LeagUE & County News
MSBL Statement on 2020 season – issued Wednesday 10th June
It is with a heavy heart that I write to inform you that there will be NO Mid Shropshire League fixtures this year.
The officers voted unanimously at a Zoom meeting tonight to finally give up on any hope of organising some kind of competitive fixtures in 2020.
The League’s canvass of its member clubs showed that there was only a small demand for them, with just 230 out of nearly 1,500 bowlers willing to consider playing in some form of league fixtures – if permitted by the Government and the BCGBA.
Our hope had been to cater for that demand under the phase 3 re-opening of greens guidelines that are scheduled to be issued on July 4, but they are set to limit numbers to 6 at a club at one time - and, put simply, we have been overtaken by events and now feel that is not safe or prudent to go any further with the fixture plans.
The officers have a duty of care to ensure that everyone would be able to enjoy a return of fixtures safely but, given all the rising number of safeguarding hoops the clubs willing to take part in fixtures would have to jump through to go ahead, makes it simply impractical.
County safeguarding officer Phil Scott was contacted for advice before the vote was taken and his message was simply: ‘Don’t both with league fixtures this year – it’s not worth the hassle’.
And when you consider that he has been told by BCGBA chief exec Mark Bircumshaw that all bowlers who play in any league fixtures this year would have to be tested for the virus regularly, you can see how the no-go vote became easy.
The officers do have a sense of guilt for leaving the decision this late, but we wanted to give the situation as long as possible to develop before opting to put the League into hibernation for at least a month.
But they refuse to give up on holding competitions in 2020, and will meet again in mid July to see if it is possible to run the Merits, Dixon Driscoll Doubles and perhaps even a re-launched four-a-side event for the Bill Chapman Trophy in August and September.
For now though the officers urge all bowlers to support their clubs to make sure they get through the pandemic, pay their annual subs, go and practice and maybe even take part in in-house club leagues or comps – always bearing in mind the current social distancing and safeguarding protocols.
Fingers crossed, the Mid Shropshire League can still cater for those who want to get competitive later this summer and that the year won’t be a total write-off.
Take good care everyone,