Bowls WA manages and supports the State Physical Disability Side who participate at a National Level in the National Multi-Disability Lawn Bowl Championships – otherwise known as the “Multibowl”.
Each State is allowed to have 10 players in a Side – five Men and five Women. It is hoped that in this player setup there is an equal distribution of B5/6 Players and B 7/8 Players. What does this mean?
It can be hard defining what a disability is and Australia follows the International Paralympic Commissions (IPC) definition of Athletes with a Disability using a Classification system. The four levels for physical impairment are listed below:
- B5: Wheelchair bowlers who can only use a very small bowl (size 00) due to limitation of upper limb function. Ambulant and wheelchair bowlers with restricted grip and upper body limb function, poor balance and co-ordination,unable to bowl a full length end or needing a splinting device to do so (Not including the bowling arm as used in Australia).
- B6: Ambulant and wheelchair bowlers with reduced balance function (loss of 5 points or more) but able to bowl a full length end.
- B7: Ambulant and wheelchair bowlers with minor balance problems (loss of less than 5 points).
- B8: Ambulant bowlers, who have a permanent and irreversible disability, have lost 10 points on the bench test, but have no noticeable impairment of function.
Representation in WA started in 2014 with a small Side of three male players and again in 2015 the Side consisted of three different male players.
This event is part of player seeding for the National Multibowl Championships where the physically disabled bowler participates, and also for the National Bowling Arm Challenge. WA has participated in the Multibowl Championships since 2014 while the Bowling Arm Challenge was newly contested in 2017.
Further information on all Inclusion programs and opportunities can be received from Denise McMillan, Inclusive Practices Officer at Bowls WA, on 0449 619 841.