Bias on Bowls - a look at Western District Bowls Division

WDBD Warrnambool Gold vs Timboon Gold. Pictured Timboon's Gold skipper Arthur Finch. Picture: Vicky Hughson
WDBD Warrnambool Gold vs Timboon Gold. Pictured Timboon's Gold skipper Arthur Finch. Picture: Vicky Hughson

The West Coast Region men’s and women’s singles and fours were played on Sunday at Dennington. 

The winners head off to compete for the state titles in April in Bendigo.

The region’s men’s fours winners were the Far Western team of M. Arnold, B. Satchell, J. Brody and J. Waldern who defeated Western District’s L. Johnson, J. Murnane, S. Quinlan and W. Cooper 19-16.

The women’s winning team from Western District was M. Drennan, S. Barling, P. Rabi and G. Taylor who convincingly defeated the Far Western ladies J. Schroder, C. Uebergang, N. Sharrock and B. Bourke 28-7.

The prestigious singles representatives will be Far Western’s R. Tomassen, who easily accounted for P. McIver from Corangamite 25-9 in the women’s event, and Western District representative A. Finch who comfortably defeated M. Harrison from Corangamite 25-12.

The other West Coast region finals will be played over the next three weekends.

The men’s and women’s pairs, along with the mixed pairs, will be played on February 11 at Penshurst. 

Both triples events will be held at Colac Central on February 18 and the Champion of Champions singles will be held at Warrnambool on the February 25.

Some talking points around clubs at the moment should be the board recommendations for next season.  The club delegates will meet next week with the board to formalise the submissions for the annual meeting.  

To heighten the discussion, I will outline a few of the recommendations:

- Having eight teams per division and playing 14 rounds, with the top eight teams this year staying in division one. 

- At this stage this would see Timboon, Port Fairy and Lawn Tennis all drop to division two for the 2018-19 season.

- All higher dvision matches to be played with 12 players per side.

- Play 1 v 4 and 2 v 3 in the finals removing the need for a preliminary final.

Personally I think we should look at retaining the preliminary final so the top two teams get some benefit for their performances throughout the entire year. 

If we need to get the finals completed in two weekends for Saturday pennant, play the preliminary final on a Sunday. 

I also think 10 is still the right number in division one for Saturday pennant, the division would be worse off without towns like Port Fairy and Timboon not competing in the top division. 

Start first division earlier and other divisions later if needed so a full two rounds of 18 weeks can be played in division one, even look at playing double-headers over a Saturday and Sunday. 

Everyone will have an opinion on 16 players a side versus 12. I prefer 16 players but I understand the reasoning behind this recommendation. Again another vote from clubs may be asked for in relation to men playing in certain positions in Tuesday pennant. I really don’t understand why this keeps raising its head. Tuesday pennant results show that the competition is probably the most even it has been in a number of years. 

The law has been tested in Victoria in relation to discrimination in lawn bowls and the finding is that men and women should be selected on merit not gender. 

I don’t think a division by-law restricting men from playing in certain positions would be legal unless the division applied to VCAT for an exception from discriminating. 

Maybe that’s what should happen so this doesn’t keep coming up time after time.

In division one Saturday pennant, this week will see competitive games against second-placed Koroit Blue at home to fourth-placed City Gold and Timboon Gold will be hoping the home-green advantage can get it over the line against Dennington Red.

Tuesday pennant’s last game of the season also has some great matches that will shape the top four.

Fourth-placed Koroit Orange must win convincingly against second-placed Dennington Red to ensure its position in the four with Port Fairy Gold on the same points in fifth spot playing sixth-placed Lawn Tennis Green.  Third-placed Warrnambool Gold would not want to let its guard down against Timboon Maroon, Warrnambool needs to win this away game to ensure its spot in the top four.