Potters winner will get a record prize cheque

The countdown has started to the 2011 Potters Holidays World Indoor Bowls Championships.

For the 13th year running the event will be hosted and sponsored by Potters Leisure Resort in Hopton, now known as a Mecca for bowls players the world over.

Four competitions will take place during the two-week festival, which starts on January 7 and runs to January 23.

It incorporporates the world indoor singles championship; the world indoor pairs championship; the world mixed pairs matchplay and ladies’ world matchplay.

The BBC have extended their TV coverage of the event to cover the finals of all four competitions.

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This year’s event sees some other exciting new developments.

The World Bowls Tour (WBT), which organises the World Championships at Potters, has introduced two wild card places for each one of its World Bowls Tour events across the season.

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This means that, as sponsors, Potters were able to select two of the 16 qualifiers for the Open Singles – they have gone for two of the most exciting young bowlers on the circuit, Norfolk’s Tim Stone and last year’s runner-up Stewart Anderson.

Since the launch of the World Bowls Tour in 1997, automatic entry to its events has been limited to the world’s top ranked players with individual qualifying competitions for each event staged for Professional Bowls Association members all over the world.

The new wild card initiative enables sponsors to have an input into the qualifiers list, ensuring that there is an opportunity for talented and popular local players – who may otherwise have narrowly missed out on a place.

The 16 qualifiers will join the world’s top 16 ranked players to compete for a stunning first prize of �40,000; the biggest in the history of the tournament.

Brian Potter, chairman of Potters Leisure Resort, said: “We have firmly cemented Potters’ position as one of the world’s top venues for indoor bowls and are extremely proud of this.

“But with this success comes the ongoing challenge of how to keep the event fresh so that players want to compete at Potters and spectators want to attend the event.”

Richard Maddieson is tournament director of World Bowls Tour, having taken over from Ken Fawcett this year.

“I honestly believe the 2011 World Indoor Bowls Championship is set to be a fantastic event,” he said. “One of the things I’m most excited about is the outstanding ladies line-up which has eight of the world’s top female players, all recent winners of major competitions.”

Day tickets for the event start at just �5 and can be reserved by calling 0845 437 9893.

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