Wetheral Bowling Club Opens on Sunday 18th April

Thursday, 1st April 2021

Our 2021 Season will open on Sunday the 18th April. With the Covid restrictions imposed currently we will not be able to hold our traditional Opening Day (lunch, photocall, spider, roll-up, etc). Instead there will be one session, starting at 2pm, to formally open the green for play.

As the maximum number of players on a 6-rink green at any one time must not exceed 24, we can only arrange 3 full rink games. This is because full rink games (fours) must be played on alternate rinks. In addition at present we can only play across the green (from the hedge to the road) as Rink 1 is not playable due to recent renovations. The rink needs time to recover before the league fixtures, friendly matches, and club competitions commence, probably not until late May or early June if all goes well. Members wishing to play on Opening Day should book in advance and bookings on this occasion will be on a first come first served basis.

See below for information about how to book.  Outdoor catering is permitted and tea/coffee/biscuits will be available on the day at the side doors to the Bower. Please note at the moment spectators are not allowed to be present unfortunately.


“Return to Play Guidance” has been received from Bowls England (BE) and is available on their website.  This guidance will be reviewed by them on a regular basis as we move through each step of the Government's roadmap and updated accordingly. 

Unless there are unexpected changes, we will be opening the Green for play on Sunday 18th April. Thereafter the Green will be open every day for play and club roll-ups will take place as normal on Tuesday and Friday evenings.  Following receipt of guidance from Bowls England the following conditions will apply initially: 

Premises and Bower

Gates to the premises and car park will be opened and closed at the beginning and end of the day's play. The last person to leave after each session will be responsible for ensuring that all touch points on gates and railings are properly sanitised. 
Entrance and exit to/from the Green will be by the stairs past the main Bower door.
The Bower will be closed, although changing rooms and toilet facilities can be accessed. Otherwise only emergency access for First Aid kit or Defibrillator is allowed.  Outdoor catering is permitted but this will only take place at Tuesday and Friday evening sessions and league and friendly matches. 
Members should not enter the club premises without having booked a rink in advance. 
No spectators are to be present.

Playing Formats and Equipment

Latest BE guidelines suggest any combination of formats may be played under the “organised sport exemption”, however the maximum number of players on a six-rink green at any one time must not exceed 24. 

The Management Committee have interpreted the guidance to mean that our bowls activity will all be organised sessions for club members (by virtue of having a booking system) therefore:   

  • A maximum of 8 players can play on a rink, and there can be any combination of formats - singles, pairs, triples, fours. Please note however that triples and fours must be played on alternate rinks.
  • Social Distancing rules apply and must be adhered to when playing with people from other households. 
  • To minimise risk of cross infection only essential equipment to be used – i.e.  mats; jacks; bowls pushers; rink marker; bowls ; gloves ; bowling arm lifter (for use by one person only). Try to avoid using shared  equipment whenever possible, if it is necessary strict hand hygiene including sanitisation is essential.

The following equipment is not deemed essential and should not to be used other than in league and friendly matches and club competitions - score boards; ditch markers; 2m distance sticks; chalk; measures.

Cleaning and Sanitising 

Liquids and materials for mats, jacks, bowls and hands, will be provided and clear instructions for use will be kept by the equipment shed. 
Players will be required to sanitise mats, jacks and bowls before and at the end of play.

Booking and play

The BE guidance states that every rink can be used for singles and pairs, but triples can only play on alternate rinks. You will be allocated a rink on booking for whatever format.     
3 sessions will take place each day:

  • 11am- 1pm 
  • 1.30pm – 3.30pm
  • 4pm – 6 pm

30 minutes have been left between sessions to ensure previous players will have vacated the Green and surrounds. Please do not arrive until 10 minutes prior to the commencement of play. As the annual subscription has been waived this season for the majority of members any voluntary donation per session will be most welcome.

In addition each Tuesday and Friday evening there will be organised roll-ups starting at 6.30pm, with a maximum of 24 players and participation should be booked in advance. The usual playing fee of £1 will be charged. 
Bookings for a rink are to be made by email only to: 
 Hazel Jefferson:               hazel.a.jefferson@gmail.com
 and, cc  to Alan Smith:    asmi8eg@gmail.com 
Please will all members assist others who don’t use email to make a booking  
Rinks can be booked up to 1 week in advance. Booking for the next day, must be made by 12 Noon the previous day.  The Booking system will go live on Monday 12th April.   
Bookings will be confirmed by email. If the slot requested is full, an alternative will be offered if available.

Please take note of the Bowls England recommendations and maintain social distancing at all times.