The 2019 NSW Rookies is all set to come to an exciting conclusion at Raymond Terrace Bowling Club this weekend (10-11 November).
“The Hangar”, as the covered bowling greens that are the home to the Raymond Terrace Jets are affectionately known, is now regarded as the Home of the State Rookies Finals. Raymond Terrace has been on board since Bowls NSW began running and in 2018 will host the State Finals series for the tenth time.
Bowls NSW adopted the Rookies events in 2009, building on the concept originally developed by Mick Bell and pioneered at Bondi Bowling Club.
The theme of the Bowls NSW Rookies is “have a crack”. Only players who are in their first 30 months of playing bowls are eligible to enter. The focus is to give these relative newcomers a chance to compete against players of similar experience. Over its 10-year history there have been almost 5000 entrants in the singles and almost 4500 in the pairs.
The Rookies State Finals Series is regarded by many as the best of the Bowls NSW State Finals Series to be involved in. While the standard of play may not quite match the State Championships (as should be expected with inexperienced players) the sheer unbridled passion and joy of competing shown by the Rookies is unparalleled.
The joy, enthusiasm and great sportsmanship shown by the Rookies is recognised in a special award, the Mick Bell Encouragement Award (in honour of the ‘Father’ of the Rookies). The award is presented at the conclusion of sectional play in both the singles and pairs competitions. From those players not progressing to the semi-finals, the award is presented to the singles player or pairs team who have competed in the spirit that embodies the spirit of the Rookies competition.
The State Finals of the 2018 Rookies features the Pairs competition on Saturday (10 November) and Singles on Sunday (11 November).