Junior Super Singles 2024 : It’s not too late to get your entry in

There’s something like 50,000+ lawn bowlers throughout New Zealand, who play at one of the 470 odd affiliated bowling clubs throughout the country, either regularly or occasionally.  In addition, there’s many more who might have a roll-up at a club, perhaps at a corporate team-building, a big birthday bash or an end-of-year Christmas function.

When the annual census that closed on 31st January 2024 is collated, we’ll get a much clearer insight into how many are playing … when and where.

However, there’s also many bowlers enjoying the game outside the ‘affiliated structure’ (club, centre, national, international).  Not because the formal structure is not appreciated, but because more informal options can be more also strike a chord …

… like for the many residents in the many retirement villages up and down the country who may enjoy a roll-up at their village green, as well as their local club.

… like at New Zealand’s more remote regions where locals can enjoy the game at a community-maintained green .. for example the Stewart Island Bowling Club at Oban.

… and like at the many lawn bowls fixtures that are held throughout the bowls season, which although ‘unrecognised’ in the crammed formal lawn bowls calendar, are nonetheless ‘recognised’ by the bowls community for making great contributions to the game.

The Junior Super Singles Tournament created by Manawatu bowler Paul ‘Fletch’ Christian is quickly taking on such a contributing mantle.

“I’ve only been playing for four years … mainly out of the Bulls Bowling Club just north of Palmerston North,” says Fletch.  “A couple of years ago I won the Centre Junior Singles, and I realised then that there was no pathway to national honours.”

“I also realised that there wasn’t a lot of tournaments for shorter forms of the game, more suitable for bowlers like me who still worked and could only spend limited time on the green.”

“That’s how in 2023 the ‘Super Singles’ concept was born, with junior teams from 24 Centres qualifying to play in the national final at Naenae in June last year.

“It was a great start, and it’s provided an excellent springboard to repeat and develop the tournament in 2024.”

Qualifying for the 2024 Super Singles is already underway, with the national finals scheduled to be held at Naenae on 6th and 7th July 2024.  It’s open to bowlers in year 1 to 8.

“It’s a short form game,” says Fletch. “3 bowl singles with 2 sets of 6 ends and a 1 end tiebreaker. There's a nominated kill and powerplay allowed in each set, and players form groups of 3 to play 2 games and mark 1 in a round.”

“There’s an entry fee of $40 ... with half being paid out for second and third prize at the local event, and the other half going on to the finals prize pool.  We also sponsor the accommodation for the finalists at Naenae.”

“Entries are still open in all Centres, except Central Otago … where the qualifying rounds have already been played.”

For those juniors who are keen on giving the tournament a go, please visit Short Form Bowls website for details … plus how to enter.  And if you have any questions, just send Fletch an email at shortformbowls@gmail.com

Great stuff, Fletch.  We love seeing people playing bowls no matter where, when and how!