The 2022 year provided a significant highlight for the sport on the international bowls calendar, with the successful staging of the Commonwealth Games at the Victoria Park bowling greens in Leamington Spa, Birmingham, England.
Twenty-four World Bowls Commonwealth Games members were in attendance, featuring a total of 227 (118 men and 109) athletes in a scintillating promotion for the sport, which ultimately demonstrated that bowls was a sport enjoyed by young and old, able-bodied and para players, and participants from varied backgrounds and walks of life, after a very quiet preceding two years of international bowls competition.
The sport will continue to take centre stage with a global focus in 2023, with the sport’s other marquee competition, the World Bowls Championships, staged for the first time in a successive year following a Commonwealth Games.
A new international-calibre event will take place for the first time, with the staging of the inaugural Oceania Bowls Challenge scheduled to occur in Auckland, New Zealand in April, and in May the World Indoor Bowls Championships will be contested at Warilla in NSW, Australia.
The Warilla Bowls and Recreation Club has been a long-term hosting partner of World Bowls, having been the proud home of the now-obsolete World Cup event on many occasions, and contains a superb seven-rink indoor green and three outdoor greens.
The semi-finals and finals of the World Indoor Bowls Championships will be live streamed by Bowls Australia on behalf of World Bowls on May 11 and 12.
From August 29 to September 10, the 12-day World Bowls Championship will be staged at five clubs across the Gold Coast, Australia, including Broadbeach, Club Helensvale, Club Musgrave, Mudgeeraba and Paradise Point, with an open-entry to all World Bowls member nations for the first time, removing previous qualifying requirements, and three Para disciplines dramatically increasing the number of participants, ensuring the sport’s best bowlers from every bowls nation will be in attendance.
Bowls Australia will be providing live-streaming coverage across the preliminary sessions and producing broadcast coverage all gold medal finals matches.
To round out an action-packed year, in November, Bowls New Zealand and the Naenae Bowls Club in Wellington, New Zealand will host another edition of the World Champions of Champions event, with Bowls New Zealand again providing live-streaming of the final two days of finals.
The 2023 Junior World Championships will also be held towards the end of the year, with the host venue and dates still to be confirmed.