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Short Mat Bowling Association

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Welcome to the HSMBA Website

Short mat bowls is a relatively recent variant on the ancient sport of lawn bowls, played indoors on a specially manufactured, pre-marked mat. The sport, which is played socially and competitively in village halls and other community spaces, does not require a permanent location as the portable mats are rolled up and stored when not in use. The sport is played by all ages, sexes and abilities who can compete together.

HSMBA is the organising body for short mat bowls in Herefordshire. We are affiliated to the ESMBA, the governing body in England, and we run leagues, county teams and open competitions as well as generally promoting and developing the sport within the county.

A good place to start for newcomers is our Introduction section where you can find out more about the game, how to start playing or how to go about establishing a new club. Enjoy looking around our website and please use the Contact page to provide feedback or to find out more.

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Latest News

Following the October AGM, the Committee Details, Constitution and League Rules and Playing Conditions pages have been updated. We welcome Tim Rigden as our new Chairperson, Sophie Heather-Warner as Safeguarding Officer and committee member Kate Williams. Several committee positions remain unfilled and anyone interested in playing an active role within the running of the association is encouraged to contact a committee member to express their interest. We are particularly seeking to co-opt general committee members to serve until the next AGM in May 2022 from clubs which do not currently have members on the committee in order that the profile of membership representation is improved.

It is with sadness that we inform members of Ian Park’s passing after a long illness. Ian was, until deteriorating health forced him to step down, Chairperson and Competition Secretary of the association and had previously served as A Team Captain. A member at various times of Tarrington, Woolhope and Ross clubs, Ian was also a distinguished player who, amongst his many county competition victories, won a record 4 county singles titles. Ian regularly represented the county in the ICC and at the National Championships.

There will be a 2 Mat Triples League run in the county between November and March. Details have been issued to club secretaries

We regret to inform members of the passing of Norman Allen. Norman was a long standing member of the Fownhope club, a recent President of the association and the founder and sponsor of the Two Counties Team of Ten LEH Competition. Norman had been involved with organised bowling in this area since its inception and served as the inaugural treasurer of the original combined Herefordshire & Gloucestershire association in the early 1990s.

Congratulations to Richard Bemand of the Gorsley Chapel club on his appointment to the post of ESMBA National Umpires Director. We wish Richard all the best in his new role    Details

The ESMBA have issued a statement regarding play beyond the 19th July. Safe Bowls Status is no longer a requirement for affiliated clubs although the ESMBA still recommend it and will continue to issue certificates. For clubs restarting without Safe Bowls Status there is a Covid Awareness Guidance Checklist to complete, primarily for internal club use. The full statement can be found here  ESMBA 19 July Statement and the Covid Awareness Checklist can be found here  Covid Awareness Guidance Checklist  The HSMBA committee will issue further guidance in due course as we consider a return to organised bowling

The HSMBA committee have taken the decision not to enter the ICC competition for the 21-22 season. A poll of county squad players indicated a range of positions regarding players’ current attitude towards playing and, coupled with the low level of bowling activity currently taking place in the county and continuing uncertainty regarding the relaxation of restrictions, it was felt the risk of being unable to fulfil fixtures was too high. The current focus will be on re-establishing bowling activity within the county and rejoining the ICC competition for the 22-23 season

All of the updates from the ESMBA, together with all of the Back to Bowls and Safe Bowls Status documentation can be found on our dedicated web page    ESMBA Coronavirus Information