Lately we've seen more and more Facebook groups and pages emerge relating to Bowls... not just locally and nationally, but worldwide as well. With the World Championships going on in Adelaide there is no better to time to give a few Shout Outs about our great game! Let's get some tweets out folks...
I think Tim over at the Bowls Brigade has been throwing some out but I say the more the merrier and have been giving some shout outs daily to three of my "targets"... namely... @darenmillard @SportnetSpec and @DarrenDreger... Daren Millard especially has has his interest tweaked and has been quoted as saying, "I love this game!"
Sooo... let's throw some tweets out to these lads or find another set who you think might pick up on our great game...
yesterday I was playing a miserable round of golf on my home course... ended up shooting 45 on the front nine which is 9 over par for that nine... I then ran off 8 pars and a birdie on the back nine to shoot 32... first time I've gone one under all year on either of the nines... total score of 77 which is about average for me this year on that course...
it wasn't so much the 32 that got me excited cuz I never sank a first putt and there were at least 6 golden opportunities for birdies under 10'... it was the differential between the 45 and the 32 --- 13 shots for those a little slower at math this morning :) that got me going!... at the end of 9 holes i set myself a goal of trying to break 80 which would meant a 34 and still a noble thought considering how I was playing... I put away my driver and played the rest of the tee shots with my 3 wood... I chose locations for the landing of my shots instead of just flailing away... and I focussed on where my putts would be rolling (not entirely successful except there were no three putts!)
I have offered several solutions to both OLB and BCB in the past, both verbally and in writing. I keep on hearing the “oh, that’s nice but we could never do that because so and so wouldn’t want that” comments. The problem with that is that when I speak with those same so and so’s they see a lot of merit in the solutions. So what is the problem here… our unwillingness to change… our inability to be proactive? I think so! I have to admit that looking back some of the ideas I have proposed for discussion may or may not have been workable without a lot of due diligence, but considering where we are now they certainly would have been a better solution than the mire in which we have been stuck.
There has been much discussion surrounding Provincial Playdowns over the years. A plethora of patchwork solutions get offered each year, and these days most of it seems to be spread through social media, the great water cooler of the internet. Most of the comments we see posted in social media, and that I hear from bowlers are centred around complaints of what is wrong with the system. Too many times there is no solution offered. Even where a solution is offered, most of them are simply reworks of a dreadfully broken existing system of play. On one thing though everyone I speak with can agree. The system is broken. So how do we fix it?
I haven't played much in the Ontario Championships since the early 90's. there are a few reasons but I think the biggest one was the total time commitment it took in our already short season. For me, this meant altogether too much time away from my young family. I know others feel the same way, or at least must be! This year I entered the District singles and was dismayed to see only 4 entries. I remember when we had over 20 entries in our district alone! Where have they all gone? Is it because every district seems to have their own way of running the event? Is it because of the poor quality of the greens in most places? It can't all be because of the cost of gas!
I think it's time to rework the way we run the championships... and I invite you to read further to see what I would suggest is a framework for moving forward.
First of all let me express my sincere appreciation and congratulations to all the volunteers out there who put in countless hours to help their club or sport. You know that without you your club would never survive. And I know you must be checking your forehead for fever at times when you wonder if your efforts are worth it. Trust me, they are. I can only relate the incredivle experience this past two years at our own Curling Club where we essentially rose, homeless, out of the ashes to not only survive, but to almost double our membership to 380 members in just over a year! It could not have been done without the over 4000 volunteer hours put in by our club volunteers.
But not everyone helps... or knows where to go to offer their help.