Suffolk Carpet Bowls Association

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UPDATE: 2nd APRIL 2021

Hello to you all, we hope that you are all keeping well and safe, getting your jabs and keeping your distance.

Your committee are at this moment in time, getting asked by several clubs about restarting our sport. We would like to make the following statement to clarify where we currently stand on this subject.

We are continually monitoring the situation and the announcements being made in order to make the right decision at the right time for recommencement of carpet bowls. We will of course support any club in trying to get things going amongst themselves if they feel safe in doing so. The timeline as it currently stands is:

• Nothing before 17 May when the “Rule of 6” or 2 households, indoors will be in force, so some form of carpet bowls can be held;

• After 21 June when all restrictions will be lifted.

It is also recommended that each club check with their playing venues as to what restrictions, if any, they may have for the use of their hall. We are aware of some venues catering for others who use the hall more readily, than allowing carpet bowls to go back in, and more stringent cleaning regimes. The ECBA issued a set of guidelines last year, which we recommend you consider implementing. The link to that is: Guidelines.pdf

Safety, safety, safety, is the key word to anything we do as a membership. Everyone must be happy and feel safe to ensure we don’t suffer any further reactions to the pandemic.

The committee are continually looking at what and where we go from here. We are currently in the process of formulating an action plan for a return to bowls, once all restrictions have been lifted.

Most importantly we do not want to act before we know what the feeling is amongst our clubs and their members. In this regard we will, nearer to the time when restrictions are being lifted, be issuing a survey, and we would encourage all clubs to respond please.

Please remain safe, it won’t be long now before we can get to some sort of normality.


SCBA Committee

UPDATE: FEBRUARY 2021 (13th February 2021)

Hello everyone, yes we are still here, patiently waiting for the important news of when this horrid, debilitating virus has been defeated.

We will begin by wishing every one of you a belated safe and happy 2021. We hope that you all ate too much, drank too much and Santa’s sack was too heavy to deliver during the festivities.
Sad news is never too far away during the festive season, we have had to say a sad farewell to a few people during and just after Christmas. Isabelle (Belle) Deaves of Somersham, Mick Adams of Brockley and Harold Ball (Bedfordshire) were all regular participants in our competitions and at some stage a major driving force in our sport. Our thoughts and sympathies go out to their respective families and friends, may they rest in peace.

With the age range of our members, we hope that by the time you have read this most of you may have had one of these wonderful vaccinations that have been developed. Once we have all had the course of injections, we may get a glimpse of life at the end of the tunnel and be able to think again about getting back to “normal” getting outside our four walls, seeing friends and family again and getting the dusty old mats out for an airing. Let us all hope so.

The main reason for this letter is to let you know that your SCBA Committee have their fingers on the pulse, looking at when and how we use our new start to benefit the game and its participants. First comes the when, coming soon we can now have hope, how?, we need to see who before deciding the best way forward. But we are thinking about it, so rest assured we still have your best interests in our thoughts.

Please everyone, stay safe, look after yourselves, look after each other, have a great 2021 and we will all see each other soon.

Regards to all,
Andy Gilder (Chairman) on behalf of the Suffolk Carpet Bowls Committee

TO ALL MEMBERS OF THE SCBA (13th October 2020)

A very heartfelt hello to all members of the SCBA, I do hope that you are keeping well and looking after each other.

It is a while since our last communication to you all and I feel it is time to update you with the current situation we find ourselves in. Please be assured that the SCBA committee are working to keep abreast of changes with Covid 19 and the ever changing “Rules and Regulations” we are to follow, as they happen and try to interpret them into English, so we can best decide our course of action as far as carpet bowls is concerned.

In September, the government decided, due to increasing numbers of diagnosed cases of Covid 19, to enforce the “Rule of 6.” Unfortunately, it does affect us in the carpet bowls world. No more than six people to attend a gathering from different households at any one time, does currently apply to the playing of carpet bowls.

The SCBA continue to liaise with the English Carpet Bowls Association (ECBA). For carpet bowls, this is our national organisation. We at the SCBA, like all counties, refer to the ECBA’s rules and regulations to play our sport, BUT can adapt them to suit our own counties requirements. The ECBA have looked long and hard at the new Government regulations and their view is that we should be adhering to the “Rule of 6”.

The ECBA has started work on putting together an Action Plan, required by the Government, with the aim of getting carpet bowls classified as an organised sport. This may assist the game of carpet bowls in the future, should the Government regulations change again. We will keep you informed as soon as we hear anything of interest.

It has come to our attention that several clubs are starting to have the occasional social roll up. This is fantastic news!! As long as each club is taking the right precautions and social distancing, cleaning equipment and touch points to ensure safety, well done to them. We have no intention to discourage this from happening, if the clubs / participants are happy and safe, the SCBA will not interfere.

Finally, what is going to happen in Suffolk in the long-term?

The quick answer is, we do not know. All we can do is hope that this situation changes soon, but it is a waiting game I am afraid, and we must be ready for any changes that come and react accordingly.

Following a recent SCBA Committee meeting, we have decided on a plan of sorts:

• Void the 2019/20 winter league season (there will be no relegation or promotion), including Joe Rice Cup, Chairman’s Plate & Discipline (Singles, Pairs & Fours) Finals

• There will be no 2020/21 Winter League season, cup competitions or other SCBA competitions

The SCBA have a duty to protect the large proportion of our players who fall into the vulnerable category and we can't currently think about returning to competitive bowls. But, rest assured, your SCBA committee will not start anything until you the clubs are ready, and we’ve consulted with you about a re-start. We will continue to monitor, report and look after the members as much as we can to ensure the safety of players and administrators alike.

Stay safe everyone, we all hope to meet up soon.


Andy Gilder
Chairman, SCBA Committee.


Hello to all you clubs out there in the land of, we hope you are still safe and well and looking after each other.

Your Executive Committee have received some information from the English Carpet Bowls Association (ECBA,) which is important to us all. Please read the attached documents carefully before acting upon any conclusions you may make.

This communication is for guideline purposes only, they are not compulsory, the SCBA are not saying "everything is ok, we are starting the leagues tomorrow", they are GUIDELINES for those who wish to use them. Please read them carefully, THINK about what is being said and if your club considers they can be implemented safely, then give it a go and the SCBA will support you. The important thing in this is that it is YOUR decision whether to start doing something now, or not. Whichever the case that’s ok. Take things slowly, at your own pace, the SCBA will not restart anything until our clubs are all happy about bowling in any new way it is deemed fit to do so.

Many of the playing venues we use are starting to get people and clubs back using their facilities. Let’s be honest, they need the revenue to maintain their presence in the community and their premises. They are starting to contact venue users to ascertain when they will be returning to their pre-covid usage. Many of you are looking to the SCBA for an answer to this question, well there may be a way our clubs can return in some way or another.

The SCBA position has always been safety of our people attending the game must be above everything and until there was some change from the 2m social distancing rule it was difficult for most venues to accommodate playing the game. The government have changed this slightly by reducing the social distancing to 1m+ and allowing closer contact for short periods. As the SCBA have, the ECBA have also been monitoring the situation since the outbreak and they have come up with these guidelines for all counties which would enable the game to re-commence. The attached communication we have received is for your consideration and as you can see, there is a lot more to consider than just can we keep a safe distance.

It is important to remember, as stated in the ECBA communication, the ECBA and the SCBA are NOT experts in pandemics, therefore all Government and Department of Health recommendations will supersede these guidelines. We at the SCBA cannot tell you what you should be doing, this is your sport and therefore your decision on whether you wish to implement the recommendations and return to bowling. If it is not for your club to restart yet, that is ok, it must be when you are ready to do so.

You can find the documents refered to on the following links:

ECBA statement

Coronavirus Guidelines Document


On a lighter but sad note, we have lost John Varden from our SCBA Committee and Neil Jolly from the County Captaincy. We all thank them both for their respective long service and dedication to both bowls and their committee work. Both will be difficult to replace and I hope their replacements in Clint Watling (Committee) and Tom Runnacles (County Captain) will enjoy their new respective challenges. More to come on this subject at a later stage.

Regards to all, stay safe,

Andy Gilder (Chairman SCBA)

Message from the SCBA Executive Committee (20th June 2020)

Hi there all you frustrated bowlers, I hope and pray you are all safe and well, looking after yourselves and keeping an eye on each other.

As we are all aware the situation regarding this Covid 19 is VERY VERY slow to go away and let us all get back to normal. It is happening but the timeframe is all over the place. We can now get together as 6 people!! Not enough for us, the biggest bugbear is the social distancing, how to keep 2m apart in a small community hall or village hall is beyond my comprehension. All we can do is be patient and all will come to those who wait – so I am told.

However, business must continue and to that end we need to sort out some SCBA business with all our members.

At this time of year, we send out for your membership and insurance renewal. The insurance renewal is very important because if anything happens whilst you are away from the equipment and not playing bowls, you will still be covered. If you have no insurance, you may lose a claim for any damage caused by whatever, break-in, flood, accidental, etc. So, after speaking with the insurance company, they are willing to do our cover at the competitive price of £21.00 for Public Liability and £10.50 per set of equipment. As you know, that is good value for money if you need to claim.

The only thing that the insurance company stipulates is that all clubs must be members of the SCBA to take advantage of these favourable terms. Now we as a committee know that no-one is bowling at the moment and no-one can say when we will be able to recommence our beloved sport, so to assist our clubs, the SCBA Executive Committee have decided to only ask for a nominal membership fee of £10.00 for the 2020/21 season, (instead of £35.00). Thank you.

A further piece of business is that the current Suffolk County Captain, Neil Jolly, has decided (prior to Covid 19) to stand down after some 14 highly successful years. We all wish him success in whatever his next challenge is going to be, although he is going to remain as a committee member. So, a new County Captain is required, along with a new County Team Selector.

The SCBA are also looking for 2 committee members to replace those who are standing down this year.
If anyone feels that they would like to be considered for any of these roles, please put forward your nomination via email to within the next 14 days please.

I know, nothing comes for weeks then you are hit with all this, I am sorry but we must make sure we are all ready for the off as soon as we get the green light from number 10.

Thank you all for your patience, we will see the other side of this pandemic and hopefully we will be better for it.

Regards to you all, stay safe,

Andy Gilder (Chairman) - SCBA Executive Committee

Message from the SCBA Executive Committee (18th May 2020)

Hello to you all, the SCBA Executive Committee would like to thank you all for your patience in these unprecedented times with regard to the continuation of our sport. We, the committee hope that you are all keeping well and safe and looking after each other. We would like to also thank all the key workers amongst us for all their dedicated and continued work in difficult circumstances. Can we also let you know that we are all just as frustrated as you are, not playing bowls, staying in and queuing for everything!

As you are aware, we have a committee meeting coming up on the 18th of May. After consultation with all members it has been decided that this meeting will not take place, as there is no business to discuss at this time.

We are mindful that in June, we should be having our Annual General Meeting. The members of the committee have had a discussion and agreed that it cannot go ahead, but we hope to hold it before year end.

Similarly, we would also hope to hold the Joe Rice Cup, Chairman’s Plate and Closed Competition finals before year end.

As you can appreciate, no decision has been made regarding completing (or not) our 2019/20 Winter League season or a potential start date for the next competitive season.

In due course, we will be communicating with clubs regarding SCBA membership and insurance renewal for 2020/21.

Your committee are still here monitoring each situation as it unfolds and should there be any changes to gatherings and social distancing, we will be looking at any possibility of resuming our little social gatherings. If anyone has anything they would like to be discussed at Committee level, please let us know and this will be included in any discussions we have during our current downtime.

Once again, we thank you for your continued support, and wish you all continued good health.

SCBA Executive Committee

Communication to all SCBA member clubs regarding the Coronavirus (17th March 2020)

The SCBA Executive Committee met on Monday 16 March 2020. The main item on the Agenda was the Coronavirus and the implications for ongoing and upcoming SCBA events.

We are in unprecedented times and the decisions taken have not been made lightly. However the health of our SCBA club members is our priority.

With regard to SCBA events, we advise as follows:

Winter Leagues: Postponed with immediate effect. We would recommend that if you have any matches to play that your Fixture Secretary contact your opposing team(s) to confirm the cancelled match. No decision has been made yet regarding the playing of outstanding matches and the SCBA Executive Committee will advise further in the future.

Summer League: This will not take place. Any club that has already sent in their entry form will have their payment returned.

Cup & Plate Finals (Wed 25 March): Postponed. No decision made yet, but the intention to re-arrange before the end of 2020.

Random Triples (Sun 29 March): Postponed. The Suffolk Squad Fundraising Committee will contact all bowlers that have entered.

Suffolk Disciplines Finals Day (Sun 5 April): Postponed. No decision made yet, but the intention to re-arrange before the end of 2020. It is likely that both the ECCBA Champion of Champions (Sun 10 May) and ECBA Champion of Champions (6-7 June) will also be postponed/cancelled.

Winter League Finals (Wed 15 April): Postponed. No decision made yet, but the intention to re-arrange before the end of 2020, subject to the completion of our winter leagues.

ECCBA Six Counties (Sun 19 April): Postponed (by the ECCBA).

East v West (Wed 6 May): Postponed.

Bury League v Suffolk League: Postponed.

SCBA Executive Committee Meeting (Mon 18 May): To be decided.

Grahams Hartest Triples (Sun 24 May): Postponed (by the organiser).

SCBA AGM (Mon 15 June): To be decided.

Marions Fab Fours (Sun 21 June): Postponed

The SCBA Executive Committee will endeavour to keep our member clubs and their bowlers updated via email/post and with updates on our SCBA website.

The SCBA Executive Committee are keeping the situation under constant review.

During these uncertain times the SCBA wish all their club bowlers the best of health and urges everyone to follow Government and Public Health England guidelines.

We look forward to seeing you all back on the mats before too long.

Best wishes,

SCBA Executive Committee