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18 May update

The company board met this morning to consider the latest government and EIBA guidance relating to indoor bowls.

It is important to say that we have also taken account of the changes in the external environment since we were last working within the rule of six at the back end of last year. Infection rates in Bromsgrove and Redditch were down to 9 and 14 per 100,000 people in the week to 13 May. These figures are significantly less than 10% of the numbers being experienced towards the end of last year. In addition, almost all our members will have been offered their first vaccination and the significant majority will have been offered both jabs.

So, from today the following will apply:

The club

Changing rooms will remain closed and we continue to ask our members to avoid using lockers. The EIBA suggests that the use of both should be minimised and avoided if possible, and that if they are used, usage should be carefully managed. Not using the changing rooms whilst we are not hosting visiting clubs is no real issue and whilst we know that many of you have asked about using lockers, we ask you to be patient for a little while longer. We will continue to keep this under review, in particular when the details of the next steps are released next month. 

The bar and restaurant area will be open and the rule of 6 will apply. Tables will be set for a maximum of 6 people and you can order hot or cold drinks (inc alcohol), plus snacks from the bar, through the duty steward.

Whilst face coverings are required for entry, exit and moving around the club, they can be removed when on the bowling rinks and when eating or drinking in the restaurant area. Removal of your face covering is optional and we understand some will prefer to keep them on.

Bowling sessions will be 2 hours duration but we require time for people to leave or move to the restaurant before the next session starts and to clean equipment. Therefore, session start times will be 9:50, 12:15 and 18:30. If you are on the first session on Tuesday or Wednesday, please leave the bowling area quickly. If you are on the second session on those days, please arrive no more than 10 minutes before your start time.

Playing Bowls

EIBA have simply set out the various sets of advice regarding ventilation. They tell us that government suggest 20 litres per person per second (20lps), although we cannot find this guidance in any government documents. They then go on to tell us that the current design advice for indoor bowling halls is 12lps and that the HSE suggest that the risk of infection spreading through these systems is very low.

Taking account of the external environment set out at the start of the message, we are adopting the EIBA guidance that suggests play can take place on all rinks. We are restricting to a maximum of triples play. However, in line with very recent government messaging, we are recommending caution and ask everyone to be considerate of each other in trying to maintain social distancing.

Even when we have 4 x league triples matches taking place, it is unlikely that even with roll ups we will have more than 32 people on the green at any one time – this equates to 18.75lps. In addition there will be some natural ventilation. 

We have purchased additional equipment that will allow us to have 4 mats on each rink (2 for each lead) and 2 jacks. This will allow us to revert to placing the mat and casting the jack – remember if you aren’t casting the jack, to take yours to the other end with you!

If you are rolling up, 4 mats and 2 jacks will be available to you. It is up to you whether you use all the equipment or not dependent upon the make-up of your roll up.

Scorecards should be maintained by the home skip and the scoreboard can be operated by the away skip.

Summer Leagues

There is a further meeting scheduled for Friday when we will finalise league arrangements for the summer. It is very likely that the Monday morning league, the Tuesday evening league and the Thursday evening league will commence w/c 24 May 2021.

The over 70s league will commence this Wednesday and Chris will have been in contact with players already.

A further message will follow later on Friday. We are still short of numbers for both Tuesday and Wednesday mornings and the likelihood is that only one of them will run. We will then leave it for a further week or so to see if we can encourage a couple more entries. This league/these leagues will therefore commence very early in June.

Revised summer league rules will be included with the Friday message.