What's in a name? Not "bowling", not at Alstonville any more

TWO former board chairmen have expressed concern at what they see as their Alstonville club changing its name without seeking agreement by the members.

Some years back, the official title of the club was changed from Alstonville Bowling Club to Alstonville Plateau Bowls and Sports Club Ltd.

The two complainants, in a letter to the club, said that on January 24 this year, the title ABC Sports Club had been registered.

Though now the club was using the name Plateau Sports, that name was not registered, and had no legal identity to sponsor events.

The letter questioned the implication of dropping of the word "bowls" or "bowling". Did the board consider its use had an inhibiting effect on the public's attendance at the club?

The issue was aired at the recent annual general meeting where official assurance was given that the shortened title was an advertising expediency.

The name of the club had not changed.

Members also were assured the dropping of the word "bowls" and the use of the third green as a children's playground did not mean the club had plans to do away with the sport of bowls.

Tails behind

KINGSCLIFF'S Ian "Tails" Taylor has lost top spot in the race to be named Australian Bowler of the Year, but Ballina's Kris Lehfeldt, in fourth position, is within striking distance.

Former England international David Holt, for some years with Sydney's St John's Park, is the new leader. Holt, the current Australian indoor singles champ, tailed Tails by six points but earned 48 points for being runner-up in the Cabramatta Master Singles. That put him 42 points in the clear.

Lehfeldt is two points behind Australian international star Brett Wilkie (Helensvale).

Top positions are: David Holt, 138 points, Ian Taylor 96, Brett Wilie 84, Kris Lehfeldt 82, Corey Wedlock (Urunga) 80, Ryan Bester (Canada/Broadbeach) 72.

Pennant venues

WINNERS of grade pennants in the coming year's competition will need a cut lunch to get to the State finals. Bowls NSW has announced the venues. They are - No 1: Dapto Citizens and Albion Park. No 2: Cabramatta and Ingleburn. No 3: Kahibah and Warners Bay. No 4: Leeton Soldiers and Narrandera. No 5: West Dubbo and Dubbo Railway. No 6: Northmead and Merrylands. No 7: Orange City and Blayney.

STRIKING DISTANCE: Kris Lehfeldt of Ballina Bowling Club is running fourth in the Australian Bowler of the Year.
STRIKING DISTANCE: Kris Lehfeldt of Ballina Bowling Club is running fourth in the Australian Bowler of the Year. NORTHERN STAR

Premier League

NEVER has bowls had such valuable publicity as it received with last year's inaugural Australian Premier League.

Touted as bowls' answer to 20-20 cricket, it was exciting, fast-paced, well-presented.

It had to be. Otherwise it could have flopped when the brilliant play had to overcome the senseless commentary of a professional comedian trying to be funny.

The Australian Premier League will be back at Queensland's Pine Rivers club on November 18-21.

The comedian will be back, too, with the glorious title of official ambassador. That's the only disappointing part of preliminary arrangements for the second showing of this fine promotion.

The teams are in the process of being decided, but Brisbane Gold, the defending champion, is looking to retain the trio who took out the lion's share of last year's $100,000 prizemoney - Mark Casey, Robbie Wild, Kelvin Kerkow. Casey, though, is being tipped as a starter with the new franchise, the Gold Coast Hawks.

A second new team will be the Murray Steamers, from Moama on the border of Victoria and New South Wales.

It will be a strong contender, too, led by two stars of the recent Glasgow Commonwealth Games - dual pairs and fours gold medallist Alex Marshall, of Scotland, and singles silver medallist, Canadian Ryan Bester. Anyone who was spellbound watching last year's top-drawer bowls will be anxiously awaiting a repeat performance. But for heaven's sake, will somebody gag the comedian.

Big money

BIG MONEY tourney for Evans Head.

The Seaside Classic Two-Bowl Triples offers a total $10,000 in prizemoney, with $4800 for first. It's a two-day event. Saturday November 8 is three games; the Sunday is two games - both of 21 ends. Starting time each day is 9.30am. Entries close on November 6 (contact is Steve Cselka 0428 637 046).

COMING UP - Today: Alstonville Festival of Bowls Men's Pairs. Saturday-Sunday: South Lismore Two-Bowl Triples. Saturday: Broadwater Sugartown Open Triples. Next Tuesday: Ballina RSL Men's Triples.

MY VIEW: On encouragement

BEFORE anybody has a crack at me, saying I've been making too much mention of Rookies, I offer no apologies for it. I regard this comp as one of the few successful innovations of Bowls NSW.

A Rookie is a player who has been at the game for no more than 30 months. Newcomer bowlers need encouragement. How many times have we seen promising beginners who look like being champions when they take up the game, lose interest and fade away, usually because they run into criticism and misplaced help from long-term bowlers? Encouragement, not knocking, can work wonders.

The skill shown at the recent Rookie zone finals at Ballina RSL had to be seen to be believed. The standard would more than do justice to bowlers with years of experience.

Spectators were enjoying the play so much the general feeling was that 17-up in singles, when the norm is 31-up, and 12 ends of pairs instead of the usual 21, was not enough.

I agree.

Regardless of the worthiness of the spectacle, some players are slow starters and if they have a couple of bad ends at the start, with such a short distance, the game is practically over.

Of course, the reason for the shorter play is to fit in three games in the one day, but three games of 21 ends in a day is not unusual in club tournaments.

There's an old showbiz axiom that says audiences should be left wanting more. The Rookies' shortened play leaves the onlookers hungry for more, but the slow starter is left at a disadvantage.

Bowls NSW can be well pleased with the way this event has been received, but it's time it was brought more into line with other formats.

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