2nd July 2020
Dear Club Secretaries,
We trust that you have all weathered the Covid storm and that you are all staying safe. As clubs slowly get back on their feet after the resumption of non-contact outdoor sports on the 8th June 2020 there have been various relaxations of the Covid regulations that perhaps now gives us the opportunity to turn our attention to a tentative resumption of competitive play between clubs. The most recent relaxation of regulations now permits the following:
- Social distancing has been reduced to 1m where 2m is not possible
- Groups of up to 30 can meet outdoors
- All outdoor competitive sport can resume from the 17th July
- Spectators are permitted albeit in restricted numbers for now.
The GP Committee has been asked by various clubs if we are likely to get any competitive play with what is left of the 2020 season and having had a zoom meeting last night the GP committee has decided to get the ball rolling and gauge the opinions from you our member clubs – do you want to see competitive play this season between clubs? Understandably we must be realistic with what is achievable at this stage and what is likely to garner the most interest from clubs and their members. The GP committee feels that:
- For individual style competitions Singles and Pairs is what seems most workable
- For team style competition it may be asking too much to facilitate 16 players on a team at this stage and that perhaps a team (or teams if a club wished to enter more than 1) of 4 pairs playing in a League Cup style format would also be workable.
- In both disciplines we would try to run a plate competition to give both teams and individuals at least 2 competitive games.
- If the responses are positive and we get the requisite number of entries to make competitions worthwhile it would be the aim to commence play the week commencing 27th July using week days for individual competitions and where possible using Saturdays for team competitions. Please note that we would not ask clubs to provide any catering at this stage as the use of indoor facilities may well be restricted for some time yet.
The GP committee did discuss in detail the various issues that the current situation presents in relation to fees, club facilities and player safety so there are a number of items that we would wish to draw to your attention before considering whether or not your club would wish to participate.
- As was stated at the outbreak of the pandemic the GP Committee would not be issuing any bills for capitation fees from our member clubs. To that end the GP committee have decided that any entries to any of the proposed competitions would be Free of Charge, however we would be issuing ALL clubs with a bill for their affiliation to the Northern Ireland Private Greens Bowling League – this currently stands at £20 per club. A separate bill has been attached to the same email. Please follow payment instructions issued by the treasurer.
- Any format of competition that the GP committee can organise in 2020 will not be for the usual PGL Championship or League Cup titles. In the case of Championships there will be no secondary level IBA equivalent. The GP committee has agreed that there will be no PGL dinner this year therefore no presentation of trophies. We simply wish to facilitate and encourage competitive play as much as current public health guidelines allow.
- For Health and Safety reasons any competitions organised at present are only done so under the current guidelines issued by the Executive and Public Health Agency. The GP Committee would reserve the right to cancel any or all competitions at any stage should the situation require us to do so.
- Whilst the GP Committee may be willing to facilitate a programme of competitions all clubs must understand that it will be up to each individual club to ensure that they comply with all Executive and Public Health guidelines in respect of player safety, hygiene requirements for both players and equipment and that up to date Public Liability Insurance must be in place. To that end the GP committee will be asking all clubs participating to sign up to a set of Health and Safety guidelines, provide proof of Public Liability Insurance if requested to do so and to sign a disclaimer absolving the Northern Ireland Private Greens Bowling League of all liabilities. If that requires a visit in person from a member of the GP committee for those items to be completed, then that will take place prior to the start of the competitions. If clubs do not meet the required standards then they will not be permitted to host or compete in any competitions.
- All entries must be sanctioned by each club and entries submitted by the appropriate club representative on behalf of a club. If a club decides that is does not wish to take part in any competitions, then none of that club’s members may enter any of the competitions even if they may wish to do so on an individual basis.
We have very little time to allow us to get entries gathered and then compile a programme for play so we would ask that you please submit your responses to the Competitions Secretary (firstname.lastname@example.org or 07977 987297) no later than next Friday 10th July. If there is enough interest the GP committee will issue entry forms as soon as possible thereafter with the aim to have entries submitted back to the GP committee by Monday 20th July with a programme hopefully published on the 22nd or 23rd July. Any visits to clubs that might be required will be done on week commencing 13th July so that all relevant safeguards can be completed.
So, we would please implore you to get talking to your members as soon as possible and ask them the following questions that were mentioned above:
- Do you want as a club to take part in competitions organised by the PGL with what is left of the 2020 season?
- Would you enter an open singles competition?
- Would you enter an open pairs competition?
- Would you enter a team event such as a League Cup with restricted number of players (most likely 8 players – 4 pairs – per team)?
- Would you like to see a plate competition in all three of the above?
Thank you for taking the time to read through all the information provided and we would appreciate your response as quickly as possible.
Honorary Competitions Secretary
Northern Ireland Private Greens League.