‘Fun, speedy, contemporary’: lawn bowling set for T20-style revamp | Sport
Lawn bowling’s recognition as a genteel game performed at a sedate tempo well-suited to its aged, white-clad individuals might be about to modify with the creation of a brand new high-stakes world pageant its organisers hope will revitalise the game the similar means Twenty20 did for cricket.
In what’s being billed as a lawn bowls revolution, the Ultimate Bowls Championship will turn into probably the most profitable bowls tournament on the earth when it starts on manicured lawns throughout Australia, New Zealand and Asia subsequent month.
Twenty-four groups, with snazzy names such because the Port Melbourne Borough Boyz and the North Qld Oz E Cool Roos, will compete for a complete of $500,000 prize cash, with rule tweaks and off-field leisure making for a extra spectator-friendly type of the sport.
“We have created a concept that will enhance the opportunity for growth in our sport, through quick, fast and fun matches to watch, both for existing bowlers but, importantly, for a new audience,” UBC leader govt and director Mark Casey mentioned.
Modified regulations imply issues will also be scored from each and every bowl and each groups will be capable to acquire issues in the similar finish, whilst suits which historically take between two and 4 hours will ultimate simply 30 mins each and every.
UBC organisers say the tweaks will make for a lot sooner, higher-scoring video games than observed within the conventional model of the game – and, with tune blaring out of loudspeakers and meals and beverage of be offering at each and every tournament, a extra entertaining, marketable spectacle.
For the ones not able to get to occasions, armchair bowls fanatics will be capable to observe the UBC from the relaxation in their properties after a broadcasting deal was once struck with the Seven Network which is able to see video games televised on 7TWO, Fox Sports, Sky Sport NZ and Fox Sports Asia.
“UBC will do for bowls what T20 did for cricket,” mentioned Casey, a former bowls global champion and Commonwealth Games gold medallist. “It will take the best elements of our sport and package it in a way that makes it as exciting and as accessible as possible.”
But the bolder and brasher new pageant – “fun, fast and fresh”, in keeping with its reputable website online – is at pains to not fail to remember conventional fans of the sport. Having secured retirement village and elderly care supplier Ryman Healthcare as a big sponsor, the UBC is raring to retain the passion of the older technology of bowlers.
“It’s not designed to replace the traditional game, which is still hugely popular; it’s designed to introduce new people to the sport that hundreds of thousands of Australians have loved for generations,” mentioned Casey.
In any other parallel with Twenty20 cricket, one of the global’s best possible bowlers – who had been assigned to groups on the inaugural draft in January – will ditch the extra orthodox whites and as an alternative be decked out in vibrant uniforms at UBC occasions.
The championship will likely be made up our minds over 3 occasions, starting on the Warilla Bowls & Recreation Club, house of the Warilla Gorillas, on four and five April. Melbourne’s Deer Park Club and Moama Bowling Club in NSW will host the opposite two occasions in August and December respectively.
“We’re all about helping older people live healthy, active lives so getting behind the Ultimate Bowls Championship was a natural step for us,” Ryman Healthcare regional gross sales supervisor Angela Barraclough mentioned. “We’ve seen first-hand how the game of bowls helps grow our village communities, so we want to do whatever we can to help grow the game.”