Walter Jacobs and Barry Lester at the Summerland Pairs in Ballina.
Walter Jacobs and Barry Lester at the Summerland Pairs in Ballina. Mitchell Craig

Promotion battle heats up in No 2s

THE top pennant grade decided with one round to go, the struggle in No 2s for next season's promotion is red hot. Lismore Heights and Ballina are tied on 49 points.

Ballina in the final game will play tailender Alstonville, a side that has scored only 6.5 points in nine rounds; Lismore Heights will face fourth-placed Casino RSM (36.5).

In the No 1s, Casino RSM continued its near perfect season in Round Nine with yet another 10-pointer. This time the victim by an aggregate 17 shots was Evans Head.

In the eight rounds, with 10 points available each round, the Casino side's record is 9, 10, 10, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10.

In the penultimate round, Ballina picked up nine points from Lennox Head. The unhappy season for Lennox Head continued in a washout replay on Sunday which it lost 9-1 to premier South Lismore then had one point taken away because one of its side was ineligible, having played in a washout round in another grade. With 11 points from the nine rounds compared with the other cellar dweller East Lismore's 17, Lennox Head is facing relegation.

Ballina had a 9-1 six-shot win over Lennox Head on Saturday; in the other match reigning premier South Lismore also had a nine-pointer, beating East Lismore by 15 shots.

Progressive score: Casino RSM 88, Ballina 57, South Lismore 54, Evans Head 43, East Lismore 17, Lennox Head 11.

In the No3s, South Lismore has a skinny two-point lead over Kyogle with Lennox Head close by, one point behind Kyogle.In the other grade to be decided, No 6s, Lismore Workers Sports is in front of Lennox Head by 8.5 points.

The combined Bonalbo/Casino RSM side won the play-off in the No7s. Ballina was runner-up.

Long process

OUR game has high hopes of being included in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. The convoluted process of being admitted started last year with an application by World Bowls. A report said the IOC was impressed by the world-wide popularity of bowls, its value and good governance. Next step was to seek membership of the organisation that looks after sport-related international associations. The application will go to that body's meeting in April next year and if successful will be resubmitted to the IOC whose executive board will consider it later in 2018.

Purple patch

VICTORIAN Barrie Lester, currently ranked No 1 in Australia, is looking to further laurels at next year's Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. He's made a comeback to the Australian side and recent top performances should make him a standout for the Games. He won bronze at the 2006 Games in Melbourne but missed out on selection for the Games in Delhi and Glasgow. In the past six months he's won two silver medals at the World championship in New Zealand, two Victorian state titles and a fistful of tournaments. His next big assignments are on the Gold Coast in the Trans Tasman series on May 31 to June 2 and the Multi-Nations event on June 3-7.

Changing times

CAME across the 1982 "Australian Bowls Council By-Laws and Laws of the Game of Bowls”. How things have changed!

"No coloured garment shall be displayed,” it says. Shoe were to be white or tan; shirt white or cream; hat white or cream (stiff moulded crown, stiffened brim and approved hatband); cap plain white or cream (of suitable material and approved design); trousers, jackets, pullovers, socks and everything else, all white or cream. Sort of a white Australia policy.

The colour phobia continued even to bowls cloths: "No bowls cloths etc, other than white or cream, shall be used.”

There are plenty of oldies who pine for the cool, comfortable and sane all-white days of yore.

Substitute bowlers

IF a player takes sick in a championship and is unable to continue after the allowed 10-minute break, is a substitute allowed?

Yes, say the umpires. The substitute is chosen from those available - playing ability must not be taken into account. They must be a member of the club and they are not to play skip.

MY VIEW: ON DISCRIMINATION

WOMEN bowlers increasingly are joining with men in competitive play. Bowls Australia has an Open play policy that says the game doesn't discriminate on 'gender, age, religion, race, culture, disability or any other trait'.

It says the policy has been formulated on the fact that strength, stamina and physique are not relevant to the game. In other words, women can compete on equal footing with the men.

Though most local clubs allow and promote mixed-gender play, there have been instances of it being refused elsewhere, leading to discrimination action.

"Legislation differs in each state/territory and federally,” Bowls Australia points out. "All stakeholders in bowls in Australia should be aware of their obligations under the relevant Anti-Discrimination Act that applies in their area.”

Bowls NSW, which for years has dithered about amalgamating with the state's women's association and has yet to do so, has an Anti-Discrimination and Harassment Policy that says it prohibits discrimination because of 'gender, marital status, race, age, disability, homosexuality, sexuality, transgender, religion, political belief and/or industrial activity'.

Fine words. Why is it then that our men's and women's state associations can't get together?

YOUR VIEW: ON PENNANTS SCORING

Seven points for an overall win, one point for each rink win - brought a comment by Lismore Heights official Jim Rank.

"The old three for master board and one for each rink was OK but now we have gone from the master board being worth 50% of the available points to 70%. I have yet to find anyone who thinks this is fair. One wonders whether the powers to be are really involved in bowls or just pontificate from their ivory tower!”



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