Bowling season interrupted by Covid

By Michael Uugwanga

LIKE so many sport codes, bowling also got hit hard by Covid resulting in the postponement of several national events and participation at major international competitions despite the fact that bowling is a non-contact sport.

Namibia Bowling Association (NBA) spokesperson Lesley Vermeulen told Confidente Sports Desk that they are still not sure whether there will be any bowling events later this year amid an increase in Covid-19 cases countrywide, particularly in major towns that bowling is predominantly played such as Windhoek, Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Tsumeb.

“Bowling already started since non-contact sports were given the greenlight a few months ago and we had begun operating within the parameters given by the NSC. Each club has their own competitions, which we have encouraged, however nothing on a national scale has happened.

“Our season usually starts the end of January/ beginning of February, and ends at the end of November. Various events had been scheduled to take place during the year. Most have been rescheduled, cancelled or postponed indefinitely. The most notable national competition that has been cancelled is the National Bowls Championship. It was originally meant to take place in the beginning of May, was rescheduled to the end of August, but now cancelled. All international competitions have also been cancelled or postponed,” said Vermeulen.

The World Bowls Championships that was scheduled for May in Australia was postponed to September 2021.

Vermeulen also said that the absence of local events will have a negative impact on the sport as clubs heavily rely on players as sponsorship remains a big challenge.

“Many clubs are struggling to make ends meet due to their income being significantly impacted. We have scheduled a few competitions to take place with the protocols given. However, if the protocols change, so will the schedule,” said Vermeulen.

NBA is the governing body for lawn bowls in Namibia and responsible for development of the game although the association does not receive any financial assistance from the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) which is the custodian of all sport codes in the country.

There are currently seven clubs affiliated to the NBA; Eros, Namib Park, Rossmund, Trans Namib, Tsumeb, Windhoek Bowling and Windhoek Country Club.

Bowling is a target sport and recreational activity in which a player rolls a ball toward pins (in pin bowling) or another target (in target bowling).

The term bowling usually refers to ten-pin bowling, though in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth countries bowling could also refer to lawn bowls.

In pin bowling, the goal is to knock over pins on a long playing surface known as a lane. A strike is achieved when all the pins are knocked down on the first roll, and a spare is achieved if all the pins are knocked over on a second roll.

Bowling is played by over 100 million people in more than 90 countries (including 70 million in the United States alone).