CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (Issue 1)
Understandably, Bowls England has been inundated with enquiries from clubs and county associations regarding the Coronavirus outbreak, and we will ensure that each and every enquiry is responded to in the coming days.
We have produced this ‘FAQ’ document in response to the first wave of enquiries, which have been similar in their nature. It will continue to be updated as we deal with this ever‐changing situation. Should you have an enquiry that is not covered within this document, in accordance with Government guidance the Bowls England staff team is working remotely and we ask that you use electronic communication (preferably e‐mail) in order that enquiries can be forwarded to the appropriate member of staff. Please use contact form at: www.bowlsengland.com/contact
ADVICE FOR INDIVIDUALS
How can we support our club’s members?
We are encouraging members to keep an eye out for each other i.e. shopping/contact etc especially those members who may live on their own. A telephone call, e‐mail or Skype to another member of the bowls community will, I am sure, be welcomed at this time. Bowls England is producing a ‘Bowlers’ Workout’ in order to keep members fit and active during isolation and/or working from home, so we’re all ready to play when bowling resumes.
How can I support my club?
We are encouraging members to support their clubs financially by continuing to pay their annual subscriptions – in order that the clubs will be there for them when we are able to resume bowling.
ADVICE FOR CLUBS
Will our affiliation fees be refunded?
In support of clubs at this difficult time, Bowls England will refund the affiliation fees paid for 2020 by each playing member. Bowls England will refund monies to the County Associations, who are mandated to ensure that all monies are then paid to their Member Clubs. Please note that this process will take a number of weeks due to restrictions on the amount that can be paid by Bowls England each working day.
Will my club be insured for the 2020 season, given that Bowls England is refunding affiliation fees? Bowls England’s insurers Sutton Winson has confirmed that it will honour the Civil Liability Insurance for all clubs that originally affiliated for the 2020 season and have purchased their insurance through Sutton Winson. Clubs who arrange their Civil Liability Insurance through another provider must ensure that their policy covers them. As a duty of care to our members, Bowls England urges all clubs, county associations and associate members to ensure that their insurance needs are fully in place for the 2020 season. To arrange insurance via Sutton Winson please contact: Claire.Weston@swib.co.uk
When can we open our club?
We are seeking clarification in accordance with Government guidance and will update our members when more information is available. This will include any guidance on casual play.
What support is available for our club?
We are currently looking at potential funding that may be available to our affiliated clubs and we will circulate relevant information when it is received. In the meantime, we encourage all clubs to support Sport England in their request for further information on the potential impact of COVID‐19. More information may be found at: www.sportengland.org/news/coronavirus‐information‐sector
We are also working with our key partners to produce further advice and guidance for clubs for the summer and beyond.
In the event that we cancel our scheduled tournament this year, can our Tournament Licence be carried forward to 2021?
Yes, please advise us as soon as possible.
Should we continue to maintain our clubs and greens?
Bowls England intends to provide advice to clubs on the minimum maintenance that is required to maintain greens so they are playable when we resume bowling. We advise that you ensure your clubs and bowling greens are available when it is deemed safe to resume.
For any enquiries regarding Greens Maintenance, e‐mail: firstname.lastname@example.org with details of the situation and any photographs if possible. This will then be forwarded to our professional advisor.
You can also use the online submission form at: https://www.bowlsengland.com/greens-advisory-service/
NATIONAL COMPETITIONS AND NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
What will happen to the Bowls England National Finals?
The Bowls England National Finals will not be held, as most qualifying rounds leading to the National Finals begin in early May to July and we believe it is impractical for these to be completed in all areas this season. Subject to any restrictions that may or may not be in place later in the season, Bowls England will seek to organise a ‘Festival of Bowls’ in August/September.
What happens to my National Competition entries?
Bowls England will contact all those who have entered in 2020 directly to confirm that they wish to roll over their entry to 2021 (refunds will be available on request).
What happens to National Championship entries?
We will refund all entry fees to county associations, who will then discuss directly with entrants.
What will happen with entries in the National Champion of Champions?
All those who had entered in 2020 will be eligible to participate in 2021. Should play be possible later in the season and clubs have opportunity to organise qualifying events, any additional club champions (from the same club) will be permitted to enter in 2021.
Are international events going ahead?
The British Isles Bowls Council and British Isles Women’s Bowls Council made the announcement below regarding the 2020 programme:
The following events have been cancelled with immediate effect:
BIBC Senior International Series and Championships (Llandrindod Wells, Wales, from 25th to 28th June inclusive)
BIWBC Senior International Series and Championships (Royal Leamington Spa, England, from 12th to 16th June inclusive)
BIWBC Junior International Series and Championships (Llandrindod Wells, Wales, on 18th and 19th July)
It has been further agreed:
To seek alternative arrangements for the respective Junior and Senior Championships to be played at a later date (either in 2020 or 2021);
That a decision regarding the BIBC Junior International Series due to be held in Ayr, Scotland, on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th September will be made at a later date and communicated to players and officials at the earliest opportunity
The World Bowls Championships due to be held in Australia in May have been postponed until further notice.
ASSOCIATED BOWLS BODIES
I am booked on to a Coach Bowls course, will this being going ahead?
Coach Bowls has postponed all courses until further notice. Bowls England will consult with the English Indoor Bowling Association regarding when Coach Bowls activity should resume. For all of the latest updates, please visit: www.coachbowls.org
Our club applied for a Play Bowls package via the Bowls Development Alliance (BDA). What happens with this?
The BDA has postponed all funding for events planned until the end of April 2020. To ensure that clubs are not disadvantaged, clubs will be able to e‐mail in to email@example.com with re‐arranged dates once the advice from relevant bodies is changed. The BDA has removed the package window closing date and will be leaving it open through the year. For all of the latest news from the BDA visit: www.playbowls.org