National Champion of Champions Introduced

Venues and dates have now been confirmed for the inaugural Bowls New Zealand National Champion of Champions events, with disciplines including men’s and women’s singles, pairs and fours to take place in July this year.

The new addition to the calendar has followed a significant consultation process with bowlers, clubs and centres, with the resounding indication there was still a keen interest in re-establishing a pathway for club bowlers to achieve a New Zealand title.

The Champion of Champions competition, which will all be hosted on indoor surfaces, will replace the previous National Club Championship format and will see the winners of provincial based Champion of Champion events progress to the national finals – representing their centre and given the opportunity to claim national honours.

Bowls New Zealand chief executive Mark Cameron said the new event would first be trialled using the singles, pairs and fours, but if successful, could see further formats added such as the mixed pairs and triples.

“The introduction of this event shows we are listening and we’ve reviewed all the feedback since parking the National Club Championships. It was clear to us there was still a strong appetite to have a pathway event to a national title and as a result, we’re delighted to be taking these major competitions around the country,” Cameron said.

“We’re looking forward to seeing the number of entries for this event and how it goes this time around, but like anything, we’ll be reviewing the format and if changes need to be made, this will be discussed.”

The Men’s and Women’s Singles, which will be held at the Naenae Bowling Club from July 5-7, will see players compete in a 21-shots up format, or a time limit of 2¾ hours.

The Men’s and Women’s Pairs will be held at the Dunedin Lawn Bowls Stadium from July 12 to 14 and will follow an 18-end format, or 2¾ hours.

Meanwhile, the Men’s Fours will see play hosted at the Bowls Hastings complex in Hawkes Bay from July 26-28, while the Women’s Fours will be contested a week earlier at the Frankton Railway Bowling Club from July 19 to 21. Both the men’s and women’s event will see games played under a 15-end format, or once again, a time limit of 2¾ hours.

All winners of the National Champion of Champions disciplines will receive a national title, which will go towards the Silver Star accolade, established in 1996 to acknowledge bowlers with five pathway-based titles encompassing the National Club Championships, National Division One Interclub, National Intercentre, National Mixed Pairs and the now defunct Super 8 and Superbowls competitions.

Centres must notify Bowls New Zealand of their entry in any of the above events by May 1, 2019.

-Sam Morton