We are pleased to advise that the Home Nations have agreed a competition schedule and format for the 2023 season which includes Senior and Junior Internationals, British Isles Championships and Under 18s Test Match.
We believe in the importance of British Isles International competition and look forward to these traditional rivalries continuing with Ireland, Jersey, Scotland and Wales this summer.
The programme will provide appropriate and high-quality preparation across all four disciplines ahead of the World Championships in Australia, as we start looking towards Victoria 2026. The plans also deliver equality across the genders and continue to provide plenty of opportunity for a wide group player to experience international bowls both at senior and junior level.
The international season kicks off with the British Isles Senior Internationals in Ayr, Scotland, from Friday 30th June to Sunday 2nd July inclusive. The event will see each country, except Jersey, field two teams of 10 women and 10 men to participate in a multi-discipline event featuring Singles, Pairs, Triples and Fours matches played under World Bowls conditions as below:
• Singles – Four bowls | 21 shots
• Pairs – Three bowls per player | 18 ends
• Triples – Two bowls per player | 18 ends
• Fours – Two bowls per player | 15 ends
A time limit of two hours, 15 minutes will be in place for all matches. Jersey will field one team in both the men’s and women’s event. Work is ongoing to consider opportunities available to each nation to include Para bowlers in this showcase event as well as the future potential to add in other countries.
The British Isles Junior Internationals will take place in Llandrindod Wells, Wales, on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th September. Following positive feedback from the successful 2022 event in Belfast, the Junior Series will continue in the same format with three rinks of men and three rinks of women. Titles will be awarded to men, women and overall combined winners. With Covid-19 behind us, selection will return to those players aged under 25 on 1st April and we look forward to building on the successful efforts of our young players in both last year’s event and European Championships.
Alongside this, England will take part in an Under 18s Test Match, which will provide a new stepping-stone along our performance pathway. The event, planned for early August, will enable a mixed team of 12 to pull on an England shirt. We will publish final details on venue and date for this event once confirmed. Our involvement in this event gives heightened focus to our Junior Squad Day, which was launched last year and will take place again on Sunday 9 July.
The British Isles Championships will precede the International Series in Ayr and take place between Wednesday 28th and Thursday 29th June. The event is a great opportunity for those who won our National Finals to test themselves on the international stage and, in 2023, England will be represented by our 2022 National Championship winners, spearheaded by our National singles champions Ed Morris and Rebecca Moorbey.
With various formats being played in each of the Home Nations in their respective events it has been agreed that the Championships will consist of the following:
• Singles – Four bowls | 21 shots
• Pairs – Four bowls per player | 18 ends
• Triples – Three bowls per player | 18 ends
• Fours – Two bowls per player | 18 ends
In Pairs, Triples and Fours an extra end/ends to be played should scores be level at the conclusion of the match. There will be no time limit in the Championships.
The Performance Management Team, led by Performance Director John McGuinness, are working with the International Selectors to select squads and prepare for these events. Our Competitions and Events Team will be collaborating with the other home nations to ensure the events in 2023, and beyond, are successful.
Jon Cockcroft, Bowls England Chief Executive, said, “we are pleased to agree this series of events for the 2023 season and are looking forward to building on an exceptional year for England on the international stage in 2022. This programme will enable our best players to fulfil their potential as the journey towards Victoria 2026 begins. We will continue to invest in and showcase our England teams, hoping they provide inspiration for people considering playing and watching bowls.”
England 2023 Performance Programme
• Senior International Squad Day (Victoria Park, Royal Leamington Spa) – Saturday 20th May
• British Isles Championships (Ayr, Scotland) – Wednesday 28th and Thursday 29th June
• British Isles Senior Internationals (Ayr, Scotland) – Friday 30th June to Sunday 2nd July inclusive
• Junior Squad Day (Victoria Park, Royal Leamington Spa) – Sunday 9th July
• Under 18 International Test Match (TBC, Wales) – Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th August*
• World Championships (Gold Coast, Australia) – Tuesday 29th August to Sunday 10th September
• British Isles Junior Internationals (Llandrindod Wells, Wales) – Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th September
* The date and venue for the Under 18 Test Match are to be confirmed.