The 68th Annual Southampton Open Bowls Tournament
Monday 25th July until Saturday 30th July 2022
Entries close at Noon on Tuesday 31st May 2022
Mens & Ladies Singles, Pairs, & Triples
Open Consolation Pairs - Thursday onwards
Over £3,000 in Prize Money & Awards
Decision not to stage the Southampton open Bowls Tournament in 2021
Southampton Open Bowls Tournament
2021 President: Walter Metcalf – Lockswood BC
We hope you are all staying safe & well.
We have now completed our January review into the possibility of our staging the Tournament in 2021. As advised in our previous statement letter of the 8th August 2019, the 2021 Tournament could only proceed if the Coronavirus Pandemic had been fully resolved and we could be certain that all the key logistical requirements essential for us to successfully stage the event could be met.
Regrettably, and after careful consideration of our various concerns over the progress and timescale for resolving the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic and the significant resulting logistical difficulties, we have reluctantly concluded that we cannot with certainty run the event safely for all those who would attend, or be able to deliver the normal enjoyable full tournament experience, both on and off the greens.
The development, approval and roll out of a number of very effective vaccines is wonderful news for the eventual resolution of the Pandemic. However, the consensus of UK expert Scientific and Medical opinion, even assuming there are no delays in the future procurement, manufacturing, and supply of vaccines, or further virus mutations, is that a complete phased roll out of a National Vaccination Program will be a gradual and ongoing process throughout 2021. While the vaccination program is expected to significantly reduce the prevalence of COVID-19 infections over the Summer months, the sad reality is that the Coronavirus will continue to circulate amongst the population and remain an ongoing, but hopefully ever declining health threat during 2021.
The health & safety of everyone attending the Tournament remains our paramount consideration.
Given that our tournament is a highly social week-long event with attendees from all over the South of England and Jersey and spanning all age ranges, we simply cannot ignore the ongoing risk posed by any asymptomatic carriers unknowingly attending during the week, or the potentially serious consequences for all other attendees.
The other crucial factor in our decision is the severe financial consequences the ongoing Pandemic has had on all Bowls Clubs, including our Host Clubs. Our Head Quarters, Atherley BC, have already confirmed that they will only have one of their two outdoor greens in operation in 2021 and our other host clubs will also be grappling with the same Financial, Operational, and COVID-19 compliance issues. Securing an adequate provision of Umpires and volunteer markers is another area of concern given they are both essential to run our Tournament successfully.
Our final consideration in making a definitive decision at this stage was our appreciation that many non-local and Jersey entrants have to commit to significant expense in advance for booking travel and accommodation, and like many of our local entrants some also need to book valuable time off work to be able to attend and compete.
We fully appreciate and share your disappointment that the 2021 Tournament will not be able to go ahead, but trust you will understand and agree that it is the correct decision given all the prevailing circumstances, concerns and considerations outlined above.
Please continue to take care and stay safe as there is now light at the end of the tunnel and hopefully, we will all finally be able to fully return to our normal lives in 2022 and enjoy all our usual Summer activities, including our Tournament.
Brian Hopper & Kerry Clements
SOBT Hon Secretary & Hon Assistant Secretary
Until Start of 2022 Tournament
If you would like to join our Facebook Group, please message Kerry to be added to the group