BDBA Bowls Project Resources

This page is a resource for sharing important information about the BDBA Bowls Project. Clubs can provide information that they believe will be useful for others. The District Project Officer will also post important documents and links for use by the members of the network.

Update One  - 29 APRIL 2014

Specific items that were discussed are set out below - with relevant links where available.

1.The BDBA Bowls Project is an 'opt in' project where members can join and contribute and seek assistance from the Project Officer [] as needed.

2. The BDBA Bowls Project has a new Facebook site [for continuing the conversation] and a new web page [for sharing core resources]

3. Here is a link to BDBA's Main facebook page 

4. The group discussion developed a brief narrative about the District's role up to now - Working as a organiser controller of important competitions; sticking on its core 'pathway' with limited communications about broader aspects of the game.

5. The group discussion developed a brief future narrative for the District's role - Working as a network coordinator to support the sharing of information about the  broader issues of bowls and assisting clubs with particular problems or issues. Helping to ensure that we share our skills and resources more effectively.

6. The project officer indicated that the project was intended to support each club to develop its own narrative of future success. Suggested using the three steps included in the CSIROs approach to planning for support - Get well informed / Work out what is important / Establish some sensible options for actions.

7. Red Hill has been operating for 2 years and has gained benefits from establishing a 'coffee house' that brings visitors to the Club. A shopping centre  promotion is planned in May.

8. Grange has started "B20" bowls and has opened its doors to the community to assist it find a sustainable future.  New Farm has piloted "Jack Attack" as a bridging 'product' and thinking about introducing a Freestyle Bowls member package.

9. Gaythorne has established relationships with Eight Ball and Darts players and recently introduced a web site to support 'hall hire' for functions etc

10. St Lucia recently had a 'bring a friend day' - they gained 34 visitors and 20 new bowls club members. St Lucia have identified some elements that  made this event so successful

11. West Toowong is using new  communication technologies to connect with younger players.

12. There were some issues identified that need to be dealt with by different clubs -

  • lack of sufficient volunteers

  • drop off in membership and inability to recruit younger players

  • lack of willingness to participate in 'joint' pennant teams

  • potential for the clubs in the district to 'die a death of a thousand cuts' through not thinking differently about the problem

  • failing to recognise that there are very few 'full pennant members' in the broader community - the bowls product and promotion needs to match the market

13. Some solutions offered included -
  • offering different forms of membership { Some NRL clubs have 20 types of membership]

  • collaborating with other clubs on the use of shared facilities

  • engaging with an events management company to increase utilisation of facilities

  • letter box drops in 'target' areas not just closest areas

  • grants available now for facilities improvements through the State Gambling Fund

  • developing a 'district' level narrative and getting the district involved with 'development' as well as bowls events

Please contact the BDBA Bowls Project Officer [] if you need any support or assistance. Members and the district will resolve over time  the most appropriate way of continuing the work of this project.


Network Update No.2

BDBA Bowls Project Network members,

For your information here are three resources that may be of interest when you are considering the three steps covered at our workshop

1. Getting Informed - This report from Gemba is a real 'eye opener' gemba.pdf

2. Working out what's really important - new bowlers may be attracted to new formats for playing the game; read this brief article on the Jack Attack approach

3. Taking action on viable options- the future success of a bowls clubs depends on their management having a clear perspective of what they want their club to be and   how they're going to get there. Some clubs have not seriously considered all the options - have a look this preliminary options paper. 


 Network Update No. 3

St Lucia Learnings from Bring a Friend Day

Get in the Game - Get Going Day

The wet weather on the 13 April did not discourage 34 invitees and the 30 members to attend invitation day.

To date 11 men and 9 ladies signed up as new members and over 10 have already received coaching. Thanks go to Henry Friend for obtaining the grant and running the

BBQ; Gwenyth Rogers for organising the lunch; the 17 members who invited people to attend; the coaches and the many members and friends who volunteered their assistance on the day. Very much a team effort!

The following lessons were learnt:

1. Volunteer support is critical and this ensures that the workload is shared.

2. The program for the day needs to be flexible to accommodate weather etc.

3. Provided people are warmly welcomed then the weather is less important.

4. Encourage attendees to sign up on the day and to arrange follow-up coaching.

5. While publicity in the City Cat, posters and newspaper advertisements may raise awareness of the Club, they are not necessarily the best way to attract new members. Club members are the best way of attracting new people to bowls. Letter box drops are next most effective with the press adverts the least.

6. Adverts using a common image of the “stickman” and text presenting a Club as being of young as well as mature members and formal as well as casual dressed bowlers appear to attract greatest interest. A financial investment of $2,200 (as in this occasion) is likely to be money well spent if used for financing commercial letterbox drops; limited press advertisements and financial incentives

Howard Briggs

Network Update No. 4

A summary of the Gemba Report has been prepared by Howard Briggs and is attached below. It really brings home the key issues for Clubs to consider. Notes on Gemba Report.doc

Network Update No. 5

Those who have read the Gemba Research Report on Bowls will not be surprised by the following article sent in by bowls member Steve Cooper. 

New research smashes myth about the bowling and gardening older Australian

5 May 2014

The enduring image of retirees spending their time playing lawn bowls and pottering in the garden has been dealt a blow by new research from Apia, the leading national insurer for over 50s.

According to Apia’s research older Australians are almost five times more likely to regularly attend a gym or fitness group than they are to play bowls.

David Skapinker, Apia spokesperson, commented: “People tend to think that the lifestyles of older Australians have not changed much since our grandparent’s generation, when tending the garden and heading down to the local lawn bowls were the main recreational past times, however this is simply not the case any more.

“Three quarters of our Over 50s say they regularly walk to keep physically active and 14% attend a gym or fitness group once a week or more, while just 3% play bowls.”

Apia’s research reveals that the top physical activities that Australians aged over 50 regularly undertake are:

Physical activities Aussies aged 50+ regularly undertake, once a week or more often

  1. Walking 77%

  2. Swimming 14%

  3. Attending a gym or fitness group 14%

  4. Cycling 9%

  5. Running or jogging 6%

  6. Yoga or Pilates 6%

  7. Playing golf 4%

  8. Playing bowls 3%

  9. Tennis or squash 2%

Mr Skapinker said: “It’s not surprising that walking is so popular with older Aussies, given it is low impact, easy on the body, requires minimal equipment and can be done on your own or with friends at anytime of the day and at your own pace.”Interestingly, those between 65 and 69 are the most likely to attend a gym or fitness group (18%), perhaps indicating more free time when they reach retirement age.“As we get older it’s important to keep connected with people around you and fitness groups, cycling and walking meet-ups are a great way for people to stay active and socialise at the same time”, explained Mr Skapinker. “It is a new generation, the Boomers, approaching retirement and what our research is showing is a shift in preferred activities that they relate to – swimming, surfing, yoga, pilates,” he concluded.

Notes to editors: About the research

Apia’s research is based on an independent internet survey conducted by Newspoll of 2,082 Australians aged 50 years and over in 2014. Data was collected in line with ISO 20252 – Market, Social and Opinion Research and has been weighted with current ABS population demographics to ensure any extrapolation of results is representative of age and gender on a regional, state and national basis.

For further information and to arrange interviews, please contact:

Angela Wilkinson

Senior Communications Advisor, Apia

Network Update No 6 WORKSHOP TWO - 29 AUGUST 2014

This workshop involved members of the District Management team - including the 'Board' as well as 'Mens' and 'Ladies' sections.The focus of the workshop was to review key issues arising from a survey undertaken by members of the  overall district management team. 

The survey identified a number of key issues and these are set out below. Flowing from this the members were going to prioritise these issues and present this information to the District Management team and then to the district more broadly. 


  1. Marketing

    1. district role/family/fun/ TV advertising/BQ more proactive in promoting bowls

    2. more marketing/sponsorship/community engagement/promotions/health and fitness aspect of bowls for all ages/approach community organisations to participate in bowls/approach local members

    3. friendliness/staying fit/open day/advertising/ community night bowls

    4. messaging about ‘bowls as a game for health and fitness’

  2. Demographics

    1. target 45+ age group

    2. over 60s

    3. many options for recreation/too busy/ lack of junior recruitment/ reduced participation/ 45+/ baby boomers/reduced participation in sport /female bowls calendar

    4. children / schools

  3. Technology

    1. web site development/facebook/technology as a marketing medium

  4. Management /Organisation

    1. boundary of district/change culture/ seminars to encourage planning/relationship with BQ

    2. district boundaries/flexible rules/flexible membership/cross club collaboration

    3. core volunteer dedication, core group too small, need more to contribute,need more progressive/contemporary input

    4. good working relationships/need to be progressive/newer breed/ top heavy structure/ wider involvement of others/more up to date ideas/ location of meetings

    5. limited cross club collaboration

    6. timely availability/more support to smaller clubs/better club management/more support for smaller clubs

  5. Rationalisation

    1. focus on 6-8 clubs that will survive/smaller clubs must close/BDBA hands tied in progressing this issue

    2. combine resources to develop super clubs

  6. Bowls Capability and AND Competition Development  

    1. more events in &  between clubs

    2. beginners campaigns/competition restrictions for females/move to weekend penants for ladies/lack of ladies teams in 1st Div pennants/novice competitions at district level/more club based events/over 60s good concept - proactive, good players, good competitions, good support/training, club level support

    3. rule development - one set & promote participation /more clubs/players, accessible competitions/ good greens & events/ more emphasis on dress standards/greater involvement of clubs and members

    4. better greens/better beginner training/reduced number of events/more & better officials/rationalise bowls calendar

    5. better organisation and planning of events/senior bowlers attitudes/ difficulty filling events/ events on at wrong time//’western triples’ style approach

    6. proactive, good players, good competitions, good support/training, club level support

  7. Grants

    1. District open day bid/ support clubs with bids.

  8. Expenses

    1. rising personal costs/many clubs little chance of survival/expensive to be full members

  Network Update No. 7

It is important that clubs make membership offerings consistent with the market of potential customers. Attached below, titled "Consumer Research", is very recent bowls research. Also, attached is an example of potential 'membership offerings' that are being considered in the District. Consumer Research - 2014 Sports Landscape - Lawn Bowls FINAL 150814.pdf

Classes of Members Example Provisions.pdf

Network Update No. 8

Key Snapshot material about bowls clubs and memberships in the Brisbane District has just been prepared covering the Brisbane District [February 2015]. This report is a real eye opener and makes it clear how we need to work as a District, and collaboratively between clubs, to develop a shared understanding of the most effective way to grow and develop bowls in our District. The report is named 'BDBA SNAPSHOT' in the attachments below. BDBA SNAPSHOT.pdf

Network Update No. 9

Important survey of bowls delegates across all clubs is yielding additional material that will be feed into the Brisbane District Bowls Plan [March 2015] Review the material at the following link - BDBA Bowls Survey. All clubs should ensure their information is provided through the survey as

 Network Update No. 10

BDBA Project Office has sent an update to all Club's Chairs/Presidents outling current progress with the District Bowls Plan. See Club Chiefs Update for more information. 

 Network Update No. 11

The consultation version of the BDBA Bowls Plan has now been circulated widely to clubs in the District and a range of other key stakeholders. The file is called BRISBANE DISTRICT BOWLS PLAN VERSION CONSULTONE. Also, a summary of the key recommendations in the plan is also attached below. Please provide feedback to your Club or to the BDBA BEFORE THE END OF SEPTEMBER - SEND FEEDBACK TO Brisbane District Bowls Plan Version ConsultOne.pdf

Network Update No. 12

Demographic reports are now available [for download below] that cover each of our four cluster - Central, Western, Eastern and FernySam clusters.  Also a report for the first general meeting under our new constitution setting out a brief overview of the current situation for our district in regard to bowls memberships is also attached below for download.

Central Cluster.pdf

Eastern Cluster.pdf

Western Cluster BDBA.pdf

Ferny Samford Cluster.pdf

BDBA Membership Numbers 2015.pdf        

Bowls Planning Information- BDBA and Clusters - Google Docs.pdf

Network Update No. 13

The BDBA Central Cluster recently had a report completed on future options for that cluster - this report is attached below.

short Central Cluster Report FINAL.pdf

Network Update No. 14

A progress report on the BDBA Bows Planning Project, an update of District numbers and also, an update on Cluster numbers have been uploaded as part of work done for the first general meeting of the year to be held at Gaythorne Club on 24 June 2016. 

Brisbane Pilot Planning Project- Progress Report - Google Docs.pdf