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24/01/21 County/National Singles and County/National Under 18's Review

On Saturday ISCA played host to the final stage of the County/National Singles. 20 players qualified from the qualifying day back in November and they were split into 4 groups of 5. Each player played everyone in their group with the top two players qualifying for the knock out stages which took place after lunch. Following several knock out rounds the final was contested between Barry McPhillips (Sidbury) and James Trott (Musbury) with Barry edging it 9-8. Qualifying for the National championships which are held in April are Barry McPhillips (Sidbury), James Trott (Musbury), Elliott James (Yarnscombe) and Nick Wyatt (Bow)

Barry McPhillips (Right) County Singles Winner

In the afternoon on the same day ISCA also played host to the County/National Under 18’s championships. With 3 players entered, there was round robin between all the players and at the end of this Chloe Rundle (Exeter Nomads) was top of the table and was deemed the Devon Under 18 champion.

County Under 18's Winner Chloe Rundle

17/01/21 DCSMBA Statement

Due to ill health Cathy Oughton has resigned as our County Secretary. We would like to thank her for her efforts during her time in the role. The position of secretary is to be filled and if anyone is interested then they can contact a committee member to discuss this further. In the meantime Robert Ivings will temporarily be our point of contact for any queries or correspondence. His details can be found here.

06/01/22 National Allocations

The ESMBA have released the national allocations for this season. Devon have been awarded the following places:

16/12/21 Latest ESMBA  Covid 19 Guidance

With the emergence of the Omicron Covid Variant and the recent Government announcement of Plan B, the ESMBA continue to strongly recommend that clubs achieve Safe Bowls status to give them the maximum support and guidance through our already established Safeguarding network.Safe bowls clubs already have a full risk assessment to refer to, and we would advise that clubs maintain their
approved Covid protocols, particularly
- Wearing a face covering for arrival, set up and in all communal areas and whilst walking about.
- Sanitising the communal equipment and ensuring hand gel is available for use.
- Ensuring good ventilation is maintained

In addition, remain mindful of social distance and afford players their personal space.Face covering are not required when undertaking activity but if players wish to wear one whilst playing this remains a personal choice.

It is important that members feel safe when attending their club so please follow the latest Government advice regarding testing and isolation and ensure members do not turn up to bowl if they or any member of their household has Coronavirus symptoms. Stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

As we are again in a period of uncertainty the ESMBA would remind clubs that our County Safeguarding Officers are always available to offer advice, and help you tailor the ESMBA Covid risk assessment to your club’s unique
circumstances. Clubs with safe bowls status are ensuring that they are prepared for any future restrictions or requirements.

Yours sincerely Barry Hedges

06/12/21 Ho! Ho! Ho! Triples Review

Yesterday the festive Ho! Ho! Ho! Triples took place at ISCA with 22 teams taking part. The teams were split into two groups with each team playing fours games with the winners and runners up all qualifying for the semi finals. There was a twist in this years competition with the shots in the last end counting double!

The winners of the competition was Maggie Smith, Richard Williams and James Trott who beat Graham & Diane Shepherd and John Horsham in the final.

Ho! Ho! Ho! Triples Winners

Ho! Ho! Ho! Triples Winners Richard Williams, Margaret Smith & James Trott

There was also a plate competition, and this was won by Andy Thompson, Pam and Colin Palmer. At the end of the competition prizes were also given out for the best dressed players. Photos of the day can be found on our facebook page.

04/12/21 Latest ESMBA  Advice Regarding Omicron Variant

With the emergence of the Omicron variant and the uncertainty of the transmission risk the government guidance has been revised with face coverings now a legal requirement in shops and on public transport.

The ESMBA and DCSMBA would like to remind clubs that it would be best practice for clubs to revert back to wearing mask wearing in communal teas and in any pinch points such as entrance halls, toilets and bowls storage cupboards.

The ESMBA have implemented a traffic light system for many of their events with red zones where mask wearing is compulsory (such as entrances and communal areas) and green zones where masks aren’t necessary (such as on the bowls mat) even when in green zones practice such as hand sanitisation should still be in operation. Clubs may want to follow a similar system within their own venues.

01/12/21 Food for Ho! Ho! Ho! Triples

ISCA have confirmed that the restaurant will be open for food at the Ho! Ho! Ho! Triples on Sunday. They are proposing to have the following options:

Pasty and chips £5

Quiche and chips £5

Sandwich Ham/cheese & chips £5

Jacket potato & Filling and Side Salad £5

Mince pies and cup of tea £1.50

Food options can be purchased on the day. The bar is now open with hot/soft and alcoholic drinks as well as snacks now available. Please be aware that now because ISCA catering is now back food/drink can not be brought onto the premises

Reminder to players that the dress code is relaxed and festive! In addition the usual raffle will be taken place and players are invited to bring a raffle prize along to supplement the draw to ensure the year ends with a bang! Registration on Sunday is 9am for players.

22/11/21 Ho! Ho! Ho! Triples

The Ho! Ho! Ho! Triples takes place at ISCA on the 5th December, the last event before Christmas and will have a festive feel about it The dress code is relaxed and we hope to see many participants in seasonal wear! There will be the usual raffle on the day.  We would like to invite players/attendees to bring a raffle prize along to supplement the draw so that we can end the year with a bang.

ISCA Restaurant is now open, and they are planning on putting food on, this may be a party buffet style. However we need to know how many would be sitting in eating in on that day to help with their numbers, if you can let James Trott the competition secretary know on eastarearep@devonshortmat.co.uk it would be helpful.

15/11/21 Brian Medland Mixed Fours Review

On Sunday ISCA played host to the annual Brian Medland Mixed Fours held in honour of one of Devon’s past Chairman Brian Medland. With 11 teams having entered this season there was one big group with everyone playing 4 games. After these games the top four each went through to the semi final. This was followed by the final and was contested between Great Torrignton from North Devon and the South Hams club Totnes Creameries with the Totnes quartet of Rose & Mike Morrison and Ann & Dave Summers eventually winning through.

There is a couple of weeks break from ISCA before it hosts the Ho Ho Ho! Triples on the 5th of December.

Brian Medland Mixed Fours Winners Ann & Dave Summers and Rose & Mike Morrison

09/11/21 County/National Singles Qualifiers & County/National Triples Review

It was another busy weekend at ISCA with the County/National Singles Qualifiers on Saturday and the County/National Triples on Sunday. On Saturday 40 players entered the Singles and were split into 4 groups with the winners, runners up and the next 8 best players all qualifying for the finals day. Players qualifying from Saturday were James Trott, Tony Main, Dave Woods, Geoff Cleave, Elliott James, Barry McPhillips, Graham James, Colin Sowden, Paul Weeks, John Parnell, Richard Ivings, George Main, Roger Wilson, Graham Shepherd, Tom Archer, David Glennister, Nick Wyatt, Roser Morrison, Sean Woodley and Wayne Hendy. These players will return on the 22nd January where they will battle it out again for the title.

On Sunday the National/County Triples was held with 22 teams hoping to win the coveted title.  Teams were split into 5 groups with the top two in  each group qualifying for the knock out stages. After several knock out rounds we were left with two teams to contest the final and these were two teams from Sidbury. The final was confidently won by Carol Osbourne, Kim Wright and Eric Pavey who beat fellow club mates Colin & Pam Palmer and Andy Thompson.

County Triples Winners Eric Pavey, Kim Wright and Carol Osbourne

04/11/21 County/National Singles & Triples Important Information

This weekend sees another double header of county events at ISCA with the National/County Singles on Saturday and National/County Triples on Sunday. As in previous weekends ISCA’s restaurant is still closed, however they are serving hot drinks via the hatch. Please be aware that ISCA is not accepting cash and is card only at present. Registration for both days is at 9am.

With the Singles on Saturday players will drawn into groups on the day and all are expected to mark some games. Qualifiers for the Singles will then return to ISCA on the 22nd January for the finals day.

01/11/21 National Over 55's Review

On Sunday ISCA hosted the latest County run competition, which was the National Over 55 Pairs, which saw 22 pairs compete for the title. The teams were split into 5 groups with the top two in each group qualifying for the next round. After several knockout rounds the Final was contested between John & Shirley Parnel (Abbotskerswell) and Tony Wanklin & David Glennister (Exeter Nomads) with John and Shirley edging out the Exeter Nomads pair.

Over 55 Pairs Winners Shirley & John Parnell

In 3rd place was Caroline & Eric Pavey (Sidbury) who won the 2/4 place play off against John Redstone & Dave Brown (Winkleigh)

29/10/21 National Over 55's Important Information

On Sunday ISCA plays host to the latest County and National competition of the season with the Over 55 Pairs. As in previous weeks Covid-19 protocols will be in place throughout the day and track and trace information will be taken. The Restaurant at ISCA is still being refurbished and so is still out of bounds but they are serving teas and coffees via the hatch. Please be aware that they are only allowing card payments. The changing rooms are not to be used and registration for the event is at 9am.

25/10/21 County/National Pairs & County/National Fours Review

On Saturday ISCA hosted the County/National Pairs. With 30 Pairs teams were split into groups of four (and two groups of three) for the round robin which was played in the morning with the top two in each group progressing to the last 16. After lunch the knockout rounds took place until eventually we reached the final which was played between  Mike Avery and Tony Main(Yarnscombe) and Mike Ivings and James Trott (Musbury). After a close and very competitive game Mike and Tony edged it 9-7

Yarnscombe County Pairs Winners

County Pairs Winners Mike Avery and Tony Main

On Sunday we were all back at ISCA for the County/National Fours. With 10 teams the field was split into two groups of five with the winners and runners up progressing to the semi final which was then followed up by the final. The final was contested between Mike Ivings, Richard Williams, James Trott and Benny Bass (Musbury/Exeter Nomads and Uffculme) and Paul Weeks, Brian & Elaine Clements and Colin Sowden (Great Torrington). The Great Torrington quartet got off to a poor start and were never able to recover eventually losing 10-2.

County/National Fours Winners

County Fours Winners Mike Ivings, Benny Bass, Richard Williams and James Trott

21/10/21 County/National Pairs & County/National Fours Important Information

This weekend sees the National/County Pairs (Saturday) and National/County Fours (Sunday) take place at ISCA. Just like earlier this month there is no food available at ISCA with teas and coffees being available via the hatch. Covid protocols will be in place throughout the weekend and the changing rooms will not be in use. Sign in on both days is 9am and teams will be asked to provide contact details (phone number/email address) when signing in.

With regards to the County/National Pairs on Saturday most of the committee and organisers are playing and so we will be asking for help in sanitising the mats/equipment before sessions to ensure the day runs smoothly. Due to the numbers that have entered the competitions will be played right down to the overall winner on the day.

11/10/21 Positive Covid-19 Result Following The Mixed Fours

It has come to our attention that following the National Mixed Fours qualifiers, which was held on Sunday 12th October, one of the players has tested positive for Covid-19. DCSMBA have released a statement for all players who attended on the day and this can be read here.

If any of the players who attended the event receive a positive test result for covid then please inform the county via email on devon@esmba.co.uk

11/10/21 Margaret Elliott Pairs & National Mixed Fours Review

This weekend saw the Devon County season  restart in a vengeance with both the Margaret Elliott Pairs and the National Mixed Fours being held at ISCA. On Saturday 16 pairs arrived at ISCA to play the Margaret Elliott Pairs. The competition is run for players who have not played in the County team or have won a County Competition in the previous season. With 16 teams there was a round robin stage with the top two in each group reaching the knockout stages. After a series of knockout stages the final was contested between Marcus Cattell & Steve Collins (Christow) and Lee & Alan Woodacre (Goodleigh), with the Christow Pair coming through to win 9-5.

ME Pairs Christow

Margaret Elliott Pairs Winners Marcus Cattell & Steve Collins

On Sunday there was 10 teams of fours for the National Mixed Fours. The teams were split into two groups of five with the winners and runners up of each group qualifying for the semi finals. This was then followed by the final which was contested between Margaret Smith, Maddie Edmondson, Richard Willams & Benny Bass (Uffculme/Exeter Nomads) and Kim Wright, Sandra Weston, Barry McPhillips & Eric Pavey (Sidbury) with the Sidbury quartet winning through.

Nationa Mixed Fours

National Mixed Fours Qualifiers Winners Marcus Barrie McPhillips, Sandra Weston, Eric Pavey & Kim Wright

05/10/21 DCSMBA Registrations Reminder

Just a reminder that membership registration fees are now due for the 2021/22 season, so can Club Secretaries please return any outstanding registration forms together with fees for members they wish to register. This is very important for anyone playing in any County and National  Competitions (starting with the Margaret Elliott Pairs and National Mixed Fours this weekend) as well as any leagues that may be restarting this season. Secretaries can still register individual members during the season. Our Devon County secretary Cathy Oughton has now taken over registrations. Her contact details can be found on the committee page.

04/10/21 Margaret Elliott Pairs & National Mixed Fours Important Information

The County season starts this weekend with the Margaret Elliott Pairs on Saturday and the National Mixed Fours. We have been informed that there will be no food available at ISCA and that the bar will be closed. Tea and Coffee facilities and bar snack such a crisps are available. Players are therefore advised to bring their own refreshments. Covid Protocols will be in operation throughout the weekend. Upon arrival please follow the one way system at ISCA and proceed to the sign in table which will be in or just at the entrance of the restaurant. The sign in times for both days is 9am

23/09/21 County Committee Co-opts Members & County/National Competitions Update

The Devon County Committee met last night in their first committee meeting since the AGM.  An urgent appeal was sent out to all clubs asking for more people to stand on the committee. It was pleasing that several members of the association stepped forward and last night they were co opted on to the committee. The positions on the committee have been updated on the committee page and contact details will be added in due course.

There are still spaces in many of the competitions that are due to be held at ISCA by the DCSMBA throughout the season, and therefore it was decidedd to keep competition entries open until further notice. James Trott has taken over the role as Competition Secretary for the coming season and entry forms can be sent directly to him. His details can be found on the entry forms on the website which can be found here.

21/09/21  National Finals Review

This last week saw the ESMBA host the rearranged 2019-20 Nationals at Melton Mowbray. On Thursday the Singles was held. Elliott James (Yarnscombe) reached the last 16, whilst George Main (Yarnscombe) lost 5-13 to John Jeffrey (West Sussex) and Benny Bass (Uffculme) lost 9-7 to eventual winner David Newsome (North Yorkshire). On Friday the Pairs was held and saw two Devon teams qualify out of the groups and into the knock out stages. Benny Bass and Richard Williams (Uffculme/Exeter Nomads) reached the last 16 before being beaten 10-4 by  Saul Featherstone and Steve Holdsworth (Gloucestershire). James Trott and Mikey Ivings (Musbury) reached the semi finals before succumbing 9-4 to eventual winners Ryan Knight and Ollie Hipkiss (Gloucestershire).

On Saturday saw the turn of the Fours and there was one team from Devon that reached the knockout stages. The Christow quartet of Steve Collins,  Sean Woodley, Trevor Tregillus and Ava Catrell reached the last 32 where they were knocked out 9-8 by Oxfordshire. The title was eventually won by Adam Smith, Matty Wordon, Daniel Sands and Paul Clegg (Chesire). Steve, Sean and Ava returned on Sunday in the Triples where they reached the last 16 before going out 8-6 to Surrey. The Triples was eventually won by Lawrence Moffat and Lee & Bronagh Toleman (NorthYorkshire).

14/09/21 ESMBA Issue Covid Protocols For National Finals

With the 2019/20 National rescheduled finals taking place this week at Melton Mowbray the ESMBA has issued the Covid protocols that will be in place. People that have qualified or are attending the nationals are asked to read and take note of them. The Covid protocols can be found here as well as on the main ESMBA website.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish all players who have qualified for the finals the best of luck!

13/09/21 Urgent Statement From The Chairman

This weekend saw an urgent email sent out to all club secretaries and read as follows:

Dear Secretary/Club Contact,

We need your help, the continuation of bowls in Devon depends now on the members, we on the Devon County committee can not continue to run the county bowls with out the following positions being filled, Safeguarding officer, secretary, competition secretary, west Devon rep, and two committee posts.

Without the county committee running your county bowls then short mat bowls will in Devon disappear for ever.

I am sure that bowlers think that everything will just happen, unfortunately that is not the case. There won’t be any league bowls, competitions or any competitive bowls that currently run under the ESMBA rules, as you will no longer be a part of the organisation.

I therefore ask that you take this to your members and ask for people to come forward and offer to help keep Devon Bowling, the present committee will help any one who is willing to take up a position on the committee.

We have a meeting on the 22nd of September to decide on Devon’s future, please please help, no volunteers then no more bowls it is that serious.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, now please take to your members and ask for help.

Rose Morrison

If you feel you a re in a position to help the County or would like to know more please contact Rose Morrison (details on the committee page or email devon@esmba.co.uk)

31/08/21 National/County Competition Forms & Latest Information

The new diary for the 2021/22 season has now been published and can be viewed on the Diary of Events page. In preparation for the new season all the registration forms have now also gone out to clubs within Devon. Finally the Devon County/National and Open competition forms are now out. They will have been sent to club secretaries/contacts and can also be downloaded here. Please note that the deadline for these entries is already fast approaching (18th September) and until the committee have a Competitions secretary in place they are to be sent to Eric Pavey for safe keeping (details on the forms)

27/08/21 Call For More Committee Members Following AGM

Last night the DCSMBA AGM took place at Christows home venue. The AGM covered the previous two season which has been ravaged by the pandemic. A new committee was selected, however there are several positions that are still unfulfilled.

The positions of County Secretary, County Competition Secretary, Safeguarding Officer and South Area Rep were left unfulfilled. It is of utmost importance that the officer positions of County Secretary and Competition secretary are filled as well as the safeguarding officer. In particular we must have a safeguarding officer in place for the new season. If you are interested about any of the positions than please do come forward and contact any committee member for more information. The new committee and their details can be found here 

We would like to offer our thanks to all departing committee members for their service and commitment. Next season registration forms should be out to clubs shortly. Details about next season which is due to start in October as well as the National and County competition entry forms will also be sent out very shortly and the competition forms will also be on the website

30/07/21 AGM Announcement

The rearranged 2020 and 2021 DCSMBA AGM has now been scheduled for 26th August at 7:30pm at Christow SMBC venue. The postcode of the venue is EX6 7NA. Please be aware that whilst moving around the venue masks are to be worn. If you intend to attend the AGM please inform Barrie Goodchild (goodchild45@btinternet.com 07922075961), so that we know how much room we require. 

Associated documents for the AGM can be found here on the AGM Page

19/07/21 Latest ESMBA Covid-19 Statement

With the government now moving to stage 4 on their roadmap with regards to Covid- 19, the ESMBA have issued the following statement:


The latest Government guidance has removed the legal Covid requirements, but it is still their advice to follow good practices, and the ESMBA Committee would ask you to consider your own safety and that of your fellow bowlers and take a cautious approach to returning.

We can all be proud that there have been no recorded outbreaks at any Short Mat bowls club and if everyone remains sensible and respectful this can continue.

SAFE BOWLS CERTIFICATE - The ESMBA continue to strongly recommend that clubs/counties apply for the safe bowls certificate, and we will continue to offer support and guide you via our network of CSGOs with any updates received from Sport England and the Government Department DCMS. The safe bowls status covers the full protocols for covid compliancy and can be returned to in any future outbreaks, local lockdowns or circuit breaks the Government might reinstate and may enable your club to continue bowling through any future eventuality.

Clubs/Counties who have obtained Safe bowls status already have all the weapons in their armory to ensure safe play. They can now consider relaxing these protocols to return to a way of bowling which more closely resembles that of pre Covid times. Your Venue protocols, which must be adhered to, may continue to dictate some aspects of your bowling, and the ESMBA strongly recommended that you continue with the simple and safe practices you have embrace such as sanitising, keeping good attendance records and ensuring a good airflow to maintain Covid safe standards. Your CSGOs will forward the full list of minimum requirements and will liaise with you on any points of relaxation you may wish to undertake.

We would recommend for the continued safety of your members that you only visit other clubs with Safe Bowls status.

COVID AWARENESS GUIDANCE – Although the ESMBA consider it of paramount important that all clubs apply for Safe Bowls status we are mindful of the latest Government guidance and have drafted an interim checklist for those clubs/counties that are considering taking the responsibility upon themselves to return without an approved risk assessment. We consider this Covid Awareness Guidance to be the absolute minimum requirements for a return to bowls. It has been created in the form of a checklist for display at club/County so members can see what measures have been implemented. Its purpose is to highlight areas you should consider.

This Guidance should be signed by the club member taking responsibility for implementing and overseeing these changes and put on display at the venue. It should also be available for visiting teams, counties, or league representatives on request.

For all clubs we would ask, as a matter of good practice upon return, that you review and audit the information you hold on your members to ensure it is accurate and up to date, as this may play an important role should covid tracking be needed.

Additionally, we would also recommend that physical contact be avoided. Above all, as we come out of this pandemic, we would ask that you be both respectful and tolerant of your fellow bowlers. Please respect their opinions, their choices and their personal space and be supportive of those who are returning to bowls after a long absence.

Barry Hedges ESMBA Chairman on behalf of the Management Committee

The DCSMBA fully endorses the procedures and guidance laid out by the ESMBA and although many of our membership will have been double vaccinated the association feel that it is important, we move forward with the upmost care and caution with cases still rising amongst sections of the population.

The ESMBA are advising that clubs with a safe bowls status only visit clubs with safe bowls status ensuring that the approved risk assessment is as robust and secure as their own.

Please also find here the guidance for clubs in Devon with a safe bowls certificate.

Please find here the Covid awareness guidance and checklist for clubs in Devon who wish to return and do not have a safe bowls club certificate.

For any questions on the safe bowling procedures please contact Eric Pavey (DCSMBA Safeguarding Officer)

30/06/21 Latest ESMBA Guidance

The ESMBA have announced further guidance for clubs who have “safe bowls status”. The statement comes into force 1st July and can be seen below:

The ESMBA are pleased to announce further relaxations for Safe Bowls Clubs who are already fully conversant with the Covid Protocols.Compliance with the Rule of 6 must be adhered to and the distance between mats must remain at 3 metres.

    1) Safe bowls Clubs may play against other clubs with Safe Bowls Status, including entering leagues and undertaking friendly matches providing the 12-hour rule for triples is complied with. The Home teams Covid procedures must be adhered to by both teams.

    2) Measuring will be allowed providing it is conducted by 1 nominated player per mat, and any equipment compromised in the process is fully sanitised after each measure.   

    3) Scoreboards will be allowed if only 1 person is nominated to make any updates i.e., every other end. The scoreboard must be sanitised before and after use. Please ensure wipes are used for the purpose if an electric scoreboard is used – do not use spray.

    4) Club bowls can now be used by one person per session (no sharing) and they are sanitised before and after use. Social distance must be maintained when collecting club bowls from storage.

    5) Live bowls/jack in the ditch can be marked positionally in the normal manner (chalked) only by nominated bowlers, any compromised equipment must be thoroughly sanitized before starting the next end. Spray chalk must still be used to mark Touchers.

All other aspects in the Approved Risk Assessment remain in place. Club Committees and Safeguarding Officers must ensure they are aware of the changing government guidance, especially regarding any new strains or symptoms, or changes to home testing or isolation requirements.

Barry Hedges

ESMBA Chairman on behalf of the ESMBA Management Committee

11/06/21 Devon ICC Entry In 2021/22 Season

On the 8th June, the standing DCSMBA committee held a committee meeting via Microsoft teams. One of the topics for discussion was the ICC format and the county’s entry in the 2021/2022 season. The ESMBA have given a deadline of the 30th June for counties to confirm their participation. After discussions the general consensus of the standing committee was that due to extenuating circumstances Devon would not enter the ICC in the 2021/22 season.

ISCA is now under new ownership after being taken back by Exeter Council and despite trying we have had very little communication with them so far, which is a struggle when you are trying to plan next season. With many of our bowlers and clubs still not playing yet after the covid crisis it was felt that there was not enough time to recover from the crisis and hold open trials and get everything arranged. The tenure of the A team manager is also up for re-election.

The general consensus was that we should be focusing on the grass roots of bowls and supporting our clubs and leagues to get back bowling. The committee will meet again in time and we will look at arranging and holding an AGM prior to the new season starting.

10/04/21 Latest ESMBA Road Map Guidance

Following the planned lowering on restrictions within England on Monday 17th May, the ESMBA have released updated guidance on their road map which is as follows:

Following the Government’s announcement on 10th May 2021, on reducing lockdown restrictions the ESMBA announce the following guidelines for returning to bowls. Clubs will still need to achieve ‘Safe Bowls’ certification to return from 17th May 2021 via the approved route.

It is worth noting that at present there is no advice from Government as to what restrictions and what the new normal will be from 21st June 2021. So at present the ESMBA would encourage clubs to undertake the process of ‘Safe Bowls’ certificate for the safety of its members.

Clubs with ‘Safe Bowls Status’ may return to bowls from 17th May 2021.

Guidance for ‘Safe Bowls’ certified clubs (as updated weekly on the ESMBA Web Page), and their Registered Players.

  • Safe Bowls rules apply in all Club Roll Ups.

  • Move to Triples should be confirmed by request in writing to the County Safeguarding Officer who will respond in writing. Additional rules apply to Triples especially no playing of consecutive sessions.

 • Internal Club competitions may take place Singles, Pairs and Triples (if approved) however these games must adhere strictly to the ‘Rule of Six’, Players cannot change mats, Players cannot play more than the games allowed in the ‘Rule of Six’ within the time frame of 12 hours. Eg A triple can only play 1 game within 12 hours but if 6 Singles players play in a group of 6 they could play each other within the time frame. No substitutes are allowed.

 • Internal competitive games must be in addition to club roll ups not instead of. They must comply with all the Clubs approved Safe Bowls Protocols including No measuring.

 • Counties with ‘Safe Bowls Status’ for their venues will be allowed to open but must also adhere to the above.

We would remind all ‘Safe Bowls’ clubs and counties that the scheme is for affiliated members only.

Barry Hedges On behalf of the ESMBA Management Committee

10/04/21 ESMBA Events Announcement

The ESMBA have announced a brief outline of their events plan for the 201/22 season.  The statement found on the ESMBA website is as follows:

ESMBA Events Update

We recently published our approach to return to safe bowls in our roadmap. Part of that is the transition back to competitive bowls, The ESMBA along with other National Governing Bodies, where appropriate,response to the holding of competitive events is;

World Championships (Belgium March 21) - unfortunately these have had to be postponed for a second time due to COVID 19 restrictions. All being well these championships are planned to be held in Belgiumin March 22. A further update is planned after the World Bowls Council meeting on 27th March 21. The players originally selected to represent England in 2020 will be given first refusal for the 2022championships.

Inter County Championships - The counties remaining in their respective championships (semi finals) will be asked if they would like to conclude the competition to be held in September 21.It is hoped to organise an ICC event from October 21, however the format is likely to be different for this year as we ease ourselves back into regular competitive bowling.

National Championships - The finals in April 21 have been postponed with a view to rearrange for September 21. A questionnaire was issued recently aimed at registered players that qualified for the2020 National finals to gauge feelings towards playing in the finals and future Championship format. This went to County Secretaries and Competition Organisers to distribute. If you haven’t seen a copyplease speak to your County contacts. Your views are important and will help inform the ESMBA’s approach to the Championships.National Championships for the season 2021/22 are being planned however the format may well be different to take account of the likely changes to our daily lives.

TLH Top team - The event due in may has fallen foul to the COVID-19 regulations and has been postponed. The good news is the teams who have qualified will be offered their place for May 22.Alternatively people who have paid a deposit can put this towards a break with TLH when circumstances allow.

British Isles Championships - The British Isles Council met recently to discuss the forthcoming championships in November 21 releasing a statement confirming that the championships are planned togo ahead, however the timing and format may differ from the norm. A further update is planned after the Government COVID 19 update on 17th May 21.Top team event - Now planned to take place in January 22 again reliant on planned Government COVID 19 announcements.

ESMBA Diary - A draft diary is being prepared to reflect our approach to getting back to competitive bowling. A decision is still to be made whether any open competitions will be organised.In conclusion, it must be made clear this update is based on the latest COVID-19 regulations and will be updated based on any future COVID-19 announcements.

A hard copy of this statement can be found here

12/03/21 ESMBA Announce Routemap

The ESMBA have announced their latest roadmap for when the latest lockdown eases.  The statement found on the ESMBA website is as follows:


In line with the latest Government COVID Policy the ESMBA interpretation is

• Up to no earlier than 12th April 2021 short mat bowls cannot re-commence however, it is strongly recommended that clubs, county associations and leagues with central venues apply for Safe Bowls now.

• No earlier than 12th April 2021 where venues e.g. leisure facilities and community centres (not Village Halls) are open and allow indoor sports those Short Mat Bowls Clubs and County Associations that have “Safe Bowls” status can resume but must observe the condition that only one person or people from the same household can play on each mat.

• No earlier than 17th May 2021 where venues e.g. leisure facilities and community centres are open and allow indoor sports those Short Mat Bowls Clubs and County Associations that have “Safe Bowls” status can resume but must observe the condition that up to 6 bowlers from different households or members of 2 households can play on each mat.

• No earlier than 21st June 2021 it is hoped all limits on social contact are removed and short mat bowls can return to normal enabling all bowlers to make informed personal decisions about social contact. This will be reviewed when more information is received.

It must be remembered that this is only a guide and can change dependent on the latest Governments interpretation of the most recent data.

Also, to return to bowls Clubs, Leagues and County Associations must hold “Safe Bowls” status. Anyone found not adhering to ESMBA policy could face further action.

The ESMBA will continue to update everyone once more details are released for each stage.

Barry Hedges on behalf of ESMBA Management Committee "

A hard copy of this statement can be found here

04/01/21 National Lockdown

Following the government announcement which placed the whole of England into a national lockdown all Short Mat Bowls is suspended regardless of whether a bowls club has a “Safe Bowls License” or not. The national lockdown is due to last until at least the middle of February. People can only leave their home for specific reason and these can be found at www.gov.uk

02/12/20 ESMBA Issue Tier System Statement

The ESMBA have tonight issued a statement regarding the tier system and Coronavirus. The rules for “safe bowls “certified clubs to be able to return as been tightened up even further. With Devon in tier 2 the rules may mean it is financially unviable for many “safe bowls” clubs to return. The statement is as follows:

ESMBA Coronavirus statement 1st December 2020

The ESMBA Management Committee have reviewed the current Government guidelines for the return tosport under each tier. At present the ESMBA are awaiting clarification for pairs play under Tier Two between different households/support bubbles anduntil such time as that is received the following conditions apply

Tier One – Medium Risk 

For ‘Safe Bowls’ certificated clubs that have affiliated members

Tier Two - High Risk

For ‘Safe Bowls’ certificated clubs that have affiliated members

Tier Three - Very High Risk

For ‘Safe Bowls’ certificated clubs that have affiliated members

We would remind all "Safe Bowls" clubs that it is for affiliated members only. Clubs that have failed to affiliate will have their status removed with immediate effect and are no longer authorised by the ESMBA to return to bowls under any Tier.

Barry Hedges on Behalf of the ESMBA Management Committee."

A hard copy of this statement can be found here

05/11/20 ESMBA Lockdown Statement

Following the DCSMBA news article yesterday the ESMBA have released a further statement confirming that all bowls is temporary suspended until the 2nd December. Their statement can be found here

04/11/20 Latest Lockdown Pauses Short Mat Bowls Return