All Pennants

Changes to Pennant procedures because of COVID isolation

All Club Secretaries

Changes to Pennant procedures because of a COVID isolation requirement

Clubs are facing challenging and rapidly evolving circumstances resulting from Government and Bowls SA health regulations and the highly contagious nature of the OMICRON strain of the COVID virus.

An immediate effect of the Bowls SA “no jab no play” policy and the emergence of the OMICRON strain was that several clubs no longer had enough players to fill their lowest ranked sides, creating on-going forfeits. The status of these sides will be confirmed to provide some certainty for other clubs in the same Sections. It is not intended to withdraw any sides unless requested by the club.

Of more recent concern are pockets of player isolation arising from close contact events. The effect on clubs so far has varied from one isolated side forfeit to an effective club shut down for at least 7 days based on player health and safety and extensive member isolations.

  • A club affected by short-term player losses due to COVID isolation should continue to select their Pennant sides with their players available. Then as per the Conditions of Play, to notify a forfeit to opposing clubs affected and also advise the MBA Match & Program committee.
  • A club that makes a management decision to not participate in a scheduled pennant round, with ALL of their entered Sides in the competition, to protect its players and visitors from potential exposure to the COVID virus and therefore does not have enough players available, must notify the MBA Match & Program committee immediately. The club must provide documentation that includes member numbers in respect of COVID cases and members in isolation at their club to support an application for consideration by the MBA Match & Program committee to declare affected Pennant games as completed games with points & shots shared, or as forfeits.
  • On-going monitoring of circumstances may require a recommendation to bring in a temporary Pennant competition shut down if the numbers of clubs/players unavailable exceeds a level where the competition is deemed not viable to continue. In case of a shut down, all played rounds will be included to determine final standings.

Text  Description automatically generated with low confidenceIt is imprudent to try to predict what may occur over the rest of the bowls season. Further changes may be necessary if the Covid situation gets worse and affects more of our member clubs.

Steve Franks

On behalf of MBA Match & Program Committee