An Overview Of Manning Jack Attack
By Jason Titheradge (With thanks to AJ Heal for the photos, Richard Price + Greg & Sue Hogg)
Located 10 minutes from the Perth CBD, on the hallowed greens of Manning Memorial Bowling Club on Challenger Avenue, Manning Jack Attack could be best described as the most entertaining midweek social bowls tournament between “Manning Road and the Canning River.”
The competition was started in 2015 by then-Manning Premier League bowler (And 2020 Country Bowler Of The Year) Matthew Mitchell and his wife Kate, succeeded by Manning Premier League bowler AJ Heal in 2017, with club pennants player & committee member Richard Price looking after the competition since 2019.
From an initial 12-team turnout, the current Summer 2020 edition has 22 teams competing in the 6-week competition, with approximately 80 bowlers of all ages and abilities taking part every night.
No fewer than 12 current and former Jack Attack players have gone on to play Pennants for the Eagles, while the competition has also attracted the likes of a former Australian test cricketer, a West Coast Eagles premiership player, and a Paralympic gold medallist.
For any new bowls players wanting to get involved in Jack Attack, the club’s volunteers are willing and able to offer coaching to anyone wanting to learn the basics of the game.
The majority of the players live within the local area, with some travelling just to enjoy the Manning experience, but all teams have something in common.
They’re either work colleagues, partners, neighbours, darts teammates, family members or school parents, who have all come together to have a fun game and a good laugh on a Wednesday night.
Games get underway at 6:30pm, usually taking 60-75 minutes, with teams playing 2 Sets of 5 Ends (3 bowlers per team bowl 2 shots each), both teams have a ‘Powerplay’ end (Double scores) to use in both Sets, with a tiebreak end to be played in the event of teams winning a set each, or tying both sets.
Teams earn 2 points for a set win, 1 point for a tied set, and 1 point for a tiebreak win.
In an effort to promote competitive games and a sense of fairness in the ladder, the weekly fixture is ‘graded’ – The winners of the previous week play each other, and the losers play each other, a format which has proven successful at Manning.
Along with the prizes for the overall winners, prizes are offered weekly for the teams who record the 2 biggest margins of victory, plus, there’s several novelty competitions, like the popular Corner to Corner challenge, and the ‘Spider’ challenge, and the end of season awards, like Best Dressed, Best Team Name, and Most Improved Team.
The competition has seen many funny novelty team names entered in recent years, such as the Great Bowls Of Fire, The Bowled & The Beautiful, The Bowling Stones, Unbelievabowls, Wrecking Bowls, Irritable Bowls Syndrome, The Bowlsheviks and the Trevor Chappells….
Some teams even go as far as making co-ordinated team uniforms!
Lastly, being a social bowls competition at dinner time, we do have plenty of hungry and thirsty bowlers, and just for that, the club’s kitchen offers a wide variety of delicious meals, and the full bar service has everything from the classic Swanny D to white wine, with some teams even requesting to play on the synthetic just to cut down on travel time to the bar.
In all, you’ll rarely have a dull Wednesday night at Manning Memorial, so if you’re ever in the Manning area in February or November, come on down to the club and check it out – Everyone’s welcome!