Bowls: Survey ‘embraces’ NSW bowlers

WHAT do bowlers and clubs think of Bowls NSW? The state body at its first board meeting of the year discussed a survey made in an attempt to find out.

The organisation engaged, UMR, conducted the survey in December. It took the view of 212 club "decision makers", who were not necessarily bowlers, and 605 registered players. It was claimed to "embrace all zones and age groups".

Bowls NSW's board report says: "The findings at this stage are preliminary and will be further reviewed with a more comprehensive report issued.

"The Board was most impressed with the detail provided, which indicated areas of satisfaction with bowls as a sport and areas where improvements can be made."

Finals fever

THE NRDBA district pairs are down to the finals this weekend.

In the open semi-finals at Evans Head it's (skips only) B Eichorn v L Jones; I Conlan v D Kemp.

Because of a first round disqualification in the reserve pairs at Lismore Workers Sports, the winner of G Rose v K Scott will enter the semi against A Drooger. The other semi is D James v D Mott.

The district senior pairs quarter-finals at Ballina RSL on Saturday are: B Sten v J Donadel, R Petersen v B Evans, T McFadden v B Allen, G Gaunson v J Durheim. The semis and final are next day.

Women welcome

LISMORE Heights has become one of the local clubs that have made every bowls day open to women.

The club says that from last week women bowlers are welcome to play in any of the three men's days - Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Names are to be phoned in between 11am and noon. The monthly Super Friday Pairs will remain a men's only event.

On the go

THE Northern Rivers bowls tourists - the I've-been-everywhere group - is heading for Victoria's Mornington Peninsula this year.

On November 19 they will fly from the Gold Coast, spend a fortnight in a top motel on the bay at Frankston, then head home on December 3.

In that time they'll have nine games of bowls, two free days and two tour days. They will arrive at a bowls club at noon, have lunch, play, then go back to the motel for dinner.

These tours usually take more than 100 people; this year it's limited to 80.

Says Tour Group secretary Rob Montague: "All district bowlers are welcome to attend."

The cost? Just $2250.

He can be contacted at 6682 4013. Full details will be given at the AGM/bowls day at Casino RSM on February 21 starting at 9.30am.

An inspiration

THE dedication of Charlie Frost should be an inspiration to us all. A regular reader of this column from where he lived at Newcastle, Charlie died last month.

Lauding his contribution to the game, Bowls NSW said he was the first administrator to be inducted into the Hall of Fame; he played for the state 40 times; was Newcastle selector for 43 years, state selector for 15 years (14 as chairman), national selector for 10 years (eight as chairman).

Ill-health prevented Charlie from attending the induction ceremony. His son Wayne, who accepted the honour for him, told the gathering that when his father started as a selector in 1984, he had a tent, a few groceries and a two-burner metho stove in his car.

"When he finished watching bowls for the day, he'd find a river or creek and set up camp for the night," Charlie's son said.

"In the morning he'd dive into the water - that was his shower and shave for the day - pack up and get ready to go to the next district, zone or tournament.

"He believed every bowler deserved to be seen for current or future potential."

The game is poorer for the loss of Charlie Frost.

Coming up ...

THIS Saturday: Lismore Workers Sports Westpac Helicopter Appeal. Tuesday week: Ballina RSL Men's Three-Bowl Triples.

MY VIEW . . . on that survey

I'VE never been much on surveys. They mostly are pretty useless - phraseology can be manipulated to get whatever answer is wanted.

If Bowls NSW needed to find out what bowlers and clubs think of it, it needn't have gone to the trouble of engaging a survey firm - it just had to listen to the scuttlebutt in any clubhouse.

Beats me why one-third of the survey was confined to "decision makers" who were not necessarily bowlers. Surely this is a question on which only those playing the game can give an opinion.

Inconsistency and poor decisions are the main grouches that bowlers hold against Bowls NSW.

For instance, it strictly enforces the wearing of certain expensive gear then allows people on the green in anything out of the ragbag; it claims to have bowlers' health as a priority yet won't lay down a policy banning smoking on the green; it sanctions caps and upturned chamber pot hats that are no protection from the scorching sub-tropical sun; it promotes barefoot bowls when greens poison entering a cut under a foot can cause drastic results.

The state often takes pages in its compulsory must-pay magazine telling us what value bowlers get from what they pay it in capitation fees. The explanations convince no one. There's a growing feeling that the money is being eaten up by over-administration.

I repeat, Bowls NSW should just drop an ear into any club. There was no need for a survey.

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