A top-grade lawn bowls team has forfeited a Saturday pennant match after opting against playing a rival with an unvaccinated player.
Terang Green will not play Warrnambool Gold on Saturday, handing the premiership points to its Western District Playing Area opponent.
A player unvaccinated against COVID-19 is free to play community sport under Victorian government and Bowls Victoria regulations.
But the opposition has the right to forfeit if it sees fit.
Warrnambool Gold had to give Terang Green 48 hours' notice it planned to play an unvaccinated player.
Terang Green, which was to host the match, decided to walk away from the contest.
Terang assistant secretary Graeme Downie said the club "was acting in the best interests of our members and looking after their health".
Barry Stonehouse, who is Terang's president, said it was "a ludicrious rule".
"We have got an aging membership and we're putting our health before anything else," he told The Standard.
"We had a meeting among the players. We have decided to make a stand, we don't think it's right so it's why we have done it."
Stonehouse said Terang would "stick together".
"Every person has a right to choose what they do," he said of Warrnambool's unvaccinated player.
"But we as a club spoke to our members and they were happy to get double vaxxed because they want to protect one another."
Warrnambool Bowls Club bowls manager Paul O'Donnell, who plays in the Gold team, said it was an unusual set of circumstances.
"We're disappointed. We're following the rules set down by Bowls Victoria which is ruled by the Victorian government health department which says you cannot deny an unvaxxed person to play community sport," he told The Standard.
"We have followed all the appropriate procedures. He is one of our members and we'll continue to select him as is his right to play. We hope we don't see any more problems going forward."
WDPA originally mandated all players needed to be vaccinated to play but changed when state government rulings were released.
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