Kyabram Free Press

Bowls season to be delayed

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The recent roadmap to reopening from the Victorian Government has forced the Goulburn Murray Bowls Region to push back the start of its summer seasons.

The Murray and Goulburn Valley playing areas will now hope to begin action in the last week of October.

For the GV, midweek pennant is now slated to start on October 26 — with weekend bowls following on the 30th.

"We are hoping that is the week we can get pennant started," GMBR secretary Stephen Mcgregor said.

"We've moved some of the state games around to try and get them played as well.

"It all comes down to what the government will let us do. We can practise, but we can't get any competitio­ns up and running.

"We also don't know whether they will implement caps on numbers on the greens. In the GV playing area they have 32 players per match in the top five divisions, and a few sides could be playing at home on the same day. That could cause issues.

"But we're in the same boat as everyone else, so we've just got to listen to the advice and hope they let us out."

In the Murray ranks, midweek pennant is scheduled to start on October 29, the day before weekend action rolls off.

Murray Bowls match committee chairman Jack Dell said the first two rounds of matches had been shifted to later in the season.

Those two rounds will now take place in the spare days scheduled for replays of weather-affected matches.

Round one matches will be played on December 17 and 18 and round two contests will be played on February 25 and 26, 2022.

Dell highlighte­d the importance for Murray Bowls to remain flexible for the remainder of the season.

"Of course, we can’t be definite about these dates, but we are hoping they are feasible," Dell said.

"We will have to be flexible for the entire season as we are at the mercy of state and federal government restrictio­ns.

"Who knows what might happen in the next five weeks."

Division two weekend pennant has two extra games than other divisions and it is expected rounds 15 and 16 will be played on November 20 and January 8 respective­ly.

State events have also been scheduled for the summer, but those fixtures will also be flexible to meet COVID-19 restrictio­ns.

Dell said he and the other match committee members were hopeful a full season was able to be completed.

There is some relief for bowlers, with practice permitted to take place.

Bowls Victoria issued a statement on Monday, September 20.

The governing body said it hoped to release more informatio­n soon.

"Victorian Premier has released Victoria’s road map for the months ahead. Following meetings with SRV and state government we hope to have further informatio­n and a more detailed update to share ... specifical­ly in relation to guidelines for bowls and community sport in Victoria," the statement read.

"It is clear from (the) announceme­nt that there will be an expectatio­n around vaccinatio­n linked to the state’s reopening, so we encourage members to get vaccinated if you are able to."

 ?? ?? Still waiting:
The start of the bowls season has been pushed back.
Still waiting: The start of the bowls season has been pushed back.

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