Bowls Victoria

Bowls Victoria: navigating a return to play, COVID guidelines for Bowls Clubs

Bowls Victoria: navigating a return to play, COVID guidelines for Bowls Clubs;

This is an abbreviated version as deemed appropriate for CBD & GVBD Clubs and Pennant from October 30th – For the full document visit the Bowls Vic website

Masks

The Victorian Government have clarified their advice on masks as of 30 October 2020. All Victorian’s must wear a mask unless they have a lawful excuse not to wear a mask – as per the direction of the Victorian State Government.

The definitive guidance has been updated by DHHS on 30 October 2020 and is shown here which includes lawful reasons not to wear a mask and other government directives: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/face-masks-viccovid-19

For the sport of bowls, a mask must be worn and should only be lowered to enable a player to play their shot, communicate game play (tactics or instructions), to momentarily regain composure if a player is short of breath or any other valid safety reason. Wearing a face covering protects you/your community by providing an additional physical barrier to COVID-19.

Where a person has a lawful excuse not to wear a mask, the club takes no responsibility in any fine or sanction applied under law to the individual (e.g. by the Police). When playing in NSW located clubs, NSW law applies.

Access to the Clubhouse

We have received clarification that access to clubhouses is permitted where there is a bar, café or restaurant. Clubs which only have a clubhouse, with no hospitality offering, are only permitted to open toilets and changerooms.

Permitted under step 3, with restrictions on the number of persons permitted indoors, currently a maximum of 40, with up to 10 per separate space . Minimise use of communal facilities (toilet or medical use only with strict social distancing).•

Clean bathrooms more frequently than lower traffic areas, especially taps, door handles and other frequently touched points.

Take all reasonable steps to ensure that frequently touched surfaces accessible to members of the public, including tables, bars, chairs, toilets and handrails, are cleaned regularly including when visibly soiled and post events or between groups

You must ensure you’re cleaning and sanitising the following, regardless of COVID-19:•all eating and drinking utensils and all food contact surfaces.

We advise you to review your cleaning and sanitising practices to ensure general surfaces are also cleaned frequently and effectively. These include door handles, refrigerator handles, tap handles, switches and other high-touch areas.

Social Distancing

All players should keep 1.5m apart at all times.

Refrain from shaking hands, high-fives or any contact with others.

Number Of Players

Groups of up to 10 people are permitted outdoors on greens, but groups must now be 10m apart. This rule does not apply to pennant, pennant practice or other state events. Information on this change can be found in the sections titled “Number of Players” and “Types of Competitions”.

Outdoor non-contact sport can resume for adults, limited to the minimum number of people required for the activity (e.g. players, necessary coaches and umpires). People must keep 1.5m apart at all times. Outdoor greens only, covered greens with less than 50% walls are considered outdoor.

This means that if a club has 2 x pennant teams of 16 players, then they can conduct bowls with 64players at their venue (2x 16 = 32players from the Home team, and 32 from the Away team).

Clubs should consider how breaks will be managed given restrictions to clubhouse entry and may elect not to have a break.

Additionally, staggered starting times should be considered to ease congestion of foot traffic. There are no requirements on minimum space between rinks but clubs must set up their venue to ensure players can keep 1.5m apart at all times and can use the bank and surrounds to assist. Clubs and players should also consider options for inclement weather.

The number of players doesn’t include the minimum number of employees or agents of the person necessary to safely operate the facility are present at the facility to operate the facility.

Travel, Transport and Carpooling

Where possible, carrying passengers in your car should be avoided, unless they live in your household or are part of your bubble. The enclosed space of a car presents a heightened risk of transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).

If you are driving alone or only travelling with people from your household, you do not need to wear a face covering. You must put your face covering on before you leave your vehicle or if you wind down the window to talk to someone, including at a drive through to collect food or goods where being served by another person.

If you are driving with people for work or people you don’t live with then you must wear a face covering unless you have a lawful excuse.

For clarification if you don’t have a licence or have a legitimate reason for not being able to drive then you are able to travel with another person. The passenger is required to travel in the rear seat diagonally across from the driver to ensure 1.5m separation is achieved. Masks must be worn.

You must wear a face covering if you are a passenger or driver in a commercial vehicle such as a taxi or Uber, unless you have a lawful excuse.

Covid Marshal or Officer

Clubs must have a designated COVID Marshal on duty at all times

Spectators

Spectators are only allowed if they are coaching, umpiring, or supervising children or if needed as support persons for persons with additional needs and exercising appropriate distancing requirements.

If present, spectators must not gather in groups of more than 10.

Breaks In Play

The historical tea break is not recommended in the current circumstances with the mandatory distancing requirements needed and the limit on numbers currently allowed inside Club rooms.

Clubs need to be mindful that the allowed 10 persons inside includes all volunteers, players and anyone else accessing the Club interiors for whatever reason and at any one time.

Should any Club consider they can have a workable alternative arrangement that would allow them to provide a tea break outside of the Club Rooms than it is their responsibility to mutually arrange such with the visiting Club/Clubs.

BV’s recommendation is that Clubs consider playing straight through over 21 ends and that such be allowed with the Playing areas/Divisions Conditions of Play.

This must be arranged prior to the commencement of anyplay and agreed on by both Clubs.A short break of 10 minutes can be arranged during the play period but this would be at differing times for each rink so as to not create a crowding and distancing issue.

Breaks for bad weather and potential rain periods could cause a major concern for some home Clubs. Players will need to be able to seek whatever cover is available during any rain delay being mindful of social distancing requirements. If the available covered area is limited then Managers and Umpires may need to make an early decision on cancellation of play.

Players should be prepared for inclement weather which may include rain-coats and/or spray jacket and/or an umbrella

GVBD added a break of 10 minutes after 14 ends. This break will be staggered because teams will reach 14 ends at different times. Players who have special requirements, like diabetes, should take food, drink and medication if needed so they can be consumed during play. All players are responsible for their own health They should bring Drink, Food and any Medication that they will need during the game.

Equipment, Mats & Jacks etc.

All equipment must be sanitized when placed out by the home side and also by the lead bowlers prior to them commencing the end. Spray chalk and liquid chalk must be the only markers used. Players are not to touch other players bowls unless of absolute necessity.

If such does occur further hand sanitising is required immediately. The handling of the mat and kitty is to be limited as much as possible to the leads. Leads’ should use hand sanitizer prior to picking up the jack and the mat to commence the next end.

Once the jack is rolled the Skip at the other end is to straighten it with his or her foot. Should the jack go into the ditch or out of bounds such should be collected with a lifter and returned as necessary. Skips picking up the mat should use a lifter, or if none available sanitize their hands regularly. Prior to further delivery the lead bowler will need to sanitize their hands.

Under no circumstances can bowls be shared. The home team should supply one player per rink responsible for updating the scoreboard. Away teams should not touch the scoreboard.

Pens to keep score should not be shared. For Regional areas not yet using BowlsLink and therefore still completing the yellow pennant-check forms, they are to be completed by the Home team only

Types Of Competition

Outdoor non-contact sport can resume for adults, limited to the minimum number of people required for the activity (e.g. players, necessary coaches and umpires).

People must keep 1.5m apart at all times. Pennant: can occur as per the comment above

  • Social play: can occur as per the comment above.
  • Training/Practice/Roll-ups: can occur as per the comment above.
  • Club Championships: can occur as per the comment above.
  • Tournaments: can occur as per the comment above.
  • Barefoot bowls: we are seeking clarity on this topic from Government.

Contact Tracing Register

To support contact tracing, Clubs must request that each person who attends the premise for more than 15 minutes (including staff) provide (clubs can elect to record all persons regardless of the duration they spend in the club):

  • First name and Last name
  • Phone number

Clubs must keep a record of those details, and the date and time at which the person attended the facility.

Meals and Drinks

Restaurants, cafes, pubs and other hospitality venues can serve up to 10 patrons per indoor space — if patrons are seated. A single venue can have a maximum of 4 spaces, with up to 40 patrons in total per venue.

There can’t be more than 1 person per 4 square metres. Venues can serve up to 70 people outdoors — if patrons are seated and there’s no more than 1 person per 2 square metres. A group of customers can’t exceed 10 people.

Groups must be spaced at least 1.5 metres apart. Staff must clean tables after patrons leave. Clubs must keep patrons’ contact details and take reasonable steps to ensure they don’t live in metropolitan Melbourne

Share Facilities/ Toilets

Minimise use of communal facilities (toilet or medical use only with strict social distancing).•Clean bathrooms more frequently than lower traffic areas, especially taps, door handles and other frequently touched points.•

Take all reasonable steps to ensure that frequently touched surfaces accessible to members of the public, including tables, bars, chairs, toilets and handrails, are cleaned regularly including when visibly soiled and post events or between groups

Shared Facilities/ Water Fountains

Water fountains are not to be used until further notice. Clubs can provide or sell bottled water. Members can bring their own subject to the rules of the club.

Club Cutlery Etc.

Venues may continue to use their cutlery, crockery and beverage containers with appropriate hygiene, cleaning and sanitation processes in place

Bringing Meals/Food From Home

No communal food/drinks shall be supplied by clubs. Players and officials shall either bring their own personal drinks/food or purchase at any available canteen/kiosk.

Any food brought to the match should be in a sealed or pre-packaged container

Home Clubs to provide tea and coffee facilities as their facilities permit. Individual players to provide their own food/water

Shared Facilities – Tea Coffee Stations

Shared/Communal tea and coffee stations are not to be used until further notice. Clubs can provide tea or coffee (i.e. served by volunteers/staff and not for general member use).

Members can bring their own subject to the rules of the club.

Should the club Provide Sanitiser?

Yes

Taken from the Bowls Victoria: navigating a return to play, COVID guidelines for Bowls Clubs: