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After a record 2018 season with 229 members vying for places on the World Bowls Tour in the UK, and seven venues around New Zealand, the Professional Bowls Association is gearing up for the 2019 winter with more choice of dates for players. For at least the last ten years, all venues have shared the same dates but there will be a couple of variations available this year.

The NZ PBA has traditionally commenced on the long Queen’s Birthday Weekend, however with the popular Australian Open moving its dates into early June to accommodate the Asia-Pacific Champs on the Gold Coast, three of the seven venues are moving their first weekend of play to the end of June. These are the New Lynn club in Auckland, Bowls Hastings, and the Naenae club in Wellington. Auckland and Wellington will play their Shanghai Singles qualifiers the weekend before to fit 3 days of competition, while Hastings will utilise their Friday night for the Shanghai. Frankton Railway in Hamilton, Paritutu in New Plymouth, the Dunedin Community Stadium and the Waverley club in Invercargill remain at Queen’s Birthday Weekend.

And for the second weekend of competition at the end of July, Hastings are moving a weekend earlier to accommodate Bowls NZ’s Mens National Champ of Champ Fours. Players involved in that competition may wish to play PBA in Hastings a week earlier to gain some early knowledge of the carpet and environment.

There is also a shuffle of events from previous years at most venues with the June weekends consisting of Shanghai Singles, a Ranking Singles event and the Scottish Singles, while the July weekend will be known as Potter’s Weekend with players striving to qualify for the World Indoor Pairs and Singles at the Potter’s Leisure Resort in Norfolk, England.

The Dunedin venue will repeat a local qualifier finals day in August which ran very successfully last year to complete the large qualifying tournaments there.

This year’s NZ PBA Finals Weekend will return to the Frankton Railway club in Hamilton for the first time since 2005 on 13-15 September.

While most coordinators around the country remain unchanged, there will be a new addition to the executive in Wellington with the recent World Indoor Singles contestant Ray Martin taking on coordinating the Naenae venue.

The $175 membership gives entry into qualifying for four World Bowls Tour events, plus the novelty Shanghai Singles with a prize of a Gold Coast holiday, and ranking events counting towards a NZ PBA team to play the Australian PBA. Information and application forms are available

Full NZ PBA programme is as follows:

1-3 June: PBA Qualifiers in Hamilton, New Plymouth, Dunedin & Invercargill

  • Shanghai Singles qualifying
  • Ranking Singles
  • Scottish Singles qualifying

22 June: Shanghai Singles qualifying in Auckland & Wellington

28 June: Shanghai Singles qualifying in Hastings

29 & 30 June: PBA Qualifiers in Auckland, Hastings & Wellington

  • Ranking Singles
  • Scottish Singles qualifying

20 & 21 July: PBA Qualifiers in Hastings

  • World Indoor Singles qualifying
  • World Indoor Pairs qualifying

27 & 28 July: PBA Qualifiers in Auckland, Hamilton, New Plymouth, Wellington, Dunedin & Invercargill

  • World Indoor Singles qualifying
  • World Indoor Pairs qualifying

10 & 11 August: PBA Qualifiers at all 7 venues

  • Ranking Singles
  • International Singles qualifying

17 August: PBA qualifiers as required in Dunedin

13-15 September: PBA Finals Weekend in Hamilton