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English National Finals, featuring players from Stamford Indoor Bowls Club, are deferred until September

With indoor bowls not being able to fully return to normal until at least June 21, the delayed 2019-20 English National Finals, involving several local players, have been deferred once again to run from September 25 to October 14, with Nottingham again the likely venue.

The schedule of finals in which Stamford's Louise Harris and Katie Bailey are due to play Whiteknights in the women's pairs with Christine Ford and June Brennan contesting the senior pairs against Riverain, will be confirmed in the coming weeks.

It's a relief for Katie who was due to miss the original date last March as it coincided with the birth of her second son.

Katie Bailey (44825304)
Katie Bailey (44825304)

The EIBA also announced that the delayed 2020 national summer competitions have been cancelled and entry fees can be re-funded.

It is hoped competitions will be staged again in 2022 and entry forms will be published and sent out on March 23.

Meanwhile Stamford Indoor Bowls Club plans to re-open its domestic summer leagues from May 17.

A virtual meeting of summer league organisers and receptionists will be held shortly.

Triples leagues will be Monday and Friday evenings, Wednesday morning and with a pairs leagues on Tuesday noon.

Team captains are to be contacted to submit their teams. It is hoped roll-ups will continue be held on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, once the club re-opens.

Representatives of clubs in the Lincolnshire Indoor Bowling Association were due to meet virtually this week to decide how its leagues and competitions might take place from next September.

The semi-finals of the county individual competitions from 2019-20 are yet to be staged after being postponed because of the pandemic.

The Northants Bowling Federation men's and women's outdoor county competitions will go ahead as scheduled this summer with the English national championships held at Skegness from August 21-28.

The NBF & NBWBF finals are due to be staged at City of Peterborough Bowls Club on July 18.

The rule of six will be in operation as soon as greens are open after March 29 with no more than six players per rink, all observing social distancing, sanitising mats and jacks and playing in groups on separated adjacent rinks as last summer.

From May 17 the figure will rise to 30 players per green before restrictions are finally relaxed from June 21 if government plans are on target.

A further update from the Government is expected at the end of March with regard to any other restrictions that might be in operation in the early part of the season, such as the use of clubhouses and travelling.

The Northants Federation men's county team events – Adams & Newton Trophies - face an uncertain future for 2021.

Matches would exceed the maximum limit of players under current Covid restrictions. Players travelling together - either by car or coach - and after-match dining are also an issue.

The women's Donald Steward Trophy and Jubilee Silver Vase fixtures have been cancelled for 2021.

The NWBF has invited a gathering of women bowlers from the county at City of Peterborough BC on June 3 at 10.30am

The English Bowling Federation and EWBF are canvassing counties for their opinions on whether these team events should be scrapped for a second successive year or whether they could be adapted with fewer players or by playing three rinks at home and away simultaneously.

It's unlikely that the Durham Centenary Trophy - Northants qualifies via the winners of the annual Dan Duffy Trophy - and the Reg Wright under 25 county competitions will be affected as fewer players are involved.

Elsewhere, the Peterborough and District Bowls League is awaiting government guidance on when it might re-start.

Fixture secretary Tony Coe has requested member club secretaries contact him (by email) to confirm their team registrations by Tuesday, March 23. Player registration will follow at a later date.

Stamford Outdoor Bowls League has revised its notification to member clubs in advising how many teams they might be entering for the newly formulated divisions.

Club secretaries should, in the first instance, contact league secretary Nina Rawlins and not the fixture secretary. The league is due to start on Friday, June 4.

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