Fierce competition expected in district fours final
THE pennant draw for the season starting on March 7 takes on a new look - there is no No 1s and the full draw covers nine grades with two No 2s, two No 4s , two No 7s and one each in No 3, No 5, No 6.
Northern Rivers District Bowls Association match committee chairman, George Newell, said as Ballina was the only club wanting to play No 1s, it has been accommodated in No 2A.
It will play in that grade as a No 1 side and will need to win the flag to proceed to the state finals.
If Ballina does win, the next highest winner in No 2A will play the No 2B winner to progress to the zone play-off.
Another feature this season is the absence of byes.
Each of the nine grades has six rounds, resulting in a season shortened to six weeks from the usual 10 weeks.
Any games washed-out on the Saturday will be played eight days later on the Sunday morning starting at 9.30am.
The opening round in the top grade is - No 2A: Casino RSM v Ballina No 1; South Lismore v Lennox Head. No 2B: Evans Head v Lismore Heights, East Lismore v Ballina No 2.
THE World Bowls championships venues on the Gold Coast have been confirmed - Broadbeach and Helensvale will share the hosting duties.
Broadbeach on Friday, May 28 will run the quarter-finals played in the first week of the big event while Helensvale will hold semi-finals and finals of the same disciplines on May 30-31.
The following week will be the reverse order. Helensvale will have quarter-finals on June 5; Broadbeach will have semis and finals on June 6-7.
Gold Coast mayor Tom Tate is up in the air over the world championships.
"Our reputation as a world class sporting capital just keep climbing," he says.
"To have hundreds of competitors and spectators here who will help boost our local economy then go home and spread the word about our beautiful city, is a win-win."
Canadian international Ryan Bester, who is the bowls co-ordinator at Broadbeach, said: "I believe we are the only club in the whole world to host Commonwealth Games and World championships - and to do it within three years of each other is special."
THE finals of the NRDBA district fours on Sunday, February 16 at South Lismore are set to be fiercely contested - the four skips in the semis are arguably the area's top bowlers.
The high-flying Peter Taylor's four will be up against that of the consistent Jamie Eichorn; John Lang, the Evans Head mainstay, will skip a team that will test that of the ever-reliable Alf Boston who has with him boom youngsters, the Conlan twins, back after a long absence, and Neil Burgess.
Taylor's four made it into the semis with a commanding 27-12 win; Eichorn's team had a runaway 34-6 victory; Lang and Boston had closer games - Lang's team won 18-13; Boston's 18-14.
The Open semi-finals will be at 9.30am, the final at 1pm.
The district reserve fours are down to the February 16 final at Lennox Head at 9.30am between the teams of skips W Binney and K Scott.
The semi-finals of the senior fours at East Lismore also on that date are (skips) P Langby v J Donadel; S Brecard v W Cooper. The final will be in the afternoon.
$1000 prize on offer
NORTH of the border Queensland Bowler, the official magazine of Bowls Queensland, is conducting a survey seeking feedback on its publication.
It says: "As it's YOUR community magazine we want to know how we can improve it and add more content you will enjoy."
Queensland, like most other states, HAS a bowls journal. Our state doesn't trouble us with a survey to find out if we want one.
"DO you and your mate fancy yourself as the best barefoot bowlers in Victoria?" This advertisement in the south is not to encourage paupers who can't afford bowls shoes to get into our game.
It is seeking players to take part in a shoeless comp that goes right through to a state final, $1000 first prize and a heap of other incentives.
MY VIEW … on barefoot bowls
OUR game must be desperate for players when officialdom is actively encouraging people to take the risk of playing without foot protection.
Bowling in bare feet is dangerous.
Not only can a bowl do a lot of damage if it is dropped on a shoeless foot, if pesticides used on greens enter a cut under the foot, the result can be disastrous.
Clubs seem to believe they will be covered by their insurance policies if a barefoot bowler loses a leg when the club allows such a player on the green without proper foot protection.
A check with insurance companies might find out there's a different reality.
The club has a liability to see that bowlers have proper protection.
If the club sanctions people going onto the green barefoot it is not doing that.
The situation is similar to a worker being injured when he goes onto the job without proper protection gear. Claims for compensation will be void.
Clubs that take the risk of promoting barefoot bowls have to realise that's what it is - a risk that can be expensive.
New board member
WAYNE Moffatt has been appointed to the Bowls Australia board to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Wayne Turley. Moffatt was a consultant to Clubs Queensland and former CEO of Brisbane club Pine Rivers.
Bound for NZ
BOWLS Australia always sends a team to compete in the rich New Zealand tournament, the Burnside Pairs. Results give an indication of the form for the coming Trans Tasman series. This year Australian Jackaroos Corey Wedlock and Aaron Wilson sounded an ominous warning when they skated home to win the find against Sean O'Neill and Shaun Scott 17-4.