Bowls Victoria plans to alter its region structure from July next year, this will see the removal of the Bendigo Bowls Division, Campaspe Valley and potentially the Goldfields division as well.
The BBD and CVBD will be incorporated into a new Bowls Victoria region structure, rather than the BBD’s 22 clubs all being part of one entity, they will now be among as many as 40 clubs in a region that could stretch 245kms from Deniliquin to Maryborough if Goldfields is also added.
Joining the BBD’s 22 clubs in the yet to be named region will be Deniliquin, Deniliquin RSL, Mathoura District
& Servicemen’s, Moama, City of Echuca, Rich River, Lockington, Tongala, Kyabram Valley View, Rochester and Elmore from Campaspe Valley.
And Dunolly, Maryborough Highlands Society, Maryborough Golf, Carisbrook, Talbot, Maldon and Newstead would be the Goldfields clubs if that division is to be added, which is expected to be known in May.
Under the existing Bowls Victoria structure, Bendigo and Campaspe Valley had been linked together as a region but ran independently of each other.
Now they, as well as potentially the Goldfields clubs, will all fall under the one level of governance, while they will still be able to run separate pennant competitions.
However, one possibility that the change could lead
to is the implementation of a showcase premier level competition pitting the big gun teams of the region against each other.
Bowls Victoria has outlined three key reasons for the
change, these were to achieve uniformity, reduce the number of volunteers required and to try and maximise bowlers leisure time.
Early naming suggestions for the new region include the North Central Region or Northern Goldfields Region, while the changes will require a new region constitution and regulations to be developed.
Bowls Victoria chief executive officer Tony Sherwill said the “encouraging” of the implementation of the changes by July 1 of this year had been made before the coronavirus impact.
“When we started this process there was a chance in some areas (to implement the changes this year), but the coronavirus has thrown our plans into a bit of chaos,” Sherwill said.
“The deadline was always July 1, 2021, but we were encouraging some regions to do it earlier if they were going to be in a position, which we thought Bendigo would have been. But we expect now that Bendigo will be 2021, rather than 2020 and that’s no drama.”
Bowls Victoria’s current structure of divisions within 16 existing metropolitan and regional regions has been in place for just over 10 years since the unification of the Royal Victorian Bowling Association and Victorian Ladies Bowling Association in December of 2009.
“The key thing with this change is we will no longer need the same number of volunteers running each division, we will be able to do it from a regional level,” Sherwill said.
“As for who plays who regarding pennant, there doesn’t need to be any change.”