The Executive Committee met recently to discuss the current situation, and to be honest found it very difficult to come to any firm conclusions for the season as a whole, but it was agreed the time is not right, at present to consider starting the league.
There are no specific Government guidelines available for skittles, and any current guidelines are constantly changing; especially with the opening of schools in early September could result in clubs and pubs being put back into lockdown.
Our ultimate aim is the safety of all our players and sticker-ups. When you consider a minimum of 25 different people handling the same set of balls, which are hitting the same set of pins, which the sticker-up has the replace in position and return the balls for another bowler to do the same, it is not easy. This happens 24 times over, in an indoor environment.
Another important factor is social distancing. You have 2 teams of 12 different people congregating in an area where social distancing of 2 metres has to be maintained. For 16 people to do that, you need an absolute minimum of 36 square metres of space, but realistically 50 square metres; and for 30 people that space has to be an absolute minimum of 80 square metres, but realistically 120 square metres.
The Football Club is probably the only one of our alleys that currently come anywhere near having sufficient room available. The Rugby Club, Consti & Waggon don’t at present. Also, the Bowling Club is currently shut.
Sanitiser and gloves would be essential, and masks would have to be strongly considered, although their wearing becomes a great hinderance when playing, talking and drinking.
I tried thinking through a playing method, with the sanitising of hands before bowling, and it meant in a match of 6 sets, hands would get sanitised 432 times. Proper sanitiser is not cheap. There are so many other factors and things to consider, plus getting teams to adhere to any changes could be an onerous task in itself. Who would be responsible? Sticker-ups safety seriously need to be considered, and are sometimes very young, their parents would need to be aware of what precautions that are being taken.
Rather than cancelling the whole season at this time (as the Nailsea and District League have done), we wish to keep our options open should the circumstances change.
We would like to call a Captain’s meeting for Tuesday 22nd September at 7.30pm in the Consti Club to (i) be able to stay in contact with you, (ii) present the league financial accounts, (iii) explain the position we are in and (iv) seek your views on the ways toward for skittles through these strange times. We will also invite Kevin of Football Club and Tom of Rugby Club to attend.
23 of our 24 teams are said they are willing to play; sadly we have lost The Nutters.
A popular stipulation has been “if it is safe” What is your interpretation of safe?
Please check if all your players are willing to play; some may not be. We may need to consider smaller numbers in teams.
Who meets cost of sanitiser and gloves?
Please bring your ideas to the meeting.