Back 

History

Go
Official website of Bowls Australia.

History

1845
- First recorded game of bowls at the back of the Beach Tavern (Sandy Bay, TAS).

- T.Burgess defeated F. Lipscombe.


1846
- First bowling club in Australia is established alongside the Bowling Green Hotel in Sandy Bay.

- This club was closed in 1853.


1852
- 1000 spectators paid to watch a match at the Bowling Green Hotel green between civilians and the military.


1864
- Melbourne Bowls Club is formed (oldest existing bowling club in Australia)

- First bowls made in Australia, turned by Mr Alcock, Russell Street, Melbourne.


1867
- First set of laws governing interclub matches in Victoria is adopted.


1870
- Woolpack Bowls Club formed in NSW (subsequently became Parramatta Bowls Club which closed in 1886).


1872
- George S. Coppin entrepreneur, suggested first bowling carnival in Australia. This was not taken up.


1876
- First game of bowls in SA on green put down by Andrew Thomson at Kapunda.


1878
- Brisbane Bowls Club formed (green in Botanic Garden). Subsequently became Booroodabin Bowls Club.


1880
- First match between colonies, states, dominions or countries played between NSW and Victoria at Kentville (NSW).

- Rosehill Bowls Club formed. Subsequently became Parramatta Bowls Club. Parramatta Bowls Club ceased to function in 1986.

- NSW Association formed-first bowling association in world.

- Victorian Association formed.


1883
- Launceston Bowls Club formed.


1884
- Perth Bowls Club formed.

- New Zealand entered inter-colonial competition.


1897
- Adelaide Bowls Club formed.


1898
- WA Association formed.


1899
- First NSW team visited Queensland.

- Imperial Bowling Association formed in England at instigation of Australian Bowlers accompanying Joe Darling's cricket team.

- Australian associations invited to send team to England.


1900
- Melbourne Cricket Club instituted singles championship of Australasia.

- Rules for formation of Australasia Bowling Association adopted at representative conference in Melbourne.


1901
- NSW decided to join the proposed Australasian Bowling Association.

- First team of Australasian bowlers toured Great Britian and Ireland.


1902
- SA Association formed (by Delegates of Adelaide and Adelaide Oval Bowls Clubs).


1903
- Queensland Association formed.


1904
- Waverley Bowls Club (NSW) promoted singles championship of Australasia (opened 1893 and still running).


1905
- SABA inaugurated Easter Open tournament which included Australian singles championship.

- International Bowling Board formed at Cardiff (Wales).


1908
- NSWBA conducted Australasian singles championship-first to be conducted in turn by State Associations.

- Delegates from State Associations and New Zealand met in Sydney and achieved considerable uniformity in laws of game.


1910
- Being its turn to conduct the Australian Singles the SABA initiated the current form of carnival interstate matches, singles and fours championships etc.

- At an interstate conference in Adelaide, SA brought forward a proposal for the formation of an Australian Bowls Council. SABA President (S.J.Jacobs) and SA Delegate (Clarence Moody) were principals in drafting propositions and constitution.


1911
- Australian Bowls Council formed at conference of delegates in Melbourne. Historic minute drafted by A.C.Thomas (SA).


1912
- First ABC championships held in Melbourne.


1914
- First Australian team under ABC auspices visits New Zealand.

- Second ABC championships held in Brisbane.


1915
- Third ABC championships allotted to Sydney abandoned (World War 1).


1916
- Third ABC championships set down for Sydney abandoned again owing to war.


1919
- Third ABC championships allotted to Sydney again abandoned (owing to pneumonic influenza epidemic).

- Attempt to play third ABC championships at Launceston abandoned due to seaman's strike.


1920
- Another attempt to play third ABC championships at Launceston failed owing to another strike by seamen-fifth successive attempt to play the championships.


1925
- ABC decided all bowls should be standardised by the table test.

- First visit to Australia by British team.


1926
- Fifth ABC championship (Sydney). Competitors from outside Australia for the first time-Fiji and NZ.

- Canberra Club formed.


1928
- Australia become a member of the International Bowling Board.


1930
- First Empire Games (Hamilton, Canada). Australia unrepresented in bowls.


1934
- Ninth ABC championships (Adelaide). Pairs championship included for first time.


1947
- Victorian Association granted title of "Royal".


1949
- AWBC (Women's National Championship) held in Sydney, NSW. 815 entries.


1951
- AWBC (Women's National Championship) held in Brisbane, QLD. 1,000 plus entries.


1953
- AWBC (Women's National Championship) held in Adelaide, SA. 1,142 entries.


1954
- NSW Association granted title of "Royal".


1955
- AWBC (Women's National Championship) held in Melbourne, VIC. 2,220 entries, 528 fours, 1,014 pairs, 1,528 singles.


1957
- AWBC (Women's National Championship) held in Perth, WA.


1959
- Queensland Association granted title of "Royal".

- First introduction Interstate contests played before commencement of ABC Championships with ABC Interstate Shield as trophy. Queensland first winner. Acceptance of A.U.Alley Commemorative Shield for presentation to State when it surrenders Interstate Shield.

- A.U.Alley created first life member of ABC.

- AWBC (Women's National Championship) held in Hobart TAS. Entries 1,187.


1961
- South Australia and Western Australia each granted the title "Royal".

- AWBC (Women's National Championship) held in Sydney, NSW. 3,500 entries.


1962
- Meeting of International Bowling Board held in Perth. Change of Constitution of IBB.

- Appointment of first overseas President other than from the United Kingdom, W.Hay Esq, USA appointed for two year term.


1963
- Concept of first World Bowls Championship envisaged by Dr Neil Benjamin.

- AWBC (Women's National Championship) held in Brisbane, QLD. 2,300 entries.


1964
- First official International visit between National Authorities of IBB Affiliation.

- Australia visited South Africa, 3 test matches played, won by South Africa 2-1. Australian players were, L.Shean (NSW), D.Downie (NSW), K.Dwyer (QLD), J.M.Dobbie (VIC), E.Dawkins (SA), G.Fry (TAS), B.Katunarich (WA), Manager W.J.(Jack) Spear (VIC).


1965
- AWBC (Women's National Championship) held in Adelaide, SA. 4,435 entries.


1966
- First World Bowls Championships played at Kyeemagh Bowls Club (NSW). Conducted by RNSWBA for the ABC with Ampol Petroleum Ltd, as the sponsor. Games televised. Series trophy-the W.M. Leonard Trophy won by Australia. Australia won Gold Medals in Pairs and Triples and a Silver Medal in the Fours. 16 countries competed. Australian players were, J.M.Dobbie (VIC)., A.Johnson (NSW), G.Kelly (NSW), D.Collins (SA), A(Bert) Palm (QLD), Manager W.J.(Jack) Spear (VIC).


1967
- AWBC constitution revised to include Australian Championships as follows; one single and one pair from each state. PLay to be singles 31 up, pairs 21 ends, Round Robin format.

- AWBC (Women's National Championship) held in Melbourne, VIC. 4,000 entries.


1969
- AWBC (Women's National Championship) held in Perth, WA.


1971
- AWBC (Women's National Championship) held in Hobart, TAS.


1973
- AWBC (Women's National Championship) held in Sydney, NSW.


1975
- Charles Smart retired as the Secretary of the Australian Bowls Council after a period of service of 39 years. John Dobbie (VIC) appointed as Hon. Secretary of Australian Bowls Council.

- AWBC (Women's National Championship) held in Brisbane, QLD.


1977
- AWBC (Women's National Championship) held in Adelaide, SA. 5,000 entires.


1979
- Inaugural series of Australian National Championship of State Champions. Fours, Pairs and Singles played Melbourne, Victoria.
Singles event won by S.Leonard (NSW).

- Inauguration of the Inter Dominion Tournament.

- Australia vs New Zealand played in Brisbane, Queensland. Australia won the series. Australian players, K.Poole (QLD), J.Snell (VIC), K.Metham (NSW),R.Taylor (WA), A.Sandercock (SA).

- Format of Women's National Championship changed to a 16 side representatives from each state.

- AWBC (Women's National Championship) held in Melbourne, VIC. 5,271 entries.


1980
- The World Bowls Championships had major TV coverage of bowls in Australia and encouraged the development of the ABC television series, Mazda Jack High. The series, planned for the long term, brought together four top Australians against four leading overseas contenders. Fourteen episodes and fourteen repeats were televised.


1981
- Introduction of professional standards in bowls. Change of ABC Constitution and re-testing of bowls within Australia abandoned.

- AWBC (Women's National Championship) held in Perth, WA.


1982
- Brisbane hosts Commonwealth Games.

- Women's Triples introduced for the first time.

- Australia won gold in Fours.


1983

- Australian Bowls Council amended Constitution to grant Australian Capital Territory associate affiliation with restricted rights.

- AWBC (Women's National Championship) held in Hobart, TAS.


1984
- The first Australia Games staged in Melbourne, Victoria at Doncaster B.C. with international representation from New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

- Men and women participated in separate competition under the organisation of the Australian Bowls Council. I. Dickison, New Zealand won the Singles Event.

- G.K.Putland, South Australia, elected as Senior Vice President of the International Bowling Board. John.M.Dobbie (VIC) elected a Life Member of the International Bowling Board.


1985
- J.M.Dobbie (VIC), retired as Hon, Secretary.

- First full time Executive Officer was appointed to administrate the affairs of the Australian Bowls Council. Al Mewett of NSW appointed and office established in Sydney (NSW).

- Inauguration of the Pacific Championships on a two years basis. First played at Tweed Heads B.C. Gold Coast (QLD). Fours, Triples, Pairs and Singles for men and women in separate competitions. Arrangements in conjunction with AWBC. Australian players; D.Katunarich (WA), A. Black (NSW), W.Bonagura (SA), D.Sherman (VIC), K.Poole (QLD), Manager, Morris Clarke.

- AWBC (Women's National Championship) held in Sydney, NSW.


1986
- International Bowling Board meeting at Edinburgh in July when G.K.Putland OAM, Australia, elected as President. Bede O'Brien (QLD) appointed as Hon. Secretary of IBB.


1987
- AWBC (Women's National Championship) held in Brisbane, QLD.


1988
- First Australian Indoor Championship held at Tweed Heads Stadium, won by D.Dalton (NSW).

- First players outside the UK to win the World Indoor Bowls Championship Pairs, I.Schuback (QLD), J.Yates (VIC).

- First Australian Junior Championship introduced -venue Sydney. Winners, Singles C.Curtis (NSW) Pairs C.Curtis (NSW) S.McKenzie (NSW).


1989
- Television series Mazda Jack High went into recess after 9 years on ABCTV.

- Introduction of 5 year plan at the instigation of the Australian Sports Commission. Plan and budget required to cover administration, national and international competition, Coaching, Junior development and promotional activities.

- AWBC (Women's National Championship) held in Adelaide, SA. 4,788 entries.


1990
- Australian Championships title transferred from the Champion of State Champions event.

- Australian best ever performance at Commonwealth Games winning three gold medals. Rob Parrella - Men's Singles. Ian Schuback and Trevor Morris - Mens Pairs and Women's fours


1991
- Australian Bowls Council adopts new corporate name and becomes Bowls Australia Inc. Delegates reduced from three to two for the six States and one each for ACT and NT.

- AWBC (Women's National Championship) held in Melbourne, VIC. 4,600 entries.


1992
- Bowls Australia adopts the policy of appointing a Side Manager outside Council and for fixed term. First appointment-Keith Poole MBE (QLD).

- First player outside the UK wins the World Indoor Bowls Singles Championship -Ian Schuback (NSW).

- First Australian to be elected as President of the World Indoor Bowls Council, Al Mewett of Bowls Australia.

- Mazda Jack High returned to television. Played at Tweed heads and telecast by Channel 9. Winner - Rob Parrella (QLD).

- First President of Bowls Australia to be elected by vote after Council agrees to terminate the rota system - Ron Tuckerman (ACT).

- Australia win gold in fours at women's world championship (Leamington Spa, England) Skippered by Margaret Sumner (VIC).


1993
- New company formed to control and conduct Bowls Australia events both national and international. The Company to be known as Bowls Event Management Ltd.

- Article of Association allow for personnel with special expertise to become board members. Such personnel may or may not belong to the Bowls fraternity.

- Public announcement confirmed World Bowls 1996 to be held in Adelaide.

- AWBC (Women's National Championship) held in Perth, WA. 3,642 entries.


1994
- Australia wins Gold Medal in men's pairs at Commonwealth Games. Rex Johnston and Cameron Curtis, youngest ever gold medal winner at 23 years of age.


1995
- AWBC (Women's National Championship) held in Hobart, TAS. 2,497 entries.


1996
- Australia stages Men's WBC (Lockleys, SA).

- Bowls Australia Council decides to implement a Merchandising Scheme. The Council decides to form a Board of Management composed of the President as its Chairman and having 3 directors elected to represent the Bowling fraternity and three independent directors elected for their expertise outside bowls although they may be bowlers. The Chief Executive Officer is included on the Board without voting rights.


1997
- Talks commence between the Australian Women's Bowls Council and Bowls Australia to determine whether it is possible for the two bodies to merge and the conditions of the merger if it is considered feasible.

- Unification Committee formed.

- AWBC (Women's National Championship) held in Sydney, NSW.


1998
- Contract secured with ABC TV and Fox Sports who guarantee over 30 hours of free to air and 70 hours of pay TV for the sport.

- Australia wins gold medal in Men's pairs at Commonwealth Games. B. Duprez and M. Jacobson.


1999
- AWBC (Women's National Championship) held in Brisbane, QLD. 2,623 entries.


2000
- Australian Men's Team win Leonard Trophy for best performed team at World Bowls Championships.


2001
- Australia host the Asia Pacific Championships in Moama.

- AWBC (Women's National Championship) held in Adelaide, TAS. 2,052 entries.


2002
- Bowls Australia and Women's Bowls Australia form one national body. To view the current members of the Board, please click here.

- Commonwealth Games hosted in Manchester - Karen Murphy win's a silver medal in the women's singles.


2003
- Rob Dobbins appointed as National Coach for both the men and women.

- Get on the Green program launched.

- AWBC (Women's National Championship) held in Melbourne, VIC.


2004
- Mens World Bowls Tournament

  • Gold Singles: Steve Glasson
  • Fours: Brett Duprez, Michael Wilks, Kelvin Kerkow & Kevin Walsh

    - Womens World Bowls Tournament
  • Pairs: Maria Rigby & Karen Murphy
  • Triples: Jenny Harragon, Katrina Wright & Roma Dunn

    - Rob Dobbins retires as National Coach.

    - Cameron Curtis appointed as National Coach and Ian Schuback appointed as Technical Coach.

    - The successful introduction of Bowls Australia's new event calender with grand prix tournaments being held at leading clubs across Australia.

    - AWBC (Women's National Championship) held in Newcastle, NSW.

2005
- Bowls Australia successfully staged the inaugural Australian Open at the Yarraville-Footscray bowling club from 15-19 March.

- In conjuction with the Australian Open, Bowls Australia together with AUSRAPID hosted the innaugural Australian Bowls Classic for bowlers with an intellectual disability.

- The first World Cup was staged in Hong Kong by World Bowls. Australian representative Mark Casey won the men's singles crown and Lynsey Armitage secured the women's singles at the World Junior Cup.

- AWBC (Women's National Championship) held in Hobart, TAS.


2006
- Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games

- The Australian bowls team records its best ever effort at a Commonwealth Games with three gold medals, a silver and a bronze from six events. Australia’s previous best was in 1990 when the side won three gold and a silver. The huge medal haul also betters the record by any country since 1986 when the bowls competition first comprised six disciplines.

Women's results

  • QF Singles: Maria Rigby - QF
  • Gold Pairs: Lynsey Armitage & Karen Murphy
  • Silver Triples: Noi Tucker, Roma Dunn & Ceri Ann Davies - Silver

Men's results

  • Gold singles: Kelven Kerkow
  • Bronze pairs: Barrie Lester & Nathan Rice
  • Gold triples: Bill Cornehls, Wayne Turley & Mark Casey

2007
- Asia Pacific Championships
The Australian team created history with an unprecedented four gold, two silver and two bronze medals.

Gold medallists

  • Women's pairs - Lynsey Armitage & Karen Murphy
  • Men's pairs - Leif Selby & Nathan Rice
  • Men's triples - Bill Cornehls, Wayne Turley & Mark Casey
  • Men's fours - Leif Selby, Bill Cornehls, Wayne Turley & Mark Casey

- Trans Tasman
The Australian team again created history by elminating the New Zealand team in just two days of play. The team consisted of:

  • Julie Keegan, Karen Murphy, Kelsey Cottrell, Sharyn Renshaw & Claire Duke
  • Nathan Rice, Barrie Lester, Scott Caundle, Wayne Turley & Anthony Kiepe

- World Team Cup
Australia organised and hosted the inaugural World Team Cup, hosted by Tweed Heads Bowls Club. Australia won the title for both the men's and women's divisions.

  • Men's team - Aron Sherriff, Wayne Turley & Nathan Rice
  • Women's team - Kelsey Cottrell, Julie Keegan & Karen Murphy

2008

-Trans Tasman test series
Australia retained both the men’s and women’s trophies with strong victories against New Zealand inside of two days at the Burnside Bowling Club in Christchurch. The team consisted of:

  • Mark Casey, Nathan Rice, Wayne Turley, Aron Sherriff, Bill Cornehls
     
  • Karen Murphy, Kelsey Cottrell, Claire Duke, Julie Keegan, Lynsey Armitage

-World Championships
Australia had its best result at the World Championships, finishing the event with seven medals from eight events. Our women’s team claimed four medals from four events, including one gold, two silver and one bronze, as well as the Taylor Trophy as the number one women’s team in the world. Our men’s team claimed two Silver and one bronze, with our triples team going down to Fiji in a quarter-final. Our men’s team finished the event one point off top spot to be ranked number two in the world.

Women’s team:

  • Gold medal: Fours (Karen Murphy, Julie Keegan, Claire Duke, Lynsey Armitage)
  • Silver medal: Triples (Claire Duke, Julie Keegan, Kelsey Cottrell)
  • Bronze medal: Singles (Kelsey Cottrell)
  • Bronze medal: Pairs (Karen Murphy, Lynsey Armitage)

Men’s team:

  • Silver medal: Fours (Mark Casey, Wayne Turley, Nathan Rice, Bill Cornehls)
  • Silver medal: Singles (Aron Sherriff)
  • Bronze medal: Pairs (Nathan Rice, Aron Sherriff)
Copyright 2014 by Bowls Australia