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Executive Statement on the temporary "Open" rule

By Mark Reeve/ Jay Merrell West Somerset Bowls League

Wednesday, 11 May 2022

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At the Extraordinary General Meeting held on the 14th April 2021 ahead of the 2021 season it was agreed, as a temporary rule change, that the League would become Open. This was principally designed to allow clubs who might be struggling to field team(s) to invite their lady members to play. This ensured games went ahead.

This was judged to be a success and a number of clubs included ladies in their sides. At the 2021 Annual General Meeting held last October it was agreed to extend this temporary rule change into the 2022 season.

On several occasions it has been pointed out to committee members that historically the WSBL is a men’s league, some players have made it clear they would like to see it return to a men’s league in 2023.

Mark and Jay are minded to consider making the rule change permanent. If agreed by other Executive Committee members this will be put to a vote of member clubs at this year’s AGM (in the autumn).

In the meantime, the Executive is keen to stress that clubs selecting ladies must do so in the spirit of the rule change. Some clubs will continue to play with all men, other clubs will bring ladies in when teams can’t be filled with men. Some may decide to select ladies on merit.

If making the rule change permanent goes to a vote this autumn, we expect it to be close. Clubs not following the spirit of this temporary rule change risk upsetting other clubs and making permanent acceptance of the rule change less likely. Although we cannot dictate any Club’s selection process the 'rumour' that an entire team might be ladies is not considered to be in the spirit of the rule change.

The WSBL Executive

Contact Information

Mark Reeve/ Jay Merrell

  • 07802 791617
  • 07473 992955

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