Researchers looking at the perfect bowl

FAMILY MATTERS: Lynsey Clarke still plays alongside her mother 22 years after she was first introduced to the sport
FAMILY MATTERS: Lynsey Clarke still plays alongside her mother 22 years after she was first introduced to the sport Warren Lynam

BOWLS Australia is using Melbourne's La Trobe University's biochemical researchers to conduct scientific experiments aimed at finding out how to deliver the perfect bowl.

Jono Davis, the 15-year-old winner of the Summerland Singles in January, is shown wired-up and shirtless in the process of his delivery.

Davis is one of three top class bowlers being used in the experiments. The others are Australian team reps Lynsey Clarke and Brett Wilkie.

The national body says that if the research finds out how elite bowlers send down a bowl it could help hone their skills for next year's Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

Queensland Bowler magazine reports Australian Institute of Sport skills specialist Derek Panchuk who is working with the researchers as saying, "We are particularly looking at eye tracking because the eyes tell us how we're taking in the information and the biomechanics tells us how we're actually using that information."

Open forum

WOMEN'S Bowls NSW is conducting a series of forums throughout the state for its members to have an open discussion and ask questions.

The forum in this area is at Ballina Cherry Street today from 2pm to 4pm.

Says WBNSW: "We intend using these forums as an opportunity to provide information regarding the direction of the sport and the universal matters within it."

All registered members are invited to attend.

The women's state body has shown there is no sexism in its appointment of officers. It has just given its CEO job to a man - Daniel Gatt , experienced in senior management.

Beacom battle

THE Beacom Shield - the RSL versus Alstonville - is on again tomorrow at 10am. It's been a popular annual bowls event for 12 years and has raised large sums for Legacy. All monies raised on the day go to this worthy charity.

Organiser Alan Brown says the contest, won for the past two years by the RSL, is played in the spirit of Anzac and he insists that with 'a few tricks' he has in his bag, it will be another win tomorrow.

There'll be raffles and plenty of prizes to be won. The cost for a lot of fun and lunch included? Just $20.

Funds raised

Evans Head has just run its Cancer Bowls Day at which 140 bowlers raised $11,800 with another possible $4000 as a private donation. All proceeds go to the oncology unit at St Vincent's Hospital.

The record of bowls clubs in fund-raising for charities is second to none.

Grudge match

FLOODS and the Easter break have had NRDBA officials scratching their heads finding dates to catch up. Pending no further inundations, they are overcoming the problem.

The scheduled Round Seven is on this Saturday. In the top grade, the runaway leader Casino RSM will take on the flag winner for the past two years, South Lismore, It will be something of a grudge match - the Southies this season lost several of its best bowlers to the Casino side.

The other No 1 matches are: Ballina v East Lismore; Lennox Head v Evans Head.


THERE are more whinges in the pennant season than a politician gets cups of tea. One grouch in particular - the scoring system - keeps cropping up and there's plenty of justification.

The way it is now (seven points for the overall a win; one point for each rink win), a side can go down by one shot in the closest of contests but the result will seem as if the loser has been overwhelmed. In other sports a close result is obvious on the scoreboard.

In the opening round, Lennox Head frightened the heck out of premiers South Lismore, going under by a skinny one shot. For the win the Southies got nine points to Lennox Head's one point. The same 9-1 score applied in Round Six when newly-promoted Evans Head lost by one shot to the powerful Ballina.

In both matches 24 bowlers battled it out over 63 ends and the end result couldn't be any closer. The losers had every reason to be proud of their effort instead of being shattered by a score that gives no indication of how the game went. The current system is a sure way to make sides lose heart.

To overcome the anomaly, those who make the rules should be looking at a more equitable scoring method. Fix up the present lopsided system and pennants would overcome the most unanimous of its grouches.


Family pride

WHEN Teresa Armitage took her 11-year-old daughter along to Gold Coast club Helensvale in 1995 she never imaged the kid would become captain of the Australian side and - more remarkable - they'd be playing side-by-side 22 years later.

The daughter, now Lynsey Clarke, is bowls manager at Helensvale where she and her mother between them have won 79 club championships - 44 to Teresa; 35 to Lynsey. Together and singly they also have won at district, zone and state level.

Lynsey was made Australia's inaugural women's captain in 2011, a position she still holds. She was appointed recently as lawn bowls ambassador for the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

Up there they're asking what other sport has achieved such mother-daughter success.

Chicken run

SAW a bowling green that's been taken over for other purposes being enclosed the other day with chicken wire. Can't be a chook run for white leghorns - they flew the coop years ago.

Topics:  northern rivers sport

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