The final results were victories, across all groups, by Team USA. You can check out more in-depth coverage of the event best by visiting the Bowls Canada site. They did a pretty terrific job of breaking down the entire event and showcasing the results.
Congratulations are definitely in order for the women's and men's squads for the US who took the trophies for all four groupings!
I had the good fortune, thanks to Fred Robles - who organized the markers, of marking for a singles match on Saturday. Fred took the time before the matches started to circle the markers up and really give a great breakdown of the expectations and rules to follow. He also did something that I thought was particularly meaningful - he thanked us for helping but in doing so he also acknowledged that this was international competition and participating was a great opportunity to represent Bowls USA and to gain experience. I made a mental note of that last detail as the day went on.
I have to say that what struck me most was the average age of the Canadian team. They were far younger than our team, a detail which I couldn't help but think was a testament to two priorities for them: An overall effort by Canadian clubs to appeal to younger players, and also a focus on using the NAC as an opportunity to introduce up-and-coming players to international competition.
When looking at the US representatives, I couldn't help but note that all but a bare handful had previous international play experience whereas in taking the time to speak to the Canadian team members, I found out that the opposite was true on their side. They had made the choice to use the NAC as a means of taking skilled players who hadn't competed internationally, and giving them an opportunity to do so.
I do hope that the Bowls USA selectors will take time to consider this approach in the years to come.
Huge thanks again to Melanie Vizenor, the volunteers who helped, and the Laguna Woods Bowling club for their hospitality. Thanks also to Team Canada for traveling to the event, soldiering through some very uncharacteristic southern-California rain storms, and for their sportsmanship.