National Finals Schedule & National Competitions Formats Confirmed!

2nd November, 2021 by Rob Short

2022 promises to be a bumper summer for bowls in England.  We are excited to confirm both the National Finals Schedule, and the National Competitions Formats, for 2022. You can find these below, as well as the rationale behind the choices we have made.

National Competitions Entries will open on Monday 15th November 2021 at midday via our website.  Previous entrants will be emailed directly.

National Finals 2022 | Confirmed Schedule

We are delighted to publish the confirmed schedule for the National Finals 2022, which you can find here or via the button below.

National Finals Schedule 2022

Given the timing of the Commonwealth Games and Bowls England’s access to Victoria Park, the Finals will begin later and run into mid-September.  This creates opportunities for us but we are aware this may cause issues for some participants & spectators with the return of children to school.  Taking into account all factors, we have devised this schedule with the following key principles in mind:

  • We aspire to build on the excitement and reach of the home Commonwealth Games to create a great event for players and spectators.
  • We are endeavouring to maximise the number of players participating in National Championships during the first 11 days of event (prior to many schools returning w/c Monday 5th September).
  • With this in mind, all junior events will be concluded prior to the return to school, or at weekends.
  • The Johns Trophy and Middleton Cup Finals will have their own separate finals days at weekends given their importance to players, spectators and counties.
  • With the increased length of matches in National Championship events, we will hold a maximum of two rounds per day per event in Pairs, Triples and Fours events, with Junior Pairs to remain with three rounds per day if required – subject to qualifier numbers. National Competitions of shorter duration will provide the opportunity for three rounds per day to assist with scheduling.
  • We have aimed to reduce clashes wherever possible.

We appreciate there may be a number of further questions regarding our reasoning behind this schedule, and we have answered likely queries below

Regional Finals

In our various consultations over the past 18 months, there was feedback that many would enjoy the introduction of more regional events in advance of the National Finals.

These will operate in National Competitions only, as detailed further down this article.

There are a number of advantages to this system, including:

  • The reduction in clashes at the National Finals
  • The chance for more clubs to host events in their region, increasing publicity and interest across the country, whilst also providing opportunities for increased income at the host clubs. This opportunity is amplified in a home Commonwealth Games summer.
  • A reduction in travel costs for participants

Further details on these events will be available in due course.

Trophy Presentations

In 2021 we staged other matches on Green A alongside the Finals to make the most of the grandstand seating and create the best possible atmosphere.  Following a review of feedback, we will be carefully looking at the timing of Finals in order for the presentations to happen shortly after their conclusion in a way that does not interrupt other games that are in play.  This will also ensure that the finalists and spectators do not have to wait too long following the conclusion of the final.

Clashes

Whilst there are unavoidably potential clashes on several days due to the nature of the event and volume of matches, we have sought to minimise these by:

  • Playing men’s and women’s events at same time wherever possible
  • Reducing the number of rounds per day in individual events to provide greater flexibility
  • Introducing regional finals

Should clashes occur, as in previous years we shall seek to accommodate as best we can whilst taking into account the wishes of all participants. With the later date of the Finals in 2022, however, the opportunity for play later in the evening will be significantly reduced with light fading.

School Return

We recognise that the later date of the National Finals in 2022 will run into term time, affecting younger players, those with childcare needs and teachers/others involved in the education sector. We have sought to minimise the impact of this for the vast majority of participants by concluding all junior events and the best part of the National Championship events by Sunday 4th September.

However, the Men’s and Women’s Singles Championships will be held w/c Monday 5th September, together with the later rounds of the Men’s Fours Championship (last 16 onwards).

National Competition Formats 2022

We will be running all of the National Competitions in 2022 using the following formats:

  • Champion of Champion/Senior Singles | 21 up
  • Mixed/Senior/Family Pairs | 18 ends 3 bowl
  • Mixed Fours | 18 ends 2 bowl
  • Club Two Fours/Tony Allcock Trophy | 18 ends 2 bowl
  • Men’s & Women’s Top Club | All disciplines to mirror National Championship formats (i.e. 4 bowl pairs/18 ends, three bowl triples/18 ends and two bowl Fours/18 ends)

Please note, the formats for National Championship events were announced in September and you can view details here.

Qualification

All National Competitions shall comprise of 32 areas – organised geographically to reduce travelling in the early rounds wherever possible. Counties with a high number of entries may be split into two areas, counties with a low number of entries may be paired with a neighbouring county to form an area. The round of 64 will be the area final (county final for most), the round of 32 & 16 will take place at a regional final – dates and venues to be confirmed – in the following Competitions:

Men’s Senior Singles

Men’s Senior Pairs

Men’s Champion of Champions

Women’s Senior Singles

Women’s Senior Pairs

Women’s Champion of Champions

Mixed Pairs

Mixed Fours

All National Competitions will feature 8 qualifiers at the National Finals 2022. All Inter-Club events will also feature 8 qualifiers, but without regional finals.

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