The bowls revolution is here.
The inaugural Bowls3Five televised league will start tonight (Tuesday, October 23) at the New Lynn Bowling Club in Auckland.
Six clubs from around the country will go head-to-head in a new shortened version of the game each Tuesday and Wednesday night for six weeks, with all matches to be broadcast live on SKY Sport.
The games will be played over two sets of five ends and will take no longer than an hour.
“It’s the way the world is moving,” Bowls New Zealand CEO Mark Cameron said.
“We’re time precious people and we consume our sports in small chunks.
“The days of people in their 30s, 40s, 50s or even 60s being able to play lawn bowls for eight to 10 hours on a Saturday or Sunday are gone.
“We needed to introduce a shortened format of the game that appeals to a wider section of the population.”
A head boy, an aircraft restorer and a former All Black are amongst those competing in Bowls3Five, with organisers keen to showcase that it is a sport for everyone.
“It doesn’t matter how old you are, it doesn’t matter your gender or whether you’re partially able or disabled, you can play this game of bowls,” Cameron said.
Matches will be played in one direction and at that end there will be bar leaners and music.
“It’s to show the casual, social nature of the sport,” he said.
Mark Cameron hopes Bowls3Five viewers are attracted to the sport and decide to give it a go.
“People go ‘you know what lawn bowls isn’t just for the old buggers’,” Cameron said.
“…’I could play this game and I could do well. I could play for my club in Gore, or Stoke, or wherever it may be and I could make it to the televised competition’.”
The Stokes Valley Vipers and Gore Rams will square off in the competition opener at 7:05pm, with national pairs playing partners Seamus Curtin (Stokes Valley) and Sheldon Bagrie-Howley (Gore) to go head-to-head.
“I’m quite looking forward to that,” Curtin said.
“We’ve been giving each other a bit of stick before the event [so] it’ll be good to sort it all out and see who wins.”
The Stoke Thunder will take on the Royal Oak Rockets in the second match at 8pm, before the Point Chevalier Pirates round out the opening night against Alex ‘Grizz’ Wyllie and the Woodend Jets from 9pm.
Day 1 matches (all broadcast LIVE on SKY Sport 2):
Stokes Valley Vipers v Gore Rams – 7:05pm
Stoke Thunder v Royal Oak Rockets – 8pm
Point Chevalier Pirates v Woodend Jets – 9pm
What is Bowls3Five?
Bowls3Five is a new fast format of the game which aims to provide a competition where everyone interested can get involved. Depending on the competition you play in, you can face a set number of ends, a shot clock, double points, and a tiebreaker end. Bowls3Five aims to fit into busy lifestyles of those finding themselves short on time but still wish to compete in sport and those who are stepping up to accept the challenge of the shorter format.
Bowls3Five offers three levels of competition – a social format for twilight competitions, a nationwide interclub competition and the inaugural Bowls3Five televised six-team league. It will be broadcast live on SKY Sport on Tuesday and Wednesday nights for six weeks From October 23 to November 28, 2018 at the New Lynn Bowling Club in Auckland. Specifically for television, the games will be played in one direction with two sets of five ends. If each team has won a set or both sets are drawn there will be a tie-break end to decide the winner of the game. The televised league starts with a double round-robin draw, all teams playing each other twice over the first five weeks. The six teams will then be ranked heading into the finals which are played in week six
For more information: visit http://www.bowls3five.co.nz or contact Bowls3Five media manager Brenton Vannisselroy on 021 039 0471