Suns ready to fire up The fourth installment of the Bowls Premier League is here with all the action set to kick off next week. Once again the Crown Perth Suns will be jetting off to Club Pine Rivers in Queensland to be part of the action hoping to snare the trophy for the west. The Suns players Thomas Mitchell, Kristina Krstic and Pieter Harris completed final preparations last night with a solid hit out at Innaloo Bowling Club against the WA NTC Squad.
With the newest and most exciting format of bowls back on the TV we’ve got all the information you could need in order to enjoy the BPL in 2016.
Once again the competition will be broadcast live on Fox Sports to view the full schedule click here
How does the game work?
Teams of three play two five end sets of three bowl pairs against each other with a one end tie break to split them if they are drawn. Each team starts with two players playing in the traditional positions with one substitute. The substitute can be used at any time and as often as you like but each player must play at least nine bowls. When the sub is activated they replace a player that is currently on the green. Each team also gets a powerplay which they can use once per set to score double shots on that end. If you lose your powerplay end there’s no getting it back. Other rules include a 30 second shot clock, the jack being placed on one of three marks rather than being rolled and a re-spot if the jack is put out of bounds. This year’s only new rule is that each team must include a player of each gender.
How does the competition work?
The eight teams play each other twice in a round robin style kicking off on Tuesday. The ladder is determined by wins then sets and the top four teams play a finals series on the final day. The bottom four teams can go home early. Each of the teams will get three games on TV under lights with all the finals also played at night. The draw can be found on the Bowls Premier League website under the Competition tab and on the Perth Suns Facebook page.
How can I watch it?
Games will be broadcast from 3pm until 8pm Perth time on Fox Sports from Tuesday until Friday. There will be one game at a time during four different time slots so fans of each team get the opportunity to see their players in action. The Suns start their Tuesday and Wednesday games at 6:45 WST and at 5:30 on Thursday. All finals will be played on TV on Friday. Perth Suns major sponsor Crown Perth will be showing all games live on the big screens in the Sports Bar.
Who is competing?
The eight BPL franchises come from all around Australia and New Zealand each with three players and a coach.
Crown Perth Suns
The Crown Perth Suns are represented by an all WA side for the second time in their history. The suns were a founding member of the BPL and made the finals in the first two installments of the competition. After disappointingly missing out for the first time last year the Suns will be keen to reclaim their rightful place playing on Friday night. Tom Mitchell is the only returning member from last series making his third appearance. As a four time Rosenthal Medalist he will be keen to show his class. Pieter Harris makes his BPL debut but with 200 state games under his belt he is unlikely to be fazed by the challenge. Kristina Krstic also makes her debut and holds the honour of the being the Suns first ever female player. As a two time Under 25 World Championships Gold Medallist and an Australian Squad Member there is no doubt she is ready for the big stage.
The Adelaide Endurance are another founding member of the BPL already cultivating a rich history of success. The Endurance have made every final but hang end of every result. Mainstay Wayne Reudiger, the returning Max Kleinig and debutant Breanna Dickson will be looking to take the final step at BPL 04
Initially known as the Brisbane Gold the Pirates were the victors in the first ever BPL in 2013 but have since had endure a couple of lean years. The new look Pirates will be looking to reverse that in 2016. Kelvin Kerkow is the only championship winning player left as he is joined by debutants Sean Baker and Natasha Scott looking to rejoin the finals race.
Gold Coast Hawks
The Hawks had a strong BPL03 campaign that saw them playing finals. One of two expansion franchises added in BPL02 the Hawks have quickly established themselves as major threats to any of the established sides. Last year’s players Brett Wilkie and Nathan Rice return while Lynsey Clarke returns after missing last year’s competition to complete an all Helensvale trio looking to do their club proud.
The Roys have always been in and around the place for finals appearances and BPL04 will be no exception. The Roys have gone for youth in their side with the last year’s hero Aaron Wilson their oldest player at the age of 24. Foundation member Dylan Fisher joins him along with 18 year old Tiffany Brodie making her first appearance.
The second of the expansion sides the Murray Steamers won the BPL in their first appearance back in BPL02 and look ripe to contend yet again. Michael Walker and Canadian Ryan Bester were both part of that BPL02 team and have played in every game for the Steamers. They are joined this year by Ellen Ryan who makes her debut.
New Zealand Blackjacks
The Blackjacks are the reigning BPL champions having made the breakthrough last year. The Blackjacks have finished top two in every BPL but bowed out in the semi finals the last two years. Ali Forsyth and Shannon McIlroy both return with Jo Edwards a late pull out from the side for the first time. Despite the setback they look a team to beat again.
The Sydney Lions have had a disappointing first few seasons in the BPL but last year’s performance shows they are on the right track. Aaron Sherriff continues his record of playing every game with another selection in 2016. Ben Twist comes back after his debut season last year and Karen Murphy returns after missing BPL03 with international duties.