HBA CODE OF CONDUCT
The Hills Mens Bowling Association was formed in 1948.
That is well over half a century ago – and the world has changed markedly since then. Needless to say that the sport of lawn bowls has not been immune to such change.
In 1948 old men in white hats, white shirts, and white pants adorned the local bowling green each Saturday afternoon. Ladies were rarely seen at the club – unless you ventured into the kitchen to see them diligently making the afternoon tea for the men folk. Children were almost never seen at the club – and certainly they were not welcomed.
This historically male microcosm of the community developed its own culture. Just like the front bar at the local pub – no women and no children – meant that manners were optional. Crude behaviour and offensive language were all seen as a part of joining this sporting fraternity. Raised voices and abusive language were generally quelled with a beer or two after the match.
However, we have come a long way in the past 64 years.
The technological advancements are obvious - fax machines, computers, internet, mobile phones, automatic cars, artificial greens, coloured bowls clothing, and even speckled lawn bowls. However, there have been more subtle, but no less significant social changes.
Open gender bowling was introduced in 2008 . We changed our name to Hills Bowling Association – and removed all gender constraints. The success of this initiative has been overwhelming – with the number of bowlers competing in the Hills increasing by over 40% whilst the number of bowlers nationally and across the state has steadily slumped. We have attracted not only new bowlers, but the wives, girlfriends and children of bowlers – making this a truly family orientated sport. A sport that was destined to die out with the passing of its members has been rejuvenated.
However, it is regrettable that some of our bowlers still think that they are playing in 1948.
Times have changed. The way we conduct ourselves within society has changed – and everyone needs to understand that the way we conduct ourselves within the sport of bowls must also change. Indiscriminate use of bad language, crude humour, and offensive or aggressive behaviour will not be tolerated. Even more so if such conduct is in the presence of, or directed at new bowlers – male, female or children.
As part of our affiliation with Bowls SA – we are bound by the Member Protection Policy. You can view the policy by clicking on the attached hyperlink to the Bowls SA website. Everyone should familiarise themselves with the policy.
Players are also reminded of section 17.2 of the HBA Pennant and Match Rules, which provide:
“The HBA Executive may impose penalties upon any player, team or side for any action or behaviour in breach of these Pennant and Match Rules or the Laws of the Sport of Bowls or where actions are considered to bring the game into disrepute”.
Unfortunately, the HBA has received some recent complaints of offensive and intimidatory behaviour being directed at female bowlers and junior bowlers. The HBA does not propose conducting a specific investigation into these allegations – but rather take this opportunity to deliver a first and final warning that such behaviour will no longer be tolerated. Future reports will be investigated, and strong action will be taken against any member guilty of inappropriate conduct - including possible suspension.
Hills Bowling Association.