top of page



Membership of the Association is open to all former or current members of the Australian Defence Forces who are registered as bowlers with Bowls SA. Service members must be financial members of a South Australian RSL Sub Branch to be eligible to play in the National Carnival events.

What are the benefits of joining this association?

Service members:

  • Are entitled to be selected to play for South Australia in the  Jack Hamilton VC Trophy competition at the National Carnival

    • Members of the management committee may be selected for the Sydney Krantz Trophy competition​

  • May enter the National Fours Championship (played at the National Carnival)

  • May move or second, and vote on motions at any General meeting

  • May serve on the state management committee

  • May serve as State President (which could lead to a term as National President​)

  • May enter any bowls event run by the RSL Bowls Assn. of SA

    • including inclusion in the side entered in the annual Sleeper Day Tournament​

We also accept non service personnel who are affiliate members of an RSL Sub Branch on the understanding that this class of member is not entitled to enter the National Carnival or the National Fours Championship, nor move or vote on motions at a General Meeting.

Affiliate members may serve on the management committee in any role other than President. 

What does membership cost?

All members pay a lifetime subscription fee of $50.00

Each event has an entry fee which is normally payable on the day of play - except the National Fours Championship which is payable on date of entry.

Travel and accommodation expenses for the National Carnival are borne by each player.

How do I join?

If you would like to join just click on the "Join Us" button, complete the details on the contact form and we will send you an application form to complete and return to us.

How We Started

Following several years of successful competition between RSL Bowling Clubs in Victoria, a Mr Leon Yates proposed a move in 1961 to issue invitations to RSL Bowling Clubs in other states. This was initially accepted by NSW and for the next five years matches were played between NSW and Victoria alternating between their capital cities.

In 1967, ACT entered the competition and were quickly followed by South Australia (1968), Queensland (1969) and Western Australia (1971), however it was not until 1975 when Tasmania joined the competition so that it became truly national.

The 1968 event was the first to be deemed a National Carnival.

The purpose of the competition at its beginning was to promote goodwill and fellowship between RSL bowlers through the sport of lawn bowls. This continues to be the driving force behind the competition to this day and is also the main purpose of each of the State RSL Bowls Associations that make up the RSL Bowls Association of Australia.

This spirit is embodied by the playing at each Carnival of the Ray Sly Memorial Trophy between South Australia and Tasmania and the Friendship Trophy between Victoria and NSW.

Unfortunately, ACT can no longer field a side in their own right but players based in the Capital Territory can compete for New South Wales.

At the outset of the competition in 1961, Miranda RSL donated a trophy in honour of John (Jack) Hamilton VC. Jack Hamilton was awarded the Victoria Cross for conspicuous bravery in an action at Lone Pine on 9th August 1915

Joining the Association
bottom of page