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