2011 saw the first AusBowl State Championship and NSW Open, in Sydney. It was the culmination of a great deal of work by James Russell-Wills (Rabid Bogscum) and Mike Speirings (Speiroz). In the wake of that, extremely successful, event the South Australian team agreed to host and organise the second Stat Championship, to be held in 2013. In between, the AusBowl Team Championship was run by Ben Vanzino (BeefyGoodness) in Canberra in 2012.

Through a roundabout method of direct and indirect consultation with the community, combined with the elbow grease of those who were prepared to put their hands up to run events, the AusBowl 'stable' of tournaments has, almost, been hammered into a set format.

The AusBowl State Championship is a biennial (held every second year) tournament to be hosted in a different city each time it is held. It will pit teams representing regions of Australia and/or New Zealand against one another. The exact number of teams may vary each time, although the basic unit of representation is the state or territory. In New Zealand (and, potentially, Singapore, etc), the country as a whole is considered a representative region (although this could potentially be split further). Each team consists of somewhere between four and eight players (six has been the standard thus far). The winning team of the ASC receives the AusBowl Trophy, created for ASC1 by James Russell-Wills. In 2011 the winner was the ACT team, the PM's VI.

The "Open" was first held in NSW under the name the "NSW Open" and is a sister tournament to the ASC. This tournament is designed for those that do not make a representative team to come along and partake in the frivolity of the tournament atmosphere. It is extremely rare to get such a mixture of coaches from different parts of the Asia-Pacific region together in one place, so it is important to give everyone the opportunity to be a part of it. In 2013 the SA Open will run alongside the ASC2 and will be open to anyone who wants to join in. There will be an entry fee, but prizes will be on offer for the winners. The first winner of the Open was Hammer in 2011.

The AusBowl Team Championship is also a biennial tournament to be hosted in a different city each time it is held, although it is designed to be held on the opposite year to the State Championship (ie - the first one was 2012, the second should be 2014). The Team Championship is an open team tournament similar to the World Cup, with teams of four players competing for victory. The first Team Championship occurred in ACT and was won by the SLOBB Bone Idlers, a team from Sydney (and the SLOBB league). As yet no-one has elected to run the second event. 

As we speak the various thresholds that have been holding back organisation of the ASC2 have been passed. Southern Shrike Bowl 2012 was required to be completed to double check the rules set, and this occurred earlier this month. We were also waiting for an announcement regarding the exact dates of the Clipsal 500, as this may have clashed with the running dates. This has not yet occurred, but we can wait no longer...

We are currently checking dates with the intended venue, but are looking at 23-24 March 2013 in the Adelaide CBD. Expect to see a formal announcement very soon.

We have also been hard at work setting down the rule set, contacting sponsors and sourcing funding. As entry is free for ASC2 representative team members, funding must come from fundraising of Steelball team members. I have been busy painting a White Scars Space Marine force to raffle off (and try to pull some funding from the large player base of 40k) and BenSquig has been doing likewise with a dark elf team. Olaf has worked incredibly hard with his dice sales and provided the kitty to begin the process. Vain and Olaf are also colluding on a special project that will hopefully be announced soon. The full Steelball squad will be finalised soon, which will allow fundraising to begin in earnest. I have also sourced some prize support from a range of sponsors (many thanks to those that have been able to help).

Unfortunately we have hit a number of roadblocks along the way. At least two of the organising committee members have undergone career changes during the past 18 months, and young children have a way of soaking up time as well. I moved the Naracoorte at the start of 2012, which has further impeded our ability to meet and plan.

We do have a long way to go, and we'll be working very hard over the next six months to ensure it comes together. This blog will serve as a way of informing the community of where we're at and, perhaps, documenting our triumphs and setbacks as we go.

One thing's for sure, it will be a hell of a journey!


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