Test Day outcome and follow-up changes

Updated: Oct 14, 2020

Thank you for all the feedback we have had from clubs and individuals following the Test Day events at Springwood and Milnsbridge. Four issues were raised by a number of people and we are now responding to all of them in time for next Tuesday's League fixtures.

The four issues are:

1. Fourth Jack - confusion of the playing order as regards the fourth jack.

2. Jacks & Mats - who can do what with what and when!

3. Staggered start times - suggested as an alternative to current playing format

4. The 30-people limit now being relaxed in local football

The steps your Management Committee has taken and propose to take to address each of these is below.

1. Fourth Jack - confusion of the playing order as regards the fourth jack. A copy of the fixtures including identification of the A, B, C etc team allocation has been made available for each green and sent out to all team captains (see next Tuesdays line-up below for example).

The full season ABC listings for each green are available here to download.

Download PDF • 64KB
Download PDF • 64KB

The ABC listing should be read alongside the previous chart of the playing format (below). Team captains should use these to advise their fourth bowler who he/she is bowling against and which pair they are following on the green and is ready to bowl promptly. There should always be four jacks on the green and captains are urged to make a regular check on this and where there isn't, take steps to make sure that it is quickly addressed.

2. Jacks & Mats - who can do what with what and when! Currently each bowler taking to the green should have their own jack and own mat which only they should touch. In practice this is proving very difficult to maintain. The jack being bowled off the green and returned by helpful spectators and measurers when a short mark has been declared are all making this difficult to enforce. A number of bowlers have struggled with the 'only touch your own mat' guidance for a number of such reasons. 

[TIP] If the lead bowler stands on their opponents mat to bowl you may find this works out easier. The lead, after playing their second wood, can then make their way down the green with their unused own mat whilst the second bowler can then collect their own mat and jack after bowling the last wood at that end. The Management Committee don't propose making any changes to this advisory guidance at this stage and hope that bowlers become familiar with it as time moves on. However where bowlers agree between themselves to relax this advice for that game then we will not be policing this at any time and that is a matter for the pair. No bowler should be put under pressure to ignore this advice if they prefer not to. Any bowler who is concerned with the adherence to this guidance is advised to carry their own sanitiser to make their jack or mat safe whenever they see fit. Bowlers must take some responsibility for their own safety.

3. Staggered start times Various alternatives suggested around staggering start times to reduce waiting times and overcome fourth jack confusion of the current system. The Management Committee wish to continue with the new format for the present as it is recognised that it may take a little while for teams to fully familiarise themselves. One of the arguments put forward is that vulnerable bowlers are kept hanging around to play which won't be pleasant as the season gets colder. Captains may decide to put any vulnerable bowlers on first and then allow them to leave or even put them on last and let them arrive a little later or failing that challenge them as to if they really should be bowling outdoors during the winter months. A change to a staggered start arrangement would also prolong the day for the host club.

The current playing format is seen as more supportive of leading to a more social occasion as teams start to take an interest in other results as the season progresses. Staggered start times are seen as more about turning up, bowling and leaving as quickly as possible whereas we are encouraging a better community spirit among teams and individuals with the current model. We recognise that this model has to get slicker though for it to survive.

4. The 30-people limit now being relaxed in local football. Local football matches are now allowed to go beyond the 30-people limit and have been so advised by the Football Association. Our national governing body, the BCGBA, have looked at this and decided that the number of 30 cannot be exceeded in bowling at this time. I have spoken directly with the Chief Executive Officer at YCCGBA who is also a football club secretary for a club in Harrogate and he is fully aware of the conflicting advice. The argument that football put forward is that football pitches are much bigger than bowling greens and tennis courts allowing social distancing to be easily adhered to over a bigger area with more people. The BCGBA are continually reviewing this limit but for now the 30-people on and around the green maximum is to be maintained.

I hope everyone can see the sense in all these actions and that they help us to move on as we continue to come to terms with a new way of living and playing our sport.

Oh and I've booked the sunshine again for next Tuesday!

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