Could Bowls Make It To The Olympics?

There seems to be more fluidity when it comes to Olympic sports these days. There was something of an uproar among Olympic traditionalists a few years ago when the International Olympic Committee decided to drop wrestling following the 2016 games. Soon thereafter, however, after a few rules changes, wrestling was reinstated, and will now be a part of the 2020 games in Tokyo. One of the oldest sports in the competition, it figures to have been reinstated for the long-term.

With each new cycle the IOC deals with applications by new sports, and the Tokyo games will actually be including five such sports. The organization unanimously approved a proposal by the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee to include baseball/softball, karate, skateboarding, sport climbing, and surfing at the next Olympics. It’s a fairly diverse range of new events that should add fresh dimensions to the competition and potentially rope in new viewership as well.

Also of interest, however – particularly for fans of lawn bowls – is the list of sports that were considered but ultimately not accepted. For instance, wushu and wakeboarding were both considered at least briefly. Even eSports, the competitive video gaming phenomenon that will already be joining the 2022 Asian Games, is being discussed as a potential addition for the Paris Olympics in 2024. This range of sports gives you some idea of just how many different proposals might be out there, and how broad the IOC’s considerations of potential new sports must necessarily be.

Bowls, by comparison to some of these other sports, would seem to be a logical inclusion. Needless to say, if eSports does make it into the 2024 Olympics, most everyone representing a physical sport that is not included will have a fresh argument to make. The Olympics are meant to celebrate sports, rather than games, and while eSports would certainly attract young viewers and fresh demographics, they could potentially distract from the spirit of the games. A pure physical activity like bowls, however, with a long history of competition between nations, would counter that distraction.

There are those in the sport who are angling to make it happen. Perhaps the most outspoken has been Scottish bowler Paul Foster, who’s expressed anger that bowling isn’t part of the Olympics when sports like golf have recently been added. One article quoted Foster as saying it’s “frustrating” not to have had the chance to compete at the Olympics despite being a top bowler. He acknowledges that because it’s never been an Olympic sport it might be unreasonable to expect it to become one. However, the same article notes that there is scope for lawn bowls to make it onto the Olympic stage one day, given so many new additions (including golf, rugby, and kitesurfing in addition to some of the sports mentioned above).

Right now there isn’t too much information out there about an active bid for 2024 (with 2020 being a lost cause at this point). But the more we see obscure sports making it into the games, and the more prominent figures like Paul Foster speak up, the better chance we’ll have of seeing the top bowlers in the world competing at the Olympics in the near future.

December 6, 2017 / by / in ,
A Sad Day For The Lawn Bowls Community

On a sad day for the lawn bowls community today we learn of the passing of one of the true gentlemen of the game. Greg Thurling sadly passed last night. He has touched the hearts of many with his ongoing courage and passion for our game.

Many of us who have had the pleasure of playing with or against Greg, would know just how kind hearted he was. His words of encouragement to me personally as a new bowler will forever stay with me. Greg battle with chronic myeloid leukaemia since 2001 and sadly passed last night.

He will be truly missed by many. Our thoughts and prayers are with Greg’s family & friends in this sad time. May he Rest in Peace.

January 1, 2016 / by / in
Roebuck Bowling Club Hit By Floods

Severe flooding hit Lancashire following torrential downpours over the Christmas period.

Now emergency services and residents are preparing for an extensive clean-up operation as the rain dies off and the full extent of damage is revealed.

The region was hit with up to 100mm of rain yesterday, with seven ‘red’ weather warnings issued by the Environment Agency. Police have now revealed that weather warnings have been lifted and that water is receding in badly-hit areas.

Full Story

Before the floods




Needless to say, no play today.

December 28, 2015 / by / in
Club Singles Champions at 16 & 17

It’s hard to imagine a lower combined age of a bowls club’s singles champions anywhere than Melbourne Bowling Club this season.

At just 16 and 17 respectively, Curtis Hanley and Tayla Morison are Melbourne BC’s singles champions.

Hanley defeated experienced Chris “Bear” O’Meagher in the final 25-24 after a hard fought battle.

He trailed O’Meagher 13-21 and staged an disciplined comeback to beat last year’s club champion.

Hanley is no stranger to winning in the clutch. He and brother Cain won the Victorian Open men’s pairs final in November with the very last bowl – delivered by Curtis.

Morison defeated Tara Ferrier. The game was fairly even to the halfway mark, with Ferrier leading 10-9.

Morison then found form and romped home to a 25-10 final victory, again over last year’s club champion.

There have been several juniors in Victoria who have won club championships – famously State star Dylan Fisher as an 11-year-old at Mount Eliza BC a decade ago.

But it’s hard to think of another club whose men’s and ladies champions in the same year have both been teenagers, let alone with a combined age younger than most club singles champions.

The Melbourne BC championship wins continue breakthrough seasons for both Hanley and Morison.

Both made the singles semi-finals at the Victorian Open, while Morison has been added to the Victorian senior team to play NSW at Mulgrave Country Club on January 20-21.

Originally published on Bowls Victoria

December 22, 2015 / by / in
A Healthier Future for Victorian Bowlers

Bowls Victoria (BV) and Arthritis and Osteoporosis Victoria (AOV) are pleased to announce MOVE with Bowls, an exciting three-year partnership to improve the health and wellbeing of bowlers and the 1.5 million Victorians who live with muscle, bone and joint conditions.

MOVE with Bowls will encourage current and future bowlers to stay fit and healthy so they can participate in the popular sport as well as enjoy the social benefits of being part of their local club.

Bowls Victoria president John Fisher OAM says: “We see this partnership as a great fit, and hope that as well as encouraging people to try and enjoy our sport, it helps people understand the health benefits a game of bowls provides.

“Our 50,000 members share many common values with Arthritis and Osteoporosis Victoria and we are very excited that MOVE with Bowls will help even more people to stay active and enjoy the great sport of bowls.”

The MOVE with Bowls partnership recognises Arthritis and Osteoporosis Victoria as the official charity of Bowls Victoria for the next three years.

Bowls clubs throughout the state will be encouraged to actively support the MOVE with Bowls program that will provide free health presentations from experts and educators, promotion of Come & Try bowls days and fundraising activities for AOV to deliver vital services, research, advocacy and information to people with muscle, bone and joint conditions.

“We are very pleased to be working with Bowls Victoria on this important partnership. MOVE with Bowls is about promoting the benefits of physical activity and also learning better self-management techniques to keep people of all ages moving,” said Linda Martin, CEO, Arthritis and Osteoporosis Victoria.

“Almost two of every three people who play bowls are affected by arthritis or another muscle, bone and joint conditions.

“They may be failing to get the most out of their sport due to issues with pain, mobility and agility. MOVE with Bowls is about helping these people to feel supported and making the right choices regarding their health,” she said.

Find out more about how MOVE with Bowls can benefit you and your club, and frequently asked questions here

Find out how to join the MOVE with Bowls program here

Find out more about Arthritis and Osteoporosis Victoria here

Speak to a nurse about arthritis and other muscle, bone and joint conditions on the FREE MSK Help Line 1800 263 265

This story first appeared on Bowls Victoria
Written by: Guy Hand
November 27, 2015 / by / in