Frequently asked questions
Why are there often long breaks between matches?
As the Australian Open is run in sets play with time limits, a strict schedule needs to be adhered to. When the schedule is set, the longest possible time required, is allowed along with a break between matches, to ensure that all players have a chance to recover before playing subsequent matches. Starting all matches for each round at the same time is imperative to ensure that all matches are played under the same conditions for that round, and to allow the time limit for all matches to be administered and strictly adhered to.
For the knockout component of the event, once a schedule has been set, players are not required to be at the venue and start their match until the allocated time. This means that matches cannot be started early as some players may not be at the venue prior to the official start time.
Why aren't more matches filmed by the ABC and the best ones chosen for display on television?
Each match filmed by the ABC is paid for by Bowls Australia, and is contracted to provide a minimum number of hours throughout the year. Unfortunately, it is not financially viable to film additional matches to in order to produce a highlight package of matches that precede the finals.
Why are some players given direct entry into the main draw?
The Bowls Australia's Australian Open positions itself as the southern hemisphere’s leading series, and as such, has a mandate to maintain its current standing in the marketplace. As a result, direct entries are often used to leverage the appeal of GP events including spectator, media interest, sponsorship, television ratings, high performance pathways and marketing for the sport as a whole. Direct entries are reviewed on an ongoing basis, but as a rule, are generally restricted to former winners and players of ‘international’ standing.
Why are places sometimes awarded in the main draw to those who did not win their section, while at other times people have to play post sectional matches?
Unfortunately at each event, there is not always the exact number of entries to give positions in the main draw to only section winners. On occasion there are too many sections, so post-sectional matches are required during the qualifying events to reduce the number of players going through to the main draw. On other occasions, there are fewer sections than the number of places available. This is when the ranking across sections is completed, to provide the best performed runners-up with a position in the main draw to ensure there are no byes.
Why is the prize money distributed in its current form?
The allocation of prize money is always surrounded by debate. Unfortunately the events budget is not unlimited, so only a certain amount of prize money can be awarded, which far outweighs the income received from entry fees. While Bowls Australia has received requests for prize money to be spread further down the draw, with less money awarded to the winners, it has also received other suggesting that more money should be given to the winner. Bowls Australia does its best to take into consideration all opinions wherever possible, and attempts to allocate the prize money as fairly as possible.
The payment of prize money varies between events, whether it is paid by the host club or by Bowls Australia. If paid by the host club, it is paid at the event, either by cash or cheque. If paid by Bowls Australia it is paid by direct deposit into the player's bank account during the week following the event. Players must complete the 'statement by a supplier' and provide their bank details before prize money can be processed. A cheque can be requested if required, which will be posted in the week following the event.
How are the Australian Open qualifying positions allocated?
Australian Open positions are allocated after the completion of the previous year's Australian Open, based on entry numbers across all qualifying events. Each state is then allocated an appropriate number of qualifying positions, which is reflective of the percentage of all entries received, respective to each discipline. For example, for the 2010 Australian Open, Queensland qualifying entries received accounted for 11.1% of the entries into the men's singles, so they received 11.1% of the qualifying positions available (number of positions in the draw minus number of direct entry positions). For the 2011 Australian Open, this amounted to 13 positions.
These numbers are available for the coming Australian Open on the Australian Open page of the Bowls Australia website, immediately after the previous year's Australian Open. If an overwhelming number of entries is received for any given Australian Open qualifying event, the number of positions available at next year's event in that state will increase the following year (assuming this increase in entry numbers is not seen across all qualifying events in the country). This also works in reverse, that if lower entries numbers are received, qualifying numbers may decrease. This is calculated individually for each gender and discipline.
Why are there more men's main draw positions available than women's?
Throughout the Bowls Australia events calendar (with the exception of the Australian Indoor Championships), the draw size for the women's events is half that of the men's draw. This is due to the respective number of entries received into the events. Across the 2009 calendar, approximately 70% of the event entries received were for the men's events, with only 30% for the women's draws. In addition to this, in the past women's draws for some events have not had enough entries to run qualifying, and sometimes not even a full first round of the draw. Therefore the number of entries for the women's draw was halved to ensure the most competitive possible field in the main draw of the event.