FAO all our clubs and their members
As we await further information and clarification from the NI Executive
The General Purposes Committee met via Zoom on Wednesday, 10th March for initial discussions on what play might be possible this season and in what format(s) this might take place. While the NI Executive has indicated that under Step 2 of Sporting and Leisure Activities “outdoor sporting facilities re-open for training and organised group activities” it is the view of Committee that this does not mean that it is necessarily desirable to organise League and Cup Competitions for this year in the pre pandemic formats. There are likely to be hygiene and social distancing guidelines still in place and Committee has also taken into consideration that many players are likely to have reservations about travelling and concerns around the vaccination programme not being completed until late summer.
Having taking into consideration all known facts Committee wishes to advise Clubs that Leagues and Cups based on the pre pandemic format will not be run this year. It is hoped that conditions will allow some form of league play to commence at some point in June. The number of leagues, either Saturday or Midweek, cannot be determined until it is established how many teams each club will be able to field. It is likely that each team would consist of four pairs but this could be increased if numbers warranted it. Leagues would be standalone for this year and results would have no promotion or relegation implications. The format of the Challenge Cups would also be based on teams of pairs.
It is our intention to run a full Championships programme this year. The winners would not necessarily be entitled to play in an Irish National Championships as the need to hold these rests solely on a decision yet to be taken by the British Isles Bowls Council.
Ultimately, what play is possible will be governed by guidelines and dates as determined by the NI Executive. The General Purposes Committee will monitor these and when we are able to firm up on a programme for the year we will contact clubs to establish teams / entrants to the various competitions.
The Honorary Secretary will be circulating the above information to all Club Secretaries in the next few days.