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

ESMBA Coronavirus Update

The following update has been published on the ESMBA website for the information of all members and clubs.

Coronavirus progress update 25th October 2020

The ESMBA ‘Safe Bowls’ scheme has now been running for over 6 weeks, we have had over 200 clubs complete the process and receive their status with around 30-40 applications coming through each week.

The scheme has managed to allow many bowlers back to the game they enjoy, albeit, socially at the moment. The ESMBA is still working along its route map whilst endeavouring to keep within the ever-changing Government guidelines. At the beginning of the month the ESMBA developed procedures to allow those clubs that have been playing pairs regularly to apply to play triples if space permitted. We are looking ahead to November and would like to allow some kind of internal club competitions and/or local Inter Club activities between clubs with ‘Safe Bowls’ status. Obviously, there is still a lot of work happening behind the scenes for this to take place and to develop the protocols for it to work safely.

We must emphasise the fact that the ESMBA are entrusted by the Government to manage the return of Short Mat Bowling to our members. It is highly recommended by the Government and Sport England that all participants are affiliated to the National Governing Body. The ESMBA only recognises and supports clubs and venues that have achieved ‘Safe Bowls’ status, furthermore we strongly recommend to our members that for everyone’s safety they do not attend any club or venue that is not working to the ESMBA ‘Safe Bowls’ status. An up to date list of those approved can be found on the ESMBA website.

The first phase of the ESMBA Emergency fund has been allocated to the applicants and they will be receiving information shortly from the Treasurer. As the number of clubs continue to grow with ‘Safe Bowls’ status the ESMBA management committee have decided to release a second stream of funding, applications are again invited to apply to the Treasurer, closing date will be the end of November 2020.

We would like to remind clubs that it is a condition of ‘Safe Bowls’ status that your members are affiliated to the ESMBA via your County Association. Although the closing date for registrations is 30th November, given the present environment would counties please process those received to date and forward them onto  to the ESMBA registration officer to maintain continued insurance and support. We would like to stress we are only expecting those members who return to play to affiliate, but as members return, they should be added as soon as possible. We would also like to remind you that as the insurance renewals come out in the new year, it is a condition of insurance that your club has the minimum affiliated members to gain the competitive rates. We are also adding a new second submission date for bulk registrations, this will be 31st January 2021 for those that continue to join.

The Government have now introduced a tier system for the Country, whilst the ESMBA await further updates from the DCMS and Sport England, the management Committee have decided to err on the side of caution. With effect of 17th October 2020 the rules for clubs in the following tiers are as follows:

Tier 1 Postcodes can continue as per the approved protocols.

Tier 2 Postcodes can only allow single households or social bubbles per rink mat, these members MUST NOT mix with any other individuals.

Tier 3 Postcodes Sport and physical activity can be played as per the guidance under Tier 2.

These restrictions are put in place not just to protect the bowls family but the wider communities that we play and live in. We hope that these restrictions are only temporary and as soon as we have agreed procedures in place to play again, we will update you all.