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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.
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 Penant 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