Bowling Excellence on Display at TBA National Training Squad Trials

By Tenpin Bowling Australia
December 5, 2023

The inaugural Tenpin Bowling Australia (TBA) National Training Squad (NTS) Team Trials, a landmark event in the bowling calendar, concluded at the AGL National High-Performance Centre on the Sunshine Coast this weekend.

In typical Queensland summer weather conditions, Competitors in the NTS Open and NTS 50 divisions vied for automatic selection into next year’s prestigious squads. Following the exciting major partnership announcement last week, next year’s squads will be known as the Tenpin Bowling Australia (TBA) National Training Squads presented by Chemist Warehouse.

A groundbreaking initiative by TBA, the NTS Trials offered over 40 talented bowlers from across the country a unique platform to display their skills under challenging conditions. Participants braved a sizzling Sunshine Coast weekend, engaging in a rigorous format of 14 games across three sessions, intricately designed by NTS Open Head Coach Don Lindsay. The meticulously chosen oiling patterns, intended to test the bowlers’ adaptability and skill, mirrored those used in major international competitions.

Nathan Stein, National Bowling and Operations Manager shared his enthusiasm: “We’re dedicated to acknowledging present achievements. This event provides a stage beyond traditional ranked events for bowlers to exhibit their form and talent. It’s been exciting to witness several participants meet this challenge head-on and secure their spots in next year’s NTS.”

The Trials, now a pre-qualification pathway, were a battleground for selecting eight outstanding bowlers (four males and four females) in each category for the 2024 NTS. Tenpin Bowling Australia extends congratulations to the top performers:

Eligible NTS Open Female Top 4 Selections:

  • Jamie Phelan (SA) – 2,724, with a 194.6 avg
  • Siarn Ottaviano (WA)
  • Kylie Bailey (QLD)
  • Angela Fan (ACT)

Eligible NTS Open Male Top 4 Selections:

  • Chris Castle (VIC) – 2,841, with a 202.9 avg
  • Nixon Chan (NSW)
  • Tyson Key (VIC)
  • Craig Blachut (WA)

Eligible NTS 50 Female Top 4 Selections:

  • Samantha Matthews (WA) – 2,638, with a 188.4 avg
  • Cheryl Walduck (QLD)
  • Suz Wenzel (QLD)
  • Tracey Crisp (QLD)

Eligible NTS 50 Male Top 4 Selections:

  • Andrew Drew (QLD) – 2,740, with a 195.7 avg
  • Graeme Morgan (QLD)
  • Morty Douglass (QLD)
  • Dale Stewart (QLD)

High Games of the event included a stunning 296 from Tenpin City, Jordan Dinham in Game 8, who paced in the event, and Kylie Bailey’s impressive 256 in Game 11.

Gareth Webber, TBA General Manager of Performance, expressed pride in the Trials, highlighting their role in strategic coaching and performance analysis: “This event is a strategic boon for our coaches, allowing them to introduce tailored patterns and gain insights into player performances under specific conditions, setting the stage for future successes.”

Head Coach Don Lindsay echoed these sentiments, “Witnessing the competition on a very challenging long and medium pattern was remarkable. The stakes were high, and the bowlers rose to the occasion, eager for an express invitation to next year’s squad”.

The top four bowlers in each division will now join the 2024 National Training Squads. The final team compositions for both the NTS Open and NTS 50 Squads will be announced by the year’s end.

The next NTS Trials, slated for January 27-28, will focus on the NTS 18 and NTS 21 squads.

The NTS Trials, though in their infancy, have already shown immense promise. Stein adds, “By embracing a more inclusive selection approach, the trials open doors for talented bowlers from diverse backgrounds, shining a light on those who might have remained in the shadows. We’re excited to see how this event evolves and becomes a cornerstone in discovering and nurturing bowling talent.”

Note – Jordan Dinham from Tenpin City, NSW, paced in the event and finished on top of the male qualifiers with an impressive 2,930 total.