The BowlsLink project involves a partnership between the sport’s national governing body and seven State and Territory Associations to develop a tailor-made IT system for all levels of the sport, inclusive of a modern competition management system, a centralised connected membership database system, and new and improved websites.
The BowlsLink system is being developed by Melbourne-based web development agency Savage Bull, following a comprehensive 18-month tender process, led by a working group featuring a cross-section of the sport’s key stakeholders.
For more information and training resources visit the Bowls Australia Bowls Link Web page
To access the BowlsLink site click the following link:
Update March 2020
During these uncertain times revolving around COVID-19 we at Bowls SA (BSA) are still working hard and so is Bowls Australia (BA) and Savage Bull in regards to consistently improving the BowlsLink system.
From this, some enhancements have been earmarked for the April release.
These include and not limited to:
• Making the member since date editable
• Moving the members full address (Suburb, post code, State) to the details screen
• Extend the timeout period on password reset
• From the members list, add a hover over the name to include mobile, email and address to reduce clicking into each member
• The Actions button – change to an icon instead of the 3 dots and to add a colour
• Improving the select profile screen to move to the next screen once you select the right profile without having to click ‘select profile’
• Removal of groups and categories on receipt of archiving a member
• Add an obtain date for certifications
These are only snapshots on the continuous improvements that will be made to the BowlsLink system up until the start of the 2020/21 season.
BSA, BA and Savage Bull will also be looking at getting key stakeholders from around the different associations to bring their feedback in a constructive forum to improve the system for the 2020/21 season.
As many clubs AGM’s are fast approaching and will potentially see a change in President and Secretary, we at BSA are preparing a BowlsLink trainings sessions for August and September and will be releasing the schedule in the coming months (depended on the state of the environment due to COVID-19).
Once again we at BSA would like to thank you for the journey through season 2019/20 and year one of the BowlsLink system. I know that we at BSA look forward to this off season and to see how the system can improve for season 2020/21.
Update February 2020
Now 6 months into using BowlsLink, users are becoming more confident in using the system and are using more of the features.
Membership: With 18,824 active members in the system, has seen a growth of 1,500 members from when BowlsLink was switched on. Most clubs are active in using the membership side and have made their members financial, using the member categories in the right way and adding members to groups. This is great to see, and Bowls SA are committed to continuing to work with clubs in making them comfortable to use BowlsLink to the full potential they can at club level.
Some clubs have taken the next step in using the email campaign section to send emails to their members. The following clubs have opted into using the emails campaigns:
- Ascot Park Bowling Club
- Barmera Bowling Club
- Burra Bowling Club
- Christies Beach Bowling Club
- Clarendon Bowling Club
- Edithburgh RSL Bowling
- Grange Bowling Club
- Henley Bowling
- Hills Bowling Association R6
- Kensington & Marryatville Bowling Club
- Marion Bowling Club
- McLaren Vale Bowling Club
- Naracoorte Bowling and Croquet Club Inc
- Port Augusta Bowling Club
- Renmark Bowling Club
- Robe Bowling Club
- Salisbury Bowling Club
- The Lawns Renmark Inc
Communication is a key aspect of the sporting industry. Bowling clubs must continue to attract outside participants into the venue to utilise the fantastic facilities and compliment the traditional pennant playing members. The use of a emails campaigns will provide a one platform approach to stay connected to stakeholders, streamline processes and improve knowledge of Club/Memberinteraction and communication.
Bowlslinkemail campaign offers many benefits and advantages to deepen and retain relationships with Member Clubs, service users, colleagues, partners and suppliers and creates an opportunity to promote the sport through collaborative marketing and communication.
The benefits and advantages of Bowlslink Email Campaign includes:
- Enhanced contact between Member Club
- Open communication with Bowls SA
- Promotion of events
- Marketing Media opportunities
Forging good relationships and keeping track of any communications/memos is crucial for Member Club retention of information, which is at the heart of Bowls SA’s function. A common domain will enable clubs to see, view and retain everything in one place — a simple, customisable strategy that can tell a stakeholders previous history with the status of their Club (and member correspondence within), any outstanding customer service issues, and more.
Membertransfers: Since changing to BowlsLink, we at Bowls SA took back the administrative burden of doing the transfer in the system on behalf of the clubs. This was done as the transfer process could take anywhere from 2 days to2 months to complete and would be a further administrative burden on club secretaries. With BSA doing the administrative process in BowlsLink, this allows the 48 hour turnaround from receipt of the signed paper from the new and old club to be actioned and transferred. More training and discussions with the developers are occurring to further streamline the clearance process to make it easier for members and clubs.
Competitions: With10 out of 19 Associations using the BowlsLink system from Pennants feedback has been positive however of course with some improvements to be made. Clubs using the system to log results and view results, have had some headaches early, but with communication have improved. Many updates have occurred during the season, improving the functionality of the system to include multiple people to have access to inputting scores for teams and an all players ladder which is a very desireable feature.
With finals starting soon for these associations, a few gremlins have come out with the process of finals not being automatic. Instructions have been sent to all the Associations using BowlsLink on how to set up finals series.
BowlsSA have been using BowlsLink to accept State Events and have found the process clean and smooth. Region 2 and Region 6 have also used it and have found it great. Conversations with the State Event Managers have been productive and for the 2020/21 season we will be working with all regions to utilise BowlsLink for taking registrations for State Events.
DuringMen’s Country Carnival, we invited clubs to put results straight into the system after the matches where complete rather than filling out score sheets. We had 8 clubs volunteer to do this and feedback was it was much easier and worked out who went through the section by looking at the ladder and took the guess work out for them. This also allowed for every single result from every Country Carnival game played to be able to be viewed by the users for the first time ever.
For people whom are lovers of the sport this provides a much closer connection with the tournament and allows for family members and friends to also follow along more easily. It also reduced double handling from our host clubs to the BSAadministration on competition days also. From this feedback, BSA will look at rolling it out to more clubs during the Women’s Country Carnival.
During the 2020 Champions week we will be using BowlsLink to track results and from the 2020/21 season all State event draws and results will be used through BowlsLink. This will again allow for instantaneous results of all matches played to be accessible through the BSA website.
Websites: AllBSA Clubs have access to a free website through BowlsLink which they can choose to access if they wish. So far there is 33 Clubs/Association in SA that have aBowlsLink website. More work probably needs to done with clubs in advertising that their clubs can get a free website and more conversation needs to be had with Bowls Australia around training and information for clubs.
Below is a list of SA clubs that have a BowlsLink website:
Future of BowlsLink: Relationship Officer Jess Alvaro spent two days in Melbourne with BA and the other STA’s discussing BowlsLink and improvements coming into the future. Bowls Australia will be coming out with a user survey to all members in the BowlsLink system to get user feedback to help theBowlsLink working party prioritise what needs to be implemented/changed.
Things being looked at is an easier way of doing transfers, making Pennant final automatic from main Pennant competition, more reporting opportunities around competitions, data and hits on results pages and the main thing to look at after season finishes is looking at all members logging on to the system.
TheBowlsLink system is designed for members to log onto their profile and from there to register for events. In us encouraging members to log on to register for events/competitions this should track entries with true player information, while also letting the player know what they have entered reducing double up entries and having to do refunds.
There will be some initial bug bares that the BSA staff will have to deal with in regards to resetting passwords for the members that don’t have email address and logging in via their national id and also changing email address for members that don’t have access to the email address in the system. We ask users to be patient during this time.
Refunds in the system will become easier once the next update in March happens as STA’s will be able to do their own refunds straight away and not having to wait and rely on BA finance doing them. This will keep the members happy with timely refunds.
All in all the BowlsLink system is improving as we go. Come the start of the 2020/21season, the system will be better with less bugs. Training will happen again throughout the off season, for all the new secretaries and new members taking on the role of entering scores into the system.
Discussions will need to be had with the Associations not using the BowlsLink system to get them on-board for the 2020/21 season to make player stats tracking easier for all.
BowlsLink Relevant links -:
- Pennant results guide: http://www.bowlssa.com.au/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2019/10/Bowls-Link-Pennant-Training-Guide-1.pdf
- User manual: http://www.bowlssa.com.au/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2019/10/UserManual-ClubAdmin-1.pdf
- Reset Password help: http://www.bowlssa.com.au/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2019/10/Reset-password-bowlslink.pdf
- Clearance procedure: http://www.bowlssa.com.au/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2019/10/CLEARANCES.pdf