I would like to wish you all a wonderful holiday season and the very best for the coming new year of 2018.
I would like to congratulate all those newly appointed officers of the clubs and divisions who are taking on new roles for the first time or renewing their current ones. I would like to thank those who have passed on the baton for all their help in past years.
To all those who take on those extra jobs such as Councilors, Executive Committee, and the folks who just do the extra work on various committees; to all those who year after year go the extra yard and sometimes miles to keep our organization in a state of constant progress – THANK YOU!
For me, the year has been one of finding my way and inevitably making some mistakes. Those mistakes only lead me to try for more ways to spread the word about our game in as many and new ways as I/we can. I ask all for your support and any constructive criticism on the innovations we will be trying.
Many have asked if there is a “selection” process in place at the moment. The simple answer is no.
The Welsh invitational was not on our calendar and is not likely to be in the future. The organizers were trying to get countries who will be competing in the World Bowls qualifier, the Atlantic Championships in 2019. The USA has only the one qualifying event, the Asia Pacific Championships, also in 2019.
Players with some experience in overseas competition were invited to submit teams for the Welsh event and were informed that a draw would take place to determine the teams. Two men’s teams and two women’s teams were submitted, and a witnessed draw took place. The same process was used for the men’s and women’s teams going to Tiger Bowls/China Open.
For the 2018 World Cup Indoor Singles competition in Australia, the current National Championship Singles winners were the first invited to play in the event. Upon a player declining the invitation, the next consideration went to the National Pairs winners and stopped when the lead accepted the invitation.
The selection process is undergoing full revision and is in the hands right now of a committee of three men and three women who will submit their findings and recommendations to the Executive Committee and Councilors. The committee’s submissions will be reviewed in the New Year.
Congratulations to all those who will be playing on teams in Wales and Hong Kong/China and to the individuals playing in Australia in 2018.
We are pleased to announce that Sun City Center Florida will be our hosts for the 2018 National Championships. The dates are right after Thanksgiving – November 24-30. This is late for the annual event, but we hope that this is the end of the hurricane season and cooler temperatures will prevail.
The venue was originally promised to Sarasota LBC and we apologize to their members and officers over any disappointment they have expressed. After the very upsetting conditions suffered during the US Open this year, we cannot trust the city or county to come through on their promises to help bring the greens back to acceptable playing conditions. Many of you have sent your letters of protests directed toward the city and county personnel who might have some influence in saving the greens at Sarasota which are obviously under threat. Please, if you haven’t already done so, add your voices of outrage.
In 2018, Bowls USA will be hosting our Canadian cousins for the North American Challenge on the new/new greens at Laguna Woods LBC in Southern California. Paul Allingham and True Draw will begin construction in early January. The dates of the NAC are October 9-10 (practice) and October 11-13 (games). This will be a selected event with two five-person teams of both men and women.
Lastly, don’t forget to make a New Year resolution: BRING A FRIEND; MENTOR A FRIEND.
President, Bowls USA
A little while ago I sent out a plea begging, some would say even groveling, for all of you to take a really hard look at the cost of our sport. I received some replies, a few replies, well actually ONE.
As a new member of Bowls USA and lawn bowling in general, I can appreciate the dilemma of those on a fixed income. I am also on a fixed income. As a gesture of solidarity for those with limited discretionary income, I would gladly sponsor a couple of members for the additional $20 if that would keep them in lawn bowling. Perhaps other members of Bowls USA would also be willing to make this same offer. We are all members of an exclusive family, and I think it is important to support all of our members when necessary. I also believe that Bowls USA makes a valuable contribution to the sport and to all of our clubs.
Andrew R. DiConti, Novice
Oxnard-Joslyn Lawn Bowl Club
I have never met Andrew but already he is my best friend and advocate for the future of our game.
I will add to my mantra of "Bring a friend – mentor a friend" with "Sponsor a nonmember to join Bowls USA" so he or she at least gets a taste of what we have to offer.
WHEN SURVIVING IS NOT ENOUGH
The recent newsletter was full of good news from all over the country. For those of you who don't know, we have retained our numbers for the second year running and maybe even gained a few.
Whether it's barefoot in Hawaii or potlickin’ in Milwaukee (what is that?), the main issue with most of our clubs is still in the numbers. If the Chadstone Bowls Club ladies in Melbourne, Australia, are having a hard fight to save their club with 600 members, Alhambra Bowls Club in California being thwarted in their efforts for a new green and lied to by the City Council, what chance have our small clubs with 50 or less bowlers?
Many clubs, especially in California have highly successful open houses, gaining sometimes one hundred plus members. Then the decline begins, and the following year they are back to square one. Retention of those new members is the key. You sign a member up, and they are your responsibility to keep in contact with them to nurture and mentor during the season.
I will offer to the council a further incentive to you the members, free membership in Bowls USA for one year if you bring in a new member and get them to renew the second year. DEAL OR NO DEAL?
In concerted efforts to promote our game, Bowls USA would like to recommend Jake Hanna of Imagen as a source for purchase of club and division banners. For information on sizes, pricing and ordering, please visit http://catalog.imagenagency.com/viewpres/57302097795.
After launching and publishing the very successful Bowls USA Newsletter, our Editor-in-Chief has decided to step down. Thank you, Cheri, for all your arduous work and inspiration to others. We are pleased to announce that the newsletter will continue under the direction of Georgie Deno of the Southwest Division. Please support her in any way you can with submissions and photos through your Division editors.
One last note: after an extended period of faithful and totally awesome work as National Secretary and 1st Vice President, Janice Bell is giving up the wonderful opportunity to be President of Bowls USA. Her other very successful life commitments must now take precedent. Needless to say, she might still roll a bowl or two. Thank you, Janice.
A Nominating Committee has been charged to assemble a slate for these positions: 1stVice President (open seat), National Secretary (incumbent, Dee McSparran), Treasurer (incumbent, Alice Birkinshaw), and International Delegates (incumbent, Dee McSparran; incumbent, Neil Furman). If you are, or you know anyone who might be, interested in any of these positions, please contact Tony Head, Chairman of the Nominating Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Richard Broad, President
In sharing with you the following appeal from Glorianne Mather, I would like to make two points.
We are only talking about $20, the difference between supporting your sport through Bowls USA and at today's rates, less than 5 cups of coffee for the entire year. I shake my head when I hear the excuses, and while I understand fixed incomes and the growing cost of living, I would wish to appeal in another way.
Think of Bowls as your favorite charity – we are a non-profit after all. The more we receive, the more we can give back by way of the Grant Program – helping clubs to survive and flourish; the Club Incentive Program – rewarding those clubs who have increased their membership; and the Coaching Program – sending Coaches across the country to improve your game and to certify your own Club Coaches.
"DONATE TODAY – IT WON’T GO ASTRAY"
If you wish to donate in another way and receive a tax deduction, please consider the Memorial Fund. (www.bowlsusa.us/memorial-fund)
Thanks to Glorianne for her simple and straight-forward approach.
Greetings Everyone in Central Division.
I hope you are enjoying a great summer of lawn bowling. It seems as though we have had our fair share of rain in Milwaukee, but we all seem to be able to get some games and competitions in. In fact, our greens this year are better than ever!!!
One thing I wanted to mention to all of you is your participation in Bowls USA as a 100% Club. What does this mean and how does this happen?
To become a 100% Club, you need to pay your regular Central dues which is $10 plus $20 for Bowls USA membership – a total of $30 for each club member. This is payable to Central Division.
As a 100% Club, you are supporting our sport on every level (like the USGA or USTA). You will receive gift incentives like caps or towels as well as rule books for everyone. You can also participate in our club coaching program.
But most importantly, you can apply for grant money to help with the upkeep and maintenance of your club. Bowls USA Grant Program just gave $7,500 to eighteen 100% Clubs across the country to help with membership, recruitment and overall upkeep of your lawn bowling greens.
Please think about this suggestion and discuss it with your club members to see if this may be a good fit for your club. Also, if you have any questions about this suggestion or the activities at the national level, please email me with your thoughts.
Being a 100% club will be good for everyone!!!
Central Councilor, Bowls USA
Thank you, Southwest Division for all your efforts that are under way.
(Southwest Division News)
Be Sure to Tune In ...
Scott and Linda Roberts of Southwest Division will be appearing live on the “Born to Talk! w’ Marsha Wietecha" internet radio show
on Monday, August 7th from 1-2 PM PDT discussing lawn bowling.
Link to the show is here: LATalkLive.com
Thank you to all the club and division members who are working hard to keep our sport alive.
Richard Broad President, Bowls USA
At this time all the divisions are in full swing and hopefully enjoying the weather that even the NW has cause to shout about. Most of you have completed your Playdowns and all on the Executive Board wish you good luck at the National Championships.
The US Open is once again being held in Sarasota and Sun City Center, Florida. If it is anything like last year I know it will be a success, but I know already that Daniel Jittu and his team have surpassed themselves – they now have an official sponsorship from . . .
That name will even appear on the official US Open shirts that all participants will receive. If you are planning on entering, DO IT NOW! Spaces are filling up, and you don't want to miss out on a great event in a great location.
Questions have been asked regarding the club/training Bowls being sold by Taylor Bowls. This is a promotional deal to aid clubs with limited house bowls for new and beginning bowlers. Some of the bowls were marked “for training only” to indicate that they are not for sale. To keep costs down Taylor will no longer put this on the bowls so they can offer the sets at around $200. PLEASE DO NOT RESELL THEM – this is not the purpose of Taylor or Bowls USA. For more information, visit the Taylor Bowls website or contact Daniel Jittu.
Please note the deadline for Hall of Fame nomination submittals is September 10. Robb Pawlak is the new man in charge, and we thank him for taking this on along with all his other tasks, not the least of which is his role as our Graphic Designer Extraordinaire. If you want clarification of the guidelines, please contact Robb. Thanks to Charlie Herbert who is assisting in firming up those guidelines.
A big thank you also to Kottia Spangler who has taken on the role of the National Championships Chairperson. Once again, someone who does so much for our game is willing to take on yet another position.
Something I read last year in Florida, a note to us all . . .
“DON’T POINT A FINGER – LEND A HAND”
Here is a video of our president Richard Broad discussing the wonderful game of bowls at his home club in Jefferson Park, Seattle.
View more videos on Lawn bowls on our videos page in the menu or by clicking here!
NO WAY, WELCOME SNOW BIRDS, however much I may kid our friends to the North we should all welcome them and their knowledge and expertise on and off the bowling green. Their keenness for competition and their willingness to get involved.
The bowling communities in Florida and the Sun Cities Arizona, whether they
realize it or not, rely fairly heavily on our Canadian cousins to swell our
numbers for social bowling days and major tournaments which they also help to run, plus they are dues paying members of Bowls USA.
Now for the bad news, sorry. The numbers of Canadian visitors and bowlers
from other countries during the Winter months is actually on the decline.
The exchange rates are of course a major reason, causing part timers who
have purchased homes and condominiums in various parts of the country
to sell out and visit to a lesser extent, if at all.
We love ❤️ you Canada please try to stay around.
On another note.
With one, of the only two four green complexes in the country, Johnson
LBC in Sun City West, would be a major part of any US Open or international
tournament held in Arizona. The club, as of this writing, has around 100
members using those four greens. Did I also mention the growing popularity
of pickle ball and the possibility it could take over some of those greens?
Bowls USA will do all that it can to promote and grow again our threatened sport. Working with the retirement communities in particular, we will offer
ideas to bring the awareness of our sport to the large populations that
exist within these areas and try to save a green or two.
Meanwhile helping in the best way you can,
BRING A FRIEND TO BOWLS
(Even if you have to drag them)
President, Bowls USA
To fellow bowlers everywhere,
A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR.
I would like to thank all those volunteers past and present who continue spreading the word and advancing our sport.
As you know bowls in America receives no funding from any outside sources. Every form of growth, whether it is a coaching program or any type of member and club incentives, relies upon the volunteers to run and administer those programs. We would not have tournaments or social events without the tireless efforts of the green staff, the kitchen staff, the markers and tournament directors. Above all remember the "flippers."
We currently have the good fortune to receive sponsorship for our major tournaments and Team USA events. Thank you to all. I encourage everyone to support them and visit their sites for all the products they have to offer.
For the past four years under the leadership of President Heather Stewart we have seen members benefit as never before.
So many ideas have been put forward and tried over the years but none have succeeded better than the hand across the fence bringing in onlookers or bringIng a friend or neighbor to try the game. The problem then seems to be getting them to join, keeping them and getting them back next year and the year after.
To keep them involved we have to create events that will keep their interest and encourage their skills. It is up to everyone of us to grow the sport and encourage all bowlers to be a part of their National Organizations.
Not only in this country but around the world clubs are being threatened and in some case being lost. Yes there is good news too of some clubs saved and new greens being built. But overall the pressure is very real and quite sad. To see clubs that have a 75 to 100 year old history wiped out in the name of greed and misguided priorities.
In the US with so many seasonal variations some clubs are, or would appear, dormant in the Winter months. Fill up your clubs with activities, buy a short jack carpet, hone your skills at darts 🎯 or 🏓 table tennis. If we don't use our facilities someone else will.
Lastly enjoy your time on and off the green and flourish in 2017.
Richard Broad, President of Bowls USA