The British Isles Bowls Council (BIBC) and British Isles Women’s Bowls Council (BIWBC) have today announced the cancellation of all events for the 2021 season. The decision reflects the challenges related to the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions and has been made to enable more grassroots bowlers to enjoy the sport this summer.
Whilst we remain positive that people will be out on the greens this summer, the international series and championships necessitate an extra level of logistical planning and delivery for players, spectators and officials. Given these extra considerations, particularly around international travel and the varying restrictions across Britain expected to continue for months, it was not viable to continue without damaging the integrity of the events.
All nations agreed that the early decision was important to provide clarity to players and spectators, give every nation the opportunity to make the most of their domestic calendar and provide much-needed support to clubs.
No decision has been taken on British Isles events for 2022 as this will form part of a wider review taking into account a number of considerations including the Commonwealth Games taking place at Victoria Park, Royal Leamington Spa.
Bowls England statement: “It was with a heavy heart that we supported the decision to cancel all of these events, however it is undoubtedly the right one. The concerns over travel and accommodation for large numbers of people made this decision inevitable.
“Domestically we remain confident that, thanks to the rollout of the vaccine and our experience from last season of bowling taking place in a Covid-friendly manner, people will be out playing in England at an early date. We are still planning for a full competitive season including national competitions and national championships, however we are working on a number of contingencies should there be a need to delay the start date. The cancellation of the British Isles events will provide opportunity for more flexibility in the calendar should the need arise.
“We also recognise that it is important for us to provide opportunities for new people to try our sport and enjoy its many physical and social benefits, and we are continuing work on our first-ever National Open Weekend from Friday 28th to Monday 31st May. We were one of the first sports to ‘open’ in 2020 and we will be working with clubs to help people get back to bowls and welcome newcomers into our sport.”
The members of the BIBC are: Bowls England; Irish Bowling Association; Bowls Guernsey; Bowls Jersey; Bowls Scotland; Welsh Bowling Association
The members of the BIWBC are: Bowls England; Irish Women’s Bowling Association; Bowls Jersey; Bowls Scotland; Welsh Women’s Bowling Association