Whilst 2021 will look a little different, the feedback we have received since we shared our outline plans with counties, clubs and players has been understanding and positive. There is a recognition that we have to adapt and our conversations have confirmed that we share a common goal – getting the maximum number of people participating and competing in a Covid-friendly manner. We will review the experience of competitive bowlers over the summer in any future planning.
Our work in developing the revised domestic competitions programme for 2021 took into account the following key factors:
• Covid guidelines
• Government roadmap
• Player and official safety
We also wished to ensure the greatest possible flexibility for counties and Bowls England to:
• Respond to changes (or delays) to the roadmap
• Enable additional rounds to be played in a single day if necessary
The national finals will run from Thursday 19th August to Sunday 5th September inclusive. The change for 2021 will provide additional time for the county/area qualification rounds to be completed and provide flexibility should there be any delay in the relaxation of restrictions.
The Commonwealth Games format will be utilised in all rounds of all events excluding inter-county fixtures. This will provide greater flexibility for match arrangements in the qualifying stages and enable the national finals to take place over a shorter period.
We thank all counties who provided feedback regarding the inter-county events, which whilst varied proved that there was appetite to host the events in 2021. We have developed a programme that includes provision for all inter-county competitions to be held later in the season on a knockout basis, with all rounds over the traditional 21-end format.
We are now pleased to share with you in full our plans for the 2021 domestic competitions programme:
We have prepared a ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ document to help answer some of the questions that you may have.