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English Bowling Federation (EBF)

Return to Play (RTP) Guidance

Update 3, Issued: 11th May 2021

As per the government roadmap for the easing of lockdown restrictions, further restrictions have now been lifted. From the 17th May 2021 providing the affiliated Counties, Clubs and members follow this guidance to return to play safely.

This RTP guidance should be used in conjunction with the latest government guidance and may change to reflect any changes made by the UK government.

This guidance is effective from midnight, Monday 17th May 2021 and replaced all other guidance issued by the EBF.

This guidance falls under the classification of organised sport in accordance with the issued Department for Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) guidance and covers:

  • National Competitions & Championships (including qualifying stages)
  • All matches, competitions and leagues involving affiliated Club and Counties
  • Inter affiliated club matches
  • Internal affiliated club events or organised sessions for club members
  • Coaching by an approved coach
  • Education courses (outdoor) working to a prescribed syllabus
  • Matches between affiliated Counties

For the avoidance of doubt any activity that is not listed above falls outside of the scope of the organised sport category and falls into the informal activity category where different rules apply. This includes casual play such as ‘roll-ups’.

The government have given an exemption for organised sport regarding the numbers of people that can mix and the relevant organising body (club, county, league or governing body) must consider the risks and set out ways to mitigate them so people can participate safely in accordance with this guidance. Informal or self-organised sport is not covered by any exemptions.

From Monday 17th May the following applies:

If activity applies within Organised Sport category above:

We can now confirm that all restrictions on formats and numbers for organised activity under the jurisdiction of English Bowling Federation will be removed. It is now permissible for clubs to use all rinks at any one time.

Social Interaction before and after play can only take place in separate and distinct groups consisting of up to 30 people. We recognise that each club is different and may wish to set its own limit for numbers of people off the green at any one time.

It is hoped that from Monday 21 June we would expect all restrictions to be lifted. The guidance to affiliated clubs will be updated once the government has confirmed the country is moving to Step 4.

Equipment: Where possible players should try to avoid using shared equipment; Players are advised to have their own mat/jack during any session. If you are sharing equipment, for example jacks/mats you should then sanitise your hands prior to and after touching the equipment. Players must use their own measures. The following items can be utilised during any session: Mats, Bowls, Jacks, Rink markers, Gloves, Scorecards, and Scoreboards if possible these should be retained by one person.

Hygiene & Health
Everyone should sanitise their hands before and after the game and at regular intervals during the game especially if you have to touch communal surfaces or equipment. Handshakes should not happen at any time.                                               Once you are home, remember to wash your hands thoroughly.

If you or anyone living in the same household as you are showing any COVID-19 symptoms, or you or any of your household are self-isolating, you should stay at home and not play bowls until you are permitted to leave you house under the current quarantine guidance issued by the government.

 

Hospitality Clubhouses and facilities that serve food and drink can open. In Step 3, both indoor and outdoor hospitality will be permitted. People using clubhouses and hospitality facilities must adhere to legal gathering limits and wider government guidance for hospitality.

Track and Trace
All clubs are required to keep records of who has played each day and with whom for a period of 21 days to support NHS Track and Trace. It is recommended that the club display an NHS QR code if possible so that participants can scan using a mobile device.

Changing, Toilets, Clubhouse’s
Changing rooms can be opened, but participants should be encouraged to avoid or minimise use where possible. Participants should socially distance whilst in changing rooms. Subject to available space, more than one household can use changing facilities at one time but they must not mix and must adhere to capacity limits set by the club. Face coverings should be worn at all times when indoors. Toilet facilities can also open

Cleaning protocols should be put in place to limit COVID-19 transmission in public places. Touch points (e.g. handrails and gates) should be particular areas of focus for increased cleaning.


Spectators
Spectators for all outdoor bowls are permitted at Step 3, but need to adhere to social distancing rules and social gathering limits (groups of 30 outdoors).

Travel
Travel can take place for the purpose of sport and physical activity. Car sharing will now be permitted.

Vaccines
You do not need to be vaccinated to particate in bowls and clubs should not stop anyone who has not been vaccinated from playing.

Risk Assessments
All clubs should carry out a risk assessment prior to retuning to play. It is advised that clubs have a session booking system and include suitable gaps between each session to ensure maximum group limits aren’t exceeded.

Club and other meetings  Up to 30 people are permitted to meet outdoors from Monday 17th May. Should you wish to meet indoors you must stick to the rules on social gathering, of six people (the ‘rule of six’) or two households. Sport specific guidance on organising virtual meetings, including Committee Meetings and AGMs, is available from Sport England Club Matters.

This guidance will be updated at each stage of the Roadmap to reflect changes as approved by the government.