Latest News

20 May 2020 20th May - BNSW UPDATE - Exemption
11 May 2020 11th May - BNSW ROAD-MAP - Stage 1
30 Apr 2020 30th April - BNSW UPDATE
28 Apr 2020 28th April - FURTHER UPDATE FROM BA
27 Apr 2020 27th April - STATEMENT FROM BA
24 Apr 2020 24th April - BNSW UPDATE
24 Apr 2020 24th April - STATEMENT FROM BA

20th May - BNSW UPDATE - Exemption

Mark Alexander, Wednesday, 20 May 2020


BNSW have released the following documents (refer to the links below):

    Circular 11/2020: Joint Advice re Exemption from PHO

    BNSW Road-map - Stage 1 (updated 20.5.20)


The advice in these two documents now supercedes ALL previous advice.


In particular, note the absolute requirement that the names and contact details of all bowlers who take to the green for a roll-up/practice MUST be recorded and copies of those records kept for a minimum of 4 weeks.


Mark Alexander (Zone 9 Secretary)

Other Links
 Circular 11/2020 - Joint advice from WBNSW & BNSW re exemption for lawn bowls from Public Health Order
 BNSW Roadmap - Stage 1 (updated)

11th May - BNSW ROAD-MAP - Stage 1

Mark Alexander, Monday, 11 May 2020


With the NSW State Government announcing relaxed restrictions to take effect from 15 May, BNSW, in conjunction with WBNSW, has released a road map (refer link below) to inform Clubs and members of new restrictions and recommendations as we work through the stages.


When the NSW Government announces further stages of the relaxation of restrictions and clearer timeframes, BNSW will be in a better position to advise Clubs, Districts & Zones of their plans and course of action for Association events remaining in the 2020 season.


If you have any enquiries or need assistance, please contact David Ellis at    or    0450 956 485.



Mark Alexander (Zone 9 Secretary)

Other Links
 BNSW - Road-map - Stage 1

30th April - BNSW UPDATE

Mark Alexander, Thursday, 30 April 2020


Well, some good news for bowlers in NSW, with news just now that there has been some easing of the restrictions that applied to roll-ups and practice, effective from Saturday 2nd May.

Full details are available in the email below from BNSW.


A word of caution though as the guidelines are particularly stringent and, if they are not seen to be followed, then we could very well revert back to the current situation of there being NO bowls activity at all.

It is also worth noting that both BNSW and WBNSW have absolved themselves of any responsibility in this regard with the onus of whether bowlers are allowed to roll-up/practice placed solely on the Club itself.

Clearly, some Clubs may not wish to open their greens at present, preferring to wait till guidelines are eased further.  That is the choice of each Club and their Boards and any decisions must be accepted by their membership.

Remember, if you do open your greens (but the Club-house remains closed) then someone will have to be on hand to ensure that the new guidelines are implemented and followed.


Like much of the current advertising says, "We are all in this together", so I respectfully ask that all Clubs and bowlers approach this move with common-sense and follow the guidelines, however strict you may think they are, and DON'T stuff this up for the rest of us.


Mark Alexander (Zone 9 Secretary)


---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Bowls NSW <>
Date: Thu, Apr 30, 2020 at 3:26 PM
Subject: Update regarding lawn bowling activity
To: <>


Official communication from Bowls NSW

Update from Bowls NSW Regarding CORONA VIRUS (COVID-19)



With the NSW Premier announcing the easing of a stay at home restriction this week, it is also time for both Bowls NSW and Women’s Bowls NSW to jointly update their advice on bowling activity.

It must be noted that the NSW Government has not relaxed restrictions as to:

  • Social distancing (this remains that persons must keep at least 1.5m distance from each other),
  • Outdoor gatherings (this remains at no more than two persons),
  • That aged persons or those with pre-existing conditions should stay at home or take extra precautions if they leave their home, and,
  • That licensed establishments remain closed (except for sale of takeaway beverages and food).

However, Bowls NSW together with Women’s Bowls NSW now advise that clubs may, at their own risk, and after satisfying their own legal and insurance responsibilities, allow the use of their outdoor bowling greens for practice/roll ups under strict guidelines.

Both associations would like to make it very clear that clubs are under no obligation to open their greens but, if they feel as though they can do so safely and with proper protocols, may allow practice/roll ups from Saturday 2nd May.

The following points should be considered with the utmost importance:

  • The consumption of alcohol is not permitted on licensed premises, under current restrictions,
  • Social distancing must be adhered to,
  • No more than two persons can practice/roll up on a rink,
  • There must be a rink space (empty rink) between each rink in use,
  • No more than 10 persons are permitted on a green at any time
  • Strict safety and health protocols must be in place as per the recommended guidelines
  • Persons must not congregate on the premises, prior to or after completion of practice/roll up.

Both Bowls NSW and Women’s Bowls NSW do not accept any responsibility for individuals or clubs participating in this activity and strongly urge persons to abide by the rules set out by each club or risk penalty from relevant authorities.

The two associations see this advice as a first stage in allowing members to participate in bowling activity.

Any further easing of bowling activity advice will be dependent upon government and health authorities relaxing of restrictions.

Please note that this advice may be repealed at any time, if guidelines are not adhered to and/or government advises that restrictions are rescinded.

We urge all persons to consider the consequences of not following the guidelines and protocols and to NOT attend if showing any slightest symptoms of any illness.

We are all in this together and by doing the right thing and acting responsibly, it may lead to decisions by authorities to further release restrictions earlier than may otherwise have occurred.

Please stay safe everyone and let us all enjoy the physical and mental benefits of our great sport.


For a copy of the circular please CLICK HERE:

If you have any general enquiries, please contact:

Women’s Bowls NSW on 02 9267 7155 or

Bowls NSW (David Ellis – Head of Sport & Operations) on 0450 956 485 or

Date:          30 April 2020

 Re:              Joint statement from Bowls NSW and Women’s Bowls NSW on stage one    easing of restrictions as of 2nd May 2020

Key Federal and NSW Government Restrictions

  • Federal and NSW Government advice is to suspend all social sporting activities
  • NSW Office of Sport advice is that bowling greens are not explicitly ordered to be closed under NSW Public Health Orders and lawn bowls practice can be classed as exercise
  • All licensed premises are closed except for sale of take away food and beverages
  • There must be no more than two persons in any gathering
  • Individuals must keep at least 1.5-metre distance between each other
  • Individuals are only allowed to leave their household for essential criteria, up to two adults with children are now allowed to travel to a relative/friend house
  • People at high risk (aged persons) or those with preexisting medical conditions are encouraged to stay at home where possible and take additional precautions when leaving home

Bowls NSW & Women’s Bowls NSW Guidelines & Recommendations

  • Clubs may choose to allow greens to be opened at their own risk
  • NO social bowls or competitions allowed
  • Practice/roll ups allowed under following conditions:
  • Please check with your club to ascertain if greens are opened
  • Arrive within five minutes of practice and not before
  • Only two persons per rink — social distancing rules apply
  • There must be at least one rink space (an empty rink) between each rink in use
  • No more than 10 persons per green
  • Only one person to handle mat and jack
  • Bowls equipment MUST NOT be shared (e.g. bowls, cloths, measuring devices etc.)
  • Scoreboards are NOT to be used or should be taken away by the club (if possible)
  • Individuals MUST NOT arrange to meet others on premises
  • Persons must leave the premises immediately after practice/roll up and cleansing of all equipment
  • Players should practice safe hygiene at all times including washing of hands for at least 20 seconds before and after participation
  • Hand sanitiser and disinfectant must be supplied at entrance to club/greens and stationed at each green in use
  • Clubs may wish to implement a booking system, fee and length of practice time with staggered times if using multiple greens
  • Clubs may wish to engage staff to facilitate and supervise under Job Keeper assistance program and/or volunteers
  • Coaching is limited to one other person per session
  • Please note that the consumption of alcohol is not allowed on licensed premises under current restrictions

Disclaimer: Bowls NSW and Women’s Bowls NSW are not experts on pandemics and therefore all Australian and NSW government and health department information, guidelines and directives supersedes this information. Bowls NSW and Women’s Bowls NSW has released this information to inform its members as to how both associations are responding to COVID-19 and to provide recommendations as to what we believe is the best course of action for clubs and individuals.

If you are unsure of anything listed above, please contact each respective association for clarification — contact David Ellis here.






Mark Alexander, Thursday, 30 April 2020


Thanks to all those Clubs that have indicated how they are looking after their members during this COVI-19 enforced lockdown.  Frequent newsletters to those with email appears to be the new 'norm' these days but it is also good to hear that Clubs are taking the time to personally contact those members who are more socially isolated or perhaps live alone.  Maintaining the mental health of all is just as important as physical health.

Thanks also to a handful of Clubs and individuals who noted how they observed ANZAC Day.


Some individuals have detailed how they are spending their 'lockdown' time away from bowls:

Mal Knight (Lane Cove) has researched his family tree via and recommended this as a worthwhile activity, especially if you are able to access the memories of older relatives.

Tony Gale (Killara) observed the 'relation management intitiative' put forward by his wife (!!) and painted the 47m white picket fence along the front of his property. (refer photo below)

Paul Leckey (Harbord) used recycled left-overs from previous stained-glass church window jobs to create a memorial piece dedicated to the dead and injured koalas from the recent bush-fires. (refer photo below)


Meanwhile, Zone Secretary Mark Alexander (Harbord) thought he would take a particularly novel approach to this 'downtime' and recently spent 5 consecutive days (four hours per day) on chemotherapy at the SAN receiving immunoglobulin infusions for a developing sensory peripheral neuropathy issue.  The current suspension of bowls could not have come at a better time for 'Doc' as his condition and the treatment would have curtailed any bowls for some months.

Tony Gale painting fence

Paul Leckey's Stained Glass Koala

Mark Alexander at the SAN


Mark Alexander, Tuesday, 28 April 2020


Today's news from Bowls Australia is that they have modified their Australian Championships, what are now called 'The Nationals', which were to be held in the first two weeks of October.

BA has cancelled the 2020 Open and Seniors National Sides Championships as well as the National Under-18 Championships.

They have retained the 2020 Australian Championships in Singles, Pairs, Triples and Fours and CoCC events but these have been postponed, possibly to be now held in the first week of December.


This really means that the focus of competitive bowls when (or if) it returns will be Championships and NOT Pennants as Clubs and then Zones will be required to produce their appropriate winners in these Championship events.

Of course this all still depends upon the easing of current lockdown protocols and the relaxing of social distancing measures but most importantly it will largely depend upon when Clubs can re-open.  Like all Zones, Zone 9 will receive guidance from BNSW as to when bowls can recommence, what the format will look like and whether the BA timetable is feasible given that it may still be several months till Clubs can re-open.


Please monitor your emails and the websites of Zone 9, BNSW and BA.


Mark Alexander (Zone 9 Secretary)



Mark Alexander, Monday, 27 April 2020


Bowls Australia released their latest statement today with positive news for some states on the road to resumption of bowls:


The statement clearly refers to just SA, NT and WA where their various State Governments have already announced a relaxation to restrictions that applied to various social and sporting activities.


In time, National Principles on a return to sport will apply to all States but, for the meantime, NSW is not included.  Once these National Principles are released across Australia, we will see a return to some limited bowls activities though the statement does refer to the playing of only singles and pairs, no more than 10 persons on a green at any one time and multiple hygiene measures.  Clearly if Clubs themselves are not re-opened, this will make all activities quite problematic.


BA also notes that persons (bowlers) aged over 70 and those with chronic illnesses should remain home so this could mean that such persons are not permitted to join in the limited bowls activities when they do resume.


Stay safe!!


Mark Alexander (Zone 9 Secretary)


24th April - BNSW UPDATE

Mark Alexander, Friday, 24 April 2020

Hi everyone,

Please find copied below the latest information from BNSW.  This appeared on their Facebook page within the last hour.  There is a huge amount of information contained therein, some of it quite positive, some of it realistic in terms of time-frames for a return to bowls.


Mark Alexander (ZONE 9 SECRETARY)




COVID UPDATE Friday 24th April 2020

Bowls NSW trusts that all members are safe and well and coping with these unprecedented isolation laws.
The impact of COVID-19 has hit not just only our sport but the world-wide community severely.
With an excess of 190,000 deaths across the globe and 3 million people affected it is frightening how this virus can spread with little regard to the physical well-being of individuals.
Australia has done an incredibly good job at containing the spread of the virus, since the first infection on our shores was made known in late February.
This is due to the strict social distancing, gathering and isolation laws now in place, however as is shown by the outbreak in northern Tasmania and within the Newmarch Retirement Village in Sydney, it illustrates how quickly one isolated incident can affect so many others.
It is why we must remain diligent and abide by all the protocols and laws in place.


Our thoughts and prayers are with any member and their families who may have been impacted by this coronavirus.


The Australian Federal Government and NSW State Government have enforced that all organised sporting events and all social sporting activities MUST be suspended. This includes all forms of social bowls, practice or roll ups, together with State legislation that ALL licensed premises be closed, it means that unfortunately, bowling greens, situated within those licensed premises are also closed, Please adhere to these regulations.

Bowls NSW, along with all other STA’s and Bowls Australia are united in the stance that ALL Bowling activity be suspended.

Bowls NSW has also been working hard with Bowls Australia and all other STA’s to formulate strategies to lobby both Federal and State governments and sporting regulatory bodies on a staged approach to allow easing of restrictions on licensed premises to allow participation of lawn bowls.
It is still too early to advise of any details, rest assured, we will let all concerned parties and individuals know, if we have been successful or not and what those stages will look like as soon as practically possible.
With nationwide and state numbers flattening, it is hopeful that we can get a decision in the not too distant future.

With that said, however, we anticipate that the opening of clubs, will not be one of the first restrictions to be relaxed and may even be one of the last and will more likely continue to have strict distancing restrictions in place, whenever they are allowed to re-open. There will still, also, be restricted numbers on outdoor gatherings.
This all impacts what we can do as a sport and Bowls NSW is working on multiple scenarios of how our season will look upon resumption of competition play and especially inter club events and state events.
As you can imagine it has been very difficult to affirm anything as decisions are made/rescinded/changed each week/day and even within the hour.
Suffice to say that the ultimate decision will be made by how effective we can be together to lessen the spread of COVID-19 throughout the community.


All levels of Government and Sports Associations across the country are acutely aware that if sporting clubs are lost then the whole community and society suffers and we at Bowls NSW are working closely with all other associations and government departments to lessen the impact and to do whatever can be done to assist.

One of those has been the State Governments Small Business Subsidy.
When announced it was inferred that bowling clubs would be eligible for this $10,000 grant, however, upon clubs registering for this subsidy it was found that public companies limited by guarantee (the great majority of our clubs) were precluded from applying.
Advice from NSW Government, is that clubs are now eligible to apply for this grant as long as they comply with the eligibility criteria of;
The Clubs payroll for 2019-20 year must be less than the tax threshold of $900,000;
The Club must employ between 1 – 19 full time employees;
Clubs must have suffered a reduction of revenue of 75% or more in a 2-week period, relative to the same period in 2019. As clubs are regarded as businesses in a highly impacted industry, a club will not need a letter from an accountant to demonstrate the reduction in revenue.
Eligible clubs are encouraged to apply and can do so here (…/apply-small-business-covid…)


Here is an update on the following items:

Bowls NSW Office:
The Bowls NSW remains closed.
Bowls NSW has successfully applied and registered for the Federal Government Job Keeper program and all staff have agreed to reduce hours and or days of work; take accrued annual and/or eligible long service leave; take unpaid leave, or a combination of all of these.
Whist working at greatly reduced rate, we are still available at intermittent times.
All enquires can be sent to or you can contact, David Ellis on 0450 956 485.


Bowls NSW Affiliation Fees:
All affiliation fees have been deferred until further notice.
Members will still be eligible to play events, upon resumption and information is released to clubs regarding fees, any reduction that may be applied to those fees and their due date.


Bowls NSW Events:
Bowls NSW are working on contingencies for a resumption of all events, a partially reduced calendar or substantially reduced events.
Events previously advised of cancellation are as follows:
State Junior Championships; Brett Duprez Junior Series; Under 18 State Camp; Drakes Pride Junior Carnival; BNSW Indoor Qualifying; City v Country Series; All State Representative Matches (all divisions).

A definitive decision is still to be made by Bowls Australia on The Nationals, and that decision will be key as to what Bowls NSW events will be required or not required to be completed.

If Bowls Australia proceed with Australian Championships at a later time of year or early 2021, then Bowls NSW will need to complete State Championships.
NSW already has its qualification for The Australian Champion of Champion event (2019 NSW Champion of Champions) but in order to have a qualifier for 2021 Australian Champion of Champions, we will need to complete a Champions of Champion event this year or very early in 2021 (if required).

A decision on Pennants will be made at a later date, which will be dependent upon when clubs are allowed to re-open and what social distancing and gathering restrictions are in place at that time.

The decisions regarding the above State events will impact on the decisions required for all other State events (State Rookies; State O40s Pairs; Club Challenge; State U25 Singles; State Junior 7 a Side) and the time required to complete those events with time left in the year.

As soon as events are confirmed or cancelled and restrictions known, we will release all details regarding the calendar of events for remainder of season.
Bowls NSW is working with all zone administrations to help formulate what is required to be completed and likely timeframes.


Coaching and Umpires:
All courses are temporarily postponed until such time as clubs are allowed to re-open and what gathering restrictions are in place.
Once we are at the stage to be able to hold courses again, information will be released to each zone.
All Coaches and Umpires who are due for re-accreditation up to 31 December 2020 will have an extension until 30 June 2021 to complete their re-accreditation process and payment.


Club Assistance Programs:
All eligible clubs should have registered for Job Keeper Program by now.
For all information regarding Job Keeper please click here (

Bowls NSW urges eligible clubs to utilise this assistance program for all staff, especially any staff required to maintain greens.


Boosting Cashflow for eligible business – for information click here (…/fact_sheet-boosting_cash_flow_for…)


Temporary Relief for Financially distressed businesses – for information click here (…/Fact_sheet-Providing_temporary_re…)


Loan Guarantee Scheme and relaxation of lending eligibility – For information click here (…/Fact_sheet-Supporting_the_flow_of…)


AGM’s may be postponed – For more information click here (…/20-068mr-guidelines-for-meeting-upcom…)


Small Business Grants (mentioned earlier), Payroll Tax Waived; Gaming Tax Deferred – For more information click here (…/covid-19-tax-relief-measur…)


Bowls NSW wants to thank all clubs and members who have been understanding of the circumstances during this crisis.
Bowls NSW will continue to work to ensure we can start participating in our sport sooner rather than later and will provide further updates as they are finalised.



Mark Alexander, Friday, 24 April 2020


All bowlers in Zone 9 and the entire Australian bowls community will be pleased to hear of the statement released a short time ago by Neil Dalrymple (CEO, Bowls Australia).


It may be early days but consideration is being given to the relaxation of the current restrictions that apply to sport in Australia.

This easing of restrictions will be in line with those directed by Government.  We can probably anticipate a gradual phasing in of a return to bowls activities but a process that may still see the older bowlers and those with chronic medical issues returning later than the younger bowls population.  This would clearly be in step with the gradual relaxation of other social activities.  As noted in much of the correspondence circling around, the issue with bowls is that a significant portion of our membership lies in the cohort that is most at risk from COVID-19 and of course we are now entering our winter months where colds, flus and other viruses are most prolific.


But, at last, some good news on the road to recovery!


Mark Alexander (Zone 9 Secretary)