In October 1963, a meeting was held with the purpose being to decide on the playing format and name for an annual interstate team competition for men. It was hoped that eventually this tournament would develop to such an extent that it would mean the same to tenpin bowling as the Sheffield Shield does to cricket and, in that way, attract favourable attention of the print and electronic media. An additional objective was to provide visible evidence that the tenpin game was here to stay.
As a result of that meeting the very first Rachuig was held at the Hawthorn Bowl, Melbourne in December 1963. In that history making event each of the six teams had a line-up of five men who represented Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and West Australia. When bowling centres were opened in Alice Springs and Darwin in 1978, teams from the Northern Territory were very welcomed competitors.
Walter A. Rachuig was a director of the American Bowling congress from Houston, Texas and during 1961/62 he travelled to all the cities where bowling centres had been established by A.M.F. or Brunswick. With his home base in Sydney during that period, his itinerary included visits to Brisbane, Adelaide, Newcastle, Wollongong, Melbourne and Broken Hill. At these stops he formed the first A.T.B.C. city associations and then physically measured the lanes in each of the then existing establishments for A.T.B.C. certifications. He was a very determined man in a quiet and gentle way, but above all he was a wonderful diplomat. This combination of personal qualities enabled him to overcome all obstacles, of which there were many, so that a meeting of delegates representing the newly established city associations could be held in Sydney to form the A.T.B.C. It was only natural that when the opportunity presented itself in 1963 to give long lasting recognition to Walter Rachuig for his pioneering work, the interstate teams tournament was named in his honour. Sadly, Walter Rachuig was never to witness first-hand the unique and exciting three-day bowling contest that proudly bears his name as he left Australia on 30 June 1962 after his task of forming the ATBC was completed. He was never able to return to Australia, passed away in May 1969The inscription of the trophy provides additional testimony of the high regard in which he was held by those who knew him or worked with him. Right up to the time of his death in 1968, Walter Rachuig’s interest in the A.T.B.C. never diminished in any way. He was always more than ready to provide guidance or solutions to the many problems which always arose in those very early days of the A.T.B.C.
The scoring of points won and lost has not changed in any way since the very first tournament. The method which allows one point for team head to head matches and one point for every 50 pins knocked down by a team (Peterson points) regardless of the outcome of a match, was in common use in 1963. However, in order to provide an additional incentive for bowlers to score an extra point for their team it was decided that five extra points for the individual head to head matches which are played in conjunction with the team versus team match. The individual scores of bowlers in corresponding positions in each of the opposing line-ups are compared and the player who outscores his opponent wins one of those five points for his team. Whilst this is a common method of deciding league games today, it was quite unique in 1963 and when introduced for the first Rachuig, it found immediate nation-wide recognition and acceptance. It was not until the 1977 running of the event that it was decided to hold the contest as part of the annual Australian Championships. Until that time the Rachuig Trophy was conducted as a separate tournament bowled each year in late November or early December.
|2025||2024||2023||2022 ^||2021 F ^|
|1980 #||1979 #||1978|
# = photo not available
^ = did not compete
~ = cancelled
NT Rachuig Champions
Although the Northern Territory has been participating since 1978, our first Gold medal wasn’t until 2001. Here is a list of these ultimate achievers, since then and now.