The inaugural Ultimate Bowls Championship took place in 2019, and after two pandemic-ridden years the event will welcome international athletes back to Australia from April 2nd – April 7th. The format of competition is pairs, with teams consisting of three rotating players. Each match is completed in 25 minutes, with a fast-paced and exciting scoring system that leaves spectators on the edge of their seats.
Mike McNorton is a member of Team Canada’s development squad and will be landing in Melbourne on the 27th of March, ready to represent team Golden State. McNorton will play alongside Dan Le Messurier of San Jose and Tim Christie of Australia who used to play in California with them. Team Golden State will be one of two USA teams, and this will be the first time that teams from USA will play in Ultimate Bowls.
The championship will consist of three events running for two days each. Two groups of eleven teams will face a full round robin and then the top teams will playoff to make finals. The format of the UBC is very different than formats most teams will be accustomed to, and strays from play in Canada as well. Points may be scored with every bowl that is played, and games are five ends, which leads to higher scoring and more attacking bowls.
This will be McNorton’s first event in Australia, after his previous attempts were cancelled due to Covid-19. He was approached by teammate Dan Le Messurier to play, since Dan and McNorton play together often and were teammates in the 2019 World Indoor Pairs. McNorton and his other teammate Tim Christie last played together in the 2019 USA Open along with Danyon Christie who will be their team manager.
Mike McNorton and Team Golden State are excited to play in this format against some of the best bowlers in the world, including Ryan Bester and his Moama team. Learn more about the Ultimate Bowls Championship and find the event schedule here. Matches will be streamed, including McNorton’s first match at 11am AEDT April 2nd. Find the streaming schedule on the UBC Facebook page.