ENTRY forms for next year's Northants Bowling Federation and Northants Women's Bowling Federation county competitions are now available from your club secretary.

Players are requested to fill in the forms as usual, including the total, and then deduct their 2020 county fees, if applicable, pay the difference (cheques payable to Northants Bowling Federation or Northants Women's Bowling Federation) or alternatively apply for a rebate, marking the amount on the bottom of your entry form.

Return forms to your club secretary who can then establish the total amount of rebate required which will be claimed from either the NBF or NWBF.

The deadline for NBF entries is October 14th, the date of the scheduled annual general meeting, while NWBF entries close on November 7th.

As reported earlier, there will be no indoor county competitions this coming season owing to the continued uncertainty surrounding the opening of indoor clubs due to the coronavirus pandemic.



THE English Bowling Federation has decided to postpone November's annual general meeting and both the national executive and delegates meetings, scheduled for October, until early next year.

Explaining the decision, EBF secretary Dave Woods said: "The Department of Culture, Media and Sport say meetings should be discouraged unless it is of vital importance and then only a maximum of thirty people would be allowed.

"If we had decided to go ahead with the meetings, we would have had to put restrictions on the numbers attending and also the wearing of masks would have been mandatory.

"The venue would also have to put in place steps to follow COVID-19 Secure guidelines and with social distancing in place, this would have been near impossible with the numbers we have attending."

Regarding the indoor championships, the secretary explained: "If the counties who have not played their finals could complete them by the end of the year, this will give us a chance to decide how we go forward with the 2020 finals in April.

"At present we would not be able to go forward with them, because of the numbers involved, but by April, hopefully, this will have changed. 

"At the moment indoor clubs are allowed open, but again the restrictions will be for thirty people in the club at any one time, and this will include any staff on duty."




WITH no sign yet of indoor bowls club being allowed to open, the English Bowling Federation have decided to delay the 2020 national indoor finals until April next year, which means there will be no national indoor competitions this coming indoor season.

Following the postponement of the finals in April following the lockdown, a September date had been provisionally arranged for the re-staging of the championships.

However, with the opening of indoor clubs not included in the latest round of the lifting of restrictions, the relevant Government department could not offer any guarantes as to when they will be allowed to open, and even then social distancing regulations may still apply.

With seven counties still to play their 2020 indoor finals, the EBF had no real option but to delay them until next April, including the Derbyshire Trophy final, in which Northants are due to play Durham.




THE Government guidance now allows clubs to consider alternate formats with reduced numbers per rink – for example, singles and pairs – in order for social distancing to be more easily maintained, rinks of three would be allowed, but you must have procedures in place to maintain social distancing.

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.

Clubs will need to communicate clearly and regularly with members and participants setting out what they are doing to manage risk and what advice they are giving to individuals to do likewise.

Ideally clubs should publish an action plan detailing their plans to re-open safely and the steps they are taking to avoid confusion.

Clubs should also communicate clearly opening times and how people can safely access a facility, if relevant, for example through a booking or queuing system.

It is more important than ever to consider inclusive guidance for people who need support to be active and organisations should consider this as part of their work to encourage people to return.

The Government is clear that sports participation should be restricted to participants exercising by themselves, with members of their same household, or in a group of five other people from other households, while observing social distancing guidelines. The police have been given powers to enforce these measures.

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 freqeuency, avoid touching your face and to cough or sneeze into your arm. Consider how to ensure safety measures reach those with hearing or vision impairments.

Providing regular reminders and signage to maintain hygiene standards.

Providing hand sanitisers 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.

Enhancing cleaning for busy areas.

Providing more waste facilities and more freqent rubbish collections.

Using disposable paper towels in handwashing facilities.

Minimising use of portable toilets.

Provision of automated hand sanitising dispensers in public places.




BOWLS greens were permitted to open from today (Wednesday, May 13), but with very severe restrictions and protocols in place.

The following guidance from the Government is: 

You should only partake in activities along with members of your household, or with one other person from outside your household, while practising social distancing. Competitions and competitive bowling will NOT be allowed at the present time. Clubhouses should remain closed and you should take particular care if you need to use any inside facilities (e.g. toilets).

Clubs should take all the necessary steps in order to facilitate their club re-opening; some players are clearly keen to get back on the green. It will be for individuals and clubs to determine when they are ready to start bowling again.

Inside facilities, such as toilets, should be cleaned more frequently, paying close attention to high contact objects e.g. door handles. Clubs should provide hand washing facilities or hand sanitisers at entry and exit points on the green.

Equipment must be placed outside for members to use and cleaned with sanitisers and disinfectants. There will be no facilities for changing.

The following instructions should be followed:

1 If you are showing coronavirus symptoms, or if you or any of your household are self isolating, you should stay at home – and not play bowls. This is critical to staying safe and saving lives.

2 At all times you should observe social distancing guidelines when on club premises, including ensuring you are two metres away from anyone outside your household.

3 People will only be able to use these facilities, either by themselves, with people from their own household or with one person who stays in another household.

4 Only singles games can be played unless all persons are from the same household.

5 The advice for those aged 70 and over continues to be that they should take particular care to minimise contact with others outside their household. If bowling they should be careful to maintain distance from others as we know that as you get older, there is a higher risk of coronavirus having a more serious impact with infection. Complications and deaths are more common in the elderly, even those without pre-existing conditions.


THE English Bowling Federation will make a firm decision on this year's national indoor finals in July when more information has been received with regard to the coronavirus pandemic.

The finals, which were scheduled for Newark at the end of this month, have been provisionally rearranged for September 21-27. If they have to be cancelled, it will depend on when the indoor centres start opening again as to what will happen with both the 2020 and 2021 finals.

As a result of the outdoor season 'wipe out', it has already been agreed that the national presidents will carry on for next year.

It is hoped that the EBF bowls week at Potters next year will go on as scheduled at the beginning of March and so group leaders are urged to carry on taking bookings as normal.


TO avoid a logistical nightmare for clubs and counties alike and given the current coronavirus crisis regarding personal contact, the NBF and the NWBF have decided that the 2020 county competition entry fees will be 'rollled over' to next year.

In the event of some clubs not having copies of the fees paid by their members, the counties will be providing each club with a list.

When the 2021 outdoor county competition entry forms are completed later this year, the club secretaries or their members can make the necessary financial adjustments, e.g.pay additional money or claim a rebate.

Clubs should then contact the NBF and NWBF with the total of rebates they require, if any, and these will be forwarded to the clubs for distrubution to their members.

Should any members require an immediate refund, they should make the initial request through their club secretary and not the counties.

Members and clubs who paid for county handbooks for this season will receive free copies next year, and the same system will also apply to the handful of clubs and members who purchased national yearbooks.

Champion of Champions entries for this year will be carried over to 2021.

The 2020 county championship programme will also be 'rolled over' to next year, as will the Durham Centenary Trophy,

The proposed county dinner on Sunday, September 20th has been cancelled, and a decision will be taken later with regard to the presentation of indoor trophies. The EBF indoor finals, postponed from next month, have been provisionally arranged for September 21-27 at Newark.

With many players not paying outdoor club subscriptions this season, the EBF will accept 2019 memberships which will enable players to be eligible for next season's indoor county championships.





A MESSAGE from NWBF president Vivienne Hempsell and the Executive Committee.

This pandemic is something which in our lifetime we have never had to experience. However, what is emerging from the situation is we must all accept unconditionally the need to work together and support each other.

The NBF and the NWBF executives are working closely with the EBF to ensure the best outcome for the safety of all its members, sometimes making strong decisions for the continuation of bowling and your personal safeguarding.

Can I ask you whenever possible to regularly check the EBF and the NBF websites for information and updates on the way forward, ensuring that members who cannot access the internet are also kept up to date.

The NBF and the NWBF are also in discussions regarding the various county and competition fees paid and full details will be forwarded to club secretaries shortly. These will also be posted on the NBF website in due course.

Decisions, sometimes unpopular, will have to be made, and we ask you to be understanding and to adhere to these for your protection physically, mentally and financially if bowling from grassroots upwards is to survive. Please make an extra effort to keep in contact with your club members and make sure no one is left isolated during the difficult months ahead.

We will be monitoring the situation closely, and if possible will try to arrange a get-together later in the year.



THE English Bowling Federation have announced the cancellation of all county games and competitions for this season.

As a result, the Durham Centenary competition will be carried forward to 2021.

The statement from EBF secretary Dave Woods reads:

"To be able to achieve the national finals at Skegness, counties would have to start playing their competitions in early May, but with advice coming from the Government it looks impossible for games to start that early.

We have been inundated with calls and emails from bowlers, who have concerns about playing with the Coronavirus doing its rounds.

It is hoped that our members will continue to support their county and clubs and be ready to play when we are given the all clear to resume.

Although we will not be playing the 2020 national outdoor championships it is hoped that we will still be able to play the indoor national finals at Newark in September (provisional dates September 21-27).

With all the uncertainty we have also decided to cancel the Reg Jackson tournament and anyone with an entry will be carried forward to the 2021 tournament.

We are very sorry we have had to take this stance, but the health and safety of our members is more important than the game of bowls."

* Please continue to check the website for updates or contact your club secretaries who will be kept informed of any developments once the management committee have had chance to meet and discuss the matter with regard to county competition fees etc.



THE English Bowling Federation indoor finals scheduled for the end of April at Newark have been suspended.

A provisional date of September 21-27 is now on the table assuming that some sort of normality has returned to the country.

As yet no decision has been taken with regard to the NBF and NWBF outdoor competitions.

Please keep checking the website for updates.

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