Fun spin on bowls is a hit
THE Bowls Premier League is the T20 of lawn bowls with a lively crowd and on-green atmosphere to match its cricket equivalent, and it's returning to Club Pine Rivers in November.
The home team, the Visit Moreton Bay Brisbane Pirates, are quietly confident with former world champion and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Alex Marshall in their ranks.
Alex is based in Scotland and will join fellow former world champion and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Kelsey Cottrell, and Club Pine Rivers' Michael Breen who has represented Queensland 140 times.
"The Pirates have a great chance with a great team, I think we finished third last year then second in New Zealand so hopefully one place further in November," Alex says.
"I love the quick fire game and the atmosphere and the camaraderie between the players."
He says every team has a chance of winning and will need to be at their best to prevail. Eight franchises will battle it out, with the Illawara Gorillas, Melbourne Roys, New Zealand Blackjacks, Perth Suns, Sydney Lions, Gold Coast Hawks and Murray Steamers travelling to Bray Park for the competition.
Brisbane Pirates coach Dave Edwards says while every player is of international standard, he believes his team has what it takes to win. "We're the home team with the No. 1 player in the world," Dave says.
The players won't have a chance to train together before the competition, but Dave says they don't need it.
His role is more about strategies during the tournament and managing player substitutions, with two players on the green at one time.
It's a serious competition, but the shortened version of the game is equally about the atmosphere.
"Bowls is traditionally shh, quiet, but the players love the noise, the music and the banter," Dave says. "For four days the club's just buzzing."
There will be themed nights to help spectators get into the festivities - a kids' night with jumping castle, face painting and more; a country night; '80s themed night; and pirates night to cheer on the home side.
The Bowls Premier League is on from November 13-16. Admission is free.
Visit bowlspremierleague.com.au or phone Club Pine Rivers on 3481 8600.
Bowls Premier League
What: T20 of lawn bowls with eight teams battling it out in 14 rounds across four days. Cheer on the home side, the Visit Moreton Bay Brisbane Pirates
When: November 13-16, daytime competition from 11.30am
Phone Club Pine Rivers on 3481 8600 or visit bowlspremierleague.com.au