It will soon be possible to play outdoor bowls again, with our own season planned to start on the 25th April with an Opening Drive (but see the revised date at the end of this letter). Unfortunately, it cannot be the start we have all been used to in past years and, at least for the first two or three months, there will be restrictions and conditions which we will need to follow.
Bowls England issued their first set of guidelines on the 29th March as the government’s road map, step 1, was published. These were update on the 12th April under step 2 of the guidelines. They are likely to remain in force until at least 17th May, the date of step 3 in the road map. The main conditions of play are: -
1. On a six rink Green, singles and pairs can be played on all six rinks. Triples and rinks must be limited to alternate rinks. The overriding limit is no more than 24 players on the Green. 2. A pre-booking system is needed to manage attendance at the club. 3. No visitors are allowed unless needed to give assistance to any disabled player. 4. Travel to the Green must still be on the basis of no car sharing. 5. The changing rooms and toilets can be opened, but restricted to one lady and one man entering the Pavilion at any time. Social distancing rules to apply and face masks to be worn within the Pavilion. Minimize the use of the Pavilion as much as possible. 6. An NHS QR code facility to be provided to enable a test and trace system to operate. This to be backed up by a pre-booking system. 7. It will not be necessary for players to wear masks while playing. It is considered that wearing a mask could restrict breathing efficiency and should not be used unless a doctor advises it. 8. Equipment used to be limited to that required to play the game. 9. Good hygiene precautions to be taken. Hand sanitizers to be provided in suitable locations and players to regularly use these and wash hands, particularly when and after using equipment, opening and shutting doors and gates. Applying the above to our club, we will need to reinstate the pre-booking system that we had last year. Members wishing to play in any of the organized club events, a roll-up session or any casual play must contact the Chairman, David Holmes, on 01273 890191 at least 24 hours in advance to check availability and book. If the call goes to an answerphone, leave a message. All bookings will be confirmed by telephone. Do not turn up at the Green without this confirmation.
Access to the Pavilion will be possible with use of the toilets and changing rooms. However, only one lady and one man should be in the Pavilion at any one time. Face masks to be worn within the Pavilion. Try, if possible, to come prepared to play, so as to limit the use of the Pavilion.
To ensure uniform use of the Green, a chart will be displayed showing which rinks can be used on a daily basis by colour and direction, similar to that used last season. It may be possible to use the board in the Pavilion, so look out for this. Equipment for the Green will be available in the equipment shed as normal. The club will provide hand sanitizers in appropriate positions, which should be used as often as possible.
Please use the NHS QR code system if you have downloaded this application on your mobile phone. A notice will be displayed on the outside of the Pavilion. You will see from the rink usage guidance give above that it will not be possible for the time being to play friendly matches which involve triples and rinks using four rinks. A decision has therefore been made to cancel any matches scheduled to be played before the 17th May. Hopefully, after this date we can resume the fixtures.
The Opening Drive on the 25th April has been deferred to the following Sunday, 2nd May starting at 2.00pm. This is because there is a Ladies football match scheduled for the same time, which will make parking very difficult. The limit of 24 players on the Green also means that it will have to be played as a pairs competition, utilizing all six rinks. The fairest way of arranging for this is for members to contact the Chairman on 01273 890191 if they wish to play and it will be done on a first come first served basis.
We hope to see many of you back on the Green at the end of the month and enjoying a game of bowls.