Beer is here to stay on greens

By Zane Jackson

CEC Simpson knows bowls and beer are a match made in heaven.

So the Bundaberg Bowls Club treasurer was shocked when club members mentioned a newspaper article that said having a beer on the green would be banned.

"Some bowlers told me about it and said they wouldn't come if they couldn't drink," Mr Simpson said.

"We would lose all our bowlers for sure if it was banned.

"I definitely have a beer bowling, I don't drink as much as I used to, but still enjoy a beer with the game."

A spokesman for Queensland Bowls said the booze ban was only for state, national and international competition.

"There was some confusion because of the wording in a press release from Bowls Australia," the spokesman said.

"You can still have a beer if you're playing any kind of local competition below state level."

Mr Simpson said the drinking culture with bowls had changed.

"It's not as prevalent as it was before everyone knew about the dangers of drink driving," he said.

"People used to stay on and drink till around seven or eight at night, but now it usually wraps up in the afternoon."

For venues like Bundaberg Bowls Club that do not have pokies, a large percentage of their revenue comes from alcohol sales.

"Drink sales are a big money earner for us," he said.

"If we didn't have players having a drink we wouldn't have any money at all."

Across The Waves bowls club secretary John Alder said the new rules were just common sense.

"Even the biggest beer lover wouldn't have a beer in a serious competition," he said.

"Having a beer between bowls in a normal game is okay as long as it's not done to excess.

"If someone is drinking too much and it is affecting a game, other bowlers can raise the issue with an official."



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