Story: Bowls, pétanque and tenpin

Professional bowlers

Professional bowlers

Rowan Brassey, Peter Belliss and Gary Lawson, shown in Melbourne in March 2006, are three of New Zealand's greatest bowlers. They have also come into conflict with bowls authorities as they each battled to sustain a professional living as bowlers. Rowan Brassey won seven national titles and two world titles. Peter Belliss won three world championships, two Commonwealth Games bronze medals and six national titles. They both went across the Tasman to play in a Sydney competition. Payments in Australia allow bowlers to play full-time. In 2010 Gary Lawson, who had won 10 national titles and two world championships, was suspended for six months and fined $5,000 because the fours-team he skipped (led) allegedly threw an 'end' during the Asia-Pacific bowls tournament. In the subsequent controversy Brassey came out in support of Lawson and his team-mates.

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How to cite this page:

Lindsay Knight, 'Bowls, pétanque and tenpin - Lawn bowlers and competitions', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 25 October 2021)

Story by Lindsay Knight, published 5 Sep 2013, updated 1 Jan 2015