New World Bowls Challenge event headed to Moama

by Aidan Davis

The creation of a new marquee international bowls event will see the BCiB Australian Jackaroos face a composite team made up of the world’s premier players, to be staged at Moama Bowling Club in November, 2019.

The World Bowls Challenge, announced jointly today by World Bowls and Bowls Australia, will feature Australia v Rest of the World in an exciting ten-a-side format played across November 29 and 30, on the covered surfaces of the state-of-the-art Moama Bowling Club, fresh off multi-million-dollar renovations.

World Bowls CEO Gary Smith said the establishment of the World Bowls Challenge would help raise the profile of the sport and its premier players.

“World Bowls is delighted to be able to deliver this exciting and attractive new international event to further enhance the showcasing of our sport and its leading exponents,” Smith said.

“Moama Bowling Club was the inaugural venue for our ever-popular World Singles Champion of Champions, so the enthusiastic and generous support exhibited by this globally renowned club and Bowls Australia for the first hosting of this event is warmly welcomed and greatly appreciated.”

Bowls Australia CEO Neil Dalrymple said Moama Bowling Club would impress international audiences, and the event would provide new opportunities to promote the sport globally.

“It’s fantastic that Moama Bowling Club, which has undoubtedly become one of the sport’s premier facilities, will be showcased through this exciting new format of competition,” Dalrymple said.

“The World Bowls Challenge will see the sport’s best players on Australian soil and provide a new opportunity to market bowls to local and global markets.”

Moama Bowling Club CEO Paul Barnes said the announcement was a coup for his club and the Echuca Moama region.

“Moama Bowling Club has a proud history as a host of international events and it is exciting to see this level of competition return to our region,” Barnes said.

“Our club holds a progressive outlook towards the sport of bowls and we are eager to be an integral part of this exciting new event.

“We look forward to welcoming the world’s very best players to experience not only the majestic Murray River and the Echuca Moama region, but also the club’s new bowls facility, The Greens, which will welcome guests to a spacious and comfortable state-of-the-art venue.”

The inaugural competition will feature two teams of ten players, five of each gender, to be selected over the coming months by both team’s respective Coach and Captain.

World Bowls President John Bell will assume the duties of Coach of the Rest of the World, while the architect behind the Jackaroos’ success in recent years, National Coach Steve Glasson OAM, will take the reins of the Australian team.

Australia is unquestionably the most in-form nation on the global stage, having secured four gold, two silver and one bronze medal from eight disciplines at the most recent World Bowls Championships in 2016, in addition to five gold and two silvers from 10 disciplines at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

It is envisaged that the event will be staged every two years with each subsequent new host nation then forming the side to contest the might of the rest of the world.

Unsurprisingly, the competition format will deviate from tradition, with sets-play matches and sessions staged across two days, in order to bolster its appeal to audiences.

The event will begin with mixed triples, followed by men’s pairs, women’s pairs, then mixed pairs, and conclude with ten singles matches (five men’s singles matches and five women’s singles matches) staged across staggered starts.

The announcement of the inaugural World Bowls Challenge at Moama Bowling Club continues Australia’s trend of procuring the sport’s eminent International events.

Over the next two years, Adelaide Bowling Club will host the 2019 and 2020 World Singles Champion of Champions, Warilla Bowls and Recreation Club will stage the 2019 World Cup, and Broadbeach Bowls Club, Club Helensvale and Musgrave Hill Bowls Club will jointly host the 2019 Asia Pacific Championships and 2020 World Bowls Championships.

Further announcements regarding the World Bowls Challenge team compositions, Coach and Captain selections, scheduling and viewing details will be made over the coming months.