March 25, 2011

Youth Movement at MLS

Congratulations to the MLS Sportsplex and Andy Caldwell of the Peterborough LBC for organizing an incredibly successful day of lawnbowls for a crew of 34 high school students from the Peterborough area.  With decreasing membership across the country,  and Peterborough’s beautiful new clubhouse getting closer and closer to completion,  the MLS Sportsplex served as a perfect venue to introduce the large group to the game. I was on hand to tell the group about my bowls story,   how I got into the game,  making the National Team,  playing internationally and my plans for the future in the game.  The bus showed up at 10:30 am and after a quick introduction to the game the gang got right down to business.  Split up into teams of 6 each student took turns discovering the game while their peers looked on with curiousity.  It was great to hear the encouragement from those waiting for their turn,  and all the kids had a good laugh at the occasional wrong bias or pineapple.  The shift from goofing around at a weird new game to intense competition was amazing when Dan Milligan announced that Pizza was on the way,  and the team who managed the most bowls within a set distance would get to line up first for their lunch.  3 ends later the team that got to eat first had racked up an impressive 28/36 bowls within 3m of the jack.    After lunch it was awesome to see a group of 12 of the students rush back onto the greens to get some practice in before the next game Dan had in store. 

Having a roll-up with the Peterborough youth

  The group was incredibly enthusiastic and many of them picked it up quite quickly.  During my talk with the group I was amazed at the level of respect the group had.  I remember being in school and how there were always those few kids in the class who were never paying attention and would test even the most experienced speaker.  This group seemed genuinely interested with what we had to say and I hope that we tweaked their interest enough to give the game a chance in the coming season.  It’s the hopes of MLS, Peterborough LBC and hopefully every bowler out there,  that this day at MLS was exciting for the kids and will be enough to prompt other clubs to arrange similar outings with the co-operation of schools in their area.  It is my understanding, that with help from Mario Battista that the kids will again be exposed to the game at their school playing short-mat and hopefully short mat will become a part of their phys-ed program. 

Thanks to all those involved in making yesterday a great day and for those interested,  photos of the day can be found at http://bit.ly/eKNTq4 and for more info on Mario Battista’s efforts with youth programs click http://bit.ly/fyZEgC  Questions and Comments are incouraged!

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March 24, 2011

Jack Length

Below is a copy of an e-mail received from BCB concerning Jack Length Rule 23.5.1. We think this is excellent news for Bowls in Canada. It keeps us in line with international play and allows for a greater variance in potential playing surface. We’d love hear your comments on this;

Email:

“Bowlers

Subject: Jack Length

Rule 23.5.1 of the new Laws of the Sport of Bowls, Crystal Mark 2nd Edition, 2011 gives National Authorities the discretion to change the minimum jack length from 23 m to 21 m.

After careful consideration, Bowls Canada Boulingrin, the National Authority for Canada, has decided to change the minimum jack length from 23 m to 21 m for all play in Canada.  This decision leads to a number of other changes to distances set out in the Laws, as further detailed in rules 23.5.1 to 23.5.3, and will necessitate changes to the positioning of “hog line markers” at clubs across the country.

For safety reasons in particular, an exemption will apply for the Pacific Indoor Bowls Club and the Qualicum Indoor venue, which may continue to use a minimum jack length of 23 m.

Bowls Canada Boulingrin

March 2011″

March 21, 2011

Feathers Ruffled @ Bowls In Canada

Feathers have been ruffled! At the High Performance Training/ Selection Camp in Arizona this past January,  new Team Canada coach Lachlan Tighe borrowed the title of Keith F. Bell’s book “If You Want to Soar With the Eagles,  Don’t Fly With the Turkey’s” when asked about playing in Jitney and Club level tournaments.  This quote made it’s way to a facebook group called “Bowls in Canada” and has many of it’s members up in arms at the coach’s statement.  Many feel betrayed and insulted being called a “turkey” and enraged that the new Aussie coach might be implying that the High Performance Athletes can do nothing but lose if they associate with anyone but their own.  At the risk of sounding like a kiss-ass I feel I should try to clear things up a bit… The direct quote from coach at camp was “If you want to soar with the eagles (the cream of the crop on the world stage) don’t fly with the turkey’s (everyone else).” This is the title of a Keith F. Bell novel illustrating 76 rules for outperforming the competition. It’s my opinion that coach intended no insult to those who are not of an elite caliber, but merely tried to stress the importance of purposeful practice for High Performance athletes over playing games. That was the major focus of this years camp which saw athletes perform 4 straight days of drills, and maybe 12 ends of “game type scenarios.” Of course it is our duty as ambassadors of the National Team to encourage all bowlers to become the best they can be, but in order to *WIN* Team Canada must perform at an optimal level. In order to stay at that optimal level, a decision has to be made to choose training over playing games. There’s no question I love playing games just as much as the next guy, but this year with Adelaide in my sights, I will be spending a lot less time with the “turkeys” and a lot more time training to be  the best I can and bring home Gold in December.

March 20, 2011

The Boys Are Back

Team Canada at 2011 Tiger Bowls

The 2011 Tiger Bowls tour has come to a close and the Boys are back in town.  Above Greg, Jake, Darryl and Dylan pose at the HKFC indoor surface before commencing play in the Cup Section qualifier day 2 of Tiger Bowls.  After a slow start in their first game day 1,  the boys came into their own and won their next 4 games acquiring a total 25 of a possible 40 skins for the round.  That performance earned them 19th position and a spot in the Cup Qulaifier heading into the 2nd day.  After 3 games on day 2  Team Canada was seriously in the hunt for a birth in the semi-finals having scored 18 of a possible 24 skins off the likes of Australia-B and the top seed in the group VLBC-B.  Unfortunately the team fell short in the last 2 games of the qualifier missing out on the semi finals.  Congratulations to the events organizer Jacky Wong who won this years Tiger Bowls with his China-A team.

The China Tour portion of this years Tiger Bowls tour took place once again at Bijashan Park in prosperous Shenzhen China.  Despite less than optimal green speeds of 7 and 9 seconds from the A green to B green,  team Canada came out of the gates guns blazing with a dominating 21-4 performance over another Aussie squad.  The team went 2 and 1 on the day and on Day 2 came up against an impressive American squad and despite being down 5 with 2 to play Canada would not quit scoring 1 in the 11th and played their best end of the game in the 12th and final end.  Up 4 shots with 4 bowls to come,  Greg drew his first to make it 5.  The American skip missed narrow on a drive attempt and the green held his bowl up and past a seemingly easy target on his last bowl dropping a 5 to the Canadians for the win by 1 point.  In the 7th and last game of the round robin,  the boys came up against #2 in the world Safuan Said and with a record of 4 wins and 2 losses knew they needed a win for a chance at top 2 in the group and a birth in the quarter finals.  This game was by far the best the team played all week bowling over 50% as a team and a notable 63% by lead Darryl Fitzgerald.   Despite an excellent effort the team could only muster a tie against the very strong Malaysians who ended up losing to the Champion South African team in the semi-finals.  Well done to South Africa and runners up Netherlands who put on a very entertaining Final!

March 7, 2011

Winners

Why Bowl?  What is it that you want out of each and every game?  The first image that comes to my mind is our team atop the podium, our team hoisting the trophy above our heads and our team with a gold medal clasped between our teeth.  Winning is what we all strive for whether we’re competing at an international level or playing in a weekday jitney.  The following is a list provided by Lachlan Tighe,  which illustrates everything it takes to be a winner.  How to plan like a winner, think like a winner, act like a winner, and train to be a winner.        

Plan to Win
 
•Have a game plan strategy
•Using your skills to their optimum
•Use your team / player skills to their optimum
•Expect to win, WHY?
•With knowledge we worked hard at the skills
•Weaknesses have been identified and minimised
•Knowledge of team members skill
•Alert to what doesn’t work out here today
•Fundamental of resorting to basics- pre delivery, rhythm
•Flexible in application of game plan/ strategy
 
Think to Win-  positive choices you have
 
•Plan and prepare for the game
•Know yourself – emotionally, tactically, mentally, physically
•Control the game by constant, alert observation of game pattern
•Know and rely on your skill
•Record and apply your contribution during the game
•Revel in the contest, compete till the very end
•Apply your game plan strategy
•Be adventurous but wary of high capacity risk
 
Act to Win-  Game Plan Strategy
 
•Rehearse your game plan strategy pre game
•Feel and see your ‘perfect’ technique in your mind
•Observe the opposition behaviour and respond accordingly
•Observe todays playing conditions and play them accordingly
•Know and stay with your winning length
•Know and stay with your winning  hand
•Let the number of effective bowls be your scoreboard
•Game plan- be flexible don’t wait until it’s too late!
•Set mini goals when you are struggling, or even losing with no chance of winning
 
Review for Future Wins- Training Skills
 
•Review the outcome to objective of the recent game
•Audit a selection of your technical skills at each training session
•Reinforce skill by striving to reach a new ‘pb’ (personal best)
•Reinforce the preferred game strategy at the training session
•Train to learn/ apply other game plan strategies so as to know how to modify or change your strategy in a game
•Look at all heads and apply backhand & forehand strategies
•Use part of a training session to have a different approach to your normal method of tactical play
•Raise your intensity level at training
•Knowing what you want helps drive you to train
•Look at this word …FUNdamental… and apply both elements
 
WINNERS  are challenged. Winners are never satisfied.  Winners know that inspiration never replaces perspiration, and that attitude is all about practising habits.  Winners know that in order to soar with eagles, don’t mix with turkeys. 
GregorBowls is still looking for contributors to talk about anything LAWNBOWLS! Please contact us and get in your submissions!”
March 3, 2011

Team Canada – TigerBowls 2011 Video

Team Canada heads to Hong Kong next week for the 2011 Tiger Bowls Invitational. Here is a preview of the team training at the sports complex in Scarborough. Check back here at Gregorbowls for updates as they happen from the tournament. Good luck team!

March 1, 2011

Tiger Bowls Team

Team Canada – Tiger Bowls / China Open 2011

“The Boys” from Left to Right, Greg Wilson(skip), Dylan Jacobs(Vice skip), Jake Schuknecht(Second) and Darryl Fitzgerald(Lead) were at the MLS Sportsplex  in Scarborough, Ontario today taking in one last training session as a team before departing for Hong Kong on March 9th.  The boys have been selected by the High Performance Committee to represent Canada at this years Tiger Bowls and China Open, running from March 12th – 17th.  It was great to watch them taking part in some purposeful practice today, focusing most of their time on drills they had picked up from coach Lachlan Tighe at January’s selection camp in Arizona.  The extent to which these guys enjoy the game was written all over their faces and was noticed not only by the regular crowd playing on the other green,  but also by a group of high school soccer players who were passing by the greens on their way to the attached soccer dome.  One boy was overheard saying, “Don’t bother,  it’s an old man sport!”  in reply to a question of what the game was all about.  His tune changed quickly when another boy mentioned the Team Canada  uniforms which immediately peaked the curiousity of all 12 teens.  Taking up a front row seat next to the green on which Wilson and his team were training, the teens began to volley question after question about the ins and outs of bowls.  With each response the original notion of ‘Old man sport’ was gradually dispelled  and when Wilson explained that the team was on its way to Hong Kong to compete,  the boys attitude suddenly changed from curious, to amazed and the boys came back and watched another half hour of drills after their soccer practice (imagine that,  teens getting enjoyment from watching bowls practice).  With any luck MLS will be welcoming some new junior members before too long.

With an  average age of 24.5  this 4’s team isn’t too far removed from high school itself, and good on BCB for helping to develope these young athletes by giving the the opportunity to compete at a higher level.  In the past this event has been self funded, but for the first time BCB has deemed it a developement opportunity and thus cut a cheque to each player to help pay for some of the costs.

The Boys wish to thank Bowls Canada for the opportunity,  Mario Battista of Dales Canada for a great day at MLS  and to Dan Milligan of MVP Sports who has provided Team Canada’s international roster with the new Taylor Ace Canadianas which the guys are holding in the picture above.

All information on Tiger Bowls and the China Open 2011 can be found under the “Events” section in the Categories pull-down menu.

February 28, 2011

GregorBowls League News

In an effort to create unity in Bowls across Canada, GregorBowls is developing its very own Online Scoring League.  Our aim is to include bowlers of all ages to compete for bragging rights in this fun online league. We are currently working on the format for the online database. Users will simply log-in and submit their scores via this website and instantly update their ranks.

Check out the GregorBowls League tab at the top of this page.

Lets get ready for a great 2011 Season!

GregorBowls Team

February 25, 2011

Press Release – February 25th, 2011

Gregor Bowls Theme Song – Official (Barbra Streisand Remix)

Press Release – February 25, 2011 –

Dear Bowls Enthusiasts,

The GregorBowls team is currently creating and designing tons of great new content.

Our plan is to provide information for all Canadian bowlers and showcase the top Canadian Bowlers from both international competition and local club matches. Our goal is to showcase this great game across Canada and the world.

For any information, or to become part of the GregorBowls team, contact gregorbowls@gmail.com

Keep in toucher,

GregorBowls Team
Send us your ideas!

February 25, 2011

China Open 2011 – Schedule and Rules of Play

Tiger Bowls World Invitation China Tour organized by Chinese Multi Bowls Association takes place in Shenzhen, China from the 14th to 17th of March, 2011. This tournament is approved by World Bowls Limited.

All details of the event are linked below; details include Rules, Groupings, and Schedule.

TigerBowls 2011- China – Conditions Of Play

Tiger Bowls 2011- China – Teams

Good luck Canada, and GregorBowls very own Greg Wilson!