In response to Government and Bowls England advice (previously circulated and on website) the green will open on Sunday 7 June, but under controlled conditions. Only certain club competitions will be played, as set out below; some roll-ups will also be allowed. This will be a trial and may be adjusted in the light of experience and further Government advice. No match fees will be charged. Any requirements by the green keeper will always take precedence.
It is each member’s responsibility to decide whether to participate in this trial, knowing the risks involved and to act responsibly to protect the health & wellbeing of themselves and others. The primary purpose of bowling activity at this time is for physical and mental well-being. If insufficient members are prepared to bowl under the present conditions, then the trial will be cancelled and the green closed. The situation will be reconsidered later with a view to starting the trial in July.
The advice for clinically vulnerable groups remains the same. If you are in this group (such as people aged 70 and over) you are advised to stay at home as much as possible and, if you do go out, take particular care to minimise contact with others outside your household. If you are living in a household with a possible COVID-19 infection or if you are classified as extremely vulnerable on health grounds, the guidance is that you should remain at and exercise at home.
I have confirmed with the Club’s insurance brokers that the insurance is not affected by coronavirus.
All the matters raised in Bowls England advice are relevant and that document should be read in conjunction with this proposal. The success of the trial will depend on the co-operation of members in complying with the guidance, especially social distancing.
The following singles competitions will be organised by the Management & Competition Committees:
- Men’s & ladies Championships
- Men’s & ladies Handicap Competitions;
- Ladies two woods
- Chairman’s Cup;
There must be at least 8 entries in each competition for that competition to be run.
Matches will be arranged by the Committee and will span the 3 sessions allowed in Club Rules. i.e
- Morning session 1000 to 1200
- Afternoon session 1400 to 1700
- Evening session 1800 to sunset.
Note 1: As usual this is subject to the greenkeeper’s requirements.
Note 2: Sessions may overrun but must end 20 minutes before the next session starts.
Six rinks will be laid out by the green team, but play will only be allowed on 3 at a time thus complying with the advice to limit the number of members on site to 6 and to provide space between players for social distancing. Markers will not be used on these games. The Committee will allocate rinks in each session for all matches, after consultation with the players.
Thus, matches will be played on odd number rinks (1,3,5) on Mondays, Tuesdays & Wednesdays and even rinks on Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays (2,4,6). Sundays will be reserved for roll-ups (with the same rules) and for switching direction of play.
Use of equipment will be limited to mats (2 – one at each end), jacks (2 – one at each end) and a scorecard; so, you must not use scoreboards, pushers, ditch markers, 2m. sticks or chalk. The mat and jack will be placed in position by, or at the direction of, the player winning the previous end, or on the toss on the first end, in the usual way.
Only one player on each rink may handle the mats, only one the jacks and one the scorecard; perhaps, the challenger could be responsible for the mats & the jacks, and the non-challenger keeps the score. Mats & jacks will need to be sanitised before and after the match. You should not touch your opponent’s woods. Measuring should be minimised, but when necessary one player should always do it with their own measure, avoiding touching opponent’s woods. The measurer should be agreed before the match commences. It is advisable to also sanitise woods and measures at start and finish. Spray disinfectants will be available on each rink.
Either player may toss the start coin, but players should obviously not shake hands at the start or end of the match.
The non-challenger should take the scorecard home & notify the result to Fred Lewis by email or phone. Match results and competition charts will be kept on the website; those without access to the website will need to contact a Committee member by phone to ascertain details.
Arrangements for finals will be determined at a later date.
In line with Bowls England Guidance:
- members should not share cars unless they are from the same household, or leave cars until they are ready to enter the green to play;
- arrive only 10-15 minutes before the start, and leave immediately after completion, of the match;
- arrive dressed ready to play (except for bowling shoes) as the changing rooms must not be used except for the toilets & hand washing.
So the following arrangements will be in place:
- spray disinfectants/sanitiser will be placed at the main gate, at the end of each rink, in each toilet/wash basin, on each changing bench (see below) and in the shed.
- the first person to arrive should open (& leave open) the main entrance gate, open the shed, changing rooms/toilets, remembering to use disinfectant/ sanitiser as appropriate. These duties may be shared so long as social distancing rules are applied;
- each challenger will be responsible for getting the jacks & mats from the shed and placing them on their rink; they should also place disinfectant/ sanitiser at each end of the rink (and at the changing bench for their rink); if there is more than one rink being used challengers should be aware of social distancing. Use the disinfectant/ sanitiser as required.
- As changing rooms will not be used, 3 benches will be placed at a distance from each other, one for each rink in operation so players can use them for changing shoes etc.
- A different toilets/washroom will be used for each of the rinks – the disabled toilet will be used by players on rinks 1 & 2, the men’s changing room by rinks 3 & 4, the ladies changing room by rinks 5 & 6.
- Only 6 people will be allowed at the green in each session, so there must be no visitors/spectators; this may increase to 7 early on in the trial to allow the presence of a Committee member to resolve issues and answer questions.
- Rubbish bins will not be available until further notice, so please take any rubbish home with you.
Roll-ups will be allowed for the first 2 weeks of the trial, then every Sunday and on any other rink sessions not allocated by the Committee for club competitions; booking for roll-ups can be made as detailed below from 31 May.
All the conditions and arrangements for club competitions will also apply to roll-ups, the first name on the booking sheet to “act” as challenger.
- roll-up bookings can only be made through the website. Those not having access to the website can ring any Committee member to book for them.
- Initially there will be a roll-up for 2 members in each of the 3 sessions. This may be increased to allow 2 “slots” within the afternoon and evening sessions if demand dictates.
- Booking should be in the names of the members playing. Initially each member will be allowed one booking per week; this will ensure all members get equal opportunity. This may be relaxed depending on demand.
- Booking will commence on Sunday 31 May for the opening week (ie the week commencing 7 June) and then each Sunday for subsequent weeks.
- No guests will be allowed until further notice.
The progress of club competitions will take precedence; thus, the Committee retain the right to cancel roll-up bookings if, for instance, weather conditions disrupt the progress of club competitions.
The rather restrictive arrangements for this trial are driven by the necessities of the current difficult situation. We are sure you will all recognise this and enter into these arrangements in the spirit in which they are offered. The Committee will regularly review the situation and respond in accordance with new Government & Bowls England advice and the wishes of members. Please do not hesitate to let a Committee member know if you have any ideas, views, criticisms that would benefit the next phase of the season.
Although the proposed club competitions are listed above, there is also the possibility of organising in the future:
- the “club ladder” competition (that you can read about in the Captain’s Blog section of the next Newsletter (June edition);
- the Ashcroft Shield, but in a different format to normal – I’ve already had some initial discussions with Neil & the Ashcroft family)
- anything anybody else can come up with!!