Holt Challenge Inc. Competitive Tenpins for Bowlers of all abilities

Origins of Holt Challenge Inc.

The Holt Challenge Inc wish to recognise the creators and origins of the event now known as the Holt Restricted Challenge.

Walter De Veer Memorial Tournament

Named in honour of the late Walter de Veer, a Hall of Fame member of the then sport’s national governing body, ATBC.

Established in 1996, the Tournament was dedicated to the memory of Walter de Veer AM, MBE, for long and distinguished service to the sport of tenpin bowling at every level, from State Selector to Vice President of the FIQ, the international governing body of Bowling.

The concept is credited to Melbourne’s Darrell Holt, who raised the idea of a tournament similar to the Walter Rachuig Trophy with colleague Mark Malloy in 1995. “That night I went home and thought about this further. I looked at the format for Rachuig and also the events that form the East Coast Challenge. The quality of bowlers back in 1995 was such that very few 180 and over average male bowlers were likely to make Rachuig teams, whereas 180 average female bowlers were already making Rachuig teams. So my thoughts were that the handicap system should be based on 180 for males and 170 for females” said Holt.

“I took the idea to John McLean and Warren Stewart, who was working for CTBAM at the time, and Warren presented this concept to the 1995 ATBC AGM in Geelong” he added.
The tournament was firmly established as a popular event contested over three consecutive days during the sport’s Adult National Championships. It was designed to foster, develop and advance a spirit of good sportsmanship and fellowship, to promote and maintain a good relationship amongst the representative teams and to provide an opportunity for a combination of graded and handicapped competition.

Each year, the Walter de Veer Memorial Tournament determined the best State/Territory representative team of bowlers with averages not exceeding 184 in the Men’s Division and 174 in the Women’s Division in a handicapped competition. Each team consists of seven players, with five on the Lanes at any one time.

Participation in the Walter de Veer Memorial Tournament was limited to one team in each of the Men’s and Women’s divisions from the following States and Territories:- Queensland - New South Wales - Victoria - Tasmania - South Australia - Western Australia - Australian Capital Territory - Northern Territory.

“Darrell Holt’s absolute passion and drive to establish, and even run the first event is an important contribution and unique legacy to our sport” said Warren Stewart.
At the October 2006 TBA State Managers meeting, the pro-Rachuig State Managers elected to re-format the Walter De Veer Memorial Tournament into a similar centre versus centre competition in order to increase and promote participation at the annual National Championships. This rule change had the opposite affect in that the bowlers concerned totally rejected the new format and stayed away from the 2007 National Championships. The Walter De Veer Memorial Tournament was axed after the 2007 event.

The Darrell Holt Restricted Challenge was formed in early January 2007 by a collection of ex-Walter De Veer bowlers who wished to keep an event of a similar format to the old Walter De Veer Memorial Tournament on the calendar. Representatives from every state and territory travelled to Melbourne at their own expense for this 2 day meeting at Quest Moonee Ponds. At this meeting we created a 2 item agenda for the weekend;

  • Write a petition to the governing body, Tenpin Bowling Australia (TBA), asking them to re-instate the old Walter De Veer Tournament and outline the reasons, and
  • Formulate the rules for an alternate should the petition not be successful.

A petition was emailed to all TBA Board members and TBA State Managers following this meeting. Unfortunately this group received not one reply or even an acknowledgement of this petition from TBA. It appeared as though the non-elite bowlers of this nation were once again shunned and ignored.

Accordingly, this group then proceeded with plan B and that was to create an event to be known as the Darrell Holt Restricted Challenge.

A steering committee was formed in the lead up to the first AGM, an entity was created and incorporated, website purchased, entry forms written, championship software purchased and the rolloffs began. In a little over 4 months all the zones had completed their rolloffs, booked accommodation, travel and uniforms etc. Of course, the rest is already history, with a great inaugural event at AMF Craigie in Western Australia.

The first AGM was conducted while in Perth. The structure is such that there is currently a 5 person executive comprising a Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and Tournament Director. Each zone is a sub-entity of the national Holt Challenge Inc body, with one voting delegate from each zone as the elected ‘branch manager’ for that zone.

All startup funds were from the delegates own pockets and through sponsorship. The various groups raising in excess of $25,000 sponsorship in the leadup to the 2007 event.

An expansion program is already in place with the introduction of the Holt Classic Challenge initially for a combined male and female team in 2008 and expanded to separate male and female challenges in 2012.

In 2008 the national body removed all recognition and records for the Walter De Veer Memorial Tournament from their website. In order to preserve the origins of the Holt Restricted Challenge this committee has elected to post the records of this successful event on this website.