Green opening, Covid 19 rules etc.

Posted on 15th May 2020

You can look at Rinks already booked, by clicking on Rink booking. 


Dear Member


As you will know, the Government this week announced that facilities associated with outdoor sports and physical activities, including bowls, may now reopen. The formal guidance notes released on 13th May 2020 states: “You can play lawn bowls where facilities have reopened, but you can only take part in these activities by yourself, or with members of your household or with one person outside of your household, as long as you are able to maintain social distancing.”


The good news is that the club committee has decided to re-open the green for play from Monday, 18th May. However, it has been necessary to apply a very strict and wide ranging set of rules, protocols  and hygiene measures in accordance to conform with government guidelines and enable our members to return and enjoy the sport. Please note though that the clubhouse must remain closed.


Please read the attached rules carefully and then read them again !  They place extraordinary limits and restrictions on play which you will see restrict games to a singles format.  We have necessarily introduced a rink booking system. Nobody should just turn up and expect to play without first having their reservation of rink and time period confirmed.


It may seem obvious but it still needs to be said that anyone who is symptomatic or suspects they have been exposed to the virus does not take part and remains at home. The government advice on clinically vulnerable people remains the same ‘stay at home as much as possible’.


Re-starting bowls at this time will not suit everybody and that is perfectly understandable. Nevertheless the club has embraced a set of rules, guidelines and hygiene standards to achieve as safe an environment for our members as possible.  


Meanwhile, keep safe, take care, look after yourself and, when you do return to the green, enjoy your bowls.


Very best wishes


Mick Palmby

Chairman, Bearsted & Thurnham Bowling Club


Covid 19 Bowls Club rules and regulations


Below is a set of rules that we believe to be appropriate and necessary to minimise risk of virus transmission. We trust each member to respect these conditions of play, self-police and politely remind others who may be observed to not adhering to these rules.


We understand that some members may choose not to play at this time through health or personal reasons and that is their personal choice.


  1. The clubhouse, changing rooms, bar, kitchen, honesty fridge, internal toilets and the visitors mens changing room, will remain closed. There is no storage facility for personal equipment available at the club in the first instance.


  1. If you need to access the internal changing rooms to collect any bowls equipment, please telephone Gill

      Lunn on 07780525815 who will arrange for you to access the clubhouse.


  1. The outside Disabled Toilet will be available for use. Please wipe down the sink with anti bacterial wipes after use and dispose of them in the bin provided.


  1. At this initial stage of re-opening the green, we are opening just 4 rinks, spaced well apart, so as to enable the club to support social distancing effectively.


  1. Access to rink 1 is via the steps by the clubhouse. Access to rink 2 is via the first set of steps you reach alongside the Guides. Access to rink 3 is via the second set of steps alongside the guides. Access to rink 4 is via the grass bank adjacent to the Church Landway or alternatively via the grass or steps adjacent to the tennis club.


6   Singles play only is permitted (1 v 1). You may also play singly (on your own).


Playing Rules


  1. Members should not just turn up and play. It is essential that you use the booking reservation system detailed. This is to allow for social distancing measures and to allow for a fair distribution of playing time between players on the rinks.


  1. You will be able to book a rink for a maximum of 1 hour 30 minutes. You will need to start at your booked in time, and finish promptly at your finish time. The club will allow 20 minutes for change over but social distancing must always be adhered to.


  1. In the first instance, you will only be able to book and reserve 2 rink sessions on separate days in any week. We will review this limit after the first full week after re-opening of the green. It could be changed but will depend upon the demand for rink bookings from members.


  1. You can book a rink session up to one week in advance.


  1. Please arrive 10 minutes before you are due to play. Once you have completed you are requested to  vacate the premises within 10 minutes.


  1. Coaching at the moment is suspended.


  1. Booking of the rinks will be monitored and members must adhere to the rules set by the club.


  1. There will be no flood light use at the moment.


  1. Only full playing members can book or use the rinks, no social members, guests or other family members are allowed to play at the present time. Sorry, no spectators are permitted.


  1. Information about available playing slots and rinks are incorporated into a section of the website. Please look for Rink Bookings on the right hand side of the Home Page. This facility is already up and running. Either text or phone Gill Lunn on 07780525815 or email for a booking. This information will then be entered by Gill onto the website. It will be your responsibility to check that the rink has been booked. Please do not just turn up without agreement.


  1. If you are unable to access the website please contact Gill and she will advise if rinks are available.





  1. The government and its medical advisors think virus transmission is generally low through the air in outdoor settings. Transmission via surfaces is deemed to be higher, therefore we must take steps to reduce this. In the bowls environment, this will include the handling of mats, bowls, jack and scoreboards. Where members from different households are playing on the same rink they should have their own mat and each use their own jack (white and yellow). Wipe before and after games.  


  1. Please do not touch any other players wood after a game, players must use the change-over time to wash and disinfect the jack, mat and scoreboard.


  1. If you use the outside toilet please ensure that your hands are clean and surfaces wiped down. In particular, the door handle, seat, sink and flushing handle should be sanitized each time it is used.


  1. Please try and carry antibacterial wipes and hand sanitiser with you, as soon as possible the club will try and obtain both and these will be left inside the equipment shed. The club is seeking to source all necessary materials for the use of members as quickly as possible.


  1. Please do not use any other persons bowls.


  1. Anyone opening/closing the equipment shed or main gate must wipe down locks immediately after touching.


If and when the government and scientific/medical advice allows sufficient flexibility, the club will consider organising a range of internal leagues, matches and competitions as well as a re-opening of clubhouse facilities.


We apologise for the longish list of rules and conditions but if we want to play bowls responsibly, then this is the price we pay for our safety. These have not been easy decisions for the committee and they may not be to everyones liking, but we have tried to find a balance that allows members a safe framework for an early return to playing bowls on the green. The committee will of course review these rules in the light of experience, member feedback, further developments and advice from the authorities.



Kinds Regards



Mick Palmby

Chairman, Bearsted & Thurnham


Bearsted and Thurnham Bowls Club 2020