Delayed restart problems for Leagues

Bowling News

Time to consider the nitty-gritty of running a bowling league in 2021. With a confused state of uncertainty prevailing, what are the problems for local leagues in planning for any sort of season during 2021? Tomorrow we will examine the four options open to Leagues to overcome a shortened season but today we try and forecast how much a problem it is going to be for 13 local leagues.

Let's start with a look back at what each local league has planned for over recent seasons. This look-back considers the traditional start date of league fixtures and how many weeks they require to complete their full season based on the number of teams in their League. It then looks at whether that is feasible in 2021 or will some sort of revamp of the whole programme be required.

Taking the last season bowled and recorded on Bowlsnet this information provides some indication of how many weeks each league needs. That is then placed alongside potential start dates and weeks available to see how that matches up.

This chart assumes that all Leagues will have the same number of teams

as in the last season (2019 or 2020) that fixtures were published on Bowlsnet.

READING THE CHART The chart provides for each local league the START DATE which is the date their fixtures started in their last Bowlsnet set of fixtures. Some are from 2019, some 2020. That is followed by the number of WEEKS PLAYED for each league to complete a full season of League fixtures.

Moving on to the coloured sections. Obviously we don't know what the date is that we can resume bowling in Huddersfield yet. This chart provides the number of weeks available to each League based on different start dates as shown in the heading. The figures shaded in GREEN can fit all the fixtures required into the season.

For example: If the Leagues get the go-ahead to resume bowling from 5 April then all the 13 Leagues can fit their fixtures in assuming a finish no later than 31 September. But if the start date is 3 May then the Veterans 10-Man League has only 22 weeks in which to fit their 26-week programme before 31 September.

All the dates shaded in RED mean that those Leagues have insufficient dates available to complete their season before 31 September.

For example: If the Leagues don't get the go-ahead to start their seasons until 7 June then only the Juniors League has sufficient dates to complete their League season assuming a 31 September final day for bowling.

The chart is complicated by the fact that the Yorkshire CCGBA reserves a number (usually 3 or 4) of the Saturday dates during the season when the Saturday League is not allowed to arrange any fixtures.

The first indicator as to the likely start date for bowling may come from the Prime Minister when he announces his Road Map to the Return to Normality on 22 February. Until then no League can make a decision with any degree of certainty about the actual return to bowling. It is likely that the BCGBA will have to follow up that announcement with revised guidance on when bowling can resume before we can plan a restart.

Time then also needs to be allowed for clubs to make plans to conform with guidance on opening up their greens and clubhouses. Previous plans and Risk Assessments are not likely to be acceptable as experienced by the Winter League clubs when Yorkshire CCGBA insisted on revised documents from those used to reopen bowling greens during the summer months.

Once you have digested all that information then tomorrow we will take a look at what options are available to the leagues to get a full set of fixtures into a shortened season.

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