Some action during a recent women’s competition at the Lismore Heights Bowling Club.
Some action during a recent women’s competition at the Lismore Heights Bowling Club. Mitchell Craig

FNC clubs with social bowlers face disciplinary action

BOWLS NSW is threatening disciplinary action against clubs that have a category of social bowling member not registered with the state body.

If it does carry out the threat, it will have to proceed against many clubs throughout New South Wales that cater for bowlers who do not participate in state association events.

The clubs argue that as social bowlers are not getting full value from the state, they should not be liable for the outlay of $60 it charges to be registered.

In an email, Bowls NSW chief executive officer Greg Helm said: “Any member club or affiliated sub club that has actively established a category of bowling membership which entitles a person to play bowls on a regular basis without being registered with the association or who knowingly does not register all bowling members with the association is in breach of the compliance regulations for affiliation with the association.

“The board reserves the right to initiate disciplinary proceedings against any club found to be in breach of this requirement.”

MY VIEW: On disciplinary action

IS IT just an idle threat? Does the state hierarchy really intend to proceed against clubs the length and breadth of NSW who have social bowlers? Or is it a bluff to ensure the state body’s income from capitation fees is not reduced?

If Bowls NSW did carry out its threat, it would cause a furore – the breakaway state association that has been simmering on the backburner for years could be a possible outcome. Our game would survive without Bowls NSW but it couldn’t survive without clubs.

Let’s look at what is taken out of my club’s membership fee: $60 to Bowls NSW, $20 for NRDBA affiliation – and, wait for it, a whole $15 to the club.

That’s $80 for administration and just $15 to provide me with my game of bowls. No wonder clubs, many of whom struggle to stay afloat, don’t want to be drained by state fees that leave them with a pittance.

Clubs that don’t believe their social bowlers who have an occasional roll-up on greens provided by the club at extreme cost should have to pay the state for the privilege, have long been the bugbear for Bowls NSW which seems to be more concerned about the loss of fees than what social bowlers do for the game.

Social bowlers are the backbone of every club. While the name bowlers are away at state events or tournaments, it’s the social bowler who keeps the club going.

Clubs throughout the state want a social bowler category.

If Bowls NSW doesn’t give them what they want and resorts to disciplinary action, it could stir up a hornet’s nest.

Rescheduled games

THE inaugural Northern Conference top grade playoff between district winners South Lismore and Ocean Shores, washed out on June 4, is on this Saturday.

With it will be the No 2 zone pennant final between Evans Head and Cabarita Beach.

Games will be on a Bangalow green that not long ago looked likely to be no more.

The Bangalow club is one of the real survivors after going close to oblivion and, according to reports, there should be no complaints about the quality of the playing surface.

Other district winners to contest zone finals at various venues this weekend are: No 3 – Yamba, Lismore City, Condong; No 4 – Cabarita Beach, Alstonville, Iluka; No 5 – Iluka, Lismore Heights, Ocean Shores; No 6 – Cudgen Leagues, South Lismore, Maclean; No 7 – Pottsville, Brooms Head, Lennox Head.

Census time

CLUBS are being asked to complete a national census that is being hailed as “one of the main information systems for future development and benchmarking for bowls”.

It comprises two pages of questions and all given data is held confidentially by the private firm of facilitators conducting the census and not shared with any third party, including Bowls Australia.

The census is aimed at developing strategic planning and strengthening funding requests to government and other organisations.

Popular event

THE bowls day that goes from strength to strength is on again next Tuesday. Regularly the veterans – the over 60s – fill club greens with 100-plus bowlers.

On Tuesday it’s Alstonville’s turn to benefit. Anyone over the age limit is welcome to take part. They can count on having a good time.

Formidable combination

YOU couldn’t get a much stronger pairs combination than Canadian international Ryan Bester and Australia’s former world champion Brett Wilkie.

When they lined up in this year’s Queensland titles, they were at unbackable odds against the relatively unknown youngsters Nic Gosley and Dean McWhinney.

When the young blokes were down 19-7 after 13 ends it seemed all over. But then in a startling comeback they scored multiples of three to be one shot down 20-21 going into the last end.

It took a Wilkie wick to land the shot and the title.

Behaviour issues

“NO wonder clubs struggle to find people to fill committee positions when the majority of their time is spent dealing with poor behaviour from members instead of being able to accomplish positive activities.”

That’s the view of newly-appointed women’s bowls state executive officer Melanie Cantwell.

Doesn’t apply only to the women in our game.

COMING UP: $800 Dawson St Auto Centre Men’s Pairs at Lismore Heights on July 9. (Club events for inclusion in this page should be emailed to Jim.)