The 1970s saw a rapid increase in the size of the tournament, compared to Hastings where numbers peaked in the 1960s before starting to fall. At Bournemouth by 1977 the number of singles entries was over 500 and reached a peak of around 650 during the 1980s and 1990s. Entries recorded in 1993 were 656 singles, 400 pairs and 240 triples. The tournament had become very popular indeed, so much so that if you did not put your entry in during the early part of the tournament week, you would not get in for the next year. This big increase in numbers also meant a big commitment from the local clubs involved, finding markers for 650 singles games must have been no easy task! With the increased numbers more greens were also needed to complete the tournament within the week, so all greens in Bournemouth were used as well as Christchurch, Iford Bridge, Branksome Park and Alexandra Park. In total 25 greens at 18 different sites were used.
By the late 1970s the association was also obtaining sponsorship for the tournament and sponsorship had been obtained in most years since then. Whilst this large increase in entry numbers had been happening, the prize money had remained relatively modest and it would appear that high prize money was not a factor in the increasing popularity of the tournament. The singles winner’s prize of £100 from the 1960s had not increased at all by 1980. The prizes then slowly increased and the singles prize had reached £1,000 by 1997. The tournament was still at this time attracting well-known bowlers with singles winners including David Ward (1981 and 1992), Tony Allcock (1990 and 1999), John Ottaway (1895) and David Gourlay (2000).
1997 was possibly a pivotal year for the tournament after which entry numbers rapidly declined. The tournament had no sponsor and the triples competition was cancelled due to rain affecting play and no prizes were given out. This lack of sponsorship occurred for several years which led to reduced prizes and for one year at least there were no prizes even for singles semi finalists. Also in 1997 the council started closing greens with the two greens at Spion Kop (Meyrick Park) being closed, more greens were to be closed within the next few years.
The ladies tournament had been reasonably well supported up to the 1990s with 128 singles entries for the 1995 tournament. The ladies tournament stopped being run in 2002, but was re-introduced in 2005 as part of the men’s tournament week with the competitions being held at Moordown BC where they have been held since then.
In 2000 a mixed pairs event was introduced with the first winners being Carol Ashby and Tony Allcock. The introduction of new events did not manage to stop the fall in entry numbers though. In 2006 the centenary year of the Bournemouth & District, the singles winning prize was boosted to £2,000 but the entry was down to 218.
In 2007 after several years of losses on the tournament, the Bournemouth & District Association announced that it was no longer prepared to run the tournament. A group of bowlers formed an independent committee to continue running the tournament. This new committee consisted of Ron Barclay, Geoff Jones, Mike Squires, Roy Bray, Alan Tavener and Brian Winmill. The 2008 tournament was a success financially. As with other tournaments the entry numbers have still continued to fall slightly over the last few years. The 2017 tournament committee consisted of George Webb, Mike Squires, Gary Lucas and Mike Sykes. Sadly Alan Tavener who was due to be the main tournament organiser for 2017 passed away late in 2016.
In 2010 and 2011 complaints had been received about the poor standard of the Meyrick Park greens so it was decided to move the final stages of the event to other greens. Since then Argyll, Boscombe Cliff and Southbourne have been used for the tournament headquarters and final stages. Southbourne BC was selected to host the 2017 final stages for the prestigious 100th Bournemouth tournament and sponsorship for the event meant a prize fund of over £10,000.