A VOTE to merge all of the region’s lawn bowls associations has passed unanimously at a meeting in Narrabri on Saturday.
The five associations which made up Bowls NSW Zone 3 will now come under one banner with one committee.
New zone president Ian Bannister said all club bowlers would benefit from the move.
“All up there are almost 30 clubs which used to make up the entire zone, stretching from Armidale to Lightning Ridge,” Bannister said.
“Of those clubs, members of about half turned up to the meeting in Narrabri on Saturday and all of them voted in favour of the merge.
“In the long run, every club will benefit from this move as it will give each club a say on how the zone is run.”
Bannister said players could expect their annual registration cost to come down as part of the move to disband the district associations.
“As well as having giving all clubs a say, by eliminating the district level, players will now only have to pay club and zone fees instead of paying for district fees on top of the other two,” he said.
“That should hopefully make the game even better value for money and might even attract new players to the sport.
“Overall, I think this is a really positive move and should benefit everyone in the long run.”
The move will also see state pennant matches played on a home and away basis throughout 2019, while state championship matches will be shared throughout the zone.
“Hopefully the home and away system should bring some stability to all of the clubs,” Bannister said.
“There were some problems with organisation this year, which made life tough, so hopefully by going to a home and away system we can overcome that.
“Individual pennant grades will be allocated by the state match committee after the clubs have submitted their pennant player availability list before January 21.
“Once that’s done I’m sure we will be in for a great year of bowls.”
The regions five former bowls associations:
- Central North District Bowling Association
- New England District Bowling Association
- Barwon District Bowling Association
- Gwydir District Bowling Association
- North West District Bowling Association