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Lawn Bowls History

Siti Zalina Ahmad of Malaysia during the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester.

Siti Zalina Ahmad of Malaysia during the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester.

Lawn Bowls has been included on every Commonwealth Games program since 1930, with the exception of 1966. Three events were staged at the first Games, for men only, Singles, Doubles and Rinks/Fours.

The competition remained unchanged until 1982 in Brisbane, Australia, when women got their first taste of Commonwealth Games lawn bowls with Triples. Women's Singles and Rinks/Fours were subsequently added to the program four years later in Edinburgh, Scotland, while Triples was changed to Doubles.

Visually Impaired Men's and Women's Singles competitions were held in Victoria, Canada, in 1994, and Women's Visually Impaired Singles and Men's Triples EAD (Elite Athletes with a Disability) at Manchester 2002.

Made a compulsory Commonwealth Games sport in 2002, the Games Lawn Bowls competition now ranks with the World Championships as the sport's most important event.

Arguably Lawn Bowls' greatest ever player, England's David BRYANT, has been the Games' most successful Singles champion, winning gold at Perth 1962, Edinburgh 1970, Christchurch 1974 and Edmonton 1978.

In Previous Games

England was the leading country in lawn bowls at Manchester 2002 claiming three gold medals (Men's Rinks/Fours, Women's Rinks/Fours, Women's Blind Singles) and one silver (Men's Doubles). The haul brought England's overall gold medal tally in Lawn Bowls since 1930 to 14, the most by any country.

Scotland also performed well, winning two gold medals: in Men's Doubles and Men's EAD Triples.

The other three gold medals were awarded to New Zealand (Women's Doubles), South Africa (Men's Singles) and Malaysia (Women's Singles).

The best result the hosts of the 2006 Games, Australia, could manage was a silver in the Women's Singles.

At Melbourne 2006

Twenty-six nations and 261 athletes have entered the competition, making it the biggest Lawn Bowls representation of any Games. Manchester 2002 saw 22 countries compete.

The Lawn Bowls program covers nine days of competition, with a planned start on the day following the Opening Ceremony, March 16. The draws are conducted in a round-robin format. At the conclusion of the preliminary rounds the top performers then compete in the quarter-finals. From the quarters onward the games are run on a knockout basis. The winners of the semi-finals then play off for the six gold medals.

The competition will be held at the State Lawn Bowls Centre (SLB) at the John Cain Memorial Park in the northern suburb of Thornbury, as part of the $20 million Darebin International Sports Centre, which was officially opened in early 2005.

The greens at Darebin are fast becoming the best in Melbourne, running at an ideal 13-and-a-half and 15-and-a-half seconds.

Darebin hosted its first major international event, the Asia Pacific Championships, in November 2005, and then the Tri-Nations Cup, played between Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia, in early February 2006, with great success.

What's New

Melbourne 2006 is a whole new ball game for lawn bowlers with the introduction of sets play and tie-breakers, which aim to make the game quicker and more attractive.

Each game will consist of two sets of nine ends. If scores are tied after two sets, there's a three- end tie-break. Games are expected to be over in roughly two-and-a-half hours as opposed to about five. The tie-breakers are sure to add excitement.

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