Bowling restart stutters and stalls

Bowling News

Little progress has been made by local leagues in firming up their 2021 fixture programmes as they await confirmation of the 29 March target date for outdoor sports being allowed to restart. The Government is waiting to review the impact of changes associated with the 8 March relaxation of the lockdown rules before moving on to the next stage. However, statements (below) from the Mirfield League and the Ladies Evening League this week have updated clubs with their plans.

The return of children to a normal school programme is the big step in the Road Map return to normality and only when that can be properly analysed can the next stage be considered. The three-week period between the two stages will be the focus of attention to gauge if the infection rates rise along with the number of COVID related hospital admissions and deaths. Until then the plans for restarting organised sports is on hold although everyone remains optimistic about resuming competitive bowling in the coming weeks.

A number of local leagues have provisionally identified start dates for their league programmes and all the ones we are aware of are listed below. No league has actually produced and released a fixture programme yet that we are aware of although the Mirfield League Bowlsnet homepage carries the following message.

The executive committee are holding a meeting on ***Monday 8th March*** to make final arrangements for the 2021 season. If there are no further updates/guidance from BCGBA before this date, the full fixture schedule will be released following the meeting.

I understand that at that meeting it was decided not to release the fixtures as stated but await clarification of the guidance and confirmation of a permitted first start date. They remain hopeful of starting the league as planned on 20 April.

The Ladies Evening League has decided to hold a season of friendly games with no promotion or relegation. The full details on the homepage of their Bowlsnet system with an extract below.

Thank you to all those captains who have already sent me their registration forms.

With regards to bowling this year there are many teams eager and ready to start but equally there are some that have reservations and some that have said definitely ‘no’ to this year but will be back in 2022.

We all realise that this year is going to be far from ‘normal’ but we must try and cater for everyone. The virus has not gone away and who knows what will happen if cases surge. There are many within the bowling community who have had their COVID vaccination but there are some who have not and are not likely to be invited until later in the year.

Taking everything into consideration the committee has agreed that only ‘friendlies’ will be played this year. In doing this, those that want to play can, and those that don’t, won't be penalized by losing their place in the league.

There will be no promotion/relegation, prize money or trophies. There will also be no Sanderson/Nunns cup or competitions this year. League fees paid for the 2020 season will roll over to 2022.

As games will be on a ‘friendly’ basis the committee have agreed that some of the rules will be relaxed FOR THIS YEAR ONLY..........

Current released start dates

20 April Mirfield League

3 May Veterans 6-Man League

4 May Veterans 10-Man League

5 May Ladies Afternoon League

11 May Ladies Works League

Mid to late May Ladies Evening League

To be confirmed:

Huddersfield Saturday League

Works League

Liberal League

Heavy Woollen Leagues

Dearne & Don League

Colne Valley League

Junior League

The BCGBA is still waiting for Government guidance on what controls and restrictions will be imposed on sports clubs reopening their facilities. Until that becomes available for the BCGBA to fine-tune around bowling activity no progress can be made. There is currently no indication when that guidance will become available as statements only point towards 'sometime before 29 March'. Until then any planning can only be tentative and we will continue to bring you news on all local leagues and the national scene as it becomes available.

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