National Bowling Arm Championship 2023 Wrap
The South Australian Bowling Arm team (pictured top left) traveled to Tasmania with a dedicated support crew (pictured bottom left) this year, and brought home two shields, one against Queensland and the other shield against Western Australia (pictured right with Phillip Sanders and Patrick Lynch) at the Ninth National Bowling Arm Sides Championship.
This annual championship includes six states, Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, Western Australia & South Australia, competing at a different state each year. The format is three games of singles and three games of four, and then three games of pairs and three games of triples. There’s always 15 people on the green at once. South Australia Bowling Arm Association takes a squad of 17-18. Three of those must be of each gender.
The athletes come from around the state including Mount Gambier, Robe, Blyth, Jervois, Modbury, Salisbury, Tanunda, Oakbank and Uraidla. The whole team is listed in our news announcement.
When talking to State Armed Bowler Philip Sanders, who has been involved since 2017, he explained “Bowling Arm bowling is big in the eastern states, with possibly 20,000 players or more, in each state that use an arm. South Australia doesn’t have anywhere near that many people. I doubt very much whether we have 3,000 people here.”
“Since the rules changed, nobody keeps a tab on how many people have arms anymore, since they stopped the medical certificate.”
When asked how he became involved Philip said “I took up the bowling arm because I could no longer bowl without a bowling arm. I couldn’t bowl anymore; I wasn’t physically able to anymore. I gave it away for nearly 12 months, then was talked into trying an arm and I took to it okay.”
“100 % of the people that I come across bowl with it because it’s the only way they can bowl anymore. I don’t think I’ve ever come across anybody who took it up just because they could.”
Bowls SA would like to congratulate the South Australian Bowling Arm Team for their success in Tasmania and encourage anyone who thinks they need to give up bowling, to at least consider talking to an armed bowler about your options to move in this direction.