Playing bowls under coronavirus

The green opens on the 25th May. If you wish to play please contact Victor Gillam to book a rink, this may change as the Government change the restrictions!

Update from Bowls England :- 

COVID-19: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS – LAWN BOWLS Issued: 21st May 2020
INTRODUCTION

The physical and mental wellbeing of our bowls community is of paramount importance. Bowls England wants to support those clubs that wish to reopen and members who would like to play, to do so safely and in accordance with Government guidance.

Government guidance released on 13th May 2020 stated: “You can play lawn bowls where facilities have reopened, but you can only take part in these activities by yourself, or with members of your household or with one person outside of your household, as long as you are able to maintain social distancing.”

Bowls England issued its sport-specific guidance on 14th May 2020 to supplement the Government guidance by covering situations specific to the sport of lawn bowls. Since that date, we have understandably received many enquiries from members seeking additional clarification on specific points and have therefore compiled this ‘frequently asked questions’ document to further assist. This ‘frequently asked questions’ document must be read in conjunction with our guidance issued on 14th May 2020.

In preparing this additional document, we remind you that with nearly 2,000 individual clubs it is impossible for Bowls England to issue a ‘one size fits all’ policy – the guidance may be adapted if necessary for your club, so long as it remains consistent with Government advice and social distancing requirements.

If you have any questions, please e-mail: enquiries@bowlsengland.com. We are here to help and we will endeavour to respond within three working days.

We hope you all stay healthy and that we all get through these challenging times by looking to help each other where we can. The coming weeks and months may also provide an opportunity for you to encourage members of your own household, who currently don’t play, to give bowls a try – clubs are reminded to ensure that any activity by non-members is in accordance with their insurers.

Meanwhile, keep safe, take care, look after yourself and, when you do return to the green, enjoy your bowls.

Stay alert, control the virus, save lives.

Covid-19: Frequently Asked Questions – Lawn Bowls Issued: 21st May 2020
Page 2 of 5

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1. When can we reopen? Outdoor bowls clubs are now allowed to open. Each club, including council-owned sports facilities, will make their own decision about when their facilities are ready to open and can be operated safely. You should only reopen or restart activities as soon as you feel able to do so safely. Until you feel it is safe and responsible to reopen you should remain closed.

2. What games can we play? All activity should be consistent with the government guidance regarding health, social distancing and hygiene. That means that participants and others can maintain a safe two metre distance, that good hygiene practices are in place, that equipment is disinfected regularly, and that it is clear that anyone who is symptomatic or suspects they have been exposed to the virus does not take part and remains at home.

3. What about competitions within our club? Any measures clubs can put in place to enable an activity to return needs to be capable of being adapted to follow government guidelines on social distancing e.g. strengthening or relaxing measures at short notice. Organisations are encouraged to think creatively about how best to make their sport or activity possible within the guidelines.

The limit on gatherings – no more than two, unless members of the same household – means that it is unlikely to be possible to organise amateur events or competitions at this time. The primary purpose of bowling activity at this time is for physical and mental well-being.

4. Can ‘clinically vulnerable’ people (such as people aged 70 and over) participate in lawn bowls? The Government guidance for ‘clinically vulnerable’ groups remains the same. If you are in this group you are advised to stay at home as much as possible and, if you do go out, take particular care to minimise contact with others outside your household.

Bowls England has requested clarification on the participation of those classed as ‘clinically vulnerable’ within the sport. To date, we have received no further reply. Until any response is received, we can only advise that those within the ‘clinically vulnerable’ category must make a personal judgement on their participation in accordance with Government guidance.

If you are living in a household with a possible COVID-19 infection or if you are classified as ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ on health grounds, the guidance is that you should remain at and exercise at home.

Full details at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-youcan-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do#vulnerable-groupsshielding-70-year-olds-and-over-and-care-homes

5. How can we exercise at home? Bowls England has launched three workout videos for our bowlers, so you can stay fit and healthy at home if you don’t wish to return to the green just yet.     The workouts have been created especially for Bowls England by experienced Personal Trainer and Wellness Coach, Kate Swinson, to motivate and support our bowlers with the fitness and wellness services we need.
Covid-19: Frequently Asked Questions – Lawn Bowls Issued: 21st May 2020
Page 3 of 5

The three workouts vary in intensity and have been specifically designed for bowlers. They range from an introduction level, suitable for all ages and abilities, that focuses on balance, flexibility and core strength, to a more advanced full body workout for the more physically able and a high intensity cardio workout for those who want even more.

To view the workout videos, visit: https://www.youtube.com/c/BowlsEnglandTV

6. Can I receive coaching? Yes – one on one coaching is permitted if outside and remaining a minimum of two metres apart.

7. Can we open the club bar and kitchen? No – Bars and restaurants, including any food or drink facilities inside a clubhouse must remain closed until further notice. Take-away services can be offered, but any hot or cold food must be consumed off the premises, outside of the building.

8. Can we use the club toilets? Yes – toilets and throughways may be kept open, but guidance on hygiene and social distancing should be followed.

9. Can we use the changing rooms? No – all indoor facilities, apart from toilets and throughways, should be kept closed.

10. Can we share equipment? Where possible we recommend that you limit sharing of equipment, for example you should use your own bowls. If you are sharing equipment (mats/jacks) you should wash your hands thoroughly before and after use. It is a decision for clubs/facility managers whether or not they loan/hire out bowls. If you do, we would expect you to follow sensible precautions and clean in between users, as well as following the safely working guidance.

11. How can we book a rink without visiting the club? Clubs are encouraged to utilise an off-site booking system for rink allocation – this could be offline (e.g. diary managed by allocated club members) or online (e.g. Google Calendar). Bowls England is preparing some additional guidance to assist clubs wishing to pursue online booking options.

12. We have two greens – does that mean we can increase the number of players allowed on site at the same time? The maximum capacity is for each club to determine according to the number of greens/rinks available – for example clubs with additional greens may wish to consider increasing capacity accordingly so long as they consider it is safe to do so.

13. How do we ensure that mats and jacks are clean? The Government guidance currently states that cleaning protocols should be put in place to limit coronavirus transmission in public places. It is advised that touch points (e.g. handrails and gates) should be particular areas of focus for increased cleaning. Frequent cleaning of equipment between uses and any work areas used, using your usual cleaning products, is advised. Bowls England has requested the input of greens maintenance advisors regarding any specific treatments with regard to equipment and will advise further when additional information is available.

Covid-19: Frequently Asked Questions – Lawn Bowls Issued: 21st May 2020
Page 4 of 5

14. Can we play a pairs game comprising two ‘couples’ from two separate households so long as social distancing is observed? No – the current Government guidance states that groups of more than two people must all be from the same household. Bowls England will lobby Government for consideration to be given to this current restriction.

15. How can I get my playing surface back to a ‘fit for play’ condition should a ban on play be lifted?  It is important that some form of reduced but regular maintenance work has been carried out during the period of ‘lockdown’ as per the guidance issued by Bowls England on 3rd April 2020. The length of time needed to become fully playable and to what standard will depend on the condition of the surface in the first place. If you require any further advice, please contact the Bowls England Greens Advisory Service – e-mail greens@bowlsengland.com

16. Can ‘non-members’ participate in activities at our club? Every club is different and will have its own rules on participation by non-members. Clubs are reminded to ensure that any activity by non-members is in accordance with the requirements of their insurers.

17. Are we as a club responsible for provision of hand sanitiser to all players? The Government guidance for facilities states as follows:

To help everyone maintain good hygiene, consideration should be given to:

• Using signs and posters to build awareness of good handwashing technique, the need to increase handwashing frequency, avoid touching your face and to cough or sneeze into your arm • Providing regular reminders and signage to maintain hygiene standards • Providing hand sanitiser in multiple locations in addition to washrooms • Setting clear use and cleaning guidance for toilets to ensure they are kept clean and social distancing is achieved as much as possible • Enhancing cleaning for busy areas • Providing more waste facilities and more frequent rubbish collection • Replacing hand dryers with paper towels in handwashing facilities • Minimising use of portable toilets • Sufficient provision of automated hand sanitising dispensers in public places

18. Can we allocate someone to ‘manage’ sessions/attendance in addition to those who are playing? Yes – clubs may consider the use of ‘staff’ if they consider this will enable them to reopen safely as part of their risk assessment.

19. How do we prepare a risk assessment? Guidance and templates are available to view/download at: http://www.sportenglandclubmatters.com/club-planning/governance/managing-risk/risk-assesment/

A bowls-specific risk assessment template is available to view/download at: http://www.bowlsengland.com/coronavirus-guidance/

Covid-19: Frequently Asked Questions – Lawn Bowls Issued: 21st May 2020
Page 5 of 5

20. Has Bowls England produced a poster that we can put up at our Club? Yes – Bowls England has designed a COVID-19 Safety Information Poster for Clubs to use in conjunction with Warwick District Council. To download the poster, visit: https://www.bowlsengland.com/coronavirus-guidance/ 21. Bowls England has refunded all our affiliation fees – are we still affiliated? Yes – all clubs who initially paid fees for the 2020 season are recognised as affiliated despite the refund of affiliation fees.

22. Can we now hold a Committee Meeting so long as ‘social distancing’ is adhered to? No – the Government guidance states that a gathering of more than two people from different households is not permitted. Sport England has produced specific guidance to assist clubs who wish to meet ‘virtually’ at: https://learn.sportenglandclubmatters.com/course/view.php?id=71

23. Can we share our ideas on social media? Yes – Clubs are encouraged to think creatively about how best to make their sport or activity possible within the guidelines, and we would love to hear from you. Please post your photos on social media tagging in Bowls England or using the hashtag #back2bowls – we’ll share the best with the rest of the bowls community. Alternatively, send your news direct to: news@bowlsengland.com

We remind you that the Government advises that clubs should only reopen or restart activities as soon as they feel able to do so safely. We are aware that there is a huge difference of opinion between our members on restarting – please be respectful of each other and the wider bowling community when commenting on our channels.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Further guidance is available as below:

DCMS https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-phased-return-ofsport-and-recreation

Sport England https://www.sportengland.org/how-we-can-help/coronavirus/coronavirus-what-happensnext#your_questions_answered

Sport & Recreation Alliance https://www.sportandrecreation.org.uk/news/covid-19

In order to comply with Bowls England hygiene guidelines, a pack of antiseptic wipes ( and a waste bin) will be in the bowls store by the side of the green. Please use the wipes to disinfect any equipment you use.

Also, a bottle of hand sanitiser will be in the clubhouse for your use.

COVID-19: SUPPLEMENTARY GUIDANCE FOR LAWN BOWLS CLUBS Issued: 14th May 2020

The physical and mental wellbeing of our bowls community is of paramount importance. Bowls England wants to support those clubs that wish to reopen and members who would like to play, to do so safely and in accordance with Government guidance.

The Government this week announced that facilities associated with outdoor sports and physical activities, including lawn bowls, may now reopen.

Government guidance released on 13th May 2020 states: “You can play lawn bowls where facilities have reopened, but you can only take part in these activities by yourself, or with members of your household or with one person outside of your household, as long as you are able to maintain social distancing.”

The guidance we have developed below supplements the Government guidance by covering situations specific to the sport of lawn bowls. It is a live document and will be updated if advice changes and we continue to actively seek the latest advice from Government.

Individual clubs must decide whether they wish to reopen having taken into account Government advice.

This guidance document contains the following Sections:

1. Clubs – Summary of Recommended Action 2. Players – Summary of Recommended Action 3. Frequently Asked Questions 4. Back2Bowls 5. Additional Information

If you have any questions, please e-mail: enquiries@bowlsengland.com. We are here to help and we will endeavour to respond within three working days.

We hope you all stay healthy and that we all get through these challenging times by looking to help each other where we can. The coming weeks and months may also provide an opportunity for you to encourage members of your own household, who currently don’t play, to give bowls a try – clubs are reminded to ensure that any activity by non-members is in accordance with their insurers.

Meanwhile, keep safe, take care, look after yourself and, when you do return to the green, enjoy your bowls.

Stay alert, control the virus, save lives.
Covid-19: Supplementary Guidance for Lawn Bowls Clubs Approved by Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) – May 14th 2020
Page 2 of 6

1. Clubs – Summary of Recommended Action

Bowls England recommends that all clubs follow the guidance below (the guidance may be adapted if necessary for your club, so long as it remains consistent with Government advice and social distancing requirements):

Play arrangements

• Off-site booking system for rink allocation (i.e. Google Calendar) • Minimum of 20 minutes between allocated time slots to enable players to arrive/depart safely • Clubs to communicate in advance with players to advise on social distancing requirements that are being applied on arrival at the club – for example not leaving cars until a certain time before their allocated time slot • Only play on alternate rinks e.g. 1, 3, 5 OR 2, 4, 6 (keep an empty rink between rinks that are being played on) • Maximum of six players on club premises at any one time (assuming average of two people per rink who are not from the same household). Clubs may wish to increase this number if more than two people from the same household are to participate on the same rink. • No visitors/spectators to be admitted to the club • Capping the number of occasions a player can book a rink each week to ensure that the available capacity is distributed fairly

Playing Formats

The following playing formats are in accordance with Government guidelines:

• Individuals playing bowls on their own on a single rink • Two individuals from two different households playing on a single rink (no marker) • Members of the same household on a single rink (no marker unless from same household)

Social distancing rules must be strictly adhered to; you must remain at least two metres apart from other bowlers (who are not part of your household) at all times.

Clubhouse and Facilities

• Until further notice, all clubhouses must be closed • Limited essential access (for example to use the toilets and hand washing facilities) may be allowed by the club • Sanitiser must be available for cleaning hands and equipment before and after playing • No rubbish bins – players must take any rubbish away with them

Social distancing rules must be strictly adhered to; you must remain at least two metres apart from other bowlers (who are not part of your household) at all times.

Covid-19: Supplementary Guidance for Lawn Bowls Clubs Approved by Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) – May 14th 2020
Page 3 of 6

Equipment

To minimise the risk of infection, only essential items (as below) should be utilised during any session:

• Mat • Bowls • Jack • Rink markers • Gloves • Scorecards (these should be retained by one person only if required) • Bowling arm/lifter (for use by one person only if required)

To minimise the risk of infection, any other equipment is not deemed essential equipment at this time and should not be utilised. This includes:

• Scoreboards • Bowls pushers • Ditch markers • 2m distance sticks • Chalk