30 May 2021                 Press Report -Bowls



Press Report – Bowls


In Norfolk’s first competitive match in almost two years, the County’s junior bowlers beat former winners Essex in the first round of the National White Rose trophy by 42 shots to 29 at Cambridge Chesterton Bowls Club. The victory means Norfolk qualify for the Regional finals to be held on 18th July at Newmarket Avenue where they will play the winners of the Northamptonshire/Huntingdonshire tie in the semi-final which will then be followed by the regional final with the winners progressing to the National finals in Leamington Spa.


Norfolk took an early lead of 3 shots at the 5 end stage and gradually increased this as the match progressed to gain a comfortable and deserved victory. Both Norfolk rinks recorded wins with Dan Mills’s rink winning by 10 shots and Jack Wells by 3.


Rink scores:-

Rhys Morgan, Harry Cater, Jack Larter & Dan Mills 23 Allan Eldridge, Tom Lesslie, Alex Rouse & George Butcher 13

Aaron Johnson, Dean Rudling, Dan Seabourne Jack Wells 19 Luke Smith, Adam Bailey, Shane Rowley & Dan Hughes 16.


The next match in the County programme is in the Balcomb Trophy where Norfolk will play the winners of the preliminary round match between Hertfordshire & Huntingdonshire with a place in the Regional finals at stake. The match will be played at a neutral venue which will be decided, as will the date once the preliminary round match is played. Following this attention will then focus on the Middleton Cup, which this year will be played on a knock-out basis with Norfolk meeting the winners of the Essex/Suffolk preliminary round match in the first round on 10th July.


12 May 2021                 return to play Guidance for Step3 May 2021



This is also on the Bowls England website

Return to Play: Step Three

Issued: 10 May 2021

Bowls has a big role to play in providing fun, local, outdoor activity as the lockdown restrictions continue to ease. We have been delighted to share some great stories of clubs opening their doors over the past few weeks, welcoming back old friends and introducing some new faces to our sport.

At each stage of the government’s roadmap, in preparing our guidance for affiliated clubs and counties, we have been driven by three key principles:

1.     Providing a safe environment for participants to enjoy our sport

2.     Maximising participation

3.     Empowering clubs and counties to adopt a flexible approach to the organisation of activity

At Steps 1 and 2 of the government’s roadmap, we have endeavoured to strike a responsible balance between those key principles. It has been great to see the confidence that has built amongst the bowling community over the last few weeks and we thank our affiliated clubs for their support in adhering to the guidance.

In accordance with its roadmap, the government has now announced its plans to move to Step 3 from Monday 17 May, and in line with the government’s announcement we are delighted to confirm the following:

1.     All restrictions on formats and numbers for organised activity under the jurisdiction of Bowls England will be removed.

2.     Car sharing, spectators and indoor hospitality will be permitted

This latest announcement is a great step forward for our sport, as we expect the majority of clubs to be able to operate in a fairly normal manner from Monday 17 May. All participants and clubs are encouraged to review our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ for more information on specific items that will have been addressed earlier in the government roadmap.

We recognise that the restrictions on car sharing and spectators in particular have presented challenges for some clubs and players and, like other sports, made representation to government on behalf of our affiliated clubs. We are therefore delighted that these will be permitted from Monday 17 May.

With growing confidence among players returning to the sport and a high number of participants vaccinated, we are also pleased to confirm that all restrictions regarding the number of players on the green at any one time will be removed from Monday 17 May. We would encourage clubs to plan sessions with reduced capacity for those who may still be building their confidence in returning to the club environment.

This latest announcement is a fantastic boost for the 600 affiliated clubs who are running events during Bowls’ Big Weekend. This national initiative is under 3 weeks away and promises to be a fantastic showcase for our sport. The easing of restrictions will hopefully see more people coming to clubs up and down the country to try our sport for the first time. You can still register your event here.

This latest ‘return to play’ guide will be valid until Step 4 (no earlier than Monday 21 June).

We recommend that all clubs consider this document together with the government guidance. All items may be adapted as necessary to meet your club’s specific circumstances, so long as your actions remain consistent with government advice and social distancing requirements.

If your club is not affiliated to Bowls England, please email us at and we can take you through the affiliation process, including connecting you with your County Association.

This guidance is applicable from Monday 17 May and replaces all previous guidance that we have issued.

At Step 4 (Monday 21 June at the earliest) we expect all restrictions to be lifted. We shall update our guidance to affiliated clubs once the government has confirmed the country is moving to Step 4 (a decision is expected on Monday 14 June).

As the picture is now clearer, and with the season underway, we will be spending time over the coming weeks exploring the delivery of the National Finals at Victoria Park from Thursday 19 August to Sunday 5 September inclusive and will advise on plans as soon as they are developed.

We want to thank everyone in the bowls community for their patience and diligence over the past year. It has been a difficult time for everyone and now, as the country opens up, we can all share excitement at the prospect of normality.











Step 3: Monday 17 May – Key points................................................................................................ 4 Format of Play................................................................................................................................... 4

Social Interaction .............................................................................................................................. 4 Equipment ........................................................................................................................................ 4 Spectators ......................................................................................................................................... 5 Travel ................................................................................................................................................ 5 Changing rooms ................................................................................................................................ 5 Coaching ........................................................................................................................................... 5 Hygiene ............................................................................................................................................. 5 Hospitality......................................................................................................................................... 5

Frequently asked questions ............................................................................................................... 6 Does guidance on face coverings apply for playing bowls? .............................................................. 6

Do I need to be vaccinated to participate in outdoor bowls? ........................................................... 6

Can we provide refreshments? ......................................................................................................... 6

Can we open the changing rooms and toilets? ................................................................................. 6

Are spectators allowed? ................................................................................................................... 6

Are club meetings permitted? .......................................................................................................... 6

Is greens maintenance work permitted? .......................................................................................... 6

Can I travel to take part in the sport of bowls?................................................................................. 6

Is coaching permitted?...................................................................................................................... 6

What should we do to keep facilities and equipment clean? ........................................................... 7

What advice do you have to maintain hygiene? ............................................................................... 7

Will there be different local restrictions? ......................................................................................... 7

What activities can disabled people take part in? ............................................................................ 7

Where disabled people need support from a carer or personal assistant during activity, will this be allowed, e.g. a visually impaired bowler? ......................................................................................... 7

Do I need to maintain social distancing if I'm working with a disabled person who needs support? 7 What are the test and trace regulations? ......................................................................................... 8 Elite sport.......................................................................................................................................... 8

Additional Information ..................................................................................................................... 9 Organised sport ................................................................................................................................ 9

Roadmap Timeline ............................................................................................................................ 9 Useful Links..................................................................................................................................... 10

Step 3: Monday 17 May – Key points

From Monday 17 May until Step 4, the following applies to outdoor lawn bowls:

·       Play is permitted in accordance with the format of play below

·       Bowls coaching and other curriculum-based activity is permitted

·       Greens maintenance is permitted

·       Car sharing is permitted in accordance with government guidance

·       Spectators are permitted in accordance with social distancing rules and social gathering

limits (no more than group of 30 outdoors)

·       Clubhouses and facilities that serve both indoor and outdoor hospitality are permitted in

accordance with government guidance. Social distancing rules and social gathering limits

must be strictly adhered to.

·       Changing rooms can be opened in accordance with the guidance on page 5

·       Clubs are advised to continue with pre-booking systems

Format of Play

Organised sport

Informal activity

Singles – Use of every rink (marker permitted) Pairs – Use of every rink
Triples – Use of every rink
Fours – Use of every rink

Up to 30 people per session


Any combination of formats may be played under the ‘organised sport’ exemption, therefore the maximum number of participants on a six-rink outdoor green for ‘organised’ activity at any one time is 48. Clubs with less or additional rink capacity may amend figures accordingly.

Social Interaction

Social interaction before and after play should 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.


We would advise players 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 for all outdoor sports are permitted at Step 3, but need to adhere to social distancing rules and social gathering limits (groups of 30 outdoors). This number is in addition to those who are participating on the green.


Car sharing will be permitted in Step 3 for all sports. The guidance for safer travel will be updated ahead of Step 3 to provide further information about this.

Changing rooms

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. Use of these areas for essential activity, such as provision of first aid or access to essential equipment for training and matches, is allowed. Toilet facilities can also open.


Bowls coaching and other curriculum-based activity is permitted.


We recommend using hand sanitiser at regular intervals, especially if you have to touch communal surfaces or equipment. Once you are home, remember to wash your hands thoroughly.


Clubhouses and facilities that serve food and drink can open. In Step 3, both indoor and outdoor hospitality will be permitted. The guidance on hospitality settings will be updated ahead of Step 3 to provide further information about this. People using clubhouses and hospitality facilities must adhere to legal gathering limits and wider government guidance for hospitality.


Frequently asked questions

Does guidance on face coverings apply for playing bowls?

You’re not required to wear face coverings while taking part in the sport of outdoor bowls. Sport England advises that all forms of face coverings may restrict breathing efficiency and should not be used during exercise unless your doctor advises it.

Do I need to be vaccinated to participate in outdoor bowls?

There is currently no requirement from government for participants to have been vaccinated and clubs are advised not to restrict access to our sport to anyone who has not yet received the vaccine.

Can we provide refreshments?

Clubhouses and facilities that serve food and drink can open. In Step 3, both indoor and outdoor hospitality will be permitted. The guidance on hospitality settings will be updated ahead of Step 3 to provide further information about this. People using clubhouses and hospitality facilities must adhere to legal gathering limits and wider government guidance for hospitality.

Can we open the changing rooms and toilets?

Changing rooms can now 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. Toilet facilities can also open. Face coverings should be worn at all times when indoors.

Are spectators allowed?

Spectators will be permitted at Step 3, but need to adhere to social distancing rules. Spectators need to adhere to social gathering limits (groups of 30 outdoors).

Are club meetings permitted?

30 people are permitted to meet outdoors from Monday 17 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. We recommend that any larger meetings that can’t be held outside are conducted virtually until further notice. Sport specific guidance on organising virtual meetings, including Committee Meetings and AGMs, is available from Sport England Club Matters.

Is greens maintenance work permitted?

Yes – greens maintenance work is permitted as it is ‘work that cannot be carried out at home’. The most comprehensive advice for greens maintenance is available via the Grounds Management Association, of which Bowls England is a member.

Can I travel to take part in the sport of bowls?

Travel to participate in bowls is permitted. Car sharing will be permitted in Step 3 for all sports. The guidance for safer travel will be updated ahead of Step 3 to provide further information about this.

Is coaching permitted?

Outdoor coaching sessions are classed as organised outdoor sport, and can take place where it’s formally organised and follows Covid-secure guidance.


What should we do to keep facilities and equipment clean?

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

What advice do you have to maintain hygiene?

To help everyone maintain good hygiene, consideration should be given to the following:

.           Using signs and posters to build awareness of good handwashing technique, the need to increase handwashing frequency, avoid touching your face and to cough or sneeze into your arm. Consider how to ensure safety messages reach those with hearing or vision impairments

Providing regular reminders and signage to maintain hygiene standards
Providing hand sanitiser in multiple locations in addition to washrooms
Setting clear use and cleaning guidance for toilets to ensure they are kept clean and social distancing is achieved
Enhancing cleaning for busy areas
Providing more waste facilities and more frequent rubbish collection
Using disposable paper towels in handwashing facilities where possible
Minimising use of portable toilets
Provision of automated hand sanitising dispensers in public places



Will there be different local restrictions?

At this stage, in England we understand that the relaxation of restrictions will occur at a national level at the same time. Clubs/counties must adhere to any local restrictions should any be imposed in the future.

What activities can disabled people take part in?

Organised outdoor bowls can take place where it follows the government's guidance on recreational team sport and grassroots sport and leisure activity.

Where disabled people need support from a carer or personal assistant during

activity, will this be allowed, e.g. a visually impaired bowler?

Yes. People who provide essential support (e.g. carers) to disabled people are exempt, and don’t count towards gathering limits. Therefore, disabled participants can be supported by a carer(s)/personal assistant(s) while taking part in the sport of bowls.

Do I need to maintain social distancing if I'm working with a disabled person who

needs support?

Social distancing should be maintained where possible, but in some circumstances people will need physical assistance to be active. It’s important you discuss this with the person to consider their needs and preferences. Any sports coaches or trainers undertaking one-to-one sessions should ensure they’re complying with relevant national governing body safeguarding policies and procedures and conduct a thorough risk assessment before engaging in any sessions. This should include particular consideration for under-18s and vulnerable adults.

What are the test and trace regulations?

Clubs should display an NHS QR code that participants can scan using a mobile device. This is to help trace and stop the spread of coronavirus. Alternatively, ensure you maintain a separate log including contact details so that contact tracers can get in touch with people if required. To support NHS Test and Trace, you must hold records for 21 days. This reflects the incubation period for coronavirus, which can be up to 14 days, and an additional seven days to allow time for testing and tracing. Notify the venue operator if possible.

Elite sport

Elite athletes and support staff can use indoor and outdoor sport facilities for training and competition. Elite sport events can continue to take place in sport facilities, where permitted in line with the guidance on elite sport.


Additional Information

Organised sport

For the sport of outdoor lawn bowls any activity organised under the jurisdiction of Bowls England by affiliated clubs, counties and associate members is recognised as organised sport in accordance with DCMS guidance. This includes:

·       International and High Performance events (including training)

·       National Championships (including County Championship qualifying rounds)

·       National Competitions

·       District and county competitions involving affiliated clubs only

·       District and county leagues involving affiliated clubs only

·       Fixtures between affiliated counties

·       Club fixtures between affiliated clubs

·       Internal club events or organised sessions for club members

·       Coaching by a qualified coach (see section on coaching for details)

·       On green training provided by the Bowls Development Alliance

Any activity not listed above is not recognised by Bowls England as organised sport and will need to follow the guidance on outdoor legal gathering limits as this is considered to be informal or self- organised sport. This includes any casual play (for example ‘roll-ups’) and any activity involving clubs, leagues or associations not affiliated to Bowls England.

Whilst organised sport removes the restriction on legal gathering limits during participation, the relevant organising body (club, county, league or Bowls England) 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.

We will review our guidance for organised sport as the restrictions are eased to maximise participation whilst maintaining a safe environment for all participants. If you wish your club or leagues activity to be defined as organised sport and are not affiliated to Bowls England, please email us at and we can take you through the affiliation process, including connecting you with your County Association.

Roadmap Timeline

The government has reviewed 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: Monday 29 March

·       Step 2: Monday 12 April

·       Step 3: begins no earlier than Monday 17 May

·       Step 4: begins no earlier than Monday 21 June (confirmation expected w/c Monday 14 June)

We’re continuing to work with the government, via DCMS, and Sport England to answer your questions about the roadmap and what this means for our sport.

As we move through each new Step of the government’s roadmap, we will update our guidance accordingly. Please note that this guidance is based on the information published by the government


to date, and will be updated following any further updates. A maximum of one week’s notice ahead of each change is expected.

Useful Links

Guidance for the public and sport providers on how to participate in grassroots sport and physical activity during COVID restrictions sport-providers#organised-sport

Restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services takeaway-or-delivery

Sport England – Return to Play Guidance and Club Resources

Activity Alliance – Specialist support for disabled people




30 April 2021                Competition Byelaws/ Regulations & League Rules changes April 2021



Following the changes on playing formats for National/County Championships recently announced for the 2021 season the County Competition & League Rules have been updated.


In addition Bowls England have revised their Dress Code regulation on the wearing of shorts and the new regulation allows for shorts manufactured for the sport of bowls and not restricted to only Bowls England licensed and approved shorts. This change has been made to our own Competition & League Byelaws, Regulations & Rules


Please refer to the relevant web pages for details of the format & dress code changes


21 April 2021                All fixtures have been updated


The fixtures on website has been updated 

9 April 2021                  Changes to 2021 County League & County Championship Programme



Following the recently issued guidance on the Return to Play, I am now in a position to confirm the changes to our previously published County Programme & County League for the 2021 season. Whilst I have not received any updated guidance from Bowls England on the move to Step 2 of lockdown from 12th April I do not anticipate this will necessitate any changes to programme.


The changes have been made taking into account the Guidance received to date and the anticipated further easing on 17th May & 23rd June. It is anticipated that the changes made comply with future easing but it is always a possibly that further last minute changes will be required but hopefully this will not be the case.


If you have any queries or questions on the revised programme then please direct these to:

·       COUNTY LEAGUE – Mark Elliott (League Secretary)

·       COUNTY COMPETITIONS – John George (Competition Secretary)


It is hoped that you all understand why changes are necessary and that such changes do not present too many problems. The changes have been made in line with guidance received and also with the aim to keep all our members safe which must be the primary concern.


The website is now being updated with the revised Competition dates & County League fixtures and will be completed as soon as is possible but this may take a day or so. Much thought and work has gone into the revised programme & I hope that all will go to plan but I expect there may be a few bumps in road and these will have to dealt if & when they occur.



Changes to the details previously published:-


28th April to 2nd August with a 6.15pm start per League rule 8(a)

5th May to 4th August with a 6.15pm start per League rule 8(a)

12th May to 9th August with a 6.15pm start per League rule 8(a)







It is appreciated that changing dates of the early matches to August may present Clubs with issues with clashes with already confirmed fixtures. The new August dates may be changed to other dates with the agreement of the opposition but please advise the League Secretary (Mark Elliott) of any such changes. All fixtures for the Premier League must be played by 9th August as should Zone 1 matches due to the WP Baker Cup play offs that follow and those for Zone 2 by 16th August due to the Hansells Cup play offs that follow.


The current ‘Return to Play’ Guidance allows for organised Fours play provided play is on alternate rinks and the number on the green does not exceed 24 so if both Clubs agree and the guidance is complied with then the matches moved to August may be played on the original date in May but this is a matter for the Clubs concerned and both must be in agreement.


For those Clubs with more than one team in the League Player Registration for their ‘A’ team will be required per the League Rules and the relevant Registration Form will be issued to those Clubs in due course.


This year will be somewhat different to other years so some flexibility on the League rules will be given and should issues arise please refer these to the League Secretary. Any decisions made by the League Secretary/League Management Committee will be final.


This year it will be even more important to submit results in a timely manner and can you please ensure that this happens.



Changes to the details previously published:-



These will be played under the revised formats as previously advised


Fours (2 bowls per player over 15 ends)

The early rounds of the fours championship scheduled for May have been moved and the new dates are:-

·       Round 1 on 29th June

·       Round 2 on 6th July

·       Round 3 on 13th July


Triples (2 bowls per player over 18 ends)

The early rounds of the triples championship have been moved back and will be played as follows:-

·       Round 1 on 3rd June

·       Round 2 on 10th June

·       Round 3 on 15th June

Pairs (3 bowls per player over 18 ends)

This will still commence in May and the revised early round dates are:-

·       Round 1 on 10th May

·       Round 2 on 17thMay

·       Round 3 on 7th June

·       Round 4 on 14th June


Singles (4 bowls– first to 21)

This will commence in May and the revised early round dates are:-

·       Round 1 on 25th May

·       Round 2 on 1st June

·       Round 3 on 8th June

·       Round 4 on 22nd June

·       Round 5 on 2nd July


2 bowl singles (2 bowls over 21 ends)

This will commence in May and the revised dates are:-

·       Round 1 on 21st May

·       Round 2 on 28th May

·       Round 3 on 11th June

·       Round 4 on 25th  June

·       Quarter finals & semi-finals on 28th June


Senior Fours (2 bowls per player over 15 ends)

The early rounds are on a ‘play by date’ basis and have been changed to:-

·       Round 1 play by 31st May

·       Round 2 play by 6th June

·       Round 3 play by 13th June

·       Quarter finals & semi-finals on  20th June

·       Final on 4th July


Junior Singles (4 bowls – first to 21)

The revised dates are:-

·       Round 1 play by 31st May

·       Quarter final play by 27th June

·       Semi-final & final on 18th July


Junior Pairs (3 bowls per player over 18 ends)

The revised dates are:-

·       Round 1 – play by 6th June

·       Semi-final & final  on 4th July


The QUARTER FINALS of the Singles, Pairs, Triples & Fours will be played in the week commencing 19th July


The SEMI-FINALS of the Singles, Pairs, Triples & Fours will be played in the week commencing 26TH July


The COUNTY FINALS will be played over the weekend of 7th/8th August



It is anticipated that these championships can be played under the existing fours format but this may have to be reviewed should restrictions make this impossible.


Bales Cup (3x fours, 2 bowls per player over 21 ends)

The revised dates are:-

·       Round 1 on 4th June

·       Round 2  on 18th June

·       Quarter finals on 6th August

·       Semi-finals on 13thAugust

·       Final on 20th August


Lord Fermoy Cup (2x fours, 2 bowls per player over 21 ends)

The revised dates are:-

·       Round 1 on 17th June

·       Round 2  on 24th June

·       Round 3 on 8th July

·       Quarter finals on 5th August

·       Semi-finals on 12thAugust

·       Final on 19th August


Jermy Cup (3x fours, 2 bowls per player over 21 ends)

The revised dates are:-

·       Round 1 on 6th June

·       Round 2 on 13th June

·       Quarter finals on 25th July

·       Semi-final & final on 1st August


Individual match notification details will be sent direct to competitors by the Group Competition Secretary or Competition Secretary in due course.


If you have any queries or questions on any of the above then please raise these with:-

Email: phone 01603 435948/07907 625910

Email; phone:/01493 750539/07920 798224

Email phone 01953 605879 or 01953 850450/07766 611309



John Ottaway

Hon. Men’s Secretary

Norfolk Bowls Association

8th April 2021


1 April 2021                  Eastern Counties League 2021


Due to issues with matches, particularly those scheduled for early in the season & taking into account the restrictions in place, the 2021 Eastern Counties League has been cancelled.


John Ottaway

Hon. Men’s Secretary

Norfolk Bowls Association

1st April


29 Mar 2021                 Changes to 2021 County/National Championships



As part of the Bowls England Guidance on the ‘return to bowls’ Bowls England have released details of changes to the 2021 National Championships & National Competitions.


For the 2021 National Championships & Competitions there are some quite significant changes made which will have a direct impact on our own County Championships as well as the National Competitions that are run direct by Bowls England


For our County Championships namely:

·       2 bowl singles

·       Singles

·       Pairs

·       Triples

·       Fours

·       Senior Fours

·       Junior Singles

·       Junior Pairs


The significant changes that have been made, which will apply to our 2021 County Championships & the National finals are:


Format of play

The format of play in each of the above will be:-

·       Singles will be 4 Bowls – 21 up (no change)

·       2 Bowl Singles will be 2 Bowls over 21 ends (no change)

·       Pairs will be 3 per player bowls over 18 ends

·       Triples will be 2 bowls per player over 18 ends

·       Fours will be 2 bowls per player over 15 ends

·       Senior Fours will be 2 bowls per player over 15 ends

·       Junior Singles will be 4 bowls - 21 up (no change)

·       Junior Pairs will be 3 bowls per player over 18 ends


An Addendum to our Rules & Regulations will be issued in due course. These changes apply for 2021 but will be subject to review for future years. There are no plans to change the format of the Bales Cup, Lord Fermoy Cup & Jermy Cup or the County League


National Finals qualification

The number of qualifiers will be limited to 48 being made up of the 35 County Championship winners plus the runners-up from those Counties with the highest number of entries in each event. With our number of entries, Norfolk will have only one qualifier for each event, namely the County winner.


National Championship finals dates

The National Championships held in Leamington Spa, have been put back and will run from 19th  August to 5th September  with the Middleton Cup semi-final & final on 11th September. The championships will be a combined Men’s & Ladies event with their championships being run side by side. The full National Championship programme is on the Bowls England website.


Entry fees

Bowls England have said that no refund of entry fees will be made unless due to restrictions a particular discipline is not able to be played and the Norfolk Bowls Association will also take this approach.


For inter-county events, there are also changes


Middleton Cup

In 2021 this will be played on a knock out basis starting on 3rd July rather than in regional zones with the semi-finals & final being put back to 11th September. Early rounds will be played at a neutral venue or provided the participating Counties agree 3 rinks at home & 3 away. All matches will continue as 6 rinks and played over 21 ends


Balcomb Trophy & White Rose Trophy

These events will be played on a knock out basis with regional finals on 18th July and the semi-final & final on 5th September


As for National Competitions, being events entered direct to Bowls England and run by them which for ease of reference are:-

·       Club Two Fours

·       Tony Allcock Trophy

·       Top Club

·       Senior Singles

·       Senior Pairs

·       Mixed Pairs

·       Mixed Fours

·       Family Pairs

·       Champion of Champions


Format of play

As for the Championships, you will see that the formats have changed for some. Details are contained in Bowls England’s email but for your ease, I have summarised these below:

·       Club Two Fours - 2 bowls per player over 15 ends per rink

·       Tony Allcock Trophy - 2 bowls per player over 15 ends per rink

·       Top Club – see BE rules for full details

·       Senior Singles will be 4 Bowls – 21 up (no change)

·       Senior Pairs - 3 bowls over 18 ends

·       Mixed Pairs – 3 bowls over 18 ends

·       Mixed Fours – 2 bowls per player over 15 ends

·       Family Pairs– 3 bowls per player over 18 ends

·       Champion of Champions will be 4 Bowls – 21 up (no change)


Round dates

The dates of the various rounds are detailed in Bowls England’s email. The draws and individual match notifications will continue to be issued direct by Bowls England.


John Ottaway

26th March 2021


26 Mar 2021                 Bowls England return to play: Step one


Back to bowls -please see link:

22 Mar 2021                 Men’s Annual General Meeting & County League Annual General Meeting



Please note that due to the on-going restrictions the deferred 2020 Annual General Meetings scheduled for 25th April 2021 have been postponed and the business that is usually conducted will be carried forward to the 2021 Annual General Meetings scheduled for 5th December 2021.



John Ottaway

Hon. Men’s Secretary on behalf of the Management Committee

22nd March 2021


09 Mar 2021                 Bowls England ‘Bowls Big Weekend’


Bowls England have formally launched the Bowls Big Weekend which will take place over the weekend of Friday 28th to Monday 31st May 2021 and please see their news release below.


The weekend will give Clubs the opportunity to open their Club & facilities to new bowlers and to attract new members particularly during these difficult times.




image002.jpg@01D714D2Taking place over the Spring Bank Holiday of the 2021 season (Friday 28th to Monday 31st May), Bowls’ Big Weekend is a national initiative offering clubs the opportunity to promote our welcoming and socially-distanced sport and attract new members. 

We know that 20% of new bowlers join our sport on the back of open weekends, that our clubs want support to help recruit new players and that there are plenty of people out there who would love to have a go at bowls.

Bowls' Big Weekend is open to clubs affiliated to Bowls England and British Crown Green Bowling Association, and is being run alongside the Bowls Development Alliance and Disability Bowls England. It takes place over the four-day period allowing clubs to organise activity that best fits within their club’s calendar and complies with Return to Play guidance.

Affiliated clubs who sign up will be able to access FREE resources, including bowls-specific workshops to help run a great event and grow your club. In addition, publicity material and creative resources for social media channels, websites and within your local community will be made available. It will be supported by a national marketing campaign to help raise awareness of the events across the country, and some clubs will get a visit from an England Commonwealth Games Squad bowler.


To ensure that you are the first to receive notification when new material is available, as well as being on our exclusive mailing list for workshops where numbers are strictly limited, sign-up here.



06 Mar 2021                 Norfolk Bowls Association

Statement on County Championships & County League


I thought it prudent to give you an update of where we are with the return to Bowls for the upcoming season and particularly on the County Championships & County League.


Bowls England will be issuing guidance on the ‘return to bowls’ following the Government’s announcement on the lockdown easing timetable and this is expected by the end of the month at the very latest when they have received clarification on bowls specific matters from the Department of Culture, Media & Sport. As you will appreciate, there are many matters that need to clarified and confirmed but please be assured much work is going on behind the scenes.


What does seem to be the case is that particularly in early May and before the intended move to Stage 3 of the Government’s timetable (which will be no earlier than on 17th May), some restrictions on the ability to play will be in place, but these should be clearer when Bowls England complete and issue their guidance.


In the meantime, we as a County are looking into contingency planning so far as our County Championship & County League programmes are concerned and the result may be that we may need to make adjustments to the Championships & League fixture dates that have been published. Whilst I cannot say at this stage what these will be, we are specifically looking into moving the Fours & Triples championships to dates later in season as well as the League fixtures that are scheduled to be played prior to 17th May. Changes to the dates of other Championship rounds may also need to be made. What the outcome will be is unclear but I thought I should keep you in the picture and please bear with us in the meantime and I will advise further as soon as I am able.


One matter which will be of interest is that Bowls England have indicated that the National Championships at Leamington Spa are likely be moved to later in August between 21st August and 5th September and if this change does occur it will give us more scope to adjust dates to our Championships. I will let you have details on the actual National Championship programme as soon as this is published plus other changes to the Championships which they are considering.


The original draw dates & league fixtures are still shown on our website and once our revised dates & programme are finalised we will update.


Finally, our intention is to give our members the opportunity to take to the greens this summer but this must always be in line with lockdown restrictions and with the priority to keep all our members safe.


I trust you appreciate the situation we find ourselves in and ask you to bear with us in what are still challenging times.


John Ottaway                       

Hon. Men’s Secretary

Norfolk Bowls Association


23 Feb 2021         Bowls England COVID-19 update



BOWLS ENGLAND UPDATE - 22nd February 2021

Guidance following Government’s road map for easing lockdown restrictions


Bowls England has issued the following statement after the Government’s announcement on 22nd February of the roadmap for the easing of restrictions. As and when things become clearer particularly as to how these affect Clubs and our County Championships & County League, details will be circulated to Clubs.



Today’s roadmap for the easing of lockdown restrictions enables Bowls England, counties and affiliated clubs to prepare with confidence for the 2021 outdoor season.  The Prime Minister’s announcement confirmed that outdoor affiliated bowls clubs will be able to open from 29 March.  

Our overriding objective is for as many bowlers as possible to enjoy our sport in a safe manner this summer. Bowls is a naturally socially-distanced, non-contact activity and plays a key role in the mental and physical health of many across the country.The positive prospects for the new season provides a great boost to bowlers and the sport in general. 

Whilst the overwhelming majority of existing bowlers are eager to start playing and are likely to have received their first vaccine, we understand there is a degree of nervousness about returning to the sport.  We will be working alongside our development partner, the Bowls Development Alliance, to support affiliated clubs across the country to create Covid-safe environments, building on the fantastic efforts of many club leaders last year.  This work will include:

        ‘Return to Play’ guidance for affiliated clubs

        Resources and best practice to support the safe running of clubs

        Online rink booking and cashless payments

        Promotional material and funding advice

We also aim to facilitate as much domestic competition as possible. We have developed a series of Covid-contingency scenarios and, with the information now available, will look to reshape our national competition schedule. We will issue a further update on the championships and competitions programmes once we have had the opportunity to consult with counties and clubs on any potential changes.

Our National Open Weekend planning will continue and we believe there’s a good opportunity to encourage people, who are looking for a new fun, family outdoor activity, into our sport. We will be working with affiliated clubs who sign up to empower them to deliver Open Weekend events that are Covid-safe and give new players a fantastic first experience.

Chief Executive, Jon Cockcroft, said: “With the roadmap laid out by the Prime Minister, we are excited about our sport’s prospects for the coming season. With sensible interventions in place, bowls is a sport that can be enjoyed authentically and safely within the government guidelines and it will be a huge boost for the wellbeing of the bowls community to be playing the sport they love and connecting back in with their local communities. We will be working in partnership with all stakeholders, notably affiliated clubs, to navigate through any challenges and, whilst mindful to retain a level of caution, are very excited about the outdoor bowls season beginning soon.”

We understand today’s developments will provoke a range of questions and we would ask people to bear with us as we work through the various implications. As soon as we can, we will be issuing more detailed guidance on the Bowls England website.


Matt Wordingham


22 Feb 2021         Clearing Browser History



The problem maybe your browser history on your PC needs clearing - (your PC remembers which pages you view and puts a copy into your PC's cache so the next time you visit that page it gets it from your PC cache rather than the website (it's quicker).


How you clear your browser history depends on who’s browser you use, try going to the link below to find out about clearing the browser history from the various web browsers.



Hope this helps



To clear cache on i-phone or i-pad


Delete history, cache and cookies

1.    To clear your history and cookies, go to Settings > Safari, and tap Clear History and Website Data. ...

2.    To clear your cookies and keep your history, go to Settings > Safari > Advanced > Website Data, then tap Remove All Website Data.


I hope this helps




18 Feb 2021         2021 County Championship draws & County League fixtures


The draws for the 2021 County Championships have been made and can be found on the COUNTY COMPS page.



Similarly, the 2021 County League fixtures have also been compiled and these may be found on the LEAGUE FIXTURES page.


02 Feb 2021         Norfolk Bowls Association update


·      County League 2021

·      County Championships 2021

·      Annual General Meeting


Please see the following update of where we are as regards the 2021 County League, 2021 County Championships & the deferred 2020 Annual General Meeting.



Now that the closing dates for County League entry has passed, Mark Elliott, the League Secretary has been working on the structure for the 2021 season. Unfortunately, some Clubs have decided that they will be unable to enter teams and other Clubs have reduced the number of teams they will be able to enter (there are 65 teams entered being a reduction of 6 on last year) so some changes to the structure have had to be made. The proposed League structure has been sent to all Club Secretaries for comment prior to the fixtures being produced & when finally agreed will be posted to the website. The reduction in the number of teams is to some extent expected based on where we are with the pandemic and come the end of the season we may have to carry out a further review of the league structure for subsequent seasons.


There are still many ‘unanswerables’ concerning the ability to play bowls during the Summer including the use of changing rooms & other club facilities but at this stage we can only plan for a ‘normal’ County League on the same playing basis as in previous years i.e. as 3x fours on a home/away basis.



The closing date for County Championship entries has also passed and the Competition Secretary, John George, will be processing the draws and publish on these on or website over the coming days. As for the County League at this stage, we are planning a ‘normal’ season for our County Championships.



As the situation develops over the coming weeks and following the Government’s recent announcement that a review of the current lockdown will be announced around 22nd February we may have to make changes to the format of both the County League & County Championships but I am sure you will appreciate at this stage we cannot say as we do not know what the position will be concerning restrictions that might be in place come the start of the season. I would add that Bowls England is working on guidance to Clubs on ‘the return to bowls’ when this is to hand the Management Committee will consider this and I will also forward to you.


I am sure you will agree that what we all want to do is get bowlers back on the green in as safe an environment as possible and the priority will always be the health and safety of our members. If and when things change, which we all hope will be for the better I will let you know.



On another matter, the AGM (and League AGM) that was due to be held in December was deferred until 14th March. With the situation as it is, the Management Committee has recently met to discuss this and other matters and have decided to defer the AGM again, until 25th April when it is hoped the situation will allow this to be held. A ‘virtual’ AGM was considered but it was felt that this was not practical. Whilst the situation is not ideal, I trust you agree with the approach being taken. An update will be given and when I am in a position to do so.


Finally and in the meantime, please stay safe.


John Ottaway

Hon. Men’s Secretary

1st February 2021


09 Jan 2021         GW Staniforth BC update


I am delighted to report that following further discussions between the Club, their Landlords & the local Council agreement has been reached for the Club to continue for the 2021 season following which further discussions will take place as to a more permanent future for the Club.

This is great news for the Club & its members and hopefully the Club will be in apposition to continue for many more years

06 Jan 2021         UPDATE to Clubs – 4th January 2021


Firstly, I hope you, your family and your fellow Club members are all keeping safe & well during the challenging times we all find ourselves in. Sadly, several of our members have passed away in recent months and I offer my sincere condolences to their families & friends.


Further to the update I issued in August as the very limited 2020 season was drawing to a close, much has changed in the meantime though the situation is far from clear as to where we will be when the 2021 season gets underway. However, the release of the vaccine does give cause for hope that we will be in a position to get back on the greens. As I have previously mentioned as a County we are putting in place plans for a full County programme similar to previous years but will need to constantly review this based on any restrictions which might be in place and if and when anything changes, I will let you know


As I said in August, in view of the unprecedented times we continue to find ourselves in it may be necessary for us to impose certain approaches in the short term and that are not fully in line with our Constitution & Rules. Any actions & decisions made will always be made with the best interests of the County & it’s Clubs in line with Object 2(a) of our Constitution “to promote, foster & safeguard the game of outdoor flat green bowls in the County of Norfolk” and I hope I will have your support as we move forward


I will now turn to specific matters.


1)   Management Committee/Officers

The restrictions in place over recent months have meant that the Committee has not been able meet as often as they would like. However, the business of the County has continued behind the scenes and will continue to do so.


2)   AGM on 14 March 2021 & Clubs Meeting

The Men’s AGM & League AGM that were due to held in December have been postponed to Sunday 14th March. It is not yet clear if these will be able to be held and will be under constant review taking into account restrictions in place. I will advise further as soon as I can and the contingency should they not be able to be held.


The same goes for our regular Club’s Meetings and it is hoped that we will be able to meet up and there is much we need all to consider. Again, I will advise further as soon as I can


3)   2021 Competition & League Entries

As previously advised the closing date for entries to our 2021 County Championships including the Bales Cup, Lord Fermoy Cup, Jermy Cup & County League is 1st FEBRUARY    2021. If you have not yet submitted your entries can you please do so as soon as possible as much preparatory work is needed ahead of the season. This is particularly important so far as the County League is concerned as Mark Elliott will need to consider the structure of the League based on the entries received and then to generate the fixtures. It is appreciated that the number of teams may be less than in previous years so much consideration may   need to be given to this. The matter of post-match refreshments where these are provided is another matter that will need to be considered and much will depend on any   restrictions which might be in place.


            To date those Clubs that have submitted entries are:


R G Carter  Group

Downham Market


Great Plumstead

Harling Rec

Cliff Parade

King's Lynn

Lakeside Pilgrims

St. Lawrence


Thorpe Rec

West Winch


As for National Competitions entered direct to Bowls England, the closing date for entries is 1st March and details are on the Bowls England website:-


4)   2021 Affiliation Fees

The date for payment of Affiliation Fees has been put back to 1st May when Clubs will have a better idea of their membership numbers and the County Treasurer will be issuing the Affiliation Fees Payment Form to you in the coming weeks. I can confirm that the fees will             remain unchanged and will be:-

Bowls England playing member levy -                                  £5.00 per player

Norfolk Bowls Association playing member levy -               £2.00 per player

Annual Club Subscription to Norfolk Bowls Association -   £6.00


However, should restrictions remain which result in playing season be limited or curtailed consideration will be given to the fee payment and to some extent we will be led by guidance from Bowls England.


5)   Annual Club Return form

This form which Clubs complete with updated Club information & Officer details will be             issued shortly. I am still waiting for details of any additional information that may be      required by Bowls England and hence the reason why issue of this has been delayed.


6)   Bowls England Matters

Following the appointment of Jon Cockcroft as Chief Executive, the Bowls England Board & staff have been reviewing the operation of Bowls England with a view to improving the services they provide to Clubs & County Associations. Many virtual meetings have taken place and in the coming weeks various changes & initiatives will be announced but one major initiative already announced is a National Open Weekend over the 2021 May Bank Holiday (29th to 31st).


Further details will be circulated in due course, which will include

·       A club guide with step by step advice on planning, delivery and follow up of an open event.

·       A variety of editable marketing templates such as flyers and banners.

·       Digital marketing templates to be used online and on social media e.g. Facebook, Nextdoor.

·       Training/Guidance/Tips for club volunteers to access in the build up to the campaign


I would ask that you consider whether your Club wants to participate. The County Management Committee will be considering its role in this and how it could support Clubs.


Bowls England have during the course of the pandemic provided guidance & support to Clubs and also used this time to carry out a comprehensive insight and development programme which will lead to a new five year strategy which is to be launched in 2021 and details will be circulated. As part of this, a consultation process will begin on staff organisation to enable the delivery of the new strategy. This will also involve the creation of four new roles Head of Communications, Events and Competitions Officer, Marketing Officer and People and Governance Officer and applications for these positions is open to all.



I appreciate that I have covered many topics but I hope you find the all of the above useful and if you have any queries or require further information then please let me know otherwise I look forward to seeing you at the next Clubs meeting  or the AGM should we be able to hold these. If and when things change, I will keep you advised & updated


There is no doubt this has been a challenging year for everyone and it is important for the health of the sport that some form of normality returns for the start of the 2021 outdoor season and we all hope this will be the case and I look forward to working with everyone who cares about the game to achieve this.


In the meantime, please stay safe.


Regards, John



08 Dec 2020         GW Staniforth BC (Thetford)


Due to issues with the renewal of their Lease with their Landlords, the GW Staniforth Trust it is with reluctance that the Club has decided to close.


The GW Staniforth club has been one of the stalwarts of the Norfolk Bowls Association for many years, have always been welcoming to the Association and will be a great loss to bowlers in both the south west of the County, the County as a whole and the many clubs across the country who has visited the club.


Over the years, the Club have provided County Officers and lifted several County titles namely:-


County Officers

·      County President 1968 – H.Leech

·      County President 1986 – W.Massingham

·      Middleton Cup Manager 2000 to 2002 – D.Betts


County titles

·      Club Champions (Bales Cup) – 1997

·      Jermy Cup – 2003 & 2009

·      Jermy Cup – 1963

·      WP Baker Cup – 1994 & 2010

·      Fours 1980 – J. Whalebelly, P Carter, R. Miller & D. Betts

·      Triples 1988 – M. Struthers, R. Hall & D. Betts



03 Dec 2020 BOWLS ENGLAND – Latest COVID Alert Rules


Following the introduction of the new Tier Restrictions effective from 2nd December 2020


Bowls England have issued the guidance below following the introduction of the new Tier Alert system introduced on 2nd December 2020


We are aware that many of our clubs with artificial surfaces are keen to return to the green following the Government’s introduction of a new three-tier system to control Covid-19. We are therefore pleased to provide this short update to our members, which should be read in conjunction with our earlier guidance issued on 18th September 2020.


Government guidance published today (Wednesday 2nd December 2020) advises that organised outdoor sport is permitted in all three tiers therefore organised outdoor bowls can return at all COVID-19 alert levels within the rule of six, permitting play without restriction on number of households. In providing this advice, we do recommend that all participants (particularly those within Tier 3) display additional vigilance and avoid close proximity with anyone outside their household/bubble.


The following revised guidance applies to those clubs with bars/restaurants:



Club bars and restaurants are permitted to be open under the rule of 6, but with table service only, between the hours of 5am to 11pm. Last orders have to be at 10pm with all guests leaving the venue by 11pm.



Club bars and restaurants can remain open between the hours of 5am to 11pm but are only allowed to have people from the same household / support bubble on a table. Alcohol is only permitted to be sold with a substantial meal. Last orders have to be at 10pm with guest leaving the venue by 11pm.



Club bars and restaurants will not be allowed to open but are permitted to continue sales by takeaway, click-and-collect or delivery services.


To see which level of risk applies to you/your club please use the Government’s post code tracker.


We remind all clubs that items may be adapted as necessary to meet your club’s specific circumstances, so long as your actions remain consistent with the latest Government guidance and that the Government guidance on social distancing is adhered to at all times.


The Government will be reviewing the areas within each Tier on 16th December 2020. To ensure you receive the latest updates from Bowls England, sign up to our e-newsletter now.



26 Nov 2020         BOWLS ENGLAND – Plans & initiatives for 2021 & beyond


A virtual meeting was held with Bowls England on 21st November and attended by representatives from County Associations. At the meeting, Bowls England set out their plans for 2021 & beyond and please see the attached summary document detailing the matters raised and which makes interesting reading  Click here


05 Nov 2020         BOWLS ENGLAND STATEMENT – COVID 19 update


4th November 2020


Following the announcement of the new restriction, Bowls England has issued the following statement. The contents are fully as expected but the good news is that essential greens maintenance may continue. Let’s hope that come December our Clubs may re-open for non- bowling activities.


Any further guidance will be published should this be forthcoming but in the meantime please continue to stay safe and let us all get through the current ‘lockdown’ without too many difficulties.


John Ottaway

We are aware that some of our clubs, particularly those with artificial surfaces, have been continuing to enjoy our sport in a Covid-friendly manner.

However, the Government has announced that all indoor and outdoor leisure facilities must close from Thursday 5th November as part of the national lockdown to control the spread of Covid-19. Therefore, no outdoor bowling activity will be permitted from this date and clubs must remain closed for any other non-bowling activity, for example meetings and social events.


We are aware that some clubs are also seeking advice on greens maintenance. The Government guidance is that where people cannot work from home they should continue to travel to work/attend their workplace and therefore we advise that essential greens maintenance work can continue. The Government advises that the risk of transmission can be substantially reduced by following COVID-secure guidelines closely.


The new measures will apply nationally for four weeks up to Wednesday 2nd December. At the end of this period, the Government will look to return to a regional approach, based on the latest data, and we shall advise clubs further at that stage.


Full details on the new national restrictions can be viewed here.



26 Oct 2020 NORFOLK BOWLS ASSOCIATION – Update to Clubs


I hope you & and your members are keeping safe and well.


I am now able to give up an update on various matters on County affairs.



The Men’s Annual General Meeting is scheduled for 13th December 2020 but in light of the restrictions currently in place and the probability that these will still be in place or even more restrictive on the date of the AGM, the Management Committee has met to  discuss if & how the AGM could be held. Various options were considered:

·       To hold the AGM as normal

·       To hold the AGM virtually

·       To deal with  the AGM business by email & proxy votes

·       To defer the AGM to a later date


After much consideration on each of the options, it has been decided to defer the AGM to a later date with a date of Sunday 14th March pencilled in when it is hoped that restrictions will have eased. Whilst the deferral is not in accordance with the Men’s Rules, I trust you will agree that taking into account all matters & with the safety & wellbeing of delegates paramount, this is the best course of action available to us. Under our Constitution Object 2(a) states, the objective of the Association is “to promote, foster & safeguard the game of outdoor flat green bowls in the County of Norfolk” and this is what I believe we are doing. By deferring the AGM, the business of the Association can continue with all existing officers remaining in place until the AGM is held. Should it not be possible to hold the AGM in its usual format in March then further consideration will be given as to how we move forward.



This normally follows the Men’s AGM and as with the Men’s AGM, the Management Committee has decided to defer the League AGM to follow immediately after the main AGM with 14th March pencilled in. As with Men’s Officers, the League Officers will remain in position until the League AGM with League business continuing in the meantime.


As for the League and the plans for the 2021 season, at this stage we are anticipating the league will be played under the same format as  in other  years but with  the situation as it exists and as it maybe when the season gets underway  this may have  to be reviewed. The League AGM in March, provided it is able to be held, will give us the opportunity to consider this ahead of the season getting under way. With  the change to the League entry date being put back to 1st February along with entries to Competitions, Mark Elliott, the League Secretary will not be in a position to  confirm the League structure until after this date and it is hoped that this will not present problems to Clubs. The League fixtures will be published as soon  as possible after the league structure is set and this will be a little later than in previous years and again hopefully this will not present problems as Clubs will be able to set aside Wednesday evenings for the League fixtures and then  add the actual fixtures when these are known. Should you have any questions concerning league entries, league structure & fixtures then can I please ask you to direct these to the Hon. League Secretary, Mark Elliott.



It was hoped that Denis West would be able to continue his Presidency to cover the 2021 season but due to personal circumstances, he is unable to do so. Harry Geary, the Senior Vice President did not have the opportunity to learn the ‘President’s ropes’ during 2020 so will continue in that role during 2021 and assume the Presidency in 2022. Hence, we will not have a President in position for the 2021 season and in view of this a President for the Day, from past Presidents of the Association will be appointed for each County event, much as happened in Colin Brown’s year. The Junior Vice President position remains vacant and if you know of anyone who may be interested in the position then I would be very pleased to hear.



With the 2020 Middleton Cup programme having been cancelled I can confirm that Mark Turner’s period as our Middleton Cup Manager has been extended by 1 year so will cover the period up to & including the 2022 season.



I am conscious that much information has been provided over past months and as an aide to you, I thought I would confirm some key dates:

·       Closing date for entries to County Championships, Team Competitions & County League -1st February 2021

·       Date for payment of Affiliation Fees – 1st May  2020 (please note the relevant Fees payment form has not yet been issued and will be in early 2021)

·       Club Annual Return Form - this has not yet been issued and will not be until the new year when Bowls England confirm any additional Club information they may require


Changes to Competition Regulations & other matters relating to Championships & Competitions have been made by Bowls England to provide players with greater flexibility and confidence when entering competitive events.

·       Junior Pairs – whilst this continues to be played over 18 ends it will now be 3 bowls per player

·       Family Pairs – the  eligibility rules have changed to allow husband/wife & civil partners (please note this is a National Competition run direct by Bowls England)

·       The entry date for National Competitions administered direct by Bowls England has been changed to 1st March with no deadline extension

·       Entries will be accepted from any individual that will be a member of a club affiliated to Bowls England on 1st  May annually

·       Should the National Championships and/or National Competitions not take place in 2021 due to Covid-19 a full refund will be offered

·       As a condition of entry in National Championships and National Competitions, all entrants must give contact information in accordance with current ‘Test and Trace’ requirements, with the choice to ‘opt in’ for Bowls England communications.


I hope you find the above useful and if you have any questions particularly on the deferral of the AGM then please let me know.


Finally on behalf of the County Association I would thank you  for all you have done to keep your members safe over this difficult period and for keeping our great sport alive and lets all hope for a better 2021.


John Ottaway

Norfolk Bowls Association Hon. Men’s Secretary 26th October 2020



30 Sep 2020 Notice to Clubs on the next Clubs Meeting & Annual General Meeting


Due to current COVID 19 restrictions in place and with the safety & well-being of members paramount, it is with reluctance that the next meeting of Clubs due to be held at the end of September has been cancelled. Whilst it is disappointing that we cannot get together to discuss all that has occurred over the past few months and the planning for the 2021 season, I am sure you will agree the correct decision has been made. Hopefully there will be some easing of the restrictions that will allow us to meet but following the Government advice recently given this does not seem likely in the near future. I will however keep monitoring the situation and will advise further.


The next significant date is our Annual General Meeting scheduled for 13th December 2020. This is a little way ahead and the Management Committee will be meeting shortly to decide if this can go ahead and in what format. The possibilities are:-

·      To hold the AGM as usual provided restrictions allow

·      To defer the AGM to a later date

·      To hold a ‘virtual meeting’ (though this does not seem practical but will be considered)

·      To deal with the business of the AGM, including Motions, Nomination of Officers, Approval of the Annual Accounts & acceptance of Officer Reports by way of email.


I will advise as soon as I can.


The situation will be the same for the League Annual General Meeting which follows the main AGM and I will be discussing this with Mark Elliott, the League Secretary.



John Ottaway

Hon. Men’s Secretary

Norfolk Bowls Association

28th September 2020



21 Sep 2020 BOWLS ENGLAND – COVID - Updated Guidance for Lawn Bowls


Bowls England have updated their guidance re: COVID 19 including guidance on the holding of meetings. The updated guidance issued on 18th September 2020 is:-





10 Aug 2020         BOWLS ENGLAND launch LETS ROLL Recruitment Drive


Bowls England have just released a couple of initiatives.

Lets Roll (Click here)

Alternative Bowls Formats (Click here)





Bowls England have updated their Guidelines. Guidance to Clubs



15 July 2020        Norfolk Clubs Re-opening Details for the 2020 Season



Is Club opening?



If YES - date


Acle St Edmunds




Aldiss Park















Opening being considered July 2020

Castle Acre Coronation








Cliff Parade (Hunstanton)



Opening being considered mid July 2020




Per Connaught website

County Arts




Cromer Marrams




Cromer Suffield Park




Dereham St. Nicholas








Diss and District




Downham Conservative




Downham Market




Fakenham Town




















Gorleston Links



Per Gorleston Links website

Great Plumstead




GW Staniforth




Harling Recreation




Hingham Rectory












King's Lynn



To open on 22/06/2020

Lakeside Pilgrims




Long Stratton








Mundford Village


mid June

Still to decided on re-opening date

Norfolk Bowling Club



Limited to Tues to Fri between 2pm & 4pm

North Walsham Wanderers








Norwich Union



Green share with County Arts

Reepham Nomads




RG Carter Group








Scole & District




Sheringham Morley



But still being considered








Limited opening





St. Lawrence




Swaffham Town



Will not open until things change

Thorpe Recreation








Watton (Loch Neaton)




West Winch








Wootton Park







Limited to under 70s only

Wymondham Dell









Number Opened



Number NOT Opened



Number to confirm



Number not yet advised





Details are as at:-     







Bowls England have updated their Guidelines following the easing of the lockdown regulations at the weekend. Guidance to Clubs & FAQ's



15 May 2020        BOWLS ENGLAND – Coronavirus COVID 19 - GUIDANCE FOR CLUBS


The Government (DCMS) has published its full guidance on the return of outdoor sport and recreation, including lawn bowls. Following this Bowls England have issued bowls specific guidance to Clubs which has been approved by DCMS and this is attached. Guidance to Clubs


Should you wish to view the Government guidance in detail, please go to:


If you have any questions, please e-mail: They are there to help and will endeavour to respond within three working days.



19 Mar 2020        Norfolk Bowls Association Statement


You will have seen yesterday the Statement issued by Bowls England which curtails their bowling activities for the forthcoming season. If you have not already read the Statement then I urge you to do so. Guidance from Bowls was being awaited before we came to any decisions and in the light of this and & latest Government advice regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) I can now confirm the cancellation of ALL County events


Norfolk County Championships

Junior Singles

Junior Pairs


2 Bowl Singles




Senior Fours


Norfolk Team Championships

Bales Cup, Lord Fermoy Cup & Jermy Cup


Norfolk County League programme 


County Friendly & Presidents Invitation matches

Those up to mid-June have been cancelled with the reminder to be reviewed at a later date


Bowls England National Competitions

Full details are included in the Bowls England Statement and include Middleton Cup, Balcomb Trophy & White Rose Trophy


At present, there has been no confirmation that the Eastern Counties League has been cancelled but I expect this will be the case.


All County Management Committee Meetings have been cancelled until further notice


In light of the Statement issued by Bowls England there are other matters that are under consideration and on which I will advise as soon as I can:-

Refund of Affiliation Fees paid both to Bowls England & Norfolk Bowls Association

Bowls England Membership Register


We will constantly review the situation as it develops over the coming months to determine if any events could take place later in the season.


In coming to the above, the primary concern has been the health & well-being of our members & trust you will all understand this





18 Mar 2020        VERY IMPORTANT – Coronavirus (COVID-19) Cancellation of events


The Bowls England Board met yesterday and has issued the attached statement. BE Statement


You will see that the National Championships have been cancelled so as a consequence so will our own County Championships and I fully expect the Management Committee to confirm cancellation of the County League as well as our Team events (Bales Cup, Lord Fermoy Cup) & this will be advised shortly.


In addition further information regarding the Coronavirus & its consequences will be published shortly.



16 Mar 2020         CLUBS MEETING on 29th March 2020/CORONAVIRUS (COVID19)


Due to the ongoing Coronavirus COVID19 outbreak, the ever changing situation & with a duty of care to our Officers & Members, the Clubs Meeting due to be held on 29th March 2020 has been CANCELLED.


Clearly, the situation is changing daily & consideration will need to be given to the forthcoming season and the impact Coronavirus will have. Bowls England are working on guidance for Clubs & Counties and when received we will be in a better position to advise further.



04 Mar 2020         Statement on CORONAVIRUS


Bowls England have issued the following statement regarding Coronavirus:-



Following a number of queries received by Bowls England, and the media attention surrounding Coronavirus, Bowls England wishes to advise that no events under its jurisdiction are affected at present.


Bowls England will continue to monitor the situation and further guidance will be issued at a later date if necessary.


For more information, please visit:


As a County Association, we will be monitoring the situation and will take guidance from Bowls England & Government bodies as our new playing season approaches & further guidance will be issued as the situation develops.


07 Feb 2020 Competition Byelaws & League Rules updated


An update to the Competition Byelaws and County League Rules has been made and these are now on the Rules & Regulation page (if these do not display you may have to refresh/reload the screen)


Primarily the changes relate to dress code in both Competitions & the County League and will now permit the wearing of approved coloured apparel which brings our byelaws & rules into line with Bowls England Regulations. At present, no Club has sought approval for coloured apparel but the rule changes made will cover the situation should any Club do so at a later date provided approval is given.


Other changes made cover the procedure for handling Competition fixtures and results and prize presentations.


The County League rule 14(c) relating to the Hansells Cup has been changed to cover the situation that we now have with only three Zone 2s. The Hansells Cup play-off consists of 4 teams and for the 2020 season, those teams qualifying for the play-offs will be the winners of Zones East 2, South 2 & West 2 along with the best runner up from these Zones with the best runner-up determined by the best the points to matches played average.


Finally, when updating the byelaws & rules, the opportunity has also been taken to carry out a tidy up which are mainly of a grammatical & formatting nature.


To summarise, the main changes made are as follows:-


Competition Byelaws

·      Rule 5  - Dress Code updated to cover approved coloured apparel

·      Rules 10 & 11 – the process for Competition fixture & result notification has been updated