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Bowls In Focus : January 2010
PD skip Dan Rushton. "I think PD is a very high standard in Victoria, but I believe it has stopped a lot of clubs being able to achieve the highest grade because the same people simply migrate between clubs once a team gets relegated," Rushton said. "I think the Vic side is better for having PD because it allows the players to maintain a high stan- dard of practice (pennant) in between state series," said Rushton, who has represented Victoria. Rushton also advocated teams of 12 playing games of 21 ends, but he also wanted to see wash- out/heat out matches rescheduled. From the youth perspective, 18-year-old Moonee Ponds player Ben Hubber found mostly positives. "I think premier division is a good standard of bowls, you have just got to look at some of the play- ers - Mark Jacobsen, Michael Wilks, Mark Casey and other big names. It's good to see fly-in players. It makes it bigger, I think, and more exiting. "I'm not sure if PD has improved the state side, I have never played for Victoria, but I do know that PD's a much better standard of bowls than the country. It's played with more intensity, so I guess that has got to help," Hubber said. Hubber is another fan of 12-player teams and no break. "The main thing I would want to see improved is the afternoon tea break. Why waste 20-odd minutes of your time halfway through a big game of bowls just to have a sandwich and a raffle for half a dozen stubbies," Hubber said. And there should be a move away from the rigid Saturday-afternoon regimen, according to Hubber. "I would also like to see more night games and Sunday games like NSW and Queensland premier leagues. It's a great opportunity for clubs to make money; it's good for the sport and brings an even bigger atmosphere to the game. After all, it is the best bowls in the state so it should be available to be seen by other bowlers," he said. There's no doubt that teams of 16 dilute the PD's quality. I offer Exhibit A into evidence: me. If a hack like myself can play more than 100 PD games, then there's a definite problem with quality control. Pare it back to a decent dozen and out go four less skilled fringe players. Just as obvious is the need to remove weather-af- fected games from the PD equation. It's a nonsense for entrepreneurial clubs to organise a fixture on Friday night and be washed out while the other four games go ahead under clear skies the next day. Any rule that removes the impetus towards innova- tion must be scrapped or amended. A serious elite- level competition allows for weather-affected fixtures to be completed at another time, as the RVBA should do in the case of PD. Just one uncompleted match in a season of 90 games is enough to unfairly skew the final ladder when just a matter of a point or two can affect the structure of the final four. And eventually, the court was told, a premier league needs to look outside the metropolitan area if it wants to maintain real credibility. Costly it may be and difficult to finance, but eventually a state-wide league needs to be inked onto the RVBA agenda. And the result of the court case - apparently it's a hung jury. • Bundoora and Darebin City fought out a rollicking Premier Division grand fnal in 2005, but both clubs have since been relegated due to an exodus of top players.