If you’re under 23, all roads lead to Christchurch at the end of March

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This year’s shake-up of the national tournament structure of bowls has already seen the new Summerset National Singles & Pairs played successfully in Auckland last month.

In March, three ‘new’ national tournaments will be played : the second leg of the nationals, the Summerset National Fours in Wellington from the 1st to the 5th of March; the revived National Secondary Schools Championship in Auckland from the 26th to the 28th March; and the new National Under 23 Singles Tournament in Christchurch from the 30th to the 31st of March.

The National Under 23’s becomes the only age-grade bowls tournament being played at national level – in effect replacing the former National Under 18’s and the Kittyhawk Under 21’s. That said, a National Masters Tournament will return in 2020, last played prior to the World Masters Games in 2017.

“We’ve chosen ‘The Papanui’ as the headquarters for the tournament,” says Tournament Director Katie Griffiths. “It’s a renowned multi-sport and activities club in the northwest of Christchurch which not only offers bowls to its membership but on-site darts, petanque, pool and table tennis.”

“Entries are now open for the tournament,” adds Griffiths. “Just go online at http://www.burnsidebowlingclub.com/CentreEntries/NationalUnder23Singles.html, where you’ll also find the Conditions of Play and Code of Conduct.”

Entries close on 15th March. And in terms of eligibility, the usual conditions apply – entrants must be under 23 at the start of the season (1st July 2018).

“Because it’s a new age-grade tournament,” says Griffiths, “we’re not quite sure how many entrants they’ll be. The only thing we know is there’s plenty of under 23-year-old bowlers in New Zealand already playing at the highest level – the likes of Katelyn Inch, Seamus Curtin and Taylor Horn come to mind.”

“It’s also a great venue for spectators to enjoy the bowls,” adds Griffiths.

“The club has two great restaurants, Embers and The Carvery, and a large sports bar. Plus, there’s tons of car parking.”

Keep an eye on the Bowls Canterbury Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/BowlsCanterbury/ for more news.