may need to altered but that is only minor, as for club events I would have thought most clubs have enough green space to play on Sundays.
To me this is a no brainer but I think the ladies would need to lobby for the change as I reckon BWA would be a little gun shy of making changes after what they copped last year.
Either way, they need to get away from Tuesdays because if they don't numbers will continue to decline.


Neale Griffin

Just a quick note to add, if they changed the times from Tuesday to 1.30 and Saturday to 9.30 the greenkeeper would not be more affected by this change, he just starts earlier on a different day. I really think this will work but as you rightly say Neale, this has to be driven by Ladies and Ladies Bowls clubs to make the change

Simon Alden

Being a non-bowler, I only look at this website from time to time. It came as quite a surprise to see a conversation I had with my husband recounted virtually word for word. * Note to self: start each conversation with "off the record, darling..."
I've been a bowler's wife for many years now and when I sit there on Saturday afternoons (watching the blokes) and think to myself "ooh, I'd come the other hand, if that was me" or "bring the mat up, they're struggling on the short ends", the truth of it is... that I would, if I could.
I've absolutely grown to love the game but there are things in life, and love, that I can't easily surrender. First of those is watching my hubby play on a Saturday afternoon. Second is the income that I need in order to support my family.
Would I play lawn bowls if it were accessible to me? Yes! Would it fill an empty place in my life in terms of community engagement with other women like Hailey, Saffronne and Anonymous? Yes!
The way things stand with women's bowls, I am a non-participant waiting in the wings, waiting for the winds of change to blow through. Even a Tuesday afternoon or Saturday morning would do! Question is... how long will I have to wait?

Trina Alden

I am not normally one to say too much about anything really (unusual for a cop I suppose) but here goes…
Some may think this is a petty issue however I do not think that one week of my Thursday and Saturday pennant games this year has gone by without some direct discussion or the over hearing of others discussing the white bowls stickers we have used this season.
For a petty issue, it sure has generated a lot of comments, none of which are favourable.
I am unsure as to any sponsorship arrangement in place for the use of the stickers but surely we all agree that the quality of the sticker is just so very poor.
We have seen stickers peeling away from the bowl in places and not being able to stick them back down at all. The majority of bowls I saw had parts torn away so they did not stick out and act like a wing as the bowl took its journey down the green. Some wet days early on in the season saw a lot of bowlers looking for replacement stickers after just one or two games.
I have seen and heard umpires involved in a close measure that have been impacted by stickers that are falling off the bowl.
I have arranged for bowls stickers for WA and Australian (Police Teams) and can say with confidence that the stickers withstand all weather conditions and that at season’s end they can be peeled off without leaving any film or residue at all. The cost of these stickers is not significant.
Like I said, I am unaware of the costing/payment arrangements from the Bowls WA side of things but perhaps this issue could be looked at with a view to provide a better and stronger product. Kindest regards and good luck to all playing in finals over the next couple of weeks.

Karl (Sludgey) Vandersluys

I agree with you Karl, and it has been this way for a couple of years. I think technically when measuring you have to measure from the sticker if it is attached to the bowl and not the bowl itself, I am happy to be corrected on that issue, but that in itself if correct is a problem.
My first few years in bowls were played in Melbourne where we used club colour stickers, where we could sticker all 4 bowls with our clubs colours. To me it looks better, and also alleviates the need for us to have all 4 bowls without stickers in the state singles. We pay for the stickers anyway at a club level, why can't we organise our own stickers, include the sponsor (this year being Domina Insurance) and also our club name, in the colours and design of the club.

Simon Alden

The past couple of years have been quite tumultuous for the Western Australian bowls industry, with three major clubs being embroiled in regrettable, unsavoury events.
First it was Innaloo, which saw the club implode through the mass walk-out of star players to Bassendean, Osborne Park and other clubs, forcing Innaloo to drop down a division from One White to Two Blue. Then it was Mt Pleasant’s turn just before Christmas in 2017 when six of its top players in Wayne Heldt, John Wray, Greg Quann, Chris Jones and Merv Hughes joining Melville to help them supposedly advance from One Blue to One White level. Well what a massive failure that was; turning “The Magic” into a bunch of also-rans, causing Melville to drop from second position on the One Blue South ladder after round #4 to seventh position after round 17.
Now, we are witnessing Morley displaying all the traits of a basket case with a truckload of top players including Anthony Provost, Rhett Butler, Allan Barron, Robbie and Bruce Urquhart, John Berecz, Stuart Bainbridge, Murray Robinson etc now not available for the final qualifying pennant game of the season. This is certainly a worrying thing for BowlsWA to see unravelling before its administrative eyes. With diminishing player numbers across the greens in Western Australia — metro and country included — it sure is a dreadful trend that is looming for our sport.

John Terrell

Thanks John for your letter and summarising the events of the year. It certainly has been a challenging one for Ken Pride and his team at Bowls WA.
Innaloo would have caused a panic when 60 bowlers departed in October forcing Innaloo to relinquish One White and causing a major re-shuffle of the divisions, I think Warnbro being the main benefactor when they came up from Blue. Coincidentally the President at Innaloo wrote to me this week to quash rumours about the clubs inability to function going forward, and that they are business as usual and will welcome all bowlers to its facilities in the off season.
The Mt Pleasant/Melville drama is still a bit in the air with the new facilities being proposed and what was going to be a 2019 season opening may not occur and so the merger of the 2 clubs may or may not proceed.
We wait and see what happens at Morley but it is now the end of the season and plenty of time for that club to re-group in time for next season.
On top of that was the defeat of the proposal for a 14 game season which caused a re-work of the pennant system as well -who'd be the President of Bowls WA at the moment!

Simon Alden

Aaaah, the power of the pen!

John Terrell’s comments about the woes at Mt Pleasant, “being embroiled in regrettable, unsavoury events” from the subsequent walkout of “six top players” and their “joining Melville to help them supposedly advance from One Blue to One White” cannot go unanswered.
He does not at any stage address the reason for the walkout but instead chooses to sally the reputation of the players concerned with his statement “turning “The Magic” into a bunch of also-rans, causing Melville to drop from second position on the One Blue South ladder after round #4 to seventh position after round 17.”
As a former journalist, he should know better, but no, he would prefer to sensationalise issues to create a story rather than research them and write a balanced view.
So John, let’s look at the facts!
After round #4 Melville One Blue South were indeed in second position, but the difference between second and seventh was one win. After round #18 Melville One Blue South were indeed in seventh position but the difference between second and seventh was just two wins. I guess you could say, John, the season in One Blue South was pretty tight.
The other thing you should have done was to look at the fixtures to see why Melville was in second position after round #4. They beat Manning, at Manning, (who finished the season in 9th place) and they beat Gosnells and Rossmoyne at home, both synthetic clubs that struggle on the fast, windy grass greens at Melville.
Things are going well at Melville, John! Not only did six players from your club join but so did John Smith and Bryce Hagboom. This “influx” of players has resulted in some very pleasing outcomes for the club.
Of the seven divisions (in total) that played on Thursdays and Saturdays, two gained automatic promotion and two are in the play-offs for promotion.
Perhaps, John, when Melville and Mt Pleasant merge you will choose to come and join us. Then again, perhaps you won’t.

Chris Jones

To whom it may concern ,

Have been coming down for countryweek now for near on 10 years , having had the pleasure of playing at most of the major premier clubs . As well as playing at them during state fixtures . Had the pleasure of playing at Bassendean bowling club for 3 out of the 4 days of sectional play .

The club should very happy with the way it presented itself - in hospitality , mateship , and exceptional food.

For a start the President was on hand pretty much the entire time while play was on , congrats Linton Pike . In the absence of the club captain ( something about playing bowls in England , Blake Nairn ) Simon Alden stepped up and made sure everything ran smoothly for the 3 days with little stress and much enjoyment for all .

To the many band of helpers through the bars and the kitchen , thanks !! Nothing was ever to much trouble !!!

Thanks once again to the Bassendean Bowling Club

Wayne Rayner
Member Brookton Bowling Club

Like to make mention of how good we got treated at the Mosman Park Bowling Club today at country week. Greens nothing short of sensational along with great lunch and sweets and crew at the club couldn’t help us enough.
I would be happy to draw here anytime
Be proud Mosman Park it was like country hospitality in the city. Well done

T-bone Jones
Dalwallinu Bowling Club

Hi, would like to thank your club (Morley Bowling Club) for the hospitality, food and great bowling green on Sat whilst playing in the pairs. Regards,


It was good to watch the state singles again and well done to Warren and Kristina on a good win.

Congratulations to Bowls WA on taking the initiative to record and show the finals on social media. Whilst I was fortunate enough to be in attendance on the day it was disappointing to see what little audience was in attendance.

Surely as the state singles is the blue ribbon event in the bowls calendar it would make sense to promote this great sport of bowls to non bowlers and regular bowlers by holding the finals and grand final on a Sunday where more people can attend workers and families creating a bigger and better atmosphere. I would like to here back on this from others.

Bill Owen

Thanks Bill for your letter, I encourage anyone to send in their thoughts about all things bowls related. With this topic there seems to be a reluctance lately to play bowls on Australia Day and I'm guessing this is why it was played on a Monday this year. As an alternative they show the event through Facebook and I think it peaked at around 180 people watching but i'm sure many more watched at some stage, people that otherwise could not have watched. If they held it on Sunday would many more people attend or stay at home and watch on the computer? It's a chicken and egg scenarion but I like the broadcast and can only see it improve for future years. People can now watch that event and all the other state events for posterity, something that hasn't happened before. Like Bill, anyone who would like to voice their views on this please send something in.

Simon Alden

Would like to enquire Bowls WA decision not to have no Thursday pennants fixture this week been the 25th January. Wouldn't most club benefit and be busy Thursday after pennants as most people will have the public holiday off. Clubs could have meals Thursday night instead of Friday night just on this occasion.
As we are aware there is state singles on Saturday 27th been played and sure that bowlers are playing at the normal venues on Australia day so not too many people can go away if they put their name down for state singles or Australia day game .
This has happen on two occasions now with the Thursday fixture we had to play one before Christmas but not after.

Aaron Faulkner

Yeah it is a bit strange isn't it, we have also discussed at our club why we aren't playing. Our kitchen for example is shut Friday night this week because of the PH so a great idea to open Thursday instead and lead into the long weekend with bowls, beer, food and then a break. The Christmas fixture could easily have been foregone I think for this game and the remaining fixture not be changed at all.

Simon Alden


Thanks for the letter from Aaron which I am happy to respond to on behalf of the Fixtures & Events Committee.

The pennant season and where it starts and finishes is very much determined on a few key dates (remembering we are hamstrung a little by the 18 week + 2 finals season midweek). They are:

- the dates that Easter falls on,
- the dates that Christmas falls on and the need for a reasonable "gap" between the final fixture and Christmas,
- the dates post New Year and the seeking of a similar "gap"

By taking these dates into account we effectively count backwards from Easter to determine the start of the season, remembering in this case we cannot play doubleheaders midweek as we are able on the weekend.

This year working back from Easter Thursday and having the appropriate break from 21st December - 11th January (we did not believe that coming back on the 4th January was viable for clubs and their members) - the midweek season commenced on the 26th October - relatively standard for the past several years.

The one query was whether to play on the 25th January and affect 100% of the midweek players who may have wished to get away for an extended break or play on the 29th March (Easter Thursday - Grand Finals Day) which would effect 20% of the players left. The latter was chosen.

Given the fixtures are out in September, clubs are more than able to arrange for events to fill any void if they wish, in relation to the state singles we have very few remaining and in the scheme of things not an issue in relation to setting midweek fixtures.

Ken Pride
Chief Executive Officer

20th Jan 18 - As an avid listener of the bowls show I heard your idea in regards to the city zones.

Firstly I think this is a great idea.

Being from Tasmania, and now bowling in Queensland I have been fortunate enough to represent my district (zone) on a number of occasions. If you aren’t fortunate enough to represent your state, district representation gives you something else to strive for.

In QLD we also have district side championships, which gives district representatives a chance to play off against other districts and strive for a state district championship. There is also district single, pairs and fours events which are all open entry, which gives players another chance for competitive bowls.

I can only see positives happening from this idea and I hope Bowls WA gets on board.

I will be moving over to WA mid year and am very keen to experience the bowls scene over there, and I hope by the time I arrive your idea is up and running.

Keep up the good work mate.


Tristan Bakes

Thanks Tristan, thanks for reading my site from so far away and listening to the Bowls show, we will make you feel very welcome when you move over here whatever club you bowl at. The city zones has certainly got people talking, a lot of people have just talked to me about it verbally and see the benefits as well.
What you say about district singles, pairs and fours could also work. Our climate here means we can nearly bowl all year round and having these sort of "prestigious" events in the Winter when bowls is not so crammed with activity is something else I think we could introduce. Baby steps, let's get the city zones up and working and we can expand from there.

Simon Alden

Great concept, definitely can see the benefits, its about time we had some change and im sure the majority of players would be in favour of such a system.. Having personally played in the country Zone side it is the one event that everybody involved looked forward to and the standard of bowls played was always at a high level. Can only see benefits into helping the state side being a stronger unit..

Shane Loftus

As a country club,league, zone and allstar bowler over many years I have to agree with you. The competition to get into each next level is intense and creates great focus . Generally current form rules so the hothouse pressure brings out the best in all. This is the exact process that our new state pairs champs , Arron and Nathan Smith from York learnt to handle the big time. It would also as you point out bring a lot more quality bowlers into the melting pot.

Bill Fraser

Love the idea for city zone and rep game , as a country player it's another step up . It's a another game and opportunity to show case yourself . I've represented at league round robin , zone and been lucky enough to represent in the country Allstars . Yeh it was only once but it's something to strive for apart from state championships , countryweek championships and club championships .anything that gives you an opportunity to play up a skill level and achieve or strive to achieve is going to be good for our game.

Just a country bowlers opinion

Wayne Rayner

I think this is a great idea and I'm sure it would have a positive outcome. Maybe post this idea with a few other bowls pages or send expressions of interest flyers to clubs to get the bowling clubs involved... and in turn bowls WA . The possibility of being selected in prestigious events without leaving the club you love is a huge positive. I look forward to this actually eventuating and one day be a part of. Great idea once again

Phillip Park

Thanks Phil and others. I've had a lot of positive feedback about the idea. I have sent a copy of it to Bowls WA who will discuss at a BMC meeting, so not much more to be done. We need the support of Bowls WA, because if we don't use this idea as a vehicle for state selection and thus lose the practice games, our elite players won't be in favour of more games to their calendar. Clubs and players can have input but it's really in the admin hands from here.

Simon Alden

In Scotland had two great district competitions that were for many clubs the highlight of each year.
A top 10 which consisted of best single,pair,triple and four players/team from each club in their district playing knock out every Friday evening against someone in the same district (this format could change each week depending on players display) In the case of a draw result of single player game decides who goes through.
The winner of each district playing to see who had best district in a district knock out. The same format in a singles competition as well.
This allowed good players who stuck by their local club a chance to shine and stopped as much movement creating super strong clubs and keeping small clubs small.
Great compo and great practice Friday nights in meaningful games.

Jimmy Buchanan

Hi Bowlers , I've played in the last few state events and I'm a little disappointed in the lunches provided by the clubs . As I'm a cafe deli owner in the country I get that it costs money to supply lunches . I'd rather pay $8/$9.50 for a decent roll or $20 for a plate of lunch . The $5 sandwwhiches and rolls I've got lately were less then impressive . If the clubs don't want to supply a lunch wouldn't it be better to advise the players then serve up what they have been . Yeh I'm a fat bloke that's likes a feed

Wayne Rayner

If "Open" events are now "Any Gender Festive" (Yokine 23.12.17 event), then how can "mixed" events exist? Eg north beach in January.

Dion Smith


My understanding would be that open gender means you can have 4 men, 4 women or a mixture of both whereas a mixed event must contain equally both men and women.

If anyone has a different view please let me know.

1. Is there a heat rule for Synthetic surface given that vary from air temperature i.e 31 - 45 on surface

2. Is there a legal dumping distance

3. Has any other league changed number of games in a season from 18 to 23 to 14 in consecutive years?

Peter Anderson

Not sure I can answer any of these questions for you Peter, perhaps some of our readers might be able to help? Not sure what league you play in either Peter to go from so many rounds, it does appear unusual but all dependent on the amount of teams playing I suppose.

Simon Alden


1. The temperature issue was one that is one for the League as his Controlling Body & that the Metro area had sometime back sought advice from somewhere (Sports Health body + some consensus?) to arrive at the Metro regional acclimatised temperature limits of 37°C for the Women and 40°C for the Men. That these limits may vary for Country Leagues due some acclimatisation factors and whether the Leagues even applied them and that BWA has little if any control over the Leagues CoPs. I further explained BWA, this year, is collecting data using the WBGT (Wet Bulb Globe Temperature) meters in the Metro area with a view to possibly applying them in place of temperature alone in future. I emphasised that the current trial is just that and the results are to be reviewed after the end of the season. Incidentally, as I believe I may have already mentioned, Merriwa Raafa BC last season bought their own WBGT meter identical to the 5 we bought and have joined the current recording to add to the end of season analysis.

2. I explained to Peter that there is a summary of the ‘Damaging the Green’ forums on BWA website and that if he got his club or mate to download that, he would find the Metro rule which may or may not coincide with that of his League. I explained that there is no compulsion for Leagues to lodge their annual Conditions of Play (or Byelaws as some call them) with BWA, so I haven’t a clue as to what they actually contain.

3. Why the variation in the number of rounds ~ Simon Alden seems to have already answered that question of Peter’s – that it might simply be the wider than anticipated variation in annual numbers of teams nominated? When I put that to Peter on the phone he said some thing to the effect “ah, yeah – there were added teams so OK”. He had not, as yet, gone back to the website to see Simon’s comments.

I reminded Peter that he should seek the involvement of club & League committees to improve communication with their members and that Leagues and Club officials should make themselves aware of the resources on the BWA website. I also confirmed I am happy to respond to genuine queries from identified persons and/or refer questions to the Umpires Committee or BA if I am unable to provide the appropriate answers.

Cheers & Merry Christmas and a Safe & Happy New Year

Mike Garratt

Just a small point re the pennant changes being implemented for the coming season, assuming the motion is defeated at the AGM. The following is an extract from the survey taken in 2014:-

"For a change to a pennant competition to be introduced it will require a 60% agreement from submitted answers. Anything less than 60% but greater than 50% will require the Bowls WA Fixtures and Events Sub Committee to further investigate the submission and for it to be considered at a later date."

Assuming you remember the results, neither the 60% nor 50% criteria were met as per the results of the survey, so in effect Bowls WA have gone against a commitment made to bowlers. That in itself should rule out ANY changes..

John Sheridan