Thursday 14 September 2023

World Champs 2023 - DONE!

Back home now and time to wrap up the last few days of a fabulous World Championships.

The focus fell on the Broadbeach Bowls Club where the finals of the second week were being held. I was not required on the Saturday but took the opportunity to spend some time with my adopted Aussie mum and ITO, Pam Hockings, learning the intrigate details of the laser measure and showing her how we do a line bowl with a string. Pam has perfected the Laser measure and my faith has been restored in its use whilst watching her during the second week. Still plenty of things that can go wrong but then there is that risk with any measuring device. The first choice equipment for carrying out a line bowl or jack is the telescopic scope at these events. Unfortunately the TV broadcast rinks prevented their use due to the set being too close to the edge of the bank. This meant we had to use the mirror, or liner siter. Its simple enough to set up and use and actually a little more accurate than the mirrors we used to have in the UK. Personally, I still think that using a string and a set square is a better method but I was not able to convince a number of ITOs that were now watching us and discussing various pros and cons. I love these opportunities for discussion as they are useful for trying to make equipment use consistent around the World at these events.

The TV broadcast rink on Green 4 at Broadbeach looked impressive and created a great atmosphere for the competitors in these finals. On the Saturday the Mens Fours and Womens Pairs finals were contested along with the Quarter and Semi-finals of the Men's Singles. There were some excellent close contests in both the finals with Scotland narrowly missing out on Gold to Australia in the Fours 10 shots to 12. In the Women's Pairs, Malta were again narrowly defeated by Malaysia 11 shots to 15. 

As I had a bit of spare time I took the opportunity to travel down the coast to Snapper Rocks with my roomie, Daryl Rowley. We just about had time for a spot of lunch at the surf club and a walk around to take some photos. I was due back at Broadbeach for flag duties at the medal ceremonies but had slightly underestimated how long  the journey back would take due to the weekend traffic. I made it back just as the final end of the Pairs was being played. 

The view from Snapper Rocks back to Broadbeach

Frog Rock!

On Sunday I was scheduled to umpire the Women's Triples Final at 9:00am. It was a fabulous morning again and the atmosphere on the broadcast rink was building early when I arrived. For me the game went without a call and indeed without any issues. It looked like I might get a call to do a ditch measure right in front of me but the players opted to do it themselves with a box measure!. Regardless of whether I was used or not it was a huge honour to officiate at a Final. 

The impressive Broadcast Rink
before the Women's Triples Final

After a bit of lunch at the club, I hung around for the Men's singles final between Gary Kelly of Ireland and Ryan Bester of Canada. I marked the final of the singles in 2016 in New Zealand when Ryan won the Silver Medal to NZs Shannon McIlroy. I was quietly rooting for him to go one better this time. After an intense "wham bang thank you ma'am" game with bowls and jack flying everywhere, Ryan eventually came out the winner with a scoreline of 21-16. A fantastic win for a humble and fabulous guy. Well done Ryan.

Rinkside view of the Singles Final with
Bernie Hill on Scoreboard and Dary Rowley as Umpire

Back to the appartment and some suitcase packing was required as it would be an early start on Monday when everyone was leaving. We returned to the club in the evening for the closing ceremony with snacks and a couple of drinks. It was great to get all the ITOs back in the same room again and it was a great atmosphere. It was also an opportunity to say farewell to some of the players and other officials.  A few of us enjoyed our last meal together in town before saying goodbye.

On Monday I was up early to leave the appartment and head off for a bit of whale watching. The seas were rough and I got soaked but we did see some whales and had an adventurous time. Following this I headed back up to Tamborine Mountain for some lunch and a walk through the forest before heading up to the Glass House Mountains for a spectacular sunset. My flight back to the UK via Hong Kong was at 1am on Tuesday morning so after dropping the rental car at the airport I settled down for the wait and then the overnight flight to HK. This was followed shortly after by a 14 hour trek back to London arriving just after 6pm.

Ready for a bit of Whale watching

Incredible trees on Tamborine Mountain

Sunset at the Glass House Mountains

What a fantastic fortnight of competition, friendship, good food, sun and laughs. I am never pleased to leave Australia, it's a fabulous country. Lots to follow up on from a Laws Advisory Group perspective but also with the various discussions that were had amongst us all over the event.

Until next time, thank you Australia for another fabulous trip.

Feel free to drop me any questions but until next time, thank you for reading my nonsense and following my journey. Hope it gave you a bit of an insight into the World Champs from an ITO perspective.

Right time to sleep off this jetlag and then do some proper work to pay for it all!     

What a great team of ITOs


  1. Ann Wright here Allan. A pleasure to catch up with you again 😊

  2. Hi Allan have enjoyed your stories about your trip. Great working with you and enjoyed the discussions re equipment. We are in Brisbane heading home tomorrow. Look forward to working with you again in the future. Marg Eames

  3. Enjoyed your blogs, and also your pictures thanks for all the updates. Cheers.

  4. Always great content - thanks so much for taking the time to do this