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 Covid-19 Updates

 Devon Clubs With Safe Bowl Status

Before clubs can return bowling they must have a  ESMBA Safe status license, more details can be found here. The following DCSMBA registered clubs have been granted an ESMBA Safe Status licence.

02/11/20 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 to sport under each tier. At present the ESMBA are awaiting clarification for pairs play under Tier Two between different households/support bubbles and until 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

20/10/20 Safe Bowl Status Update

Following the introduction of the Government Tier system to combat the rise in Coronavirus, the ESMBA have released the following statement

"The Government have now introduced a tier system for the Country, whilst the ESMBA await further updates from the DCMS and Sport England, the Management Committee have decided to err on the side of caution. With effect of 17th October 2020 the rules for clubs in the following tiers are as follows:

Tier 1 Postcodes can continue as per the approved protocols.

Tier 2 Postcodes can only allow single households or social bubbles per rink mat, these members MUST NOT mix with any other individuals.

Tier 3 Postcodes Sport and physical activity can be played as per the guidance under Tier 2. These restrictions are put in place not just to protect the bowls family but the wider communities that we play and live in.

We hope that these restrictions are only temporary and as soon as we have agreed procedures in place to play again, we will update you all."

In addition to the above information, The DCSMBA would like to remind clubs that they can only return to bowling, once they have a safe bowl status which they have to apply for. More information can be found here

13/10/20 Safe Bowl Status and Affiliation

The County Safeguarding Officer Eric Pavey would like to remind clubs that Safe bowl status and affiliation go hand in hand.It is only clubs that are affiliated to the ESMBA via Devon County who can apply for safe bowl status. In addition we would like to remind club secretaries that Affiliations/registrations for the coming season are now due. For further information on Registrations please contact County Secretary Barrie Goodchild

26/09/20 ESMBA Release Further Guidance Following Government Rule Changes

Following the Governments recent amendments to the coronavirus rules relating to ‘The rule of 6’, The ESMBA issue the following guidance on its safe bowls certificate.

Clubs with “Safe Bowls” status and operating on ONE MAT will be permitted to continue as their approved documentation.

Clubs with “Safe Bowls” status on MULTIPLE MATS will be permitted to continue but with additional conditions. The prime consideration is that each mat is classed as an individual group, each group MUST NOT have ANY interaction of any kind with any other and must always strictly maintain 2m social distance.

As you can imagine this will have to be strictly managed and additional restrictions will have to be adhered to, detailed guidelines will be issued to Safe Clubs via the safeguarding officers.

ONLY CLUBS affiliated with the ESMBA and having achieved “Safe Bowls” status can operate within the Government guidelines. Clubs not complying with affiliation or “Safe Bowls’ status will be classed as a social gathering thus bowling illegally. The ESMBA will take disciplinary action against members that return to bowls without “Safe Bowls” status.

Furthermore, as per the ESMBA Route Map, the ESMBA will allow clubs with ‘Safe Bowls’ status to move to triples per mat group if space permits. Additional guidance on the specifics of this and the authorisation process will be issued by the county safeguarding officers. It is important that clubs proceed to triples only after completing at least 2 session of pairs.

We again remind the members that the ESMBA Emergency Fund is available for members to apply for. The first round of applications closes on the 30th September 2020.

The Government recognise the importance of members being affiliated to National Governing Bodies, and that these bodies are best placed to manage and monitor the protocols of safe return to sport. As such they only recognise those clubs that have achieved the NGB Published guidance and protocols.

It is important to point out that many hours have been put into the ESMBA “Safe Bowls” scheme and that all applications are judged on the same process and protocols. The ESMBA Risk Assessment template must be completed in detail and although reference can be made to the supporting documents, the statement in them must be written on the Risk Assessment.

Barry Hedges ESMBA Chairman On behalf of the ESMBA management committee

17/08/20 ESMBA Publish Return to Short Mat Bowls Roadmap & Action Plan

The ESMBA have now announced that the Road map for the return of Short Mat bowls has been approved by the department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport. Short mat bowls has been given the green light to start resuming in some form from September. However, there is to be strict adherence to Covid-19 compliance rules. These are laid out further below.

Before clubs can resume, they must liaise with the county Safeguarding Officer (Eric Pavey: eric.pavey@hotmail.com) if they wish to proceed with an application to start bowling. Clubs will need to sign a declaration  that all the compliance guidelines are met and once it has been confirmed that they have been met a license for that club will be issued to show the club has approved safe bowls status.

Below is a brief outline of the road map:

1. All International matches will be cancelled until March 2021 (re arranged World Championships)

2. The diary will be clear of England days and games (to enable Counties to use these later in the year when safe to do so).

3. The ESMBA National Championships 2019/20 will be postponed until April 2021. There will be no qualifiers for the Main Nationals this season.

4. (September 2020) Clubs will be able to open for social roll ups, maximum four per mat providing they have met the criteria laid down by the ESMBA, and approved to do so.

 5. (October 2020) Clubs will be able to increase their participation from four to six per mat, if they can comply with the then social distance guidance.

 6. (November 2020) Inter club activities will be permitted. (guidelines will be issued nearer the time).

 7. (December 2020) County Open competitions will be permitted (guidelines will be issued nearer the time).

8. (January 2021) The ESMBA will look to run knock out and open Competition based at Club level.

 9. (January/February 2021) Counties will be able to run National Over 55s and Mixed Fours qualifiers.

 10. The ESMBA membership will remain due for the Association. There will be a reduced playing diary at National level but the Administration of the Association will remain the same. Both the ESMBA and County Associations will be there for the support of their members. The Personal Accident insurance will still cover personal Accidents whilst playing and in official capacity of Short Mat Bowls.

11. The ESMBA is to allocate a large proportion of the coming seasons membership fee to a Covid19 fund and invite applicants to apply for funding to ensure their clubs are compliant and remain active. (Details below).

Full details of the ESMBA COVID-19 Action plan, Compliance checklist, Risk assessments and the associated documents can be found below:

Reminder: All the relevant documents must be approved by the club Safeguarding officer and counter signed by the County Safeguarding officer (Eric Pavey: eric.pavey@hotmail.com) before a license is issued.

In addition the ESMBA have announced and produced guidance on the ESMBA Community Emergency fund which has been set up to aid clubs for the extra expense incurred in playing bowls in this Covid-19 world. The aim of the fund is to sustain and grow registered bowlers. The fund will help fund the following:

a)Expenses essential to the maintain the operational viability of the organisation in playing short mat bowls such as the hire cost of extra sessions to enable all members to participate, hygiene essentials, and bowls lifters 

b) Activities to kickstart short mat bowls in your local area for example advertising costs and if practical open sessions

c) A contribution to your local club, league or County Association membership fee. To be eligible you must be able to demonstrate that your ESMBA registered player numbers are at least maintained at the 2019/20 level. This would be measured after the deadline for registrations i.e. end of November. This is likely to be in the second phase of funding based on the measurement point

d) Other ideas and expenses that are as a result of the Covid pandemic e.g. completion of a risk assessment.

More information on this fund can be found on the link below: