"I am a Norfolk man and Glory in being so." Horatio Nelson

Government accepts ESMBA plan to resume bowls at club level

Although playing short mat bowls will be far from what we knew before, some clubs will be able to prepare for a return to bowling following information received from the ESMBA to County Association Secretaries. Norfolk registered clubs will shortly receive full information from the NCSMBA Safeguarding Officer Teresa Goldsmith. The Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport have accepted the ESMBA plan to resume bowling at club level. Some clubs will find that their venues have not yet opened while others may decide to delay a return to club bowls. The commencement of short mat bowls will be on a very small scale at first and each club will need to carefully study the ESMBA Covid-19 Compliance Guidelines which includes the condition that there will be no external or internal club matches at this time. There is much more for clubs to consider in the guidelines which include mats placed a minimum 3 metres apart, session times capped to one hour, no physical contact between players, only bowlers allowed at sessions, equipment set out and put away by a maximum of three individuals, jacks etc cleaned with anti-bacterial wipes before and after sessions and a Track and Trace form to be completed by everyone in attendance. No scoreboards or chalk sticks are to be used only spray chalk and no measuring of any sort is allowed. Kitchen facilities must be closed, own refreshments can be brought in but not shared. Clubs also have to make available disposable gloves and masks that must be used when putting equipment out and away. Clubs will be told that no pressure must be put on any player to resume bowling as this would be regarded as a safeguarding issue. Hand sanitiser must be made available at each end of the rink and face coverings must be worn in communal areas of the venue. Clubs should consider “cashless” transactions. Once Norfolk clubs have complied with all the requirements, and sent the Covid-19 Risk Assessment form back to NCSMBA Safeguarding Officer Teresa Goldsmith, the forms will be subject to checks both at County and National level before a “Safe Club Status Certificate” will be issued to the club which will allow them to begin bowling again. The ESMBA reserves the right for its Safeguarding Officers and Management Committee members to make spot checks on “safe clubs” to monitor they are following the agreed conditions.  The ESMBA stress that clubs must liaise with their County Safeguarding Officer if they wish to proceed with applications to start bowling. Clubs will be able to apply for funding under the ESMBA Community Emergency Funding scheme, all applications for funding must be made through ESMBA Treasurer Simon Willies.

For members who wish to read the full ESMBA Compliance guidelines you can do so by logging on to the ESMBA website home page, then clicking on the CORONAVIRUS tab and then clicking on the Compliance guidelines tab. You will then be able to open up and read the document in full.