Bring back the women. They could save the Festival Fours.
The annual tournament was started by the Kaituna club in 1953
as bowls' contribution to Dunedin's Festival Week.
The tournament used to last five days, and on the final day,
the Dunedin Festival Queen would present the trophy to the
When the event was organised by the Kaituna club, female
bowlers were allowed to enter the event as separate teams or
part of a men's team.
When the Kaituna club went into recess 10 years ago, the
Kaikorai club took over the mantle of running the event. No
women have played for the past nine years.
The club was disappointed when only 24 teams entered this
year's event, held at the weekend, and there were doubts
about its future.
However, there was a positive feeling from those who took
part. They want it to continue, and bowlers from other clubs
gave Kaikorai committee members their ideas on how to improve
Club president Barry Craig has called a committee meeting for
later this month to explore ways to improve its format.
Tournament convener Peter Wilson told the Otago Daily Times
that ''we are going to re-evaluate the date of the
tournament, the format, mixed teams, and sponsorship.
''The tournament needs to continue and the Kaikorai club will
try to rebuild it.''
Another way to increase numbers would be to accept entries
from individuals, whom the club would put into teams.
''We have always accepted individual entries,'' Craig said.
''We have club members who wanted to play and would be keen
to join composite teams. The club is always happy to put
The event has always attracted entries from other centres and
it was the same this year, with six teams coming from outside
Dunedin. When the Festival Fours started in 1953, the
attraction for bowlers was a guaranteed three days of bowls
with a 25-end format and no time limit. In the modern era,
bowlers like a faster format and those playing at the weekend
were satisfied with two days of section play and a guaranteed
six games. Games were limited to 18 ends with a 2hr 15min
time limit. The standard in this year's event was high, but
more entries will be needed next year if the event is to