Background Checks Announcements


OLBA Clubs and Background Checks for Volunteers


Many of you who belong to other organizations, know that members of boardsvolunteers and coaches have to get background checks to serve on those bodies. This is done for both legal liability reasons and to meet the requirements of various levels of government. That policy will be coming to lawn bowling clubs across Canada. The federal government has introduced the Safe Sport Policy to prevent harassment, bullying and abuse in sport. For details on the Safe Sport Movement, see this article.


Is your club ready for the safe sport movement?



Background checks for board members and people involved in coaching will be required. This not optional. Both the OLBA and it’s member clubs must become compliant for both reasons of legal liability and because clubs receive funding directly and indirectly from both the federal and provincial governments. The OLBA is working to make this process easier by helping to pay for the process.


Who needs to get background checks?


Members of your club board of directors will have to get a Level 1 background check which checks for criminal convictions.

Coaches and volunteers who work with youth or any other vulnerable group (disabled, etc.) will have to get a Level 3 or Vulnerable Sector Check which also cross references a database of sexual offenders.

Regular club volunteers who do not work with youth or coaching, typically do not need a background check.


Where do you go to do the background checks?


You can do the background checks through your local police force or through an online service like Sterling Backcheck which is used by Bowls Canada



Some local police forces do this for free. Contact your local police force to see if this is the case or if there is a charge. Police can do both the Level 1 and Level 3 check.

Sterling Backcheck charges $25 + tax to do a Level 1 check but does not do Level 3 checks. You can typically get the results from Sterling in 24 hours. We will establish a link to this service on the OLBA Website.


What do you do with the Background Check Results?


People will submit the completed background check to their board of directors to keep on file. If you already have a background check that has been submitted in the last two years for another organization, you can submit that background check and self disclose anything since the time of that background check.


If a conviction shows up on the background check, assign someone on your club board to review the background check as not all convictions are a barrier. For example, you probably don’t want a person convicted for embezzlement as your club treasurer. However, a 30 year old conviction for possessing cannabis would typically not be a barrier. If the local club is not sure what to do, you can contact the OLBA for assistance.


OLBA Background Check Subsidy


To make this process easier, the OLBA will reimburse clubs $15 for each background check paid until June 30, 2020. We have set a deadline to encourage people to get this done now. The OLBA has set aside $30,000 to assist clubs in getting these checks completed.


How does this work in practice?


Each individual would get the background check on their own either through the local police force or through an online service. The individual would submit the bill along with the background check to the local club. After all the background checks are done, the club would submit all the claims at one time to the OLBA Treasurer along with the individual invoices.


Keep in mind that your credit card slip is not an invoice. The invoice must indicate what has been purchased. Claims submitted without proper documentation will not be paid. Money will be paid back to the clubs who either will keep the money if the club paid for the background check or give it to the individual if he/she paid for the background check.


Who pays at the club level?


This will depend on your local club’s policy. Some clubs will have the individual pay the amount. My own club accepts the background check as a club expense and pays it for the individual whether it is a Level 1 or Level 3 check. You will find that having the club pay for the background check as a club expense will remove a lot of the resistance from club members in getting this done.


How often do background checks need to be done?


A typical guideline is that background checks need to be renewed every 3 years.  Following through on this policy protects your clubs legally and shows that you have done your due diligence. It prevents people getting on your board that you do not want to be there. It also helps ensure that the people who play at your club have the best possible experience free from harassment and abuse.


The OLBA is working to make this step forward as simple and straightforward as possible. Contact us when you have questions or for general assistance. We are here to help.


Ralph Ellis

OLBA Vice President –


This clip has now had more than 6 million views! 

Keep sharing, it is great to see such a buzz around bowls. This is at the World Indoor PBA Championships at Potters Resort.


2020 World Bowls Championships Team Announced

Ottawa, ON | January 24th, 2020

Ten Canadian lawn bowlers have been selected to represent Canada at the 2020 World Bowls Championships in Gold Coast, Australia from May 26 – June 7, 2020. The event will take place at the Broadbeach Bowls Club, Muampionships in Gold Coast, Australia from May 26 – June 7, 2020. The event sgrave Hill Bowls Club, and Club Helensvale.

2020 World Bowls Team Canada Roster

Men’s Singles:

Ryan Bester (Hanover, ON)

Men’s Pairs:

Ryan Bester, John Bezear (Kitchener, ON)

Men’s Triples:

Cameron Lefresne (Enfield, NS), Greg Wilson (Cochrane, AB), Rob Law (Winnipeg, MB)

Men’s Fours:

Cameron Lefresne, John Bezear, Greg Wilson, Rob Law

Women’s Singles:

Kelly McKerihen (Toronto, ON)

Women’s Pairs:

Jordan Kos (Regina, SK), Joanna Cooper (Calgary, AB)

Women’s Triples:

Kelly McKerihen, Leanne Chinery (Victoria, BC), Jackie Foster (Bridgetown, NS)

Women’s Fours:

Leanne Chinery, Jordan Kos, Joanna Cooper, Jackie Foster

Senior Squad Head Coach, Terry Scott, had this to say: “With participating in the Asia Pacific Championships and the Multi-Nations event on the Gold Coast over the past 12 months, it has given us the opportunity to select 10 quality players who will do Canada proud. The World Championships is another massive step for us, however we have shown that we have the ability and pride to achieve.”

The World Bowls Championships takes place every four years, and it is anticipated that 36 nations will attend the 2020 event. “Competing against quality teams from around the globe means that the task to bring home medals will be challenging – however we are up to that challenge”, said Scott.

About 2020 World Bowls Championships
The 2020 World Bowls Championships will take place on the Gold Coast, Queensland from May 26 – June 7, 2020. The event will be held at the Broadbeach Bowls Club, Club Helensvale and Musgrave Hill Bowls Club. The World Bowls Championships are held every four years, and feature men’s and women’s singles, pairs, triples, and fours.


OLBA Find a tournament Spreadsheet

By using our new automated spreadsheet you can view all of the tournaments that will occur across Ontario.

  • You can find tournaments in your district or any other district.
  • You can find tournaments at a specific club.
  • You can find tournaments on a specific date.
  • You can find tournaments by format such as Novice (Nv) or Youth (Yth)

The spreadsheet can be accessed by clicking here.

​Before working with the spreadsheet take a look at this video for helpful instructions .


Deadline for ads in 2020 OLBA annual approaching

Got a tournament or event to promote?  Know a business that could benefit from exposure to thousands of Ontario bowlers? 

With almost 4,000 copies in circulation to over 6,500 bowlers for 6 months, an ad in the 2020 OLBA Annual is a super value.  Contact us at to reserve your space now.  Rates are a steal!  Publication deadline in a couple of weeks.



The OLBA is happy to welcome the Baby Point Club to the OLBA family.

Baby Point formed in 1923, joined the OLBA at some point by 1938, left in 1955, joined again in 1967, and left again in 1971. We are happy to welcome them back in 2020. 


Directions to Club: Off Jane Street between Dundas and Bloor. Half a kilometre west of Jane on Baby Point Rd.

Club Mail To: Francis Wong, Lawn Bowling Director,



Bowls Day 2020 Registration is Open!

As a past registrant for Bowls Day we wanted to let you know that registration for Bowls Day 2020 is officially open! Although the big day is still a few months away, it will come fast and there are already steps your club can take to begin the marketing of your Bowls Day event. We have created a template for an event advertisement for Community Recreation Guides which could be very useful for your club to get the word out about your Bowls Day Celebrations! We know that deadlines for public advertisements come quickly so to get a head start, contact Bowls Canada for your free advert for your municipal recreation guide and get the promotion started.

We are excited to make 2020 the best Bowls Day ever. In addition to the Community Recreation Guide promotion, other new initiatives this year include:

ParticipACTION partnership -- Bowls Canada is partnering with ParticipACTION to cross-promote Bowls Day with the ParticipACTION 2020 Community Challenge. ParticipACTION will be giving out grants from $250-$1000 to local organizations hosting an event between June 1st and June 21st. Bowls Day is on June 6th so getting one of these grants will have a big impact on your event! You can apply for a grant by clicking here.

Weekly Promotion Webinars -- Once you have registered for Bowls Day, you will receive a digital promotion kit to help you with the marketing for your event. Based on your feedback from last year, some clubs had difficulty using the kit in past years, so this year we will be introducing a webinar explaining how to use the kit. We will have the webinars once a week starting March 9th, 2020 to help you use your digital kit in the most effective way possible.

Your Choice Banners -- over the last two years, you told us that some clubs want to personalize and print their own Bowls Day banners and others prefer the generic Bowls Day banner to be sent to them. This year when you register you can choose if you would prefer the template that you can personalize and print or the generic version.

These are just a few of the new initiatives that have us excited for Bowls Day 2020 and we can’t wait to celebrate the sport of Lawn Bowls with all of you. Register now to get the most of the tools we have to offer you and to start getting ready for your awesome event! Contact if you have any questions about Bowls Day or need any help.



From Pretoria Bowls #DollyPartonChallenge


New Canadian Bowler Podcast - Check it out


Register now for Open Fours

June 13 - 14 at Oshawa LBC


Grant Opportunity for Women Coaches

Ottawa, Ontario | January 9th, 2020


Bowls Canada Boulingrin is pleased to announce a funding opportunity for women bowls coaches. In collaboration with the Coaching Association of Canada, BCB is pleased to offer five grants of $200 towards NCCP workshops for women bowls coaches.


While women make up over 50% of the bowls population in Canada, the number of women coaches is drastically lower. These grants are intended to further encourage women to continue down their coaching pathway. For more information onHow often do background checks need to be done? the bowls coaching program, please click here.


Women wishing to take advantage of this opportunity can fill out the online application form here. Grants will be awarded based on qualifications on a first-come first-served basis.


To view the Coaching Association of Canada’s NCCP workshops, please click here.


Clubs Needed to Host

Any clubs interested in hosting a club coach clinic, competitive coach clinic or player development camp should contact their District Chair, District Coaching Coordinator or the OLBA Co-chairs for Coaching and Player Development (Dave Burrows - Districts 1 to 8, or Mary Lou Richards - Districts 9 - 16).

Please reach out as soon as possible so we can get them scheduled for the 2020 season.


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 



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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