Yahoo UK and Ireland – Lawn bowling’s reputation as a genteel sport played at a sedate pace well-suited to its elderly, white-clad participants could be about to change with the introduction of a new high-stakes international competition its organisers hope will revitalise the sport the same way Twenty20 did for cricket.
- “We have created a concept that will enhance the opportunity for growth in our sport, through quick, fast and fun matches to watch, both for existing bowlers but, importantly, for a new audience,” UBC chief executive and director Mark Casey said.
- UBC organisers say the tweaks will make for much faster, higher-scoring games than seen in the traditional version of the sport – and, with music blaring out of loudspeakers and food and beverage of offer at each event, a more entertaining, marketable spectacle.
- For those unable to get to events, armchair bowls fans will be able to follow the UBC from the comfort of their homes after a broadcasting deal was struck with the Seven Network which will see games televised on 7TWO, Fox Sports, Sky Sport NZ and Fox Sports Asia.
- “It’s not designed to replace the traditional game, which is still hugely popular; it’s designed to introduce new people to the sport that hundreds of thousands of Australians have loved for generations,” said Casey.
- In another parallel with Twenty20 cricket, some of the world’s best bowlers – who were assigned to teams at the inaugural draft in January – will ditch the more orthodox whites and instead be decked out in colourful uniforms at UBC events.