With only a short time to endure the remainder of winter, we can look forward to the start of our bowling season. Here are the dates of the Division tournaments: the CD Open pairs will be July 8-9 and singles August 12-13 while singles Playdowns will be July 15-16 with the pairs August 19-20. Entry forms for 2017 are on the Tournaments page, as are the requirements for Playdowns entrants. To enter in the Central Division Open, you must be a member of Bowls USA or an equivalent national organization. This page also lists other tournaments open to all Bowls USA or international players. A reminder to Central Division clubs: if your club has tournaments or other events open to out-of-towners, this information can be included on the website. Send this and any other club news to: email@example.com .
Bowls USA has announced a new program to make funds available to clubs to “promote club development and to assist recruiting and retaining members”. Click on this link for the details and application form. Note that these grants are available to all clubs that have 100% Bowls USA membership and will be allocated across all the divisions.
Central’s Bid For Repeat Comes Up Just Short
Last years pairs champs Central’s Bob Schneider and Rob Behncke made a great run in the 2016 Championships. After the round robin they were tied for first with the team of Steve Smith and Bill Brault from the Southwest, each team having only one loss. Steve and Bill had also won previous national championships and were last seen by this reporter in the US Open where they finished second, losing in a very competitive final game to Scotland’s former world champions Alex Marshall and Paul Foster.
After falling behind early in the playoff game, Schneider and Behncke fought their way back but ran out of ends and lost in a close finish to wind up in second place. Good going guys. Jim Gryzbowski, Rebecca Nguyen, and Pat Wimmer also represented the Central Division.
A field which included five current or former National Champions toed the mat for the Otto Hess tournament. (Otto always claimed everyone spelled his first name backwards, so if I have done the same, sorry ottO). After slogging through a rain drenched morning, the skies cleared and the sun shined on a pair of National Championship qualifiers, Rob Behncke and Jim Grzybowski. They finished in first, beating out veteran Team USA players Bob Schneider and Joe Zinna who finished second. Mark Mathwig, Dat Ngyuen, and Dat’s afternoon substitute Max Cavender came in third. Even with the soaking rain, the greens held their speed nicely. This is a tribute to all the hard work of head greenskeeper Bob Schneider and his crew of assistants.
Unfortunately, one team had to be disqualified for violations of the uniform rules. As you can see, their shirts clearly do not match. Bubbles, the player on the left claims to be Canadian, but he still hasn’t said he’s sorry, so this nationality is highly doubtful, (and there have been rumors that he is overly fixated with kitties). The player on the right says he is a native of the planet earth, but this is also questionable. After all, he admitted that his first name is Weird. The investigation is still in progress. Be on the lookout for these miscreants. They might try to enter a tournament near you.
Jim Grzybowski outlasted veteran Leif Andresen to qualify for the National Championships in the Central Division Singles Playdowns. In the penultimate 21 point game of the playoff, both players were tied at 19 when Jim buried the jack to lie two. Leif’s last bowl went two feet through the head finishing outside Jim’s second shot making Jim the champion. This will be Jim’s first appearance in the National Championships, but certainly not his last.
Three players from the Central Division traveled to Pittsburg for the Northeast Division Open. The only one to have any success was Rob Behncke. Rob teamed up with well-known Canadian bowler Jurgen Fessler to win the Pairs event. Great job guys, and well done to the NE Division for a great tournament.
Bob Schneider and Rob Behncke prevailed in a double elimination tournament to win the 2016 Central Division Pairs playdowns. After a very close contest in game one where they were four shots down with two ends to play and managed to pull out a win, they cruised through the rest of the games undefeated. Carl Landgren and Mark Mathwig finished in second with Jim Gryzbowski and Leif Andresen in third. Anna Witt and Rebecca Nguyen were the women’s champions.
It Was The Best of Times It Was The Worst of Times
Well, lawn bowls is not for the faint of heart.
Rob Behncke and third year phenom Brian Schieble teamed up to capture the 2016 Central Division Pairs Championship. Giving the winners a strong challenge were the teams of Carl Landgren & Mark Mathwig in second, Bob Schneider & Leif Andresen in third, and Anna Witt & Rebecca Nguyen in fourth.
Tournament participants included Alan and Helen Carmen from Duneden New Zealand. Despite the handicaps of using loaner bowls and playing on a much slower surface than they were used to, they were both very competitive, as you might expect.
Despite the stylish hat, Bob Schneider couldn’t deliver on the In N Out burgers. However he and his 2015 US National Championships partner, Rob Behncke, delivered an unprecidented 4th consecutive win in the 2016 Potlicker Cup. The tournament director suggested that instead of engraving their names on the trophy, he could save money by using ditto marks instead. Jim Grzybowski and Leif Andresen finished second in a close and hard fought battle.
This is a picture of the last end with 14 of 16 bowls delivered. It was taken from the side. The red bowl to the right is directly in front of the jack. In the time honored tradition of lawn bowls, both skips suffered severe verbal abuse after missing the head with their final shots. Over the years, the winners of this tournament have included eight former National Champions. Everyone is welcome to enter, so keep it in mind for next year.
PS: The heads didn’t always look like this. PPS: Usually not a whole lot like this.