A regional qualifying round of a new Bowls Australia initiative will be contested in Shepparton.
In an attempt to capitalise on the success of the Bowls Premier League, as well as increase the profile of national participation program Jack Attack, a BPL Cup will be staged for the first time this year.
Giving every lawn bowler in the country a chance to progress through to a televised final, the cup format will follow the fast-paced rules of the BPL.
Teams of up to six players (with only three playing at the one time) will be able to compete in the two-bowl triples event at regional qualifiers and try to win their way through to state finals.
Matches will consist of two sets of five ends, with a one-end tiebreaker to be played if needed, while opposing teams will be afforded one powerplay end during each set where shots won count as double.
To make the clashes even more exciting, every game played will be a cutthroat knockout match.
One successful team from each state and territory will then be flown to Club Pine Rivers in Brisbane to contest the national final during November’s BPL06, with the eventual winners crowned the inaugural National BPL Cup champions.
Details have not been cemented in stone yet, but Shepparton Park secretary Bill Gullick believed his club would host Goulburn Valley’s regional event.
‘‘At this stage we’re tentatively booked in to host it undercover sometime in July,’’ he said.
‘‘I think they (Bowls Australia) are just trying to get it off the ground, get it out there and develop the idea.’’
With the concept only in its fledgling stages, the number of teams to have shown interest from the area reportedly remains low (eight to 10), but with the chance to compete for glory on national television on offer entries should be expected to swell during the next month once details are confirmed.
Another regional qualifier will be staged at Moama, with the Victorian final scheduled to be played at Fitzroy Bowling Club on September24.