Almanac Bowls: Canadians cornering the Australian bowls scene
(yearns, yarns & observations on lawn bowls)
Very much so.
Last week Foxtel had a week long display of the marquee players within Australia competing for prizemoney in an invite only event in Brisbane, Queensland.
The event would be a bowls equivalent to 20/20 cricket and like the cricket spectacle it is a roaring success. It is called the Australian Premier League (APL) and though only 5 ends per set each set of three has a power play factor wherein the team can choose which end to play for a double points result. The format is fast, furious, vocal, and time restricted hence a cause for a lot of drama and entertaining.
Teams of three with female and male participation adds impact and interest. The crowds are no more than a few metres from the action and as it is a alcohol fuelled place it has noisy passionate spectators. A bit of a Circus Maximum at the Coliseum without the blood being spilt, sure the beer is though.
And the player entertainer announced after the week festival, none other than Canadian Ryan Bester.
Bowls entertaining !!!
Very much so even at state level.
The past week concurrent to the APL in Brisbane, Victoria hosted its own festival of bowls with the state championships at Shepparton over a 8 day period attracting in excess of 1,500 players competing initially in sectional events pre knockout rounds at 20 venues in greater Shepparton area.
Colour and movement abound in modern bowls. Coloured balls, oops they call them bowls, colourd player clothing, officials in coloured uniform, colourful personalities all adding to the ingredient for a colourful festival of competition.
And with various male and female events to be in to win a state championship, guess who the player was who wins the ultimate women’s state title, none other than a fellow Canadian to Ryan, Kelly Mckerihen.
We are truly international in bowls here in Australia, for that matter here too in Victoria. Take that from one who was in a former life the Canadian bowls coach.
Well done everyone wherever you come from.
Lachlan Tighe November, 2016