Battle of the sexes brewing in NSW bowls
IT HAS happened again as it has over the years – a breakdown in unification negotiations between the NSW men’s and women’s state bowls associations.
Bowls NSW CEO Greg Helm has told his members the men’s association was invited to hold discussions with the women regarding a possible unification but an initial meeting on January 16 had been postponed by Women’s Bowls NSW because an issue regarding dual registrations for members and registered players remained unresolved.
“Women’s Bowls NSW advised Bowls NSW that commencement of unification talks would be subject to a number of non-negotiable conditions being agreed to by Bowls NSW,” Helm said.
His board was agreeable to most of the women’s board’s conditions including the meeting taking place at Women’s Bowls NSW offices or a mutually agreed venue, the resolving of dual registration before unification discussions, having an independent chair/facilitator, recording each meeting and their strict confidentiality.
Bowls NSW had rejected just one of the conditions – the proposed exclusion of its CEO from all discussions on dual registrations and unification.
“Subsequently, Women’s Bowls NSW has advised Bowls NSW of its decision to abandon the scheduled meeting on February 14 due to this condition being rejected by Bowls NSW,” Helm says in a circular to clubs.
He says that while his association remained open to enter unification discussions with the women and believes this is in the best interests of the sport, it appeared an agreeable position between the two organisations could not be reached at this time.
“Bowls NSW remains committed to increasing both male and female participation in the sport and will continue to focus energies on providing these opportunities,” the men’s CEO says.
My view: on unification
THE dreary saga of unification of men’s and women’s bowls staggers on.
While other states have for years successfully amalgamated both genders – women even have been state presidents – our state time and time again behaves like it’s represented by two combatants who can only find ways of upsetting the applecart.
Bowls NSW CEO Greg Helm says the one condition that resulted in recent talks being called off is that the women’s association wanted the CEO’s exclusion from all talks on unification and contentious dual registration.
That’s a move Bowls NSW could never agree to. The CEO is the senior state representative of men’s bowls and must be included in ANY negotiations, not only this latest attempt at unifying the genders.
Seems to me the women, now that they have been accepted by Bowls NSW to take part in men’s association play, are not all that keen for unification and are just casting around for a reason to abandon negotiations.
Wet weather woes
AS NEXT month’s start of the shortened Northern Rivers District Bowls Association pennant season nears, the current wet spell has the district preparing for any weather interruptions to its six-week program.
Match committee chairman George Newell has notified clubs that “in future, any games affected by wet weather will be played on the first available date determined by the district match committee chairman irrespective of what is published in the district calendar”.
The state match committee had suggested this was because if the dates available were not used, the competition would not be finished before the zone play-offs.
THE singles, the NRDBA’s most prestigious championships in three categories, are set to start at six different club venues on Saturday, February 29.
They will be an important pipe-opener for the pennants, due to begin the following Saturday.
The open singles have drawn 30 of the district’s finest bowlers.
Eight games will be played at East Lismore and seven at South Lismore, with both lots starting at 1pm.
Second and third rounds will be at these venues the following day. From this point all the finals will be played at East Lismore on Sunday, March 8.
In the reserve grade, 20 bowlers will open their singles with five games at Casino RSM and five at Lismore Workers Sports. The venue will transfer to East Lismore for the finals on March 8.
The seniors will start on February 29 with seven games at Lennox Head and six at Lismore Heights. The finals will be at Lennox Head on March 8.
District fours action
FINALS of the NRDBA district fours championship in two categories will be played on May 17.
In the semi-final of the open at South Lismore at 9.30am, (skips) Peter Taylor will play Jamie Eitchorn and John Lang is up against Alf Boston. Winners will meet in the 1pm final.
At East Lismore at 9.30am, the seniors semi will be (skips) P. Langby versus J. Donadel, and S. Brecard v W. Cooper, with the final at 1pm.
The open pairs semis at Evans Head this Sunday at 9.30am are P. Sharp v A. Boston, and P. Power v D. Ball. The final is at 1pm.
Reserve pairs semis at Ballina this Saturday are P. Lyndon v G. Ironfield, and K. Scott v W. Appleton. The final is at 1pm.
Senior pairs semis at Alstonville this Sunday are J. Lang v G. Higgins, J. Donadel (B. Allen withdrew because of illness) v J. Weismantle. The final is at 1pm.
New domestic rules
THE women’s state association has notified its members of changes to domestic regulations.
Among them is a new law concerning team nominations. This now states that “if approved by the controlling body the players nominated to form a team entered in a competition may be changed before their first round in that competition”.
Furthermore, “any player withdrawn before the first round shall be regarded as not having entered the competition and can act as a substitute or replacement player in that competition”.