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Reporter Points of view


THIS OLD THING? Nicky Brett


PERHAPS IT’S TIME TO SWAP THE WHITES FOR COLOUR D


oes anyone else feel, like me, that bowlers are paying out more for their sport than other


sportsmen and women? Players who are good enough


to represent their county – or their country – may find themselves having to pay additional affiliation fees to the relevant organisation that supervises the particular competition they want to enter, as well as membership to their own club. There could be more than two, with associations governing both the indoor and outdoor game. Sometimes you feel your hand’s never


out of your pocket. Maybe it’s time we took a good look at all the organisations involved in bowls to see if there’s a way to reduce the over- regulation. And while we’re at it, maybe we could ask them to produce a joint calendar of events that would hopefully end the situation where two major competitions clash. Is it too much to expect that the indoor associations could check with the


authority – for indoor and outdoor


18 NationwideBowler


I think we need a single overarching


outdoor (and vice versa) to keep the top competitions apart? Just think back to 2006 – the last time


the World Outdoor championships were held in New Zealand – when the World Indoors tournament was being played here in the UK. People had to make a choice which competition they went to – often not knowing whether their favourite players were even going to be there! If it’s confusing for spectators


and players, just think what it’s like for potential sponsors. They want to support the sport, but which federation do they approach with their proposition? It’s not really surprising that bowls sometimes struggles to find national sponsors for its tournaments when the companies don’t know which one will offer them the best value for their money. So what do they end up doing? They


approach one governing body and offer to put up prizes and marketing effort if a tournament can be arranged with their name on it. Talk about the tail wagging the dog! I think we need a single overarching


authority – for indoor and outdoor – that could look after all the administration of bowls, instead of the fragmentation that presently exists. And if we’re talking radical overhaul


here, let’s relax the dress code and put some colour into our game.


Is it time to get more colour into our game?


Look through the pages of Nationwide


Bowler and you’ll see plenty of manufacturers producing coloured clothing for bowlers. Okay, most of the shirts are white, with coloured flashes and panels.


But most bowls clubs frown at players


who turn up for a game wearing such apparel, and won’t let them near the playing surface until they change into regulation whites. Now, I’m not talking about relaxing the


dress code for top level games at county, national or international level. But for the general run of the mill match, would it hurt if players wore some colour on the green?


The same problem applies when


clubs are trying to attract young people into the sport. Most youngsters would run a mile at the thought of appearing in front of their pals in all-white clothing. It’s just not cool. And the last thing children want to do is go bowling in a “uniform” like the one they have to wear to school. A youngster who’s used to going to the park in tracksuit bottoms and a tee shirt for a game of football with his pals wouldn’t be able to wear the same clothes at his or her local bowls club – even if he or she was desperate to play. After all, we’re truly serious about


bringing more young people into our game – aren’t we?


FROM NICKY What would be on


MORE


Nicky’s bowls wish list. See pages 30-31


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