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Coronavirus - Statement No. 9

posted May 10, 2020, 3:25 AM by Malcolm Fletcher
Date issued Sunday 10th May:

Dear MSBL bowls family,

Not long to wait now until PM Boris Johnson addresses the nation with the latest update on the current C19 lockdown and what is widely expected to be good news on the slight easing of the restrictions.

Various sports – including golf, tennis and angling – are pushing hard for permission to start up again while still observing the vital social distancing rules, and that surely gives bowlers hope that they may just get the nod to take to the greens again.

In fact, some member clubs are already making plans for practice to be allowed on their greens, but bowlers will have to observe very strict rules if indeed the sport gets the green light many hope for tonight.

But the experts are warning we are not out of the woods yet and there clearly remain many tough decisions to be made – and it seems very unlikely that a return to league and competition crown green action will happen any time soon.

In fact the county association (SCGBA) have already decided to cancel all their competitions in 2020 - and the sport’s governing body (BCGBA) were expected to follow suit at a Zoom meeting of the management committee yesterday.

Shropshire officers had called on the BCGBA to reconsider their request for full affiliation fees to be paid in this difficult year of reduced income but, after weeks waiting for reply, that request fell on stony ground.

“We are sorry that we have been unsuccessful in our attempts on your behalf, but please be assured that it wasn’t for the want of trying!” stressed county secretary Mo Corley

So tomorrow night, armed with the knowledge of what the Prime Minister has said, it will be the turn of the MSBL officers to try and plot a way forward via a second Zoom conference meeting.

Clubs will be notified directly of the outcome of the talks and then a statement will be posted on the League website – but it has to be admitted that the prospects of even half a season of League action this year have waned during this latest 3 week lockdown period.

Those that read these statements will know that the League has made contingency plans, with member clubs having been asked to consider 3 fixture options in the hope that we get the green light by July at the latest.

But the big question is how many bowlers will actually want to play this summer? And, if some or many do, will they want to travel to other clubs and interact? Would it not be safer to just practice locally, under strict conditions, and then resume full competitive action in 2021 when the health crisis has eased considerably?

All will be revealed in the fullness of time but, as it has been for 2 months now, the message to all MSBL bowlers and their families and friends is to stay safe, healthy and at home – until Boris tells us otherwise.

Malcolm Fletcher (General Secretary)