Last Update 08/04/2021
Please note: In order to maintain Social Distancing, as recommended by Bowls England, all of our Home fixtures will be played only on THREE RINKS until further notice.
WHAT DOES THE COVID ROADMAP MEAN FOR US?
Now that the Government have published their Roadmap for the way out of Covid-19 restrictions we can start to plan the way forward for our 2021 season.
Even when we get to Step 4 it is not certain that we will be able to forget the concept of Social Distancing. The government will be setting up a task force and pilot study in April in order to examine the effect of reductions in Social Distancing. The results will be used to determine future policy.
We should plan our season on the basis that we will need to maintain Social Distancing throughout the whole of 2021.
The default distance for maintaining Social Distance is still 2 metres, although many people think otherwise. This distance can be reduced to 1m+ only when appropriate mitigation measures are in place.
The main measures are:
- Do not stand together for any length of time,
- Do not speak directly at the other person,
- Do not raise your voice,
- Wear face masks if any of the above cannot be maintained.
Step 1 – 29th March 2021
Outdoor sports facilities can reopen, however, indoor facilities will remain closed. The Rule of 6 remains in place as does Social Distancing and mitigations.
Step 2 – No earlier than 12th April 2021
None of the relaxations to be brought in at this point impact upon the operation of our club.
Step 3 – No earlier than 17th May 2021
Indoor facilities can now be used; however the Rule of 6 will still apply.
Step 4 – No earlier than 21st June 2021
All legal limits on social contact to be removed ‘With appropriate mitigations in place’. It is too early to predict what this will mean in practice.
OUR WAY FORWARD
Coffee and Clean Day 18th April 2021
We will need to change the structure of this day, although the work will still need to be carried out. The following points arise:
- Rename it ‘Club Spring Cleaning Day’ to reflect the fact that we will not be providing any refreshments,
- Publish in advance a list of the tasks to be undertaken and invite volunteers for specific tasks,
- Allocate times during the day to work parties. Members can work for more than one time slot,
- Restrict numbers so that there are no more than 6 persons at the club at any one time, including one of Mike, Keith, Paul or Graham to oversee the Covid procedures,
- Have notices in place reminding us about sanitising, hand washing and not sharing equipment, as well as the usual style of Covid reminder signs,
- Provide all appropriate Covid-19 sanitisers, wipes etc,
- Do not permit the use of the kitchen for refreshments, everybody to bring their own,
- When there is more than one person working in the clubhouse or changing room at the same time, and they are not of the same household, they must wear face masks,
Open Day 1st May 2021
Traditionally this is the day when the vast majority of members pay their subs for the year. We also invite members of the public to come along in the hope that we gain some new members. This is a day that our members will clearly be looking forward to and so we should do our utmost to at least make something of the day.
It will need to be an outdoor event with no refreshments. The clubhouse will not be open.
Members will be encouraged to pay subs by direct bank transfer prior to the day. Fixture lists can be downloaded from the website, but a limited number of printed copies will be available on the day.
We want to encourage an element of sociability but at the same time we don’t want people to hang around too long.
We will dispense with the formal opening ceremony as it would only work if all members were there to see it, and that would inevitably lead to a breakdown of Social Distancing.
Play will be possible on the day, consisting of 30 minute sessions on the green using only mats, jacks and woods, and with only 1 person responsible for the jack. This will minimise the amount of time spent sanitising over the day. By placing the mats at full length they will remain in situ during the sessions, avoiding the need to touch and move them. Restricting these sessions to 3 rinks (see below) and a maximum of 4 players per rink will assist with Social Distancing without people having to wait too long for a session. Equipment will need to be sanitised by the players at the end of each session but this need not eat into the allotted half hour.
Practice Day 2nd May 2021
There is no reason why this cannot go ahead. It might be a good idea to organise the play in a way that is similar to how we envisage matchplay running throughout the season (see below).
Playing Matches – External
Based upon the roadmap there is no reason why we cannot play a whole season of fixtures. Clearly there is uncertainty about how far and when restrictions will be relaxed and so it will make planning much easier if we plan on the basis of playing the whole season using the same in-play format.
Certainly, as far as league matches are concerned, all clubs must play to the same format for the whole season, otherwise the league table would be meaningless. The league rules must be set with the smallest green in mind. NB. It is likely that the league will not happen this year and matches will go ahead as friendlies.
From the outset we must be very aware of Social Distancing and therefore, based upon the advice from Bowls England last summer, we should keep a ½ rink clear between each playing rink. This means that we can only put out 3 triples.
Other measures that will assist with reducing the risk of transmission could include the following:
- For each match a Covid Officer should be appointed. Their role is set out below this section. This role will be rotated around the members of the club,
- All matchday equipment to be stored in the changing room,
- All players to sanitise their hands immediately before entering the green, at ALL times,
- Always maintain 1 metre+ away from all other players,
- Where possible instructions to be passed down the green by signal, not raised voices,
- When skips are bowling, number 1s to stay well away from the head,
- Where possible, no player to touch any other player’s woods or other equipment. To assist this spray-chalk is to be used for marking woods,
- When changing ends, always walk up the right hand edge of the rink,
- No strings between rinks,
- All players to bring their own refreshments,
- Raffle will not take place at the beginning of the season – to be reviewed as the season progresses,
- At the end of the match the home team is to place the equipment in designated areas and sanitise it using wipes provided, ready for the Covid Officer to put away. This ensures that only one person enters the changing room. Responsibility for removing and sanitising the equipment will be:
- No.1 – Mats, Jacks and 2m rods
- No. 2 – Bowls markers and Pushers
- Skip – Scoreboards
The Covid Officer
A Covid Officer will be appointed in advance for each home match and club day. It would be good if members were to volunteer for this role, however, over the season all members will be expected to play their part and, if necessary, the role will be imposed upon members, in an even-handed way.
Due to the tasks involved they should arrive at the club at least an hour before the match is due to begin. The Covid Officer will be the first to arrive and is likely to be the last to leave.
The role will involve the following:
- Open the main gate and the changing room,
- There will be a checklist and club layout in the changing room showing where sanitising stations and signage needs to be,
- Set up the green: Mats, Jacks, Pushers, Bowls Markers, 2m Rods and Scoreboards having used the big sanitiser spray bottle on all items,
- Set up the sanitising stations,
- Ensure all signage is in place,
- Meet and Greet people on arrival, pointing out the main sanitising station and where they should congregate,
- Ensure that all attendees are logged for Track and Trace (see section below),
- After the match the players will place the equipment in designated areas and sanitise it. The Covid Officer will the put it away tidily in the changing room, along with the sanitising stations,
- All walkways on the green and railings need to be sanitised with the big spray, as well as the changing room door, the gents and ladies toilets, the entrance to the green and the club gate. Much of this can be done whilst the equipment is being sanitised,
- Disposable gloves will need to be worn for the tasks in 8 above,
- Lock the ladies toilet, the changing room and the main gate.
Internal Competitions and Practice
There is no reason why the usual internal competitions cannot run this year.
On club days the playing procedures will be as set out above, however, where possible, we will try to restrict the amount of equipment used. A Covid officer will be appointed.
When individuals arrange to practice or play matches there will be no Covid Officer present. Those members present must therefore act as Covid Officers ensuring that all necessary procedures are followed.
Until we move to Step 3 we will not be able to provide matchday teas. However, once it is possible to do so, the practicalities will still make it problematic and so we will review the position at a later date.
Unless we have need of a significant work party, we should be able to operate the same system as is currently in place, adjusting permissible numbers as relaxations kick in.
Track and Trace
We are required, if requested, to provide a full list of attendees on a particular day.
Home players and visitors
The fixtures diary will suffice. The Covid Officer will ensure that it reflects all home players and visitors, including a contact number where none is already held by the club. This applies to club days as well.
Away players and visitors
The away team will be requested to bring a list of all attendees, which will include a contact name and number for the club. The Covid Officer needs to ensure that this list is complete. It is best done by working with a member of the opposing team. We can confidentially destroy this list after 3 weeks.
Our Captain for the day will provide the opposition club with a list of our players and any other attendees, including a contact name and phone number for our club.
Individually arranged matches and practice
When these sessions are booked with Graham, he needs to know the names of all attendees. If this changes on the day, Graham needs to be informed as soon as possible.