The Canadian Youth Championships 

Emma Boyd defeated Carah Webster in a back and fourth game to be named U25 Women’s champion!

Brandon Watson defeated fellow Regina Lawn bowls club bowler Jordan Gailey in what probed to be a back and fourth tilt to be named U25 Men’s champion!

Trevor Birrell defeated Lo Wong to be named U18 Men’s champion!

Luci Ewen defeated Alena Bergeron to be named U18 Women’s champion!

In the bronze medal matches

  • Erik Galipeau defeated Max Bodly Scott to claim Bronze
  • Sierra Trueman defeated Alexis Gallacher to claim Bronze
  • Owen Twamley defeated Auzzie Chambers to claim Bronze

OLBA Survey results are in …

On August 7th we completed the OLBA Member survey. We received a very impressive 665 responses, representing about 10% of all bowlers in the province. Our objectives were to understand our bowlers better - to enable us to shape programs and policies going forward.

The data is comprehensive and analysis is still underway. Along with the specific responses we received well over 1,000 comments on various parts of the survey. These all need to be absorbed, understood and baked into OLBA plans. However, we do have some interesting ‘top line’ analysis to share.

One word of qualification before we begin. Since we didn’t have anyway to deliver the survey to each and every member - we used our Newsletter mailing list, social media and cascades from District Chairs to distribute the survey. This approach meant that we had to make it an ‘open survey’. In other words, anyone with the link could take it. This approach probably leads to responses weighted towards bowlers that are more engaged in the sport.

  • Respondents are on average 67.8 years old.

  • Household incomes are on average $80K (about 10% higher than Canadian average)

  • On average, respondents have been bowling for 10.6 years. Only 7% have been bowling for under 1 year. (Note that, according to our actual data for the total population - 18% of bowlers are 1 year and under. This highlights that experienced bowlers are more engaged and likely to share their thoughts on the survey.)

  • Families bowl together. Respondents reported an average of 1.55 bowlers per household, meaning that about half the respondents are from family groupings (likely couples).

  • Bowlers don’t shift clubs often. Respondents report having belonged to an average of 1.54 clubs. Given over 10 years of average experience - that’s pretty loyal.

  • People are our best advertisements. By far, the most prevalent reason for trying bowls - was at the suggestion of another bowler. Open houses were the next most popular draw, with traditional and online advertising having little impact.

  • Most bowlers are social. 82% play in jitneys once a week. Only 27% play in at least one tournament a week.

  • When asked why they don’t play tournaments - bowlers cited a preference for social bowls, inexperience or age/infirmity (several mentioned the recent hot weather).

  • Bowlers are concerned about the viability of the sport. They highlighted Grants, Membership and Marketing as their top priorities (of the 10 or so OLBA service areas). Specifically Marketing and Membership had the largest gaps between priority (high) and perceived effectiveness (low).

  • Generally there seemed to be a significant communications gap with many members being unaware of lawn bowls aspects outside of their own clubs (e.g. tournaments, coaching clinics, grant application help, greenkeeping education etc..)

  • About 30% of respondents have played in Championship events (district level and above) more than a few times. Their priorities in deciding whether to play or not were;

    • Location 6.8

    • Timing 6.2

    • Open vs District 5.4

    • Entry Cost 5.3

    • Bracketing formula 4.7

    • Prestige of winning 4.5

    • Chances of winning 4.3

    • Lunch provided 3.2

One thing became clear during our analysis. Our bowlers fall into quite distinct segments, each with their own sets of priorities and desires for the games. With more work to be done, we definitely see the following groups:

  • The new bowler in their first or second year. Probably uncertain about whether to invest further into the sport (e.g. coaching, new equipment, tournaments). This member requires a lot of attention as it’s the segment that is by far the most likely to drop out.

  • The social club bowler. Likely a long time bowler - either never terribly interested in, or had time for, the competitive aspects (tournaments, high performance development), or someone that’s decided for health/convenience reasons to focus now more on the social aspects. In many ways, this segment is the heart of the sport and certainly the largest.

  • The competitive bowler. Could be any age or experience level that has shown a definite interest in skills development and practice, takes coaching, and plays in tournaments.

Our next level of analysis will be to focus on these segments individually to see what further insights we can gain to help us serve them better.  In addition we plan on sharing District level results with Chairs during a fall meeting.  Stay tuned here for further survey analysis.

Please direct any questions to and/or




Bowls Canada seeks venue to host the 2020 North American Challenge

Bowls Canada Boulingrin is seeking interested lawn bowls clubs to submit a proposal to host the 2020 North American Challenge (NAC) by September 27, 2019.

The NAC is played bi-annually in even years with locations alternating between the USA and Canada. It is played over a three day period with two days of pre-event practice. Two games are played each day with pairs and triples played first followed by singles and fours.

The practice dates for 2020 will be September 15-16 and the event dates will be September 17-19, 2020

There will be 40 players plus accompanying team staff, support personnel and officials.

Interested clubs are invited to submit a proposal that outlines how they will meet the basic requirements outlined in the Request for Proposal. Click here to download the Request for Proposal. A detailed Host Reference Guide is available upon request.

For more information, please contact:
Anna Mees
Executive Director, Bowls Canada Boulingrin


OLBA Mixed Pair Champions

Gold - District 14:  Robert Steffen and Sharon Paxton

Silver - District 3A: David Bell and Sue Roth

Bronze - District 9: Steve Miller and Iwona Vineham

Lan Bowls  Give it a try!
Lan Bowls  Give it a try!
Lan Bowls  Give it a try!

Is Your Club Ready for the Safe Sport Movement?


Concussion safety. #metoo movement. Sexual abuse. Liability lawsuits.

Harassment. Bullying. Discrimination.

In today’s day and age, “Safe Sport” is becoming increasingly overwhelming. Sport club volunteers at all levels are being asked to implement sophisticated and rigorous standards as participants, parents, volunteers, and all levels of government are pushing for sport organizations to improve their practices for keeping participants and volunteers safe.

It’s tempting to rely on the belief that “this doesn’t happen in lawn bowls”. But this is simply not the case. In February of 2019, the CBC “Shattered Trust” investigation revealed that no sport is immune and the issues are pervasive from local to national levels. A study commissioned by AthletesCAN, an independent athlete association, had similar findings: the AthletesCAN study included lawn bowls amongst the sport participants surveyed.

The Government of Canada has implemented massive reforms at the national level and the Provincial/Territorial governments are close behind. Sport organizations, whether local clubs or national sport federations, are now held to higher standards of accountability. As a local sport organization, your bowls club is NOT IMMUNE to these demands. Whether it is your local mayor or municipality, or your provincial government, it is likely that rules or guidelines are being developed that all sport organizations in your area will need to adhere to.

As a local club, there are THREE THINGS that you can put in place that will have an immediate impact to protect your participants, your volunteers and your club.

1. Take the Responsible Coaching Movement (RCM) Pledge

Bowls Canada took the RCM pledge last year and more recently have implemented a Responsible Coaching Movement Strategy. The intent of the strategy is to empower the organization and their national coaches to facilitate safe sport environments at all times. There are three main components to this strategy.

  • The Rule of Two: This means that a coach is never alone or out of sight with a minor. At minimum, a screened volunteer, parent, or adult will be recruited to ensure the Rule of Two is fulfilled. Furthermore, one of the two adults must also be of the same gender as the athlete. BCB has enhanced this component to include coaches never being alone or out of sight with any athlete regardless of age.
  • Background Screening: For Bowls Canada Boulingrin, this means that all national level coaches will complete a Criminal Record Check every three years and undergo a Vulnerable Sector Verification.
  • Training: All national coaches undergo Respect in Sport’s Leader Training. Additionally, they undergo evaluation through the National Coaching Certification Program. This training prepares them to identify and effectively handle situations that arise from unsafe and/or ethical dilemmas.

How does this impact you? It is easy to sign on to the Responsible Coaching Movement (RCM) pledge. Many parents and potential-future-bowlers will recognize what taking the RCM pledge stands for and will feel safer at your club. This means your club is committed to providing the above three components.

The background screening and training requests are often perceived as barriers. It is just one more thing that we are asking of our already overburdened volunteers. Yet, many don’t think about the fact that the screening and training are also providing layers of protection for themselves. While some provinces offer background checks free for volunteers, many local police stations are finding that the demand for screening is swamping their systems and are moving to a payment system. Bowls Canada aligned with the partnership between the Coaching Association of Canada and SterlingBackcheck (SBC), Canada’s leading background screening provider, to provide an online criminal record check process at a low price of $25 (+tax) per applicant. SBC’s Enhanced Police Information Check (E-PIC) provides a secure database to store and share results, manage renewals, and track the progress of individual checks. Volunteers and coaches can initiate their E-PIC application from the comfort of their homes by clicking here.

Bowls Canada is also looking for solutions to help clubs find affordable solutions to the training barrier and expects to have more answers for clubs as early as October 2019.


2. Educate your Members on Concussion Protocols

Not only does Safe Sport include RCM, but it also includes participants’ physical safety. In 2018 the Government of Ontario government passed “Rowan’s Law”. Named after the Ottawa student who died after sustaining an unrecognized concussion playing high school sports, this legislation is aimed at improving concussion safety in amateur competitive sport. I can hear readers now….“What does concussion have to do with lawn bowls?”.

It is nationally recognized that lawn bowls is a low risk sport for sustaining concussions. But our participants are not immune from sustaining concussions outside of bowls. If only one of the many individuals around Rowan Stringer had had more understanding of the signs and symptoms of concussion, there may have been a different outcome to her tragic story. It is becoming increasingly cleaTake the Responsible Coaching Movement (RCM) Pledger that head injuries are much more common than we realize. Often associated with a severe blow to the head, leading causes also include falls and the sudden jerking motion of the head and neck (whiplash).

Aside from the fact that concussion protocols are fast becoming a requirement across the country for sport organizations of all levels, it is important that our coaches and sport leaders understand the signs and symptoms of concussions that may have occurred beyond the boundaries of the lawn bowls green.


Bowls Canada Boulingrin, in collaboration with Parachute Canada (a nationally recognized safety organization), recently released a national concussion protocol that is specific to the sport of bowls. It recognizes that while possible, the probability of someone sustaining a concussion in bowls remains low. It also identifies that someone could receive a head injury elsewhere and show up to the greens with concussion-like signs and symptoms. Are you prepared to handle a situation like that? By having a concussion protocol in place, your club will have the proper process to turn to should a situation like that arise.

To read Bowls Canada’s Concussion Protocol, click here.


3. Implement a Code of Conduct

We have all heard those stories. You know, the ones about how Person A doesn’t really mean their offensive behaviour, it’s “just them” or “they don’t know any better”. Unfortunately, while Person A may be oblivious, the individuals around them are suffering. Best case scenario — people are uncomfortable; worse case scenario – participants and volunteers quit; worst case scenario – someone is harmed.

Establishing a Code of Conduct that clearly outlines expected standards empowers all club members to identify and name unwanted behaviours. A Code of Conduct helps members and participants make good decisions regarding actions and deeds. More importantly, it provides the club with an objective standard against which unwanted behaviours can be held accountable. It is one step closer to eliminating the conflict and bullying that often leads participants to leave sport.

While a Code of Conduct is just one of many important policies that help establish safe and welcoming sport environments, it’s a move in the right direction. You can read Bowls Canada’s Code of Conduct here.

In conclusion, the landscape of Safe Sport can seem overwhelming at first glance. Taking action on these three initiatives is a constructive way to get started. Safe Sport ultimately will ensure that bowls clubs across Canada are safe and welcoming for everyone.



In Memoriam

We honour our fellow bowlers who have passed away during the past three years on our website. To have a name added, please send an email message to the website manager:


2019 WOBA Results
1st century 🎖🎖🎖🎖
Darryl Fitzgerald
Jurgen Fessler
Tom Roth
Mike Wagner

Steve Mckerihen
Dave Anderson
John Bezear
Fred Wallbank

Kody Olthop
Jake Schuknecht
Jack Fowler
Dylan Jacobs

Don Caswell
David James Smith
Dave Austin
Luke Caldwell

Dan Milligan
George Boxwell
Chris Stadnyk
Owen Kirby

Wayne Wright
Mark Sandford
Burl Roller
Brian Broome

Gord Legacy
David Llewellyn
Martin Foxhall
Eric Galipeau

Larry Chaput
Wayne Martin
Fred Clarke
Alex Xib


Cooperative Advertising

Work with OLBA

Does your club take advantage of the Cooperative Advertising program yet? OLBA offers $ matching up to $500 per club for all advertising that uses the Give it a Try logos and graphic materials.  Check the conditions on our website and get in touch at 





We are in need of a couple of special volunteers for our Marketing and Communications committees.


Media Monitoring and tracking:

The Marketing Committee needs someone that can monitor and track media or stories on lawn bowling and member clubs.  Contact


Social Media contributer:

The Communications Committee needs someone that enjoys posting and sharing on Social Media (FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram).  Posts will include OLBA announcements, club news and interesting lawn bowls content from around the internet.  Contact



Need a weekly fix of bowling news?

Want to stay informed on all the Bowls Canada Boulingrin news.  

Try the Bowls Canada  Newsletter



Growing Your Club

Marketing Membership and Grants!

We are here to help! Contact Ralph Ellis



Letters to the Editor:


Comments and questions are welcome. ( and


Disclaimer:The information and articles provided in this email represent the opinions of the articles author and should not be considered as endorsed by or policy of the Ontario Lawn Bowls Association OR it's Directors.

Ontario Lawn Bowling Assoc.

Box 1093
Tilbury, ON ​Canada
N0P 2L0​

John Fantin

Ron Charles


Steve Schuknecht
​Director at Large

James Rimmer
​Director at Large

Charles Roach
​Director at Large

Nan Hendren
​Director at Large



Phillip Francis

Ralph Ellis
​Vice President, 

Dave Burrows
​Director at Large

Bill McCollam​
​Director at Large

Jason Currie
​Director at Large

Mary Lou Richards
​Director at Large