It is now unlikely that county or national short mat bowling will commence before September 2021 and the county is now looking forward to the next series of county competitions. It is the intention to hold the – Pairs, Triples, Fours, Mixed Fours, and the over 55’s competitions at Blakedown Parish Rooms in December 2021 and January 2022 – also the Singles if entries do not exceed 12, otherwise that competition will be held at the Bromsgrove IBC.
Because of the worsening of the covid 19 pandemic, there is currently no possibility of a resumption in the near future of short mat bowling in the county or at national level.
The next news report will appear when there is something positive to announce.
POSITIN AS AT 5TH NOVEMBER 2020.
It will come as no surprise that the ESMBA have issued further guidance following the announcement by the government of “a lockdown” in England from the 5th November to 2nd December. This guidance note is reproduced below. There will be no short mat bowling in the county until the covid19 situation becomes clearer at some stage after the 2nd December.
” ESMBA Coronavirus statement 4th November 2020. Under the latest government lockdown rules, amateur sports are not permitted. So, for the period of 5th November 2020 to 2nd December 2020 all “Safe Bowls” certificates are temporarily suspended.
No Short Mat Bowls clubs may open during this period.
Although it seems a long month, the ESMBA will continue to look at its route map during this time and will be developing new protocols for more competitive bowls once these latest restrictions are lifted. With this in mind we strongly recommend that clubs continue to submit applications for “Safe Bowls” as the importance of being ready to restart cannot be overstated. We will also continue to lobby the DCMS to look at allowing safe bowls to resume.
On behalf of the ESMBA management Committee.”
POSITION AS AT 25TH OCTOBER 2020.
Following the publication of new advice and regulations by the government, including the introduction of a tiered arrangement for covid19 infection rates, the ESMBA have issued a further “Safe Bowls” guidance note – this is reproduced below – at this stage there are no plans for restarting short mat bowling in the county.
“ENGISH SHORT MAT BOWLING ASSOCIATION – “SAFE BOWLS UPDATE – 17TH OCTOBER 2020.
The Government have now introduced a tier system for the Country, whilst the ESMBA await further updates from the DCMS and Sports England, the Management Committee have decided to err on the side of caution. With effect of 17th October 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.”
Because of the continuing covid 19 pandemic the county has decided to cancel this year’s Kidderminster and District league programme at Stourport Civic Hall with the hope that short mat bowling can restart at the in September 2021.
The ESMBA has circulated additional guidance for counties – this is set out in full below :
The first National Finals event – the Mixed Fours – took place at Solihull on the 7th march. Three teams from the county competed – ( 1 ) Belinda Gibbs / Dave Grove / Maureen Tingle / Jim Tingle. ( 2 ) Yvonne Payne / Richard Rose / Sandra Felton / Richard Payne. ( 3 ) Jenny Gibbs / Trish Clifford / Alan Walters / Terry Clifford.
Belinda/Dave/Maureen/ Jim had tough opposition in the round robin series of matches and lost, – 5-7 against an East Sussex team, 5-11 against Norfolk, and 2-7 against Devon. They did not proceed to the knockout stages.
The two other teams did exceptionally well in the group stages, finishing top of their respective groups. Yvonne/Richard/Sandra/Richard narrowly lost to a team from Dorset 7-8, but won 8-0 against Northants and 10-3 against Hertfordshire. In the first of the knockout rounds they lost 3-9 to a team from Essex.
Jenny/Trish/Alan/Terry won all three of their group games – 14-6 against Surrey, 9-5 against North Yorkshire, and 7-4 against Cambridgeshire. In the first of the knockout rounds they lost 3-12 to a team from Avon.
The second National Finals event – the Over 55’s Pairs – took place on the 8th March, also at Solihull. Two teams from the county competed – Trish and Terry Clifford – and – Richard Rose and Richard Payne.
In the group series of matches, Trish and Terry lost 6-13 to a team from Norfolk, lost 6-8 to a team from Essex, but had a crushing 18-3 win over the team from Wiltshire. Unfortunately they did not make the knockout stages.
The two Richards had narrow defeats of 7-8 against a team from Buckinghamshire, and also Kent, but had a convincing win against a team from East Sussex by 12 shots to 7. Because of a superior shot difference they qualified for the knockout stages but in the first round of the knockouts were defeated by a team from North Yorkshire 4-14.
Because of the impact of the coronavirus epidemic, the remaining National Finals competitions have been re – scheduled for the beginning of September.
The county were drawn to play against Devon in this preliminary end of season ESMBA inter county knockout series. The match took place in Bristol. Unfortunately the county suffered a shock defeat by 10 points to 30, which came as a bit of a surprise after a very successful season. As far as the county were concerned, Jenny and Richard had a very good day winning both of their pairs matches – 12-11 in the morning followed by a very convincing 20-8 win in the afternoon. This was instrumental in winning two bonus points, helped by Leah and Sean’s 16-11 morning win. The only other county success was Belinda/Sandra/Richard’s triples win in the morning session by 12 shots to 10.
A summary of the day’s play is shown below :