Format changes proposed for ladies’ tournament

bowls generic picture

bowls generic picture - Credit: Archant

Changes to the format of the Weston Ladies’ Open Bowls Tournament are being investigated.

ORGANISERS of the Weston Ladies’ Open Bowls Tournament are consulting competitors over proposed changes to the format next year.

The number of entries has been declining annually and, last year, the format was changed so that each competition could be played to a conclusion in one day. This meant that matches had to be played in shortened form.

Many competitors did not like this and voted with their feet, by staying away this year. The number of entries for the 2014 tournament, which ended on Saturday, was very disappointing.

David Stott, registrar of both the men’s and ladies’ open tournaments, said: “Total entrants were 320, which generated entry fees of £1,280. Since prize money amounted to £2,240, we cannot continue to absorb such losses.”

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Before the event finished, competitors were presented with a document proposing two options for next year’s tournament. One suggests playing the ladies’ singles to the full 21 shots on a knockout basis on the Monday, with the later stages on Friday and Saturday.

The ladies’ pairs would also revert to the standard format, with three rounds on the Tuesday and final stages on Saturday.

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The other alternative is for ladies’ singles to be played to 21 shots, but in a round robin of three games, with the top eight in each section going through to knockout stages on Friday. The same format would apply to ladies’ pairs.

Registrar Stott said: “The main complaints we have had are that people want ‘proper’ singles and pairs, not reduced-length round robins. We hope that either of these proposed formats will bring back many of the players who stayed away this year.”

He added: “We shall be discussing the matter at a committee meeting on Friday. Unless we do something to attract more entries, we shall have to think about ending the ladies’ tournament altogether or combining it with the men’s.”

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