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Should all Leagues be unisex?

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Interesting, emotional, wide-ranging, discourteous, sexist, long-winded and even some well thought through discussions on Facebook about the future of the Huddersfield Saturday League and the sensitive matter of should the League be opened up to lady bowlers. Inevitably the point is made that the ladies leagues should be opened up to men bowlers as a reciprocating gesture. But which leagues are they talking about and would male bowlers want to bowl on these days when there are so many all-male alternatives already available? Should all leagues become unisex competitions?


Maybe there are too many Leagues at present. If Leagues became unisex what would happen on a Wednesday evening in the Huddersfield area? You can see the potential amalgamation of four current local evening leagues. One big League with the merger of the Colne Valley, Dearne & Don, Heavy Woollen Evening and Huddersfield Ladies Works. If Leagues are struggling it is the next step, rather than these Leagues diminishing in team numbers and then folding altogether that they should merge with another League.


Many points made both ways but I found the table below of particular interest so decided to share it with you. This lists many of the leagues available to Huddersfield bowlers of either sex by day of the week.


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Ironically, in an age where inclusivity is increasingly encouraged, women only sports leagues have never been more abundant. So for our sport to remove this option would seem counterproductive.


Over time all leagues will adapt, through their respective AGM's, and any discussion to open up the league can be voted upon at that point. But to force ALL leagues to change would, in my opinion, create more problems than it solves.


For instance would we really want a mixed BCGBA County Championship? Forcing half the elite bowlers now involved to lose out on such representation.

Mandatory mixed merits, knockouts, etc, etc?


Yes the diminishing numbers in our sport is concerning, but let each league find it's own level.

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Martin Holt
Martin Holt
09 de jun. de 2023

One of the 1st questions that needs to be asked is ;-

How many clubs have ladies who would be interested in playing in the aforementioned male only leagues? Also if any of these leagues became mixed how many men would jack the game in?

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Karen Rausse
Karen Rausse
09 de jun. de 2023
Avaliado com 5 de 5 estrelas.

Winter bowling has been a great success, I say yes to mixed bowling in all leagues to keep the sport alive , well that's my opinion for what it's worth

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You could add the Halifax Vets Thursday afternoon league to that list, it is mixed and consists of 6 Divisions with 70 teams of 6 bowlers. Quite a few team from Huddersfield area already take part.


Bob Haigh

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Dave Parkin
Dave Parkin
09 de jun. de 2023
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It was my table & hastily put together about 10 months ago after a FB debate on the Huddersfield Bowls page that started with congratulating local bowler, Chloe Hirst on her All England success. It wasn't meant to be comprehensive but to highlight the different availability in playing options..

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Dave Parkin
Dave Parkin
09 de jun. de 2023

I recognise that table, think there is a place for all 3 types of leagues. Most Huddersfield Ladies go to Bradford to bowl on Saturdays, many partners too. Adapt or die, why would you need to change Ladies only leagues to save Huddersfield Saturday? Colne Valley & the Dearne & Don have co-existed for years, in fact D & D has more teams that it has ever had it seems, especially back in the 50's to 70's. CV do well in their niche, players are loyal, their comps fill, 56 paid (& 4 more played) in their recent 4 man team

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