Bowls England – Guidance – Covid-19

Return to Play: Step One        Issued: 26 March 2021

The government will review four tests ahead of each Step. The dates outlined within this document are the earliest that we may move to each step and may be subject to change. You can read a summary of what will be included in each step on the government’s website.
• Step 1: Begins on Monday 29 March
• Step 2: begins no earlier than Monday 12 April (confirmation expected w/c Monday 5 April)
• Step 3: begins no earlier than Monday 17 May (confirmation expected w/c Monday 10 May)
• Step 4: begins no earlier than Monday 21 June (confirmation expected w/c Monday 14 June)

STEP 1: Monday 29 March – KEY POINTS
From Monday 29 March until Step 2, the following applies to outdoor lawn bowls:
• Lawn bowls may resume
• Play is permitted in accordance with the guidelines in the Table below – this is for Step 1 only and will be reviewed as the restrictions are eased by government
• Clubs are advised to implement a pre-booking system in order to manage attendance at the club, and to ensure adequate time between booked sessions
• Travel to participate in bowls is permitted but you are advised to ‘stay local’ wherever
• Spectators are not permitted at Step 1 – only those who are participating or required to be on site to manage a session should be in attendance (exceptions apply for people with
disabilities, or adults needed to supervise under-18s in a safeguarding role)
• Bowls coaching and other curriculum-based activity is permitted
• Greens maintenance is permitted

Organised sport
Singles – Use of every rink and marker permitted if required
Pairs – Use of every rink
Triples – Play on alternate rinks
Fours – Play on alternate rinks

Informal activity

The ‘rule of six’ applies OR two households

Any combination of formats may be played under the ‘organised sport’ exemption, however the maximum number of participants on a six-rink outdoor green at any one time should not exceed 24.

Clubs with less or additional rink capacity may amend figures accordingly (average four people per rink) so long as they deem it to be safe.
Try to avoid using shared equipment whenever possible – players are advised to have their own mat/jack during any session. If you are sharing equipment, for example jacks/mats, practise strict hand hygiene including sanitisation after using any shared equipment. Should measuring be necessary, players (or marker if used) must use their own measure.
The following items can be utilised during any session:
• Mat
• Bowls
• Jack
• Rink markers
• Gloves
• Scorecards (these should be retained by one person only if required)
• Bowling arm/lifter (for use by one person only if required)
• Bowling aids (for players with a disability if required)
The following items are deemed optional – it is for individual clubs to permit their use or otherwise:
• Scoreboards
• Bowls pushers
• Ditch markers
• 2m distance sticks
• Chalk (Spray chalk only)
Spectators are not permitted. This does not apply to carers for people with disabilities, or adults needed to supervise under-18s in a safeguarding role. Where it is necessary for them to be present, supervising adults should not mix with others from outside their household or support bubble.

You should minimise time spent outside your home, but you can leave your home to participate in bowling activity. Always check that it’s safe to travel before you set out. All participants must follow the government’s guidance on safer travel.
Indoor facilities including changing rooms cannot open, although toilet facilities can be accessed. Indoor facilities can be used for through access (following Covid guidelines). Wherever possible, people should come ready to play.
Bowls coaching is permitted where this is 1:1, 2:1 with someone from another household, or in your bubble or household. The coach is exempt from the legal gathering limits for work purposes. This should only take place in a public outdoor place i.e. the bowls club. Social distancing should be maintained between people who do not live together or share a support/childcare bubble. Coaching education and training courses can be delivered through the education exemption.
Hand sanitise at regular intervals, especially if you have to touch communal surfaces or equipment.
Once you are home, remember to wash your hands thoroughly.