Academy v Sandgroper

by Denise McMillan

Bowls WA Academy v Sandgroper Bowling Arms Squad

Bowls WA Academy played against the WA Sandgroper Arm Squad last week in a memorable event. Fielding teams of 24 players had both groups recruiting extra players – for the Academy this meant current and past State Players, and for the Sandgropers this meant freshly minted Sandgroper Squad members.

Format of play included Singles, Pairs, Triples and Fours with the following aggregate results:

Singles:              Sandgropers 95,   Academy 68

Pairs:                  Sandgropers 46,   Academy 56

Triples:               Sandgropers 34,   Academy 68

Fours:                Sandgropers 58.   Academy 89

While the Sandgropers came out on top in the Singles and within ten points in the Pairs – the Academy dominated the Triples and Fours. In a learning twist for the day, after the morning games the Academy players tried out the bowling arms of their opposition and then ate lunch to a review of types of bowling arms and a video on arm techniques.

There were a lot of grins in this event and the Academy learned that Bowling Arms are not ‘easy’ nor are they ‘cheating sticks’ – it requires a lot of patience, dedication, and practice to become highly proficient at using an arm – almost to the point or re-learning the sport many have enjoyed their entire lives with healthy bodies!

In a future training twist for both groups there will be a new annual Shield in 2022 where the freshly selected State Sandgroper Side will compete against the Academy in five-aside format on Sunday June 12. This will include three parallel games of Singles and Fours in the morning and Pairs and Singles in the afternoon.

For the Sandgropers this annual event will form part of the training pathway to competing at the National Bowling Arm Sides Championships. In 2022 this event will be hosted in WA, for the first time, at Warnbro Bowling Club (home of the Sandgropers) from September 5th to 9th.