Return to Bowls FAQ's - Phase One

Return to Bowls (Phase One) Frequently Asked Questions: Last Updated 10am on Monday 1st June 2020


  1. Are Bowls Scotland recommending people go back to Bowls?

The Scottish Government or Bowls Scotland are not forcing clubs to re-open or any of our members to play bowls. If your club has the correct safety procedures in place and follows the information detailed in the Guidance document and as an individual you feel safe and have a desire to return to the bowling green, you can do so


  1. Am I allowed to play against someone from outside my household?

Yes. Bowling activity can resume but should ONLY include practice individually or games with members of your own household or between members of two households where social distancing guidance can be followed.


  1. Can over 70's bowl?

Yes. Players who are 70 and over can play but should follow current guidance to make their own decision about returning to the green


  1. I have a disability and require support; how can I return to the green?

Players who require additional help must be provided by a member of their own household unless the 2m social distancing measure can be met by a carer/helper out with their own household. Disability aids and wheelchairs must be sanitised before and after each session. If club equipment is to be used, prior permission along with instructions for use must be obtained


  1. I am classed as high risk; can I go and play bowls?

If you are at a higher risk you should follow current guidelines to make your own decision about returning to the green.

If are in the extremely high-risk category and have been advised by the Chief Medical Officer to shield, you should follow current guidance to protect yourself.


  1. Can I travel to my club to play bowls?

The Scottish Government is encouraging people to stay local to exercise with a rough 5-mile travel distance acceptable. Club members should take a common-sense approach and use good judgement. This is an individual decision and the club will not be expected to monitor or ‘police’ this.


  1. I do not want to bowl this season due to virus, can club force me to pay membership?

All clubs will require funds to continue to stay open, therefore we encourage you to continue to pay your membership fee if you can, even if you do not intend to play


  1. Can someone 16 or under play without a parent/guardian?

Parents or guardians must accompany those aged 16 and under wishing to play at the club. They can either be on the green practicing with them or be allowed to wait at the side of the green.



  1. Can we run competitions and our club champs if we follow social distancing?

No. No club friendlies, internal competitions/club ties or external matches should take place at this time


Preparing for Play & Facility Considerations:

  1. How do clubs contact members about playing including those who do not have online access and organise playing time?

Clubs should use the appropriate method of communication for their members, whether this is via social media, club website, email or by phoning members. Whatever the method of communication, a booking system and log should be implemented to ensure a log of attendance at the green is in place. This will support contact tracing, if required.  A booking template is available on the Bowls Scotland website


  1. How often should mats and jacks be cleaned?

Disinfectant spray must be made available by the club. Players must use the disinfectant spray after each game to cleanse all mats and jacks (ensure these are completely dry of disinfectant before use on the green again).

Mats and jacks should be cleaned additionally at the end of the day and before the start of sessions the following morning


  1. Are there an any insurance implications with opening in phase 1?

Clubs should check with their insurance provider and put any additional measures in place as per their insurance companies recommendation (for example player disclaimers). 


13. Can toilets in the club be open?

The Scottish Government guidance on physical distancing states that “the risk of transmitting the virus is greater indoors, and the virus could be transmitted by or to you when you touch surfaces”. As a result, the Scottish Government guidance is clear that there is no access to indoor sports facilities permitted during phase one, this includes toilets.  Bowls Scotland continues to fully support and follow the Scottish Government guidelines relating to COVID19, including ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all members of Bowls Scotland. Please continue to err on the side of caution and follow the guidance provided by Scottish Government.


14. Can we open our bar if we deliver drinks to the green?

No. All club houses should remain closed and as a result clubs cannot provide any drinks.  Players should not bring or consume alcohol before, during or after play at the club


15. Should we monitor player compliance at the green?

Clubs need to do what works for them and their environment.  This might be having a club volunteer oversee sessions or a trust policy in place and encouraging members to be vigilant and take responsibility 


16. Can spectating happen if there are specific circumstances?

There should be no spectating. The following supporting individuals are permitted to be at the green/s whilst play is underway:

  • A parent/guardian supervising a child 16 years and under
  • A carer supporting a player with mobility issues or a disability
  • A club volunteer monitoring the implementation of guidance at the green


17. What if club members do not comply with the rules?

We expect all club members to comply with club rules and Scottish Government guidance.  If a member is not deemed to have followed club rules, it is up to individual clubs to take the necessary action.


18. What is the recommended gap between sessions to allow a safe change over?

Clubs should allocate a minimum of 30 minutes between ‘booking slots’ to minimise the number of players arriving and leaving at any one time and allow for any shared equipment to be sanitised by those finishing play and for those arriving prior to commencing their session


19. How do we hold a committee meeting to discuss this and other matters?

Clubs should continue to host meetings online, by phone or email and not meet face to face.  Bowls Scotland has advice on online platforms, please contact your National Development Officer for more information


20. The committee do not want to open the club, however members still want to play?

It is entirely up to club if they open or not, there is no urgency to return to the green.  We understand that members might want to get back to bowling as soon as possible so we would ask clubs to keep communicating with their members and encourage them to be patient and understand your decision not to open. In time when restrictions are lifted, this may make it easier for both clubs and players to get back on the green



21. Our club has only one entry and exit how can we structure how people access/leave the green?

Clubs should look at the template on Green Layout which outlines additional support in this area.  Clubs should consider how to support any player with mobility issues


22. Should benches and bins still be used around the green?

Benches, ashtrays, and bins to be removed, covered or sign-posted in such a way that members do not touch or use them


23. How do players clean hands prior to play if access to clubhouse is not permitted?

Players should bring their own hand sanitiser and use this throughout play


24. Will first aid cover be available at the club?

Clubs will require to conduct a risk assessment and inform all those who wish to play that there will be limited or no first aid available.  Clubs should ensure they have players emergency contact details


25. How do members get their bowls if they are in the locker?

The clubhouse and locker room facilities will remain closed and should not be accessed/used by players.   Limited essential access for example to remove bowls and shoes etc may be allowed by the club and should be coordinated appropriately e.g.  if the key holder looking after the facility placed the items outside for collection, but clubs should risk assess and ensure appropriate measures in place


26. Are we allowed to have potential new members play?

It is entirely up to clubs. It is quite feasible that there may be non-members from your local community that wish to use bowls as part of their daily/weekly exercise.  If new members want to participate then this may be an opportunity to introduce them to bowls as long as guidelines are followed


27.What other checks should we do prior to opening?

Please see the general guidance for bowling activity on our website which includes templates and additional information


28. If we have any questions about opening, who do we contact?

Firstly, please ensure you have read all the guidance and FAQs as these might be able to answer any questions you may have.  However, if you still require assistance, please contact our National Development Officers can support with any additional questions you may have:



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