Category Archives: From Bowls England

Bowls England Competition Survey

We are pleased to launch our Competitors Survey 2021.

We would love to hear from existing national competition players; lapsed national competition players; and those who have never entered a national competition but might consider it in the future; in order to explore how we can grow participation and develop the National Finals experience. You can take the survey, which should take 10-15 minutes, by clicking here or on the button below.

 Take The Survey

Back at the start of 2021, there was absolutely no guarantee the competitions season would be able to progress. After meetings with our County Associations in February, we announced changes to the formats for this summer only. We were motivated by a desire to get as many people playing as feasible and therefore made decisions that we felt would make it most likely that the full competition would take place – and we are pleased that this has been possible.

We will then reflect on the findings, consult with Counties, and make decisions for the future based on the following key principles:

• Delivering value and enjoyment to those who already enter competitions.

• Maximizing the number of bowlers who are able to participate in competitions, noting the time pressures of those bowlers who work and/or have families.

• Achieving the right balance between travel and playing time.

• Ensuring ‘every bowl matters’ so matches are exciting for players and spectators.

• Ensuring the National Finals are played over no more than 3 weekends so we can improve the event experience and better promote it to a wider audience.

The deadline for completing this survey is Sunday 29th August at 5pm.

Thank you for your time.

BE National Finals Information

The information below relating to the BE National Finals taken from the Bowls England website.



The National Finals will look a lot different to previous years in 2021. As well as being a ticketed event, tiered seating will be back by popular demand; there will be a brand-new concession area including a bar; and there will be a retail village for you to explore.

💺 Seating

We’re delighted to announce that tiered seating will return to the National Finals this year. We are aware that this was something that was previously popular at the event in Worthing.

This will be on A Green and B Green, giving spectators a fantastic view of the action. Please note, this is unreserved seating, and we ask all spectators to respect their fellow attendees. We will ask you to remove any coats or jackets being used to reserve seats for friends, for example. We also ask all spectators to not move during an end.

Due to the tiered seating around A and B green, there will be limited space for spectators to use their own chairs around these greens – but there will be room around the other greens for your own seating as in previous years.

🍟 Food & Drink

We are delighted to announce that we have expanded the food & drink options available in the venue for the National Finals 2021. These new food and drink outlets will operate alongside the Cafe as in previous years.

You can also bring food and non-alcoholic drinks into the venue. Bowls England and Warwick District Council reserves the right to refuse entry to anyone deemed too intoxicated and you may be asked to leave the venue.

👕 Dress Code

There is no specific dress code for spectators at a bowls event – it is summer, so please ensure you are comfortable, use plenty of sunscreen and keep hydrated.

We do ask, however, that tops are worn at all times.

🚗 Parking

There will be parking in Victoria Park as in previous years, but this will be limited. This will be charged at £5 per day, per car. You can also buy a book of 5 parking vouchers for £20. You can pay for parking on arrival preferably using a card payment.

We recommend that where possible you should either use public transport to get to the venue; park in a car park nearby; or walk if you are local to the park. There will be a small amount of disabled parking for Blue Badge Holders, on a first come, first served basis.

Whilst there is a limited amount of designated parking for Blue Badge holders, a drop-off facility is offered on Archery Road. There is strictly no parking allowed here for non-residents.

You can buy your tickets for your chosen day by clicking the button below, or you can click here to plan your journey to the venue.




With the aim of keeping all spectators, employees, volunteers and competitors safe as a priority to Bowls England, and to enable a smooth running of the event whilst Covid infection rates are still high and rising, we have taken the best advice from Public Health and Regulatory experts in Warwickshire on the measures that would best prevent the risk of onward transmission of Coronavirus. Consequently, as a condition of entry to the event all attendees at the event must either:

  • Take a Lateral Flow Test within 24 hours of arrival at the venue and be able to show proof of a negative test via an email or text from the NHS or show a photo of the negative test
  • OR have evidence of double vaccination via the NHS app, a letter from the NHS or your Vaccination card. Information about how to download the NHS app or apply for a letter can be found here.

Without proof of either of these, all people aged 11 and over will be asked to take a Lateral Flow Test on arrival at the event, supervised by our onsite medical team. You will not be allowed access until the result has been read 30 minutes later. You must follow the government’s guidelines at all times in regards to self-isolation.

We hope these steps will give you more confidence around attending the National Finals and improve your enjoyment of the event.

You can find more answers on our FAQ page here.

😷 Masks & Social Distancing

There is no longer a legal requirement to follow previous COVID restrictions, but we have been asked to remain vigilant. Similarly, the advice we have received is to continue to follow certain rules when hosting events.

Therefore, we’re asking guests to wear masks indoors, and to try and respect people’s personal space where possible.

We know there are many different views around this, and we know our community will respect everyone’s personal feelings.

Bowls England National Finals 2021

Set across 18 days as summer draws to a close, the eyes of the bowls world fall on Royal Leamington Spa at the Bowls England National Finals.

This festival of sport, which takes place in Victoria Park in the historic Warwickshire town, is the culmination of a player’s efforts over the previous five months. The National Finals sees competitors from across the country take to the green with one goal – to win.

Starting on Thursday 19th August and running until Sunday 5th September, the famous greens, which will be used for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, play host to 29 competitions reaching their climax – and you could be there to see the best players in the country claim glory.

This is also a wonderful social occasion – a chance to meet friends old and new, enjoy the sunshine and savour top quality sport.

Daily tickets start at just £4 for adults, and £1 for Under 18s; offering a full day of competitive sporting action, testing players’ resilience, nerve and skill. There is also the opportunity to buy an event pass which covers all 18 days of action for £48 or £12 respectively.

New this year, we are delighted to say we have laid on more for spectators than ever before, including:

– Unreserved, grandstand seating;
– A new Fanzone, including an onsite bar & food options;
– A retail village;

To ensure we meet venue capacity limits tickets for each day are limited, so don’t delay – join us for the quintessential British sport in the picturesque surroundings of Victoria Park

Bowls England release news on the National Finals

We are excited to share our plans for the 2021 National Finals, which will see the stars of our sport battle it out for 29 titles on the greens of Victoria Park, home of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.


Motivated by a desire to develop Bowls England’s major events, enhance the experience of spectators and, in these current circumstances, create a COVID-safe environment for all in attendance, we have made some changes for the 2021 National Finals taking place at Victoria Park, Royal Leamington Spa between 19th August and 5th September.


The Government removed the remaining legal COVID restrictions on Monday 19th July, but they continue to advise that we follow a number of safety protocols for events, such as use of masks indoors. We know there will be a breadth of perspectives on the impact of lifting restrictions and, like all event owners, it is Bowls England’s responsibility to ensure all attendees are able to enjoy their experience.  It is a requirement for events such as the National Finals to be signed off by a Safety Advisory Group (SAG) made up of representatives from a number of bodies including Police, Fire, Public Health, Community Safety and the Local Authority.

So, working alongside venue owners Warwick District Council and other stakeholders, we will be managing numbers on site to help create a safe environment.  In order to do this, and consistent with other sports’ national events and competitions, the venue will be enclosed, and there will be a set capacity on site each day and spectators will be required to purchase a ticket to gain entry to each day of the National Finals.


Furthermore, following discussion on our Event Plan with SAG, as a condition of entry to the event all attendees at the event must either:


Take a Lateral Flow Test within 24 hours of arrival at the venue and be able to show proof of a negative test via an email or text from the NHS or show a photo of the negative test

OR have evidence of double vaccination via the NHS app, a letter from the NHS or your Vaccination card. Information about how to download the NHS app or apply for a letter can be found here.


Without proof of either of these, all people aged 11 and over will be asked to take a Lateral Flow Test on arrival at the event, supervised by our onsite medical team. You will not be allowed access until the result has been read 30 minutes later. You must follow the government’s guidelines at all times in regards to self-isolation.


Tickets are now on sale and you can purchase these here. These are priced at just £4 for adults, and £1 for Under 18s.  The price will increase to £5 and £2 respectively for those who buy tickets on the day, subject to availability. Full event passes are also available for £48 and £12 respectively.  Those competing in the event; volunteers; officials; VIPs and other key stakeholders, will receive an accreditation for the event giving them admission to the venue.  You can find those groups who are eligible for accreditation on our FAQs here.


All competitors in the National Finals will receive free entry for all days that they could be playing i.e. from the First Round to the Final. Any additional day competitors wish to attend will require a purchased ticket. We will not be able to offer any additional guest passes.

Improved Event Experience

We are really excited to welcome you all to the National Finals – and about the improvements we are making to your experience at the event.

All the revenue generated from ticket sales will be directed back into improving the event experience for players and spectators.  Feedback over the years has told us that many

would like to see the return of tiered seating, and so we will be introducing grandstand seating around A green on which the Finals will take place.  This ‘show green’ will become more like an amphitheatre, providing an improved view of the action and better showcasing our sport.  This, along with an improved fan zone with an onsite bar, eating area and merchandise offerings, will mean we are taking steps towards positively improving our overall event experience.

In addition, we will be trialling a professional streaming service during two days of the National Final event, on Monday 23rd and Tuesday 24th August.  The streaming will be of broadcast quality, with commentary, multiple angles and in-depth analysis.  This will give us the opportunity to gauge the level of interest from our audience and to plan viability for streaming the entire event, should the interest dictate.

Of course, there is also additional cost for ensuring the event is COVID safe for all spectators and staff, with increased cleaning and sanitization for example.

We appreciate that you may have a number of questions regarding this. We have compiled FAQs to try and cover your queries. Our phone lines are always extremely busy; if you cannot find an answer to your query below, please email email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Bowls England COVID Guidance Update

From 19th July, Clubs are not required to enforce any COVID restrictions by law. We are recommending, however, that Government guidance on mask wearing indoors is still adhered to by our Clubs, and that all Clubs continue to utilise the NHS COVID app to ensure the spread of the virus is limited.

We are sure that the bowls community will respect people’s personal choices regarding masks, social distancing and their own well-being.

Following the latest Government update, we are working with various stakeholders, including Warwick District Council and Public Health England, to confirm the plans for the Bowls England National Finals and will issue an update next week. We made a commitment to ensure that we managed the season safely for all participants and we are determined to see that through. We thank you for your continued patience as we navigate this situation.


Penny Maguire, a familiar face to all bowlers over the past 15 years, has retired from Bowls England.

Penny’s unwavering enthusiasm and passion for the sport has seen her play an integral role over the years. As Business Development Manager, her main priority was the financial health of the company. Alongside this, she drove the Bowls England National Finals, intent on providing an incredible experience for bowlers at the pinnacle of the summer season.

She also was instrumental in the development of the Visually Impaired Bowlers World Blind Bowlers Championship in 2013, and put a lot of personal effort into raising the funds for the event, whilst also organising it operationally.

Together with Tony Allcock OBE, our previous Chief Executive, Penny led the company for many years, diligently and professionally.

Jon Cockcroft, current CE of Bowls England, said “Penny’s contribution to the sport has been incredible, across so many areas, and she will be sorely missed by us all. A great colleague and friend, she has fully deserved her retirement to the delights of South Wales.

“We look forward to welcoming her back to the National Finals in August for a proper send off.”

Penny’s departure, along with those of Dawn Chapman, Jamie Chestney and John Hughes over the past 12 months, as well as the transition of Adam Durnin to a full time role with Coach Bowls, has necessitated a staffing process which is now complete. You can find the full centralised staff team, and their responsibilities, here.


Bowls England has welcomed the partnership between Coach Bowls and a number of outstanding bowls facilities around the country as Centres of Excellence.

These venues will be used to deliver all Coach Bowls courses, as part of the long-term development of the sport of bowls, with Coach Bowls providing the only nationally recognised coaching qualification for the sport of bowls in England.

These eight flagship venues provide excellent facilities, enabling Coach Bowls to deliver their courses smoothly and effectively, ensuring a quality experience for all coaches.

The eight venues which form Coach Bowls’ Centres of Excellence are:

  • Avon Valley IBC, Warwickshire
  • Desborough BC, Berkshire
  • Falcon BC, Essex
  • Heaton Park, Manchester
  • Ilminster BC, Somerset
  • Preston BC, Sussex
  • Victoria Park, Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire
  • Selby BC, Yorkshire

Mal Evans, Bowls England Director of Coaching, said: “We are delighted that these excellent facilities have shown their faith and support in the Coach Bowls system and have agreed to partner with us in the delivery of all of our practical days. The first course at one of the Centre of Excellence venues was delivered at Desborough BC last week, and we look forward to cementing the relationships over the coming years.”

Coach Bowls qualifications challenge coaches to think creatively to develop and use cutting-edge techniques to make short and long-term gains for bowlers.

If you are interested in starting or furthering your own coaching journey, please visit for information on all of the modules and qualifications and to book a place.

Our Coaching Bursary scheme assists members of affiliated clubs who wish to obtain a Coach Bowls qualification. The Bowls England Coaching Bursary offers affiliated members 50 per cent of the cost of recognised Coach Bowls courses.

A spotlight on all eight of the Centres of Excellence will be shared over the coming weeks. Click here if you would like to sign up to receive our fortnightly newsletter, The Jack.

Success for Darlington South Park’s Scott Morland

Congratulations to Scott Morland of Darlington South Park BC in Durham, who has been voted Bowls England’s 2020 Story of the Year!

Over the past two years, Darlington South Park BC has risen from the ashes of a club on the verge of extinction, with just a handful of members, to become a thriving and successful forward-thinking club driven by a dynamic secretary and committee.

Our annual Award, generously supported by Drakes Pride, recognises the outstanding achievement of bowls clubs and members across the country and promotes the hard work and dedication that goes into running a successful club.

Scott beat off stiff competition from Biddenden BC (Kent), Clanfield Bowls & Sports Club (Hampshire), Chris Dennis (Branksome Park BC, Dorset) and Neil Hancock (Little Compton BC, Warwickshire).

When hearing about his success, Scott said: “I am absolutely delighted to have our work recognised, I must thank all of the club members as we couldn’t have achieved the success over the last 12 months in particular without their support.

“Our membership now comprises of a broad spectrum of the local community, and our work with disadvantaged members of society including those with disabilities has only just begun.  This must continue, especially now Covid has created an even bigger imbalance in society.

“Our success is obviously down to a lot of promoting through social media and the willing volunteers that give us their time free time to implement the ideas and plans, however the importance of working with local community groups can’t be underestimated. Our work and meetings with local minority and ethnic communities as well as the LGBT+ community opens new doors to the sport.  The key is trying to make a comfortable environment, so everyone in the community feels welcome.

“Our sport’s image is changing but there’s a lot of work still to do, and it’s great to see the efforts all over the country from people trying to improve and diversify what they are offering to the public.

“Our own Inclusion Project is a long-term plan and we really hope we can encourage change further afield than just at South Park and with the continued support of the bowling world.  We all love this sport and by sharing it and taking away barriers, and being more flexible we have the potential to grow very quickly.”

The club now boasts a membership which is just shy of 120 and is celebrating its 125th Anniversary this year. As part of their celebrations, the club is entering into partnerships with local community groups such as Arcus (LGBT+ Awareness), Alzheimers Association, Prevent, Darlington Council, More in Common, Keylink (Disability Group) and the BAME Community, and has invited bowlers and clubs to join training information events to promote the inclusiveness in bowls.

Jon Cockcroft, Bowls England Chief Executive, added: “When reflecting on 2020, it’s almost impossible to look beyond Covid-19 and its impact on our sport, however I am proud of the amazing efforts by many of our clubs to support fellow bowlers in these difficult times.

“Scott’s efforts over the past 12 months in particular at Darlington South Park have certainly not gone unnoticed or unappreciated. All at Bowls England wish to congratulate Scott, the other finalists and everyone who took the time to vote for these remarkable stories, as well as Drakes Pride for their continued support of the Story of the Year award.”

Over 100 nominations were received for the 2020 Story of the Year, all highlighting the incredible efforts that individual members and clubs have gone ‘above and beyond’ during the challenging times.

All five finalists will receive some great prizes from our generous supporters, Drakes Pride.

As part of our new ‘Club Life’ series, we shall be highlighting success stories from our clubs and sharing these on our communication channels. If your club has an interesting initiative that you would be happy for us to share, please send information to email hidden; JavaScript is required and a member of our staff will be in contact.


Following this evening’s government update regarding the delayed lifting of all coronavirus restrictions, we wanted to update you on what this means for outdoor lawn bowls.

Return to Play | Step 4

Given coronavirus restrictions will remain in place for a further 4 weeks at a minimum, there is no change to our Step 3 guidance issued in May. You can remind yourself of the guidance by clicking here.

We will update you as soon as there is further information and thank everyone within the Bowls England community for their efforts in adhering to the guidelines.

Bowls England National Finals – Update

Now that our Bowls’ Big Weekend has been delivered, we have accelerated our planning for the National Finals due to take place between Thursday 19 August and Sunday 5 September 2021. We will be working on the basis that spectators will be able to watch live, but in a managed way.

Following this news, there is more work to do over the coming days to evolve and finalise our plans for the National Finals. We understand the ongoing uncertainty is frustrating and that people want to confirm their arrangements, but we ask you to kindly bear with us as we work through the details. As soon as we can, we will communicate an update.

Celebration Matches

We will be contacting clubs who are hosting our first few Celebration Matches to help enable these fantastic occasions to happen compliant with the government guidelines.