Back2Bowls – Reopening of Club Bars and Restaurants

30th June, 2020

We are delighted that many of our clubs have already opened their doors and are confident that the easing of restrictions over the remainder of the 2020 season will provide a great opportunity for clubs to recruit and retain members.

Already, clubs have innovated to provide social and competitive opportunities for their community at a time when they need it most.

Some great examples include:

  • Darlington South Park BC (Durham) – Various internal club leagues and knockout events attracting a total of 200 entries
  • Essex County BC (Essex) – 52 members signed up for a roving jack singles league with no marker
  • Farnborough BC (Hampshire) – 48 members have now participated in a total of 511 roll ups
  • Felixstowe & Suffolk BC (Suffolk) – 32 players participating regularly in a club pairs league
  • Sevenoaks BC (Kent) – Brand new socially-distanced triples league up and running

We have also received positive reports from clubs who have seized the opportunity to recruit new people to our sport, many of whom decided to try bowls as one of the few sporting activities currently available.

If your club is open, please share with us your experience and success stories. If you are still considering whether to open, we will be pleased to support you – for example by putting you in contact with a club that is already back on the green or providing you with examples of good practice.

We were pleased that the latest Government announcement permits licensed premises (including bowls clubs) to open from Saturday 4th July in their capacity as bars and restaurants. The bar is the lifeblood for many of our clubs – both in a financial sense and as the heart of social interaction for many members – therefore the opportunity to reopen them is great news.

Any opening must follow the Government’s guidance for pubs, bars and restaurants and we have prepared this document to assist those clubs who wish to open their bars. Please note, this is our interpretation of the information available to date and, if necessary, we will update further once DCMS publishes its guidance for the sport sector.

In preparing our guidance, we are aware that every club is different and it is for each club to interpret the Government’s requirements and act accordingly.

As the Government continues to update its measures to combat COVID-19, we will amend our guidance to reflect any changes that affect our sport. All our current guidance is available at:


Providing a safe, secure and sanitised environment for players, visitors and spectators – both on and off the green – is vital.

Every club is different and it is for each club to interpret the Government’s requirements and act accordingly.

Our guide will enable clubs to begin to plan for the re-opening of clubhouses and/or catering facilities. Government guidance on the easing of restrictions will determine what parts of your facility can open and when.

The Government has now issued detailed guidance for the reopening of Bars and Restaurants from Saturday 4th July. Clubs should refer to this in advance of opening and ensure compliance. You can find the guidance on the Government’s coronavirus website – click here

We recommend that all Clubs update your current risk assessments or conduct a one-off Covid-19 risk assessment in order to make sure that you identify and address any unexpected hazards. Sport England has created a series of documents to view/download – click here

You can also find guidance on the safe provision of food through the Food Standards Agency – click here

Whilst bar and catering facilities within clubhouses are able to open from Saturday 4th July, changing rooms should remain closed except for allowing access to toilets and handwashing facilities.

We do not have the resources to provide an assessment on plans for each individual club.

We have produced a useful checklist to assist those clubs who wish to open their bar and/or restaurant – click here

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