Brigginshaw's View: New look bowls comp in order?
HAS pennants in its current form run its race?
Moves at state level seem to be aimed at building a revamped, new-look competition - something that has been needed for donkey's years.
Bowls NSW appears to be concerned, though, only with No 1s. In Sydney this year, an exclusive pennant comp among five metropolitan No 1 sides was run for the first time.
Now Zone One is likely to adopt a state suggestion that the zone start a No 1 interdistrict pennant comp next season.
According to Zone One president Kevin Soward this would probably be four sides from Northern Rivers district and two from Tweed-Byron. To make it a full district event, Clarence River would need to be included.
But Clarence River is a problem. It hasn't had a No 1 grade for years. At present the district plays no higher than No 3s. Still, the zone allows Clarence into its present interdistrict comps and its performance in these indicates it is mysteriously underselling itself in grading terms.
As the zone president says, the proposed competition would provide a higher standard of play. It certainly would do that. And it would infuse new life into a comp that has become a means of giving a pennants game to every bowler who, regardless of whether he has ability or not, owns a club shirt with a logo on it.
But why stop the changes at No 1s? The three districts could provide enough players of required ability for three grades and no more.
Let the other four grades go back to building Saturday social play in their clubs, something that almost disappears for a large slice of the year when pennant players head off in droves to play elsewhere.
The situation of too many grades would solve itself if bowlers continue to show their displeasure at the jumped-up state capitation fees by turning away from pennants and becoming social bowling members of their clubs.
If they do that - and one club says one-third of its bowlers will play socially - it will be near impossible to fill seven grades.
With four grades staying at home to play social, the annual pennants arguing and backbiting would be largely overcome and clubs would benefit by having their greens used each Saturday.