Save our sport: Bring all counties in line with regard to ladies county competitions, so that every female has the same opportunities to play bowls...
This petition made change with 396 supporters!
The future of women's bowls is at stake. Our sport already struggles to attract and maintain younger female bowlers, and by putting obstacles in place with regard to competitive play that goal is made even harder.
Each of the counties across the country are operating in a different way with regard to competitions. Some women are able to play their games in the evening rather than the daytime, but some still have to take time off to play county finals. For those in education, either studying or working for schools, this is impossible, so many have to forfeit competitive play.
Others simply cannot enter. Sussex plays county competitions during the day, on a Monday and Friday, at 10am and 2pm.
Yorkshire plays the latter stages of competitions on fixed weekdays, during the day.
For those that can get time off work- and this means in extreme cases (Sussex) having to ask employers for every Monday and Friday off for six weeks- lots of holiday is taken up by bowls, which has an impact on family life.
For those that cannot get the time off, they have to choose either one or two competitions to play, or, in some cases, not enter competitions.
Sussex won the Amy Rose competition this year, yet the majority of these players (six of the 10 are under 18) will not be able to play in county competitions.
If some counties can bring in rules that workers or those in education cannot be forced to play in the evenings, why can't all counties operate in this way?
Obviously not everybody works 9am to 5pm, but play on or play by dates should be able to accomodate everyone.
We are being told that the majority do not want these changes to be made, and that is probably true. But the current system is unfair because not every female bowler has the same opportunities to play our sport at the top level. We believe that this is discrimination.
And if this is the case, how are we ever going to keep young women interested enough to keep playing bowls?
So this is the compromise:
Play on or play by dates.
Players drawn against each other where both want to play at 11am or 2pm are free to do so, but workers and those in education should not be made to take time off to play during the day.
They can play their competitions at 6pm, just as the men do. And if this is the minority of games then rink space is never going to be an issue.
This goes beyond individual counties and their rules, this is about saving our sport. Please help us.
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