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I Don’t Like Mondays … Well That’s the Song Title, Isn’t It?

Actually I quite like Mondays but I also like working and couldn’t imagine not doing so.  I think that ethic comes from my parents!

Anyway, Monday it is again and the weekend was good.  Well done to Laurence for organising the Triples game on Saturday afternoon.  Norman has taken over the baton and organised Triples against Peter Twells’ Chertsey IX for this Saturday.

Saturday’s game was a bit of an experiment and although it was mentioned in a post over a week or so, I gather some didn’t realise there was something going on and they might have come down to watch, so sorry if you felt you’d been left out of the loop.  It wasn’t intentional.

Now that the country is trying to get back to some sort of normality, we think more clubs would like to play games against us and others – in fact we have a club in Cambridgeshire who would like to come and play!  Bearing this in mind, quite a few people might like to have the chance to play in the team, so please email me ( if you are interested in playing  and we can rotate people in and out.  If we can only have 9 for a game, but 24 want to play, we need to organise a few more games!   As Fixture Secretary, Audrey will be able to sound a few clubs out and see if any would like a midweek game. It doesn’t have to be a weekend.

Thinking off the top of my head (and I might get shot for this), we could also consider running Club Pairs and/or Triples Leagues.

Longer Slots from Monday?

With the addition of Pairs and Triples play being permitted, we intend to increase the playing slot times to 2 hours as from Monday.  Just keep an eye out when booking in case the start times change slightly.  If there is a 30 minute difference to what has already been booked, we’ll contact you.

Ann & Archie are doing well and the radishes are coming along a treat, apparently.  (Very good with Scotch Eggs and Mustard at cricket matches, I have been told!)

Hampton is up and running.  How about the other clubs?  Any news?

Gerry, Reg & Brian C were down watching earlier in the week and I hope some others of you are enjoying being able to sit and watch now.

You’ll be very pleased to know I’ve been well and truly fumigated.  The flat anyway!  The decluttering and emptying of the flat has occupied rather a lot of ‘home’ time over the last 3 weeks and I now have to declutter again (how can one accumulate so much stuff?!) when putting everything back into wardrobes, bookcases and cupboards.  It makes the “Sock-gate” drawer tidying at the beginning of lockdown seem like a piece of cake!

Hope to get out on the bowls green soon and enjoy it – especially when all the National Indoor Comps forms have been submitted (by Sunday 7th).


Bowls England – Updated Guidance 2nd June – Pairs & Triples Now on the Cards!


2nd June, 2020 by Alistair Hollis

The Government confirmed yesterday (Monday 1st June) that groups of six can now meet outside provided people from different households observe social distancing (staying at least 2m apart).

This is good news for bowls, as we are aware many of our clubs that have opened, or wished to reopen, felt the previous Government guidance on numbers was restrictive, a number observing that pairs in particular could be played safely in accordance with social distancing.

Whilst the Government guidance now enables triples play, clubs may also wish to consider alternative formats with reduced numbers per rink – for example singles and pairs – in order for social distancing to be more easily maintained.

We have updated our guidance and FAQ accordingly as attached and encourage all clubs who do wish to open to take time to look at how they can operate effectively and safely within the new limits, while strictly adhering to public health guidance around hygiene and social distancing.

The key changes in the latest guidance reflect:

  • The increase in number of people permitted to participate together on a single rink;
  • Provision for clubs to consider attendance by spectators;
  • Provision for clubs to consider additional equipment;
  • Increase in number of people that can receive coaching at any one time

For the latest Government guidance for sport go to:

As you can imagine, we are receiving a lot of enquiries and we would kindly request you digest the guidance and send us an e-mail if you need any more information. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

Please continue to share your experiences of getting #back2bowls and, if you are enjoying a return to the green, we hope please do so in a safe way.



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: We are here to help and we will endeavour to respond within three working days.


1. Clubs – Summary of Recommended Action

Bowls England recommends that all clubs consider the guidance below. This may be adapted as necessary for your club, so long as it remains consistent with Government advice and social distancing requirements. This is particularly relevant with regard to rink usage and the maximum numbers of people that each club feels it can manage on the premises safely at any one time:

Play arrangements

  • Off-site booking system for rink allocation
  • 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 1, 3, 5 OR 2, 4, 6 (keep an empty rink between rinks that are being played on)
  • Whilst the Government guidance now enables triples play, clubs may also wish to consider alternative formats with reduced numbers per rink – for example singles and pairs – in order for social distancing to be more easily maintained
  • 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:

  • Up to six individuals from different households playing on a single rink

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
  • Clubs may wish to allow spectators, however their attendance must be in line with Government guidelines on social distancing and the ability of the club to accommodate the additional numbers

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.


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)
  • Bowling aids (for players with a disability if required)

To minimise the risk of infection, any other equipment is not deemed essential equipment at this time and clubs should give consideration as to whether they wish to utilise or not. This includes:

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


2. Players – Summary of Recommended Actions

Bowls England recommends that all players follow the guidance below (the guidance may be adapted if necessary to meet individual needs, so long as they remain consistent with Government advice and social distancing requirements):

In advance

Do not go to the club if you are experiencing any coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or any cold or flu-like symptoms, in particular a cough or a high temperature. Use the NHS 111 website or helpline and seek advice. For your own protection, follow the advice about self-isolation if you are, or are living with, someone in one of the vulnerable groups

  • Dress appropriately before you get to the club to avoid the need to change clothes – change shoes immediately before and after your game
  • Travel to the green on your own or with members of your own household only – do not offer a lift to, or accept a lift from, anyone outside your household. Do not arrive more than 10 minutes before your allocated booking time.

Personal care

  • Whilst they may be open, avoid using toilets at the club wherever possible
  • Clean anything you have touched after use
  • Take any food or drink you might need with you
  • Wash or sanitise your hands and sanitise any equipment (including bowls, jacks and mats) you use before and after you play – do not assume that the person before you has sanitised the equipment thoroughly
  • Sanitise padlocks, keys and door handles before and after use

Playing the game

  • 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 no more than five other people outside of your household, as long as you are able to maintain social distancing
  • Do not shake hands before, during or after a game
  • Do not ‘high-five‘ OR ‘hug’ other players to celebrate shots or a win
  • Mats/jacks (if shared) must be sanitised before and after each session
  • If scoring:
    • Social distancing rules must be strictly adhered to at all times
    • Do not touch your opponents’ bowls with your hands
    • Avoid measuring for shot/s wherever possible

When you leave

  • When you finish playing, change your shoes and leave the club immediately – ensuring that you have sanitised all equipment used and that the club is secure (as applicable)


3. Frequently Asked Questions


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.


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.


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 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.


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. 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. You may wish to consider doing the Bowls England Level 1 workout, to help you to stay fit and active. Full details at:


Can I receive coaching?

Coach Bowls further recommends that coaches provide coaching to no more than four people at any one time, regardless of their ability, with the addition of a further independent adult for Safeguarding and Health & Safety reasons (who should remain socially distanced). Coaches should coach on no more than two rinks at any one time, to ensure quality of delivery is maintained.


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.


Can we use the club toilets?

Yes – toilets and throughways may be kept open, but guidance on hygiene and social distancing should be followed.


Can we use the changing rooms?

No – all indoor facilities, apart from toilets and through-ways should be kept closed.


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.


4. Back2Bowls

We would love to see examples of good practice with bowls being enjoyed whilst adhering to the government guidelines. 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:


5. Additional Information


Further guidance is available as below:


We’re Free!

That was the subject heading from Dick & Di‘s email!

For the first time in nearly 10 weeks, they were able to venture outside their front gate and took a walk in Bushy Park.  Di said it was lovely to able to do the simple things that had been taken for granted, like sitting by the river and watching the wild life go about their daily comings and goings.

Their Golden Wedding Anniversary celebrations were quiet but they said they had loads of cards and messages from family and friends which made it a different sort of celebration.  They hope to come down to the club soon but for various reasons cannot get there yet.

Ray P has also managed to get out for a walk down his street and back.  The op that he was expecting in March has been rescheduled for next week, so that’s very good news.

W seemed to have done well coming out of the at least the major wave of the virus.  Well done to everyone who has observed all the safety measures.  Numbers of cases and deaths have fallen because of people like you who have obeyed the rules.

Bowls England has issued new guidance allowing pairs and triples as long as we keep the safety distances.  See separate post.




Well, Have You or Haven’t You?

Thought I’d delay the posting today to see if any of you who have been on the 12 week lockdown have now ventured outside?

There is no right or wrong answer!  Some might feel relieved to step outside into our changed environment with social distancing and others of you might prefer to stay in your ‘castle’!

Please let us know.  Your feelings either way could be helpful to another member.

If you are able to drive, you can go to the bowls club and watch for an hour or so.  This might be a good start for some as you are going somewhere familiar (providing you can get the car started after its long rest of course!) and can see some friendly faces.  Check out the Green Bookings page so you can see when people will be there.  You need to either take your own chair (I know some of you have those collapsible “director’s” chairs) or take some disinfectant to spray the bench/chair when you leave.  We know you don’t have to spray a park bench, but we want to keep you safe and believe you will happier knowing where you put your behind and arms are germ free!

You can take your own snack and drinks but you will also have to take your own rubbish away.

I’m a bit tied up with my flat at the moment, but could be around for an hour or so at the weekend, if anyone wanted company on their first venture out – even if it’s to walk down the street and back.  I won’t be able to take you by the arm though!


Golden Wedding Anniversary Congratulations!

Congratulations to Dick & Di on celebrating their 50 Year Wedding Anniversary yesterday!  Although the celebrations were somewhat quieter than intended on the day, there’s no reason we cannot all raise a glass, a mug, or a cup to wish them well and we look forward to repeating the exercise the next time we all can meet up at the club!

Di & Dick – Carpet Fund Pairs Winners 2020


Spectators – Update

A lot of you will be waiting for this news, so I hope you have a disinfectant spray and cloth ready as you step out of your door!  There are restrictions and guidelines of course, but I’m sure you’ll follow them – they’re for everyone’s benefit.

On 27th May, Ange  supported by Jacquie Elkin, the Middlesex County Administrator along with testimonials from Ann M, Corale, Nadine and Dawn made an application to Bowls England to allow spectators at Cambridge Park.

Bowls England have responded today with advice direct from government (DCMS department) which essentially gives us the go ahead to allow spectators around the green as long as we have appropriate safety measures in place.

This is the response from Alistair Hollis, the Operational Service Manager at Bowls England

“I have received response below from Government and trust this will be of assistance to your club.

 “We hope that the overarching guidance that we have produced enables sports to make a judgement and provide sensible guidance for their members, based on their expertise and knowledge of their specific sport and in line with the government’s guidance. From a personal perspective, the case set out by Mrs Cumine seems a very sensible one and the 6 points that she makes suggest that the club could safely allow people to observe (given the various controls on movement that the club has in place). The issue of mental wellbeing and isolation that this looks to help address is clearly an important one at this difficult time. Different sports and different clubs will have unique circumstances and considerations. We feel it is for the governing bodies, and the clubs in question, to satisfy themselves that something can be done safely and in line with government guidelines (just as they have discretion in deciding whether they are ready to open safely).”

Any spectator will be asked to sign a Self Declaration Form which protects them and the club.  These are available in the lobby which will be open when bowlers are at the club  – as mats and jacks are stored there.  The loo in the lobby is available for emergency use only and every part you touch e.g. seat, flush, taps  must be disinfected after use.

Spectators are asked to sit on the sides of the green away from the bowlers’ end and stick to the rules of social distancing and sanitisation at all times.  Please bring your own disinfectant and cloth to wipe the bench/seat (and arms!) your are sitting on. You can bring your own chair if you like – just make sure you’re 2m away from the nearest person.

We will not be opening the clubhouse and no food or drink will be on sale.  You can bring your own, but you will need to take any rubbish home with you.

Check out the ‘Green Bookings’ tab and you can see when people will be playing.


Well done and thank you to everyone who was involved in making this happen.  We’re looking forward to seeing some more of you soon!