Smoother reception to synthetics by governing bodies
The Mid West continues to be the envy of the WA bowling scene.
Recent seasons have seen the emergence of synthetic surfaces, with the technology improving each year with both sand-fill and carpeted playing arenas.
Bowls WA competitions manager Pieter Harris says the group still has a preference to play State events on grass — but this not as strong as it used to be and the 2017- 18 season may see the governing body using newer synthetics on a larger scale for some events.
There is no doubt that the number of synthetic greens continues to rise, especially in country areas.
The attitude of both Bowls Australia and Bowls WA is changing as these surfaces continue to improve, Mr Harris said.
“Drawing a line from approximately Armadale down to Margaret River, the Busselton Bowling Club is the only one with a grass surface — however, your Mid West area, the grass is going strong,” he said.
“The next five to 15 years, there are going to be players in certain areas, for example the Murray Districts, that have started playing the game since 2005 that would not know what a grass green looks like and may have differing feelings from the current players.”
The upcoming Australian Champion of Champion singles will be played in the Northern Territory on a covered synthetic.
This event will be held the week after the over-60s play in South Australia at the National Sides Series at two venues — one with grass and the other a synthetic surface.
The metropolitan area last year had a bowling fraternity of 65 clubs — 19 had fully synthetic greens, a further 17 had a combination of grass and synthetic and the remaining 29 venues were fully grassed.
These numbers will change in the next couple of years, with at least five clubs looking to a combination of grass and synthetic or going fully synthetic.
Locally, Mullewa has a state-ofthe-art synthetic green that is a great asset to the community and Wonthella is now looking at the second for the region.
At the recent Denison carnival, well over half the field travelled from the metropolitan area, and the South West of the State has different climatic and growing conditions, resulting in many converting to the synthetic replacement.