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Coronavirus - Statement No. 6

posted Apr 17, 2020, 11:18 AM by Malcolm Fletcher   [ updated Apr 17, 2020, 11:53 AM ]
Date issued Friday 17th April

Dear MSBL bowls family, 

It was almost inevitable, but the Government’s announcement yesterday that current lockdown measures must remain in place for at least the next 3 weeks – running until the eve of the new bank holiday to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day on Friday 8th May – does give us a bit more clarity.

Many bowls officials and players are starting to fear that there will be no action at all this year, but others are still working on contingency plans in the hope that we do get the green light to bowl again in 2020 – and the MSBL is one such league.

And although there are question marks about how many bowlers will actually want to play if we do get the go-ahead before the end of July, clearly there are many others who can’t wait to get back on the greens (which look really good on the pics on Facebook this week).

So much so that one of them, Alan Jones of Bowring (County Merit winner in 1991 and three-time Mid Shropshire Merit champion ) responded to the 2 possible fixture options for a half season published last week by coming up with another for us all to consider!

His 2020 FIXTURE OPTION 3 is - Play 6 home and 6 away fixtures in divisions 1-2-3 on the current designated match night. Divisions 4-5-6 play 5 home and 5 away on the current designated match night. Points would be as previously and points for win would be decided by adding both scores together. No Saturday or Thursday divisions unless they are run on the same format - home and away on the same day.

And this idea makes a lot of sense, meaning less people travelling and less people interacting. And as Alan points out: “This option would not affect the ladies.”

For the record, 2020 FIXTURE OPTION 1 is - Divide the divisions into two sections (teams that finished 1-3-5-7-9-11-13 last year in one section and those that finished 2-4-6-8-10-12-14 in another section). They play home and away on their usual nights and then the top two meet in a championship decider. No Saturday division.

2020 FIXTURE OPTION 2 - Play home and away fixtures in divisions 1-2-3 on Fridays and Wednesdays, and divisions 4-5-6 on Mondays and Thursdays – with the Thursday and Saturday divisions NOT played.

Amidst all the worries for clubs starved of income in these tough times, there is good news to report with 2 member clubs to my knowledge having already received £10,000 grants from their local authority.

They can rest easier for a while, but the League continues to encourage all bowlers to pay their club subs for this year, if they are able, to help try and ensure they have a green to bowl on – hopefully later this summer, but definitely in 2021.

As it has been for the last month, the message from the League’s officers is that they sincerely hope all bowlers and their families stay safe, healthy and at home. Let’s keep communicating with each other – in whatever form – and try and be positive that we will beat this.

Malcolm Fletcher (General Secretary)