During the World Indoor Championships at Preston Guildhall in 1992 the world’s top players got together to launch what was first called the World Bowls Players Association with the aim to develop the sport of bowls for television and thereby give the sport a permanent ‘window’ for all to see. Founder members of this new Association included the well known names of Tony Allcock, Peter Bellis, David Bryant, Richard Corsie, Rob Parrella, Ian Schuback, John Price, Andy Thomson and Willie Wood.
The name was later shortened to the Professional Bowls Association and the aims and thoughts of the Association were developed and then in 1997 the PBA’s proposals for opening up the Professional Sport and it’s ideas for development were accepted by the sport’s governing bodies and the World Bowls Tour was first formed.
The first ever WBT Tournament was the International Open staged at Preston and here history started as the first ever PBA Qualifier, Les Gillett, promptly went on to win that very first event, thus proving that the aims of all were correct – qualifiers could and would win an entry and go on to beat the worlds best and win a major title.
This proved good for Television and since then WBT has retained the majority of Television coverage and also seen new Tournaments staged since that day.
The Professional Bowls Association together with it’s partner the World Indoor Bowls Council and also it’s commercial partners have put together plans for the future in which to develop the game for Television thus ensuring that bowls as a sport is continually promoted and this has the benefit that many of WBT’s commercial partners now also assist many parts of bowls at grass roots level with financial and other support.
Everyone acknowledges that things cannot stand still and WBT is continually striving to involve all it’s partners in looking for new ways to promote the sport for all and keep our sport on it’s window to the world – Television. With the portable rink and branding opportunities we hope that our successes will continue well into the future.