The ‘Capricornian Shield’ Jack Attack is back

by jgrey

The Rockhampton Bowls Club (RBC) is again holding a competitive lawn bowling tournament specifically for non-bowlers. The club’s Jack Attack Coordinator Peter Tyler said that their current season of the “Capricornian Shield” Jack Attack Tournament (for barefoot bowlers) commenced on February, 7 and runs until April, 3.

Editor’s note: Please check the event dates with the club before making any arrangements, as this article was written before the directive to close bowls clubs was issued.

“This is the fourth year that the exciting barefoot bowls competition has been played at the Rockhampton Bowls Club,” Peter said.

“We play a nine-week season each Friday night from 7-9 pm.
“We had ten teams vying for the Capricornian Shield this season.”

Usually, teams of barefoot bowlers contest the “Capricornian Shield” over two, eight-week seasons each year. The club learnt a great deal in the first season or two and it took quite some effort to convince club members to get behind this shortened version of the game.

Perseverance with the format has paid off, not only because of the number of new members of the community being introduced to our sport but also the additional revenue through green fees, catering and bar takings throughout each JA Season.

“We now have great support from club members, and we never struggle to get volunteers to prepare and cook the BBQ steak burgers on offer, run the bar, assist with administration or supervise the teams on the green,” Peter said.

If your club is not running a Jack Attack program regularly, you are missing a great opportunity to promote the sport in your community and potentially attract new FULL members to your club.

Jack Attack is the new exciting way to play barefoot bowls. Jack Attack uses the same format as the Bowls Premier League (BPL) as seen on TV and is being strongly promoted by Bowls Australia to encourage participation in the sport by a younger demographic.

Games are played over two tie breaker sets of five ends each set. Approximately 60-75 minutes in duration for a match. Teams of three (triples) play with two bowls each, however, a team can play with up to five players using the substitution rules. To add to the excitement, each team can use a ‘Powerplay’ on one end each set. If the team

nominating to use their Powerplay win their end, the number of shots scored are doubled.

In our Capricornian Shield tournament, the top two sides that
have accumulated the most shots over the eight or nine weeks
of competition will then playoff to decide the winner of the Capricornian Shield. Apart from having their team name engraved on the shield, the winners will receive gold medallions while players from the runner up team receive silver medallions.

Most teams dress up for the occasion, many with their team names on tee shirts or in some fancy dress. Anything goes. There is plenty of time to get to know each other prior to the games as the club
sells food such as steak burgers and snags from 6 pm. This enables players coming straight from work to have a meal before the game. In addition, the club provides nibbles during the night and a random draw for a meat tray from a local butcher is also conducted. The games commence at 7 pm and conclude at approximately 9 pm. Drinks are available from the bar from 5-10 pm.

The first night of our JA Season is always a familiarisation night and plenty of club volunteers will be on hand to supervise the rinks and give these novice bowlers a few tips on their bowling technique and to supervise the scoring after each end and ensure scorecards are completed correctly. All players will be shown how to deliver the bowl, rules for the tournament, scoring etc. All barefoot bowlers at RBC use modern coloured bowls.

You will be amazed just how good these novice bowlers can become over an eight-week competition. Playing against other non-bowlers ensures a level playing field. However, it’s mostly about having fun while at the same time learning a new competitive sport. They soon find it’s a young person’s sport that older people play.

The Rockhampton Bowls Club is one of the oldest lawn bowls clubs
in Central Queensland after being established in 1912. The club is located in the CBD at 94 Victoria Pde Rockhampton and enjoys great views of the Fitzroy River. The club was named winner of the Bowl’s Australia Award “Best Club” in 2018, having been named runner up for that award in 2017.

The Rockhampton Bowls Club’s next season of Jack Attack is scheduled to commence in August/September 2020.

Story by Peter Tyler OAM