#BPL11: Everything you need to know

by Bowls Australia

Ahead of #BPL11, we give you the rundown on everything you need to know before the action gets underway.

What is the Bowls Premier League (BPL)?

The BPL, formerly the Australian Premier League (APL), is a competition created and run by Bowls Australia (BA) that is now in its eighth year and eleventh instalment.

The event is a modified version of traditional bowls, with lightning-fast matches and entertaining fanfare delivered by the eight franchises from around Australia making for a ’20/20′ type format of the sport.

Made for television, the BPL is staged biannually, at Queensland’s Club Pine Rivers in November and New South Wales/Victoria border club Moama in February.

When and where is #BPL11?

#BPL11 will be held from Tuesday, February 25 to Friday, February 28 at Moama Bowling Club on the border of New South Wales and Victoria.

Entry for spectators is FREE!

Matches during the day will get underway from approximately 11am AEDT, while the night sessions begin from 5:00 pm AEDT.

How can I watch it? 

Selected matches during the day will be streamed live via Facebook by Bowls Australia. Schedules will be released prior to each day’s play.

Matches from the night sessions will be broadcast LIVE on Fox Sports, Kayo Sports & Sky Sport NZ, as well as being made for available to watch on Facebook for international audiences (excl. NZ).

Those in Australia without a pay-TV subscription can redeem a FREE 14-day trial for Kayo Sports.

What is the event format and are there special rules?

Each of the eight BPL teams will play each other twice over 14 rounds during the competition. At the end of the 14 qualifying rounds, the top four teams will play off in Friday night’s finals series.

The top four teams are decided by points. If teams are equal on points they will be split on net total shots (shots for minus shots against).

Each match consists of two five-end sets, with a one-end tie-break played if required. The game format pairs, with three bowls for each player per end. BPL matches take just over one hour from start to finish and deciding the winner is simple. The team with that wins both sets or one set and then the tie-break is the winner.

Instead of spending time rolling the jack, as per normal competitions, BPL players place the mat and advise the marker the length of the jack they would like to play to.

To keep games progressing, players will have 30 seconds to deliver their bowl from the time the jack is placed at the start of an end, or once their opposition bowl has come to a rest, ensuring the next suspenseful result is only moments away.

BPL teams will also be able to nominate one Power Play end per set, enabling teams to earn double the shots scored in that end.

Some days players just aren’t on top of their game, maybe its only for a few ends, maybe its for a whole match, in order to get the best players the sport has to offer out on the green, a team coach can replace a player with a substitute during the game, but only immediately preceding the delivery of a bowl by their team player.

If a tie-break is required to decide the winner, all players on both teams will take to the green, with the format changing to two-bowl-triples for that end.

Who are the teams involved? 

Adelaide Pioneers: Wayne Ruediger, Scott Thulborn, Bec Van Asch (Coach – Les Carter)
Brisbane Pirates: Alex Marshall, Michael Breen, Kelsey Cottrell (Dave Edwards)
Melbourne Pulse: Gary Kelly, Barrie Lester, Natasha Scott (Rob Wilson)
Melbourne Roys: Aaron Wilson, Matt Flapper, Carla Krizanic (Ian Ewing)
Murray Steamers: Ryan Bester, Michael Walker*, Jo Edwards* (David Ferguson*)
Perth Suns: Lee Schraner, Cody Packer, Kristina Krstic (Ross Dempsey*)
Sydney Lions: Aron Sherriff, Ben Twist, Karen Murphy (Steve Glasson)
Tweed Heads Ospreys: Aaron Teys, Kurt Brown, Chloe Stewart (Wayne Turley)

Is there prize money?

The BPL competition carries a huge $100,000 prize-pool, with the winning franchise handed a $25,000 cheque.

Honour Roll

APL01 – Brisbane Gold

APL02 – Murray Steamers

APL03 – New Zealand Blackjacks

BPL04 – Sydney Lions

BPL05 – Sydney Lions

BPL06 – Sydney Lions

BPL07 – Gold Coast Hawks

BPL08 – Brisbane Pirates

BPL09 – Illawarra Gorillas

BPL10 – Tweed Heads Ospreys