I bet you won’t believe what’s going on in the bowls
News broke yesterday afternoon that the New Zealand bowls’ four (yep, bowls) tanked a game in the Asia-Pacific championships in Malaysia last month.
Reports state that as a result of NZ’s poor performance, the Canadian side failed to progress to the championship playoffs. One Black Jack has been stood down as a result despite denying the match-fixing allegations.
No word on how the NZ economy has reacted to the news or if Prime Minister Key is donning his whites in preparation of a statement from the Blockhouse Bay bowling green.
I’m exaggerating the enormity of this scandal but should we really be surprised?
2009 has been the year of sports betting. The ascendancy of sports betting from office sweep foolery to the sporting mainstream has been remarkable. Betting agencies at their prerogative are intent on solidifying an online presence and buying up sport sponsorship is its preferred method.
Incredulously, and presumably without much discussion with major sporting codes, commercial television networks have insidiously installed odds and spreads at regular intervals throughout live telecasts and magazine style ‘analysis’ broadcasts.
Aside from the problem gambling connotations associated with the promotion of betting, national sporting codes accept sponsorship money from betting agencies at their own peril.
One implication that a major Australian sporting event has been compromised due to a rumoured betting deal, points shaving scheme or the tanking of a game and you can kiss all credibility goodbye.
That includes code administrators, players, club officials and you’d be a fool to suggest that fans of said code wouldn’t be caught in the crossfire. Although other high profile codes might be reluctant to put the boot in in case its own sport was implicated in the future.
In what has been a year of regret for leaguies nationwide, imagine if the National Rugby League had been linked to betting related tanking or a points shaving scandal this season.
The code would be reduced to ‘bush’ league status quicker than Kanye could interrupt Chief Executive David Gallop’s 1148th teary and no doubt sincere appeal for forgiveness.
Without delving into Mark Waugh and Shane Warne’s 1994 adventures with an Indian bookie or rumours of elite athletes drowned in debt, these are serious concerns for Australia’s sporting codes.
Codes need to ramp up betting education for players, club administrators and staff; to establish clear guidelines and develop new policy such as placing caps on betting agency involvement/influence in sport.
The tanking Black Jack bowlers’ might have opened the NZ sporting elite to a few more light hearted cross-Tasman gibes, but it serves as a warning to all Australian sporting codes that betting scandals are a real threat.
Read all about it
Up to the minute Twitter chatter
The latest and greatest
Good morning Punchers. After four years of excellent fun and great conversation, this is the final post…
I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…
In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…