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Championships, Championships, and more
Champions Crowned at the 2019 Canadian Lawn Bowling Championships
Burlington, ON | August 26th, 2019
The first half of the 2019 Canadian Lawn Bowling Championships have come to a close at the Burlington Lawn Bowling Club in Burlington, ON. The Pituley brothers, Jonathan and Michael, have reclaimed the Men’s Pairs title while Peggy Plathan and Patricia Walker took home the Women’s Pairs gold medal. The Men’s Fours gold went to Ontario’s Derek McKie, Lyall Mix, Jim Smith, and Everett Zwiers, while the Women’s Fours gold went to Alberta’s Claire Day, Amanda Berg, Jennifer MacDonald, and Val Wilson.
The day began with tie-breakers on the green to determine who would play for gold in both men’s disciplines. At the conclusion of the round robin, there was a 3-way tie for first place in the Men’s Fours. The first tiebreak saw Ontario-B defeat Ontario-A to punch their way through to the gold medal match. In the next tiebreaker, Ontario-A defeated Alberta-B to also advance to the gold medal match. In the gold medal game, it was Ontario-A’s Derek McKie who came up clutch for his team, leading them to a 17-8 victory over Ontario-B. In the bronze medal game, Alberta-A defeated Alberta-B 14-7 to take home the bronze.
There was a 3-way tie for second place in the Men’s Pairs, which led to tiebreakers on the green as well. The day began with Saskatchewan-A defeating both Ontario teams in back-to-back tiebreaker games; first the Pituley brothers took down Ontario-A in a tight 7-5 game, before dominating Ontario-B with a 12-3 victory. Waiting for them in the gold medal match was Alberta’s Greg Wilson and Derek Dillon. Wilson, formerly a Burlington native, performed admirably in the round robin, leading the Alberta duo to a 8-1 record. However, in the gold medal match, the Pituleys took over the game from the beginning. Racing out to an early lead, Jonathan and Michael never looked back, winning the match by a score of 20-8. In the bronze medal match, Ontario-A defeated Ontario-B 21-11 to secure the bronze medal.
On the women’s side, Alberta and British Columbia both finished with 6-2 records in the Women’s Pairs to advance to the gold medal match. In that final matchup, Alberta’s Plathan and Walker had their way from the get-go, finishing with a score of 26-5. For Plathan and Walker, this was their first medal at the national championships after representing Alberta in the Women’s Fours for five consecutive years. In the bronze medal match, Ontario-A defeated Ontario-B in a nail biter, 18-16.
In the Women’s Fours, British Columbia finished with a 7-1-1 record to sit first in the standings, and faced off against Alberta-A who finished with a 6-3 record. The gold medal match was an exciting back-and-forth battle with excellent shots made from both sides. In the end, it would be Alberta-A that would prevail, winning by a score of 15-9. In the bronze medal match, Manitoba defeated Alberta-B 19-6 to claim the bronze.
The Cy English trophy, awarded to the top men’s team at the conclusion of the round robin matches, was awarded to Ontario-B. The Lady Alexander trophy, awarded to the top women’s team, was claimed by Team British Columbia.
The second half of the event will now move over to the Heritage Greens Lawn Bowling Club in Kitchener, Ontario from August 26-30 for Men’s and Women’s Singles. The event will see 24 men and 24 women seeking to take home the title of national champion. Both the men’s and women’s singles champion will earn the right to represent Canada at the 2020 World Bowls Champion of Champions event being held in Australia.
Leong and Larking Win the 2019 Canadian Singles Championships
Kitchener, ON | August 30th, 2019
The second half of the 2019 Canadian Lawn Bowling Championships have come to a close at the Heritage Greens Lawn Bowling Club in Kitchener, ON. Michael Leong (BC) and Cathy Larking (ON) have claimed the Men’s and Women’s titles for the 2019 season. Both Leong and Larking will represent Canada at the 2020 World Bowls Champion of Champions event being held in Australia.
The field of 24 men and 24 women saw some hotly contested games right from the beginning. On the men’s side, it would be Leong, Steve Bezanson (NS), David Anderson (ON), and Greg Wilson (AB) who would eventually make it through to the semifinals. In the semis, Wilson had his way with Bezanson, defeating him 21-10. This would lead to back-to-back gold medal game appearances for Wilson, after making it to the gold-medal game in the Men’s Pairs discipline held at the Burlington Lawn Bowling Club the week prior. In the other semifinal match, Anderson got off to a quick start, but Leong clawed back to make it a close match right to the end. It would eventually be Leong that would prove victorious, winning by a score of 21-20. In the gold medal final, it was a back-and-forth battle throughout the entire match. Despite several brilliant drive-shots made by Wilson, Leong’s consistency proved too much, ultimately winning the gold by a score of 21-20. In the bronze medal match, it was Ontario’s David Anderson’s game from the get-go. Anderson’s draw game was consistent throughout, leading to a bronze medal win over Bezanson, 21-7.
On the women’s side, after going perfect in the round robin, Larking, Bobbi-Jean Charlton (BC), and Claire Day (AB) all advanced to the semifinals, alongside Jordan Kos (SK) who had just one loss in the sectional play. In the semifinals, Larking took out Kos by a final score of 21-11, while Charlton defeated Day by a score of 21-11. In the gold medal match, both Charlton and Larking made some spectacular shots. With many back-and-forth swings, Larking would eventually claim the gold by a score of 21-14. For Larking, this was an improvement on her bronze medal win at the 2018 Canadian Singles Championships.
In the bronze medal match, Claire Day got off to an early 7-0 lead. Jordan Kos battled back however, and took the bronze medal by a final score of 21-17.
After claiming gold, Leong and Larking will head to the Adelaide Bowling Club in South Australia from October 26 to November 1, 2020 to represent Canada at the World Bowls Champion of Champions event.
Ontario Wins Double Gold at the 2019 Canadian Senior Triples Championships
Beaconsfield, QC | September 17th, 2019
Ontario will be coming home with gold in both the men’s and women’s disciplines at the 2019 Canadian Senior Triples Championships. After competing for four days at the Beaconsfield Lawn Bowling Club, the men’s squad of Wayne Wright, Don Caswell, and Tom Roth as well as the women’s squad of Kathy Smith, Val McWilliams, and Pat Kostecki will be bringing home gold medals.
Competitors from eight different provinces competed at the Beaconsfield Lawn Bowling Club from September 13-17. At the end of the round-robin, it would be Ontario-B and Quebec-A’s Wayne Hossack, Gilles De Serres, and Gilles Cayer at the top of the leaderboard on the men’s side. On the women’s side, the defending champion team of British Columbia’s Mary Wright, Donna Blackstock, and Ann Van Bastelaere were tied for the top spot with Smith’s Ontario-A team.
After losing to Hossack’s team in the first game of the round robin 15-13, it was a grudge match in the gold medal game for Wright and company. Holding nothing back, the Ontarians cruised to a 25-3 victory in the final match to claim the gold. In the bronze medal game, Saskatchewan (Doug Lambert, Garth Zummack and Bo Kos) narrowly took down Alberta (Roger Allen, Paul Maskall, Jim Campbell) by a score of 18-15.
It was a tremendous battle between Smith and Wright on the women’s side. 2019 represented Smith’s third consecutive year that she’s managed to make it out of the tough Ontario playdowns to represent the province at the Senior Triples Championships. With Wright coming out of an equally tough BC playdown experience and looking to improve on her 2018 Senior Triples silver medal, this match had the makings of a fierce competition and it did not disappoint. In a game that saw the lead trade back forth throughout play, BC fell just short of the finish line, with Ontario taking the match 12-11 on the final bowl of the game. In the closely contended bronze medal game, Manitoba’s Brenda Frank, Donna Gobeil and Barb Heinrichs defeated the ON-B team of Rosalie Parsons-Brown, Sandra Jefferies and Cheryl McBain 16-13.
Manns and Chan Claim Gold at the 2019 Canadian Mixed Pairs Championshipsirs Championships
Saskatoon, SK | September 17th, 2019
British Columbia’s Cary Manns and Gigi Chan have claimed gold at the 2019 Canadian Mixed Pairs Championships. After going 7-2 in the round robin, the British Columbia duo took down Alberta’s Keith Wylie and Jan Robinson in the final to claim gold.
From September 13-17, ten teams of two, representing eight provinces across Canada, competed for a National title at the Nutana Lawn Bowling Club in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. At the end of the round robin, Alberta sat atop the leaderboard with a record of 8-1, while Ontario-A and British Columbia were tied at 7-2. In the tie-breaker match, Manns and Chan narrowly escaped with a victory, 18-17. In the final, it was another nail-biter with Manns and Chan coming away with a 15-14 victory.
In the bronze medal match, Ontario-A’s Robert Steffen and Sharon Paxton rebounded from their tiebreaker loss to claim bronze over Manitoba’s Tim Lane and Kathy Foley by a score of 23-7.
Novice Triples Championships
Kingston LBC, August 24 & 25, 2019.
OLBA congratulates the Novice Triples bowlers:
Gold: Windsor - Marylou Demers, Jeannette Quenneville, Susan Newsham
Silver: Oakville - Jennifer Aziz, Anne Wilkinson, Cathy Kuhrt
Bronze: Hanover - Robin O'Toole, Julie Poluck, Linda Allen
Fourth: Meaford - Jill Calvert-Goetz, Brenda Madill, Wendy Calvert-Morris
Gold: Lindsay - Gord Travis, Rhys Warren, Trevor Cleland
Silver: Elmwood (London) - Leigh Folliott, Dave Johnston, Ted Walker
Bronze: Port Credit - Steve Miller, Bob Ashby, Mike Costescu
Fourth: Glenridge - Sylvain Larocque, Hank Dezeeuw, Justin Soergel
Novice Singles Championships
Stouffville LBC and Richmond Hill LBC, September 21 & 22, 2019
OLBA congratulates the Novice Singles bowlers:
Gold: Bill McCollam
Silver: Pierre Vanderhout
Bronze: Chad Burgle
Fourth: Ted Walker
Gold: Suzanne Day
Silver: Louisa Yuen Yee Kee
Bronze: Meredith Bee
Fourth: Sarah Shutt
￼Notes from a Novice
Thoughts from a lawn bowls novice - a periodic series from a relatively new bowler learning the sport.
September 23 by Bill McCollam Markham
Novice Singles Championship (part 1)
The Novice Singles Championship is a fairly new championship tournament, only initiated in 2018. It features a new concept designed to encourage increased club-level participation. The idea is for each club to determine their own novice champions and send them off to district playdowns. After the playdowns each district will send one “Champion of Champions” to the Provincials.
I had been looking forward to this tournament all year. Having made it to Ottawa for the Provincials last year, I knew how thrilling it was to get through Districts and experience the highest level of competition available to novices. And this years Provincials were to be hosted in my back yard; Stouffville and Richmond Hill. So I was especially motivated to win at the club and district level.
Districts were held at Aurora LBC. 4 men and 4 ladies showed up bright and early at the end of August. The club is a lovely little green nestled away in McMahon Park surrounded by tall trees and green lawns. Beautiful to play in - but also home to a batch of critters that decided that the green would be a great place to dig up the night before. When we arrived, Club President and general go-to guy Raymond Noble, was on the green busy plugging all the holes, sweeping the dew off and rolling the green. Amazingly enough, in an hour he had the rinks all set to go.
After 3 playdown games, myself and Janet Patterson from Stouffville LBC moved forward to Provincials for District 11. My toughest match came against the same fellow that had skipped the team that beat us out of the District Mixed Pairs that I wrote about two newsletters ago. It was a good contest and might have ended differently if he hadn’t been recovering from a recent broken ankle - the lengths some bowlers won’t go to!
I had three weeks from district playdowns until the Provincials. I squeezed in as much practice as I could, including the High Performance Clinic put on by OLBA. The focus of that clinic is mental preparedness, game planning and goal setting. Interestingly enough - the clinic was attended by several of my competitors-to-be. One of the key takeaways of Steve McKerihen’s talk was on the need for structured, purposeful practice. He shared that he often throws thousands of practice bowls in preparation for an important competition.
As the day for the Provincial tournament neared, I was keeping one eye on the OLBA website for news about the other competitors. There’s really not much point in doing that - you can safely assume that the competition will be top notch. And even the names that you don’t recognize could well be expert bowlers that you just haven’t bumped into. Having said that, I certainly did recognize 5 or 6 bowlers from last year coming back for another crack - Including the last year’s bronze medalist that eliminated me last year, and for good measure skipped the team that beat mine in the Novice Triples in Kingston.
There are 16 OLBA districts, each representing 5 - 10 clubs. The way the tournament works is for the teams to be divided into 4 sections, or ‘pods’. The first day of competition is for each section to play a 3 game round robin. The teams with the best records then move on to the second day playoffs. The only way to be certain to move on - is to win all three games. However, winning two will usually do the trick too. So, luck does play a part. Being put in a tough section can put you in a difficult situation. As you can imagine, there were a few names that I’d just as soon not see in my draw.
To be continued….
The OLBA would like to thank all of it's host clubs for both the Canadian and Ontario Championships. Your clubs' contribution and your volunteers' work are what make our sport great.
OLBA Annual Report 2019
The following report is submitted with respect to the Ontario Lawn Bowls Association activities for 2019.
Participation and Membership
Number of clubs, breakdown of members numbers and types
- Number of Clubs 119
- Female members - 3,292
- Male members - 3,184
- Youth Female - 63
- Youth Male - 74
Total Membership 6,613
The membership numbers for 2019 are not as yet finalized although based on our current information this would represent a Net Loss of 89 over 2018. Recruitment has been strong however and turnover still presents as an issue for club membership retention.
Competition - Male - Female Total
Fours 80 32 112 Up 8
Mixed Pairs 52 52 104 Down 10
Novice Singles 51 33 84 Down 12
Novice Triples 78 63 141 Up 12
Pairs 38 74 212 Up 14
Senior Triples 102 60 162 Down 21
Singles 91 49 140 Up 15
Indoor Singles 7 4 11 Up 1
Total 519 335 966 Up 7
In 2018 OLBA amended the Championship Fours to an OPEN format. Although in the second year of a 2 year pilot the results were encouraging although the number of entries by women was a concern.
The Championship Committee has scheduled a two day workshop to review the Ontario playoff schedule to attempt to review further options to encourage more competitors to enter the play-downs leading to the provincial championships.
The following Coaching Clinics and Player Development Camps were presented by the Coaching Committee:
4 Club Coach Clinics with a result of 50 additional Club Coaches Trained,
1 Competitive Coach Clinic with a result of 8 Competitive Coaches attaining the level of Competitive Coach in Training,
4 Player Development Camps with some focusing on Weight & Line Control, and others on Strategy and Competition
1 High Performance Development Camp fully subscribed with 24 participants.
The majority of Ontario club coaches (approximately 440) provide “learn to bowl” programs in the clubs introducing the sport to new bowlers, and assisting novices to develop their bowling skills at the club level.
Some of our more experience coaches have assisted in presenting Player Development Camps, as well as coaching at the District and Provincial Level.
Four of our Coaches assisted Ontario during the National Championships in Fours, Pairs, and Singles.
Our immediate coaching requirements are to increase the number of competitive coaches with the objective of these coaches being certified.
OLBA is challenged by the financial cost of being able to provide competitive teams with sufficient coaching at the National level due to the cost of travel.
Two umpiring courses were conducted in 2019.
Ontario currently has a total of 54 certified umpires.
Number of Clubs 119
Female members - 3,292
Male members - 3,184
Youth Female - 63
Youth Male - 74
The ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport has recently advised that funding through the Ontario Amateur Sport Fund ($29,410) will remain at the same level for 2019 as provided in 2018. The Ministry also advised that the Ontario Amateur Sport Fund would undergo a review in the near future. No other details were provided.
OLBA assisted member clubs in the making of applications for the New Horizon Fund with good success. A template for the grant application was provided to interested clubs, and 25 clubs were mostly successful in receiving the maximum grant of $25,000 available for a total of d $439,000.
OLBA has undertaken a range of activities to promote lawn bowling, these initiatives include:
Prepared stock tournament press release template with the help of a media consultant to generate media interest
Ran a member wide survey to better understand lawn bowling demographics, market profile and member demands
Ran a club website survey identifying which clubs have websites and social media profiles and worked with clubs to improve those profiles with the assistance of the OLBA Webmaster
Provided $5,000 to Burlington LBC and Heritage Green LBC to help them promote the Canadian Championships they hosted
Provided almost $3,000 to clubs via the co-operative advertising program where OLBA provides club up to a $500 rebate on marketing costs.
Bowls Canada Boulingrin
OLBA would like to acknowledge BCB and their staff for the ongoing support of OLBA. Ontario was delighted to host the National Championships which were considered a great success by all involved, clubs, officials and competitors alike. OLBA believes that our coordinated efforts in promoting and administrating the sport of lawn bowls will assist in the development of programming that will support our member clubs in their recruitment, retention and development.
Seniors Grant awarded to Muskoka
The OLBA like to thank Mr. Raymond Cho, the Minister for Seniors and Accessibility, for the generous support of the seniors in Bracebridge and surrounding area by awarding the Seniors Grant to the Muskoka Lawn Bowling Club.
In just a few short years, the Muskoka Club has become an important part of the Muskoka community, firstly by establishing the outdoors facility for summer bowling and now introducing the “Fitness for Senior’s Lawn Bowling Program” indoors during the winter
We also want to thank President Sally Mills and the Muskoka Club volunteers for their ongoing support ensuring seniors have an opportunity to remain active year round.
The club volunteers, most of who are seniors themselves and new to the sport of bowls have demonstrated how important it is for seniors to participate in seniors programming. It is through programs like these lawn bowling initiatives that keep seniors both physically and socially active year round.
Lawn Bowls is truly a sport for life.
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