THE hierarchy of bowls administration in NSW has commissioned a report on restructuring boundaries around the state.
The report done by a sports consultant for Bowls NSW, is, in my opinion, a waste of money.
I say that because the proposals could have a dramatic impact on Zone 8 (Riverina) which is already functioning cohesively and is financially sound.
Zone 8’s long and successful history could be dramatically damaged if the proposals in the report are adopted.
Four districts within Zone 8 — Albury, Wagga, Riverina and Southern Highlands — would be unaffected by the proposals.
But both Southern Slopes and South West districts would lose clubs and be left in a dire position.
The Southern Slopes would be left with only two clubs in Temora, Ariah Park and Ardlethan.
Its other clubs — Weethalle, Lake Cargelligo, Barmedman, two in West Wyalong and Ungarie — would all move north into another zone.
The South West would lose Quandialla and Bribaree to another area and apparently, unfortunately, get nothing in compensation.
It has also been suggested that the Goulburn Railway, Crookwell and Taralga clubs should come into Zone 8.
I understand that Zone 8, at present, is the second biggest in NSW, stretching from Tumbarumba in the east to Hay out west and from Albury in the south to Young up north.
Perhaps it is being argued that the zone is too big.
But bringing a team from Goulburn would only add distance with a trip of about six hours from Hay.
Bowls NSW needs to be careful with this report because it could set itself down a dangerous path that costs it clubs.
Some in the Albury District have long advocated affiliating with Victoria and this might just add fuel to the fire.
Clubs right along the Murray River, from Mildura to Corowa, are aligned with Victoria, but Howlong and the Albury clubs are tied to NSW.
Coleambally now plays in the Riverina District but could move south to play against such clubs as Finley, Berrigan and Jerilderie, which all play in Victorian competitions.
Hay could move west to play against Balranald, Euston and Mildura if NSW pushes ahead with this restructure.
The Bing Wallder Shield is played between the six districts in Zone 8 each November.
It is unique and has been running since the early-1960s with other zones envious of such a superb concept.
The competition is named after Bing Wallder, who came from Ungarie — which would be lost to the zone under the restructure.
But far more serious is the impact it would have on the Southern Slopes, which is the most successful district in the event’s history.
It would be decimated and the competition would lose much of its high status.
Every club in Zone 8 must tell Bowls NSW that they want no part in this far-fetched and disastrous report.
While Albury may not be affected, it is hoped the clubs do not show apathy by not taking the time to make their feelings known.
At the most recent Bowls NSW executive meeting, it was announced it will remain totally neutral in its views on the document until after it analyses feedback data from the independent research project.
There is a Zone 8 meeting in Wagga tomorrow and no doubt this report will be the main topic of conversation.
Surely former Zone 8 president Vince Beard, now president of Bowls NSW, can see the anomalies and ramifications of what is proposed in this report.
There should be plenty of bowlers getting in his ear and telling him simply to leave this zone alone.