Brigginshaw's View: Young and old, bowling for all
IVE spent a long time in bowls. Perhaps that has influenced my opinion on selectors' preference for youth when choosing representative teams.
Ours is not a sport that is taxing on the body - it's not knock-em-down football where the only way to survive is through physical fitness.
Our sport at top level demands reasonable fitness but it more requires skill, temperament and experience.
And you don't get that when you're 12 years old.
Sure, we should foster the kids. Some of them are classy bowlers.
But they have a lifetime ahead of them in the game and shouldn't be given too much, too soon, just because they have youth on their side.
I deplore the way bowlers are tossed into the used-by category when they turn 30.
Take a look at Bowls Australia's new way of filling its national squad: Only 13 of the 86 named are over 30, just two over 40. Forty-four haven't had their 21st birthday.
Don't tell me a fit 40-year-old is too old to trundle down a few bowls and stroll 50 metres.
It's disheartening, too, that on all the bowling greens north of Raymond Terrace there isn't one bowler worthy of a place. It seems, as always in our game, geography dictates skill.
Giving every state a quota in picking the 86 reeks of pandering to them. Surely the 86 preferred as potential representatives of their country should be the best available, regardless of which state they live in.
If a new unbeatable star comes onto the scene suddenly, will he or she get their chance in the national side?
Not if they're over 40 and live in the bush. That's for sure.