Latest News

Latest Update Important updates on recommencing bowls can be downloaded in Documents section

Latest Government Decision SportNI / Sport Ireland

Following this morning’s (Wednesday 14 October) announcement from Stormont no short mat bowls can take place from this Friday (16 October) for 4 weeks.

Convenors should inform any of their clubs which may have opened.

This brings the clubs under Sport NI jurisdiction in line with the clubs under Sport Ireland jurisdiction who are at level 3 which means that there are no indoor gatherings allowed. This information was sent to the Cork, Donegal, Meath, Monaghan and Oriel Conveners on 6 October.


The Competitions Committee held a meeting by Zoom on Thursday 13 August, fully aware of the need to provide information to the short mat community. The IIBA, like other bodies is subject to the guidelines issued by the Government and relevant bodies, in their case Sport NI and Sport Ireland. The IIBA await decisions from these bodies but the Competitions Committee realise the importance of proving as much information to clubs and bowlers as possible with short mat bowls possibly more affected by the pandemic than other sports. The recommendations of the Competitions Committee are subject to whatever guidelines are issued and the situation at the time. The Committee see little realistic prospect of bowling for the rest of 2020 and the following are the result of the Committee’s discussions.

National Championships

It is hoped to complete these in March 2021. At present Shaw’s Bridge only permit 30 players on each green which would make it impossible to complete some of the competitions.

Champion of Champions

With the Nationals not completed, Zone Championships and tournaments not completed it is unlikely that this competition can be played before the end of March / early April.

Inter Zone

The competition will not take place in 2020/21. The current draw will operate next season but depending upon the situation in zones it may require a new draw.

Club Championship

This will not take place in 2020/21.


It is unlikely that any tournaments will take place in 2020. A number of tournaments were not completed and some who had paid licence fees were not able to take place. These fees will be carried over.


There is certainly little prospect of leagues involving rinks taking place. With many halls not open and no precise opening dates, it may not be possible to run leagues in 2020.

World Bowls

World Bowls is due to be played in Belgium in March 2021 but IIBA participation will depend on the Covid 19 situation nearer the time.


Clubs may be asked to pay a reduced affiliation fee to cover ongoing costs  which the IIBA has to cover but this will be discussed at an Executive meeting.

Executive It is hoped to have an Executive meeting in the near future so that all the Convenors can update the Executive on the views within their own zone.

The Committee recognise that the welfare and health of the bowling community must be paramount in whatever decisions are taken.


Sport NI have given indicative dates for the following activities:

Resumption of contact sport training - 29 June

Reopening of indoor gyms - 10 July

Reopening of outdoor leisure playgrounds - 10 July

Competitive sports - 17 July

Limited numbers of outdoor spectators permitted on 17 July with numbers increased at a later date - 31 July

Reopening of indoor sports courts and skating rinks - 7 August

Leisure centres and soft play areas - 7 August

Socially - distanced indoor spectators permitted - 28 August

Sport NI are aware of the challenge of indoor spacing which has been the subject of numerous queries. An advisory panel has been established to give guidance to the Department on such issues and we will ensure that it is raised at that level. When clear guidance can be given it will be passed on via the relevant Governing Bodies.

Therefore until the guidance and procedures is approved by SportNI and the challenge of indoor spacing is resolved there can be ;


The IIBA are also liaising with Sport Ireland and have submitted a document entitled “Social distancing and guidance for safe play”.

Sport Ireland have informed the IIBA that they have set up an “Expert Group” who will look at all sports and they will review the document. Until the guidance and procedures are approved by the Expert Group in Sport Ireland there will be; NO RECOMMENCEMENT OF SHORT MAT BOWLS.

In the meantime Convenors should contact the clubs in their zones and ask;

1) If the club plans to restart and if have spoken to the body - church, school, community centre etc - they rent the hall from to ascertain how they view the situation

2) If the club has checked with their insurers to see where they stand regarding cover for

Covid-19 if they recommence bowling.

The Officers are members of the Emergency Committee and as such will stay in office until an AGM is able to be held. We would also request that Conveners would remain in office as well until Zone AGM’s.

The Treasurer has requested that Conveners inform clubs not to forward any affiliation/league/tournament fees until have a clearer picture of how the bowling season will operate. Until then a decision can’t be made about producing a yearbook. In the meantime please forward any changes of secretaries to your Zone Convener.

Recent Posts

See All


At the IIBA Executive Meeting of 7 October it was agreed that; League bowls could recommence from 11 October subject to Appendix 4: Covid19 Club Ready Form being completed and returned to Zone Conveno