Club Governance


Governance is the system by which organisations are directed and managed.  It influences how the objectives of the organisation are set and achieved, spells out the rules and procedures for making organisational decisions, and determines the means of optimising and monitoring performance, including how risk is monitored and assessed.

Governance concerns three key issues:

  • how an organisation develops strategic goals and direction
  • how the board of an organisation monitors the performance of the organisation to ensure it achieves these strategic goals, has effective systems in place, and complies with its legal and regulatory obligations
  • ensuring that the board acts in the best interests of the members. 

[source: Sports Governance Principles (PDF  – 303 KB). Australian Sports Commission, (March 2012)]

The Governance Committee of Bowls SA has prepared a Model Club Constitution and Instructions for its Use for its member clubs. You can access them here:

Instructions for Use

Model Club Constitution

In addition, as the Standing Orders are no longer included in the Model Club Constitution you can access them as a separate document here.

Implementing and maintaining good governance practices leads to more consistent and ethical decision making; promotes confidence and engagement with organisational stakeholders; and ensures the organisation meets its legislative responsibilities.  

Governance Principles for South Australian State Sporting Organisations, and 40% Women in Leadership Office for Recreation, Sport & Racing

Sport Governance PrinciplesSport Australia

Club Committees are important to a club’s overall success as they guide how a club operates.  Although all clubs will have a Board/Executive or Management Committee the various sub-committees will depend on the size of the club and how it operates.  The duties of the committees may also vary depending on the number of volunteers and the responsibilities.

So You Want to be a Committee Member, ORSR
Committee Induction Package TemplatesClubHelp
Sample Committee Code of ConductClubHelp
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Sample Terms of ReferenceClubHelp

Below are some of the more common committees formed to assist in the operation of a club and fulfil responsibilities:

This Committee is responsible for managing the club on behalf of the members, including:

  • Planning future directions
  • Developing policies and procedures
  • Communicating  with members and responding to feedback
  • Developing and managing external relationships
  • Obtaining resources and ensuring that all financial and legal matters are properly managed
  • Ensuring that all members of the Committee act as leadership role models
  • Making decisions that are in the best interest of the club and not for individual gain.

The powers of the Executive Committee are outlined in the Club’s Constitution. The role of the Executive Committee may vary depending on the size of the club, in larger clubs the role will be more strategic with other sub-committees looking after the general club operations.

The Finance Committee is in place to oversee the financial performance of the Club and to ensure appropriate levels of control and risk management are established to safeguard the finances of the Club. In some cases the Finance Committee may also be responsible for Sponsorship or that may be a separate Committee of the club.

The roles and responsibilities of the Finance Committee can vary from club to club but may include areas such as club banking, paying of accounts and expenses, financial reporting to executive and members, insurance, budgets, capital expenditure, risk management, payroll and sponsorship.

The Bowls committee is in place to oversee and administer all areas of the club regarding Bowls events and activities, people on the Committee would usually include the Club Captain and along with several appointed or elected Committee members. The main objective is generally to promote, oversee, organise and operate the Bowls activities and events of the Club in alliance with the strategic objectives of the club.

It is important a club sets out the duties and responsibilities of the Bowls Committee members.

The House and Greens committee is in place to oversee to preparation, maintenance and upkeep of the Clubhouse, Playing Surfaces, General Surrounds and other associated amenities of the Club. Some clubs may choose to operate separate House and Greens Committee’s – the House Committee is also becoming more called a Facilities Committee.

  •  To ensure the clubhouse facilities and associated fixtures and fittings are in keeping with the goals of the Club to provide a welcoming and friendly environment to members, guests and the local community. 
  •  To ensure the playing surfaces and associated amenities are presented in the best possible manner in line with the strategic goals of the Club. 
  •  To ensure all contracts entered into in relation to the maintenance of the Club facilities are reviewed as required and are in the best interests of the Club and in line with the clubs plans.

The Bar and Functions Committee is in place to oversee and support the operational performance of the Club amenities and to ensure alignment with the Club’s plans. 

The objectives of the Bar and Functions Committee may be as follows; 

  • To oversee the operational performance of the bar and function amenities and ensure the necessary requirements of the Club are met with respect to compliance and performance of these amenities. 
  • To oversee and encourage support or development of functions for the Club that assist in fostering a positive Member experience.

The Social Committee shall arrange social functions for the benefit of members and their guests in accordance with the clubs plans. The Social Committee will generally liaise with the clubs Bowls Committee and Bar Committee to ensure a positive member at all times during club activities. The Social Committee will set a calendar of events each year, consider member feedback and experiences in planning and recruit volunteers to assist in the running of social events.

The Selection Committee within a club provides a crucial role. Selection of teams is often the most contentious issue within a club and can lead to discontent if the appropriate policies and procedures are not in place for protection of players and selectors.

Clubs should encourage selection committee members who have a good understanding of the ability of players within their club, are well respected and provide good leadership and communication.

Members may also wish to complete the Bowls Australia Selection Module. The Selection Module is designed for club coaches, selectors and others who are keen to ensure their club has best practice selection standards.

To read more about the Selection Module click here

The Club should set policies and procedures it feels are within the spirit of the club and which are transparent, consistent and fair to players at all levels.

Creating a Selection Policy TemplateBowls Australia
Sample Bowls Club Selection PolicyBowls Australia