July 2020 | Volume 4, Number 8



You Too Can Have Your Very OWN Copy of ON LINE. It's Free.



News Flash: OLBA Moves to Phase-2 and Phase-3

At the July 17th, Ontario Lawn Bowls Association Board of Directors’ meeting, the unanimous decision was made to move the OLBA from Phase-1 in the Return to Play protocols to Phase -2 and Phase-3.

The decision is effective immediately and is applicable only to those municipalities who have reached Stage-3 in the provincial Covid-19 staging process. For those clubs remaining in Stage-2 of the provincial staging process, they can move to Phase-2 or remain under OLBA Phase-1.

Clubs eligible for Phase-3 can now compete in intra-club games at their respective clubs while maintaining strict Covid-19 protocol. A copy of the OBLA Phase-3 protocol approved by the OLBA Board of Directors is attached. Please give the document review by your club board.

As of July 17th, your club qualifies to introduce OLBA Phase 2 or Phase-3 if your local health unit is listed below.

  • Algoma Public Health
  • Brant County Health Unit
  • Chatham-Kent Public Health
  • Eastern Ontario Health Unit
  • Grey Bruce Health Unit
  • Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit
  • Hastings Prince Edward Public Health
  • Huron Perth Public Health
  • Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health
  • Leeds Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit
  • Middlesex-London Health Unit
  • North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit
  • Northwestern Health Unit
  • Ottawa Public Health
  • Peterborough Public Health
  • Porcupine Health Unit
  • Public Health Sudbury and Districts
  • Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services
  • Renfrew County and District Health Unit
  • Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit
  • Southwestern Public Health
  • Thunder Bay District Health Unit
  • Timiskaming Health Unit
  • Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health

As of July 17th, clubs who can remain at OLBA Phase-1 or move to OBLA Phase-2 are those clubs whose local health units are listed below:

  • Durham Region Health Department
  • Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
  • Halton Region Public Health
  • Hamilton Public Health Services
  • Lambton Public Health
  • Niagara Region Public Health
  • Peel Public Health
  • Toronto Public Health
  • Windsor-Essex County Health Unit
  • York Region Public Health

Although municipalities may be in Stage-2 of the provincial protocol, they must adhere to OLBA Phase-1 or Phase-2 protocols (a copy of the OBLA Phase-2 protocol is attached). Please note that the terminology of OLBA Phase-2 is “training games” rather than the Bowls Canada modified games. As noted repeatedly in previous correspondence, the legal definition of “modified games” in the original Phase-2 protocol and how it correlated to the provincial Declaration of Emergency’s ban on team games and scrimmages remained open to non-definitive interpretation to satisfy the OLBA’s concerns.

Next steps for clubs who wish to move to Phase 2 or 3:

· On advice from our legal counsel and that of our insurance carrier, all OLBA members must complete and sign the OLBA waiver prior to being allowed on club grounds. Should a volunteer not wish to sign a waiver, they are not permitted on club premises but will remain a member of the club. Amended waivers are prohibited. Waivers must be signed as provided by the OLBA. To be clear, members must sign a waiver or they are not allowed on club grounds. No exceptions!

· The OLBA strongly recommends that all club board members first review the Bowls Canada webinar on insurance and waivers. The link is:




· Clubs are under no obligation to move to Phase-2 or Phase-3 should they not wish to do so.

· Clubs acknowledge that the safety protocols listed in OLBA Phase-1 and reiterated in Phases 2-3, including Declarations of Compliance, are critical to the club from safety, legal and insurance perspectives.

· The OLBA Return to Play protocols, Phase 2-3, are available at olba.ca. It is crucial that all club board members and volunteers in positions of authority (such as Safety Officers) read, understand and adhere to the guidelines. Any variance from the attached guidelines may jeopardize a club’s liability insurance.

· You must convey your club’s desire to move to Phase 2 or 3 in an email to the OLBA (oswald@olba.ca) before allowing your members to engage in any Phase 2 or 3 activities.

· While the OLBA gathering limit of 50 people is in place, the club reserves the right to decide to limit under 50 people based on the club’s safety and administrative challenges. The OLBA recommends that clubs use a gradation scale from 10-50 in a slow and methodical manner, subject again to a club’s safety and administrative comfort levels.

· Membership is crucial to all clubs. Clubs who have lost members as a result of Covid-19 are strongly encouraged to contact them to convey the club’s protocol intent and to invite them to return.

· Clubs acknowledge that, should the province rescind Stage-3 and return to either Stage-2 or Stage-1, that their club must return to OBLA corresponding phase immediately.

Again, a complete detailed list of the Phases 2-3 Return to Play protocols is attached and please ensure that your club board and volunteers in authority read, understand and adhere to the guidelines. Please share these documents with your members.

To conclude, the OBLA appreciates the understanding and patience of the membership during this unprecedented time while protocols were developed to keep your membership safe. For the benefit of all OLBA members, the Return to Play protocols Phases 2-3 will be posted on the obla.ca website.

It’s now time to BOWL your members over!

Gary O.

Gary B. Oswald

Executive Director

Ontario Lawn Bowls Association

(416) 402-9164


Support Documents for Return to Play



Ontario Seniors Community Grant Program Now Taking Applications

Ontario has opened up the Seniors Community Grant Program again with a deadline of August 7.Here are links to the Grant Application forms for both Stream 1 and Stream 2, the Application Guide and the the description of the program.

You can download all of the forms and guides here:

Senior Community Grant Forms

To apply for this grant, you have to get a One Key Account and apply through a Transfer Payment Ontario Grant.

You can register for a One Key Account and take care of this here:


Other useful links



Application Guide


Grants range from $1,000 to $100,000 in two streams.

Start by reading the information here and opening the appropriate government accounts.


Ralph Ellis

OLBA VP and Grants Chair




How to Prevent Volunteer Burnout as Clubs Reopen

Published by Casey Donnelly on


As different clubs across the country decide whether or not they will take on the challenge of reopening their doors, many have expressed concern about overworking their volunteers. On a regular day, volunteers are the backbone of a club. Throw COVID-19 and Return to Play guidelines into the mix and volunteers become the reason for a club’s survival.

Everyone has different levels of comfort when getting involved with their club again, and it’s important to respect these unique attitudes and mindsets. However, this makes it tricky for clubs to recruit volunteers and avoid the burnout of existing ones. If your club is open and is struggling with this, consider the following:

Incentive: Is the role incentivized? Some people are looking for experience, some are looking for some sort of reward, and others are just looking for a sense of fulfillment. If you’re struggling to get volunteers for a specific role, consider incentivizing it. An incentive could be receiving one ballot in a draw for each hour volunteered, and holding a monthly draw for gift cards, food, beverages, swag, etc.

Recognition: whether it’s public, private, or something personal they can keep (like a plaque or certificate), many volunteers will want to be recognized for their efforts. Make sure you recognize them! A specific recognition example could be announcing a “Volunteer of the Month” with their name and photo posted on social media, in a newsletter, etc.

Clarity: there’s nothing worse than being told how to do your job 12 different ways from 12 different people. Make sure that each role has a clear job description or at least clear expectations for how it should be done. The pandemic has created some new roles, so decide on the requirements and expectations for these roles before recruiting people to fill them.

Resources: Be sure to offer help to your volunteers. If it’s their first time in the position, consider offering training, past examples, or experts who they can tap on the shoulder to ask for help. Of course they can’t literally tap someone on the shoulder at the moment, but make sure someone is available to help who knows the role and the return to play requirements.

Desirable: Above all, consider the desirability of the role. Nobody wants to be stuck in one of the more boring roles, so try to find ways to make the role more desirable or have volunteers cycle through different roles. How fun it is, how easy it is, and whether it has a big or small impact on the club can all be factors in determining whether someone will volunteer for a position or not. Sometimes equipment can be purchased to make a role easier, for example an installation of a sprinkler to help the grounds volunteers.

Ask what they want: While it may seem like common sense, many clubs don’t ask their people what they want. You may be surprised to find out why some people volunteer and why some people don’t. With the uncertainty of COVID-19, it wouldn’t hurt to reach out to members or past volunteers to find out how comfortable they are returning to the greens, and if volunteering may be something they would consider.

Social distancing in place at Nutana Lawn Bowling Club

COVID-19 remains a threat to our Canadian bowls communities, and it is admirable that volunteers have been stepping up to help the clubs that have opened so far. These volunteers have made it possible for bowlers to start returning to the sport they love, and with these tips clubs can make sure they feel fulfilled and appreciated.


See the Latest Videos from the Canadian Bowler Show

Show #12

Canadian Bowler after Dark

Good to Great to Elite - Coach's Corner #6

Empty Your Bowls Bag!! - Coach's Corner #5


Bowls Canada Boulingrin

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why was the decision made to cancel 2020 national championships and other BCB sanctioned events so early?

A: Provincial and federal governments have indicated it is unlikely for the COVID-19 situation to be over anytime soon in Canada. This means clubs will not likely be able to open on time, provinces are unlikely to be able to hold playdowns, and host clubs are unlikely to be able to prepare properly to host the events in these uncertain times.

The health and safety of our Bowls community, encompassing participants, players, coaches, umpires, volunteers, officials and spectators, is paramount to the decision to issue this advisory, as many of these groups typically belong to demographics that are especially susceptible to the effects of the virus.

As Covid-19 remains a rapidly changing and evolving global situation, BCB will continue to work with relevant government authorities and will provide the Bowls community with new and updated information as it comes to hand.

BCB is determined to be part of the whole-of-community response to slow the spread of this virus and safeguard the health and wellbeing of the bowls community – and in doing so, help the broader community and our health systems to cope during this difficult period.

Q: Will there still be Bowls Day?

A: For 2020, Bowls Day will be cancelled. We look forward to a 2021 Bowls Day that will be bigger and better than ever.

Q: Should we still be bowling this summer?

A: Clubs should follow the provincial and local advisories in place. While many bowlers will be anxious to get back on the green, safety comes first.

Q: Is BCB still going to charge a membership fee this summer?

A: No. However, we encourage all bowlers to still pay their fees to the club and provincial associations to support their clubs through this difficult time. Clubs and Provincial Associations will still need to fund essential services such as greens maintenance, lease payments, insurance etc. Your support in 2020 will help ensure clubs are able to stay viable.

Q: What should a club tell its members?

A: The health and wellbeing of the club’s members is top priority. At all times, the club should adhere to municipal, provincial, and federal guidelines/regulations

Q: Can we bowl alone at the club?

A: At the present time we do not recommend it. The governments are urging people to stay home so we can “flatten the curve”. This means people should stay home for nonessential tasks. We will continue to assess the situation as information becomes available, but for now the priority should be on doing our part to isolate and stop the spread.

Q: Can we still run an Open House?

A: At the present time, it is not recommended to run an Open House as this constitutes a gathering of people. Please monitor the situation and when it is safe to have social gatherings, reassess your Open Houses at that time.

Q: Should greenskeepers still cut the greens?

A: If the club can afford to do so, and it is safe to do so, then yes. Follow all government regulations and ensure that no one is increasing their risk by cutting the greens: safety first!

Q: What is going to happen to National Championships?

A: All national championships for 2020 are cancelled. We are currently working with provincial associations and hosts to determine next steps for 2021.

Q: What if we already won our provincial playdown to compete in the 2020 National Championships?

A: This would be up to your provincial association to decide how to handle. We would allow those provincial winners to represent the province in 2021 if that is what the provincial association would like to do.

Q: Will the North American Challenge (NAC) be cancelled?

A: Yes, the 2020 NAC is cancelled. Bowls Canada and Bowls USA are working together to identify a date to host the NAC in 2021.

Q: Will the BCB office be open?

A: The BCB office will be closed, however staff are working remotely. This means no orders will be filled for the foreseeable future. Staff are still available through their personal email and through the office email: office@bowlscanada.com

Q: Can I still order pins?

A: You can, but we will not be able to fill your order at this time, as the building in which the BCB office resides is currently closed.

Q: Do I still need to take Respect in Sport training?

A: Yes. Once the bowling season picks back up, the Respect in Sport training will still be a requirement. Completing this FREE training is a great activity for everyone practicing social distancing or self-isolating. You can access through this link.

Q: Will coaching workshops still be run?

A: All coach workshops will be postponed for the time being. BCB will look to offer virtual coach workshops in the future.

Q: Can I still coach someone 1-on-1?

A: It is not recommended to coach someone in-person at the present time, however with the changing environment, this could change at any time. It is recommended that Competition Coaches and Performance Coaches still maintain virtual contact with their athletes and coach them virtually if possible.

Q: Can groups still use the clubhouse?

A: Clubs should follow municipal, provincial, and federal guidelines/regulations.

Q: What if we can’t afford our bills this year?

A: Talk to your utility providers about what can be done. There are many relief packages being put together at this time. As well, talk to your local city/municipality to see if they can be of assistance. Reach out to your provincial association and keep them in the loop. Bowls Canada and Provincial Associations are continuing to work together to find ways to support you.

Q: Can we still have our AGMs and other meetings?

A: At the present time, we would recommend that you do not hold in-person meetings, but instead have meetings by phone (conference calls) or online (email and webinar). There are various tools you can use (Zoom, Go-To-Webinar, Skype etc.) that you can look into for this.


Want Free Video Conferencing up to 150 people with call in telephone numbers available?

Get your own free G Suite account for Non Profits.

Follow the Link Below

G Suite for Non Profits


Images of Return to Play around Ontario


Bowling Elsewhere

by Wayne Daley

Lawn bowlers are active in New Zealand.

I spent four weeks last fall in the town of Orewa on the north island of New Zealand. At that time, the north island was just getting finished with winter and sliding into spring. However, on the north island there is never any snow. There are a few days with heavy frost in the middle of winter. That is when people grab an extra sweater as they leave the house.

My trip to New Zealand had three purposes. I wanted to visit family; I wanted to see the countryside and the people; and, I wanted to try New Zealand lawn bowling, a sport I dearly love. I made prior arrangements and I managed all three.

On the day after I arrived, I went along to the Orewa Lawn Bowling Club. I introduced myself at the reception desk and that is when I discovered how friendly, how pleasant, and how welcoming the New Zealand people are. I was certainly made to feel welcome.

Several members were in the club. There was a ‘roll-up’ (another term for ‘jitney’) just getting organized. It would be a game of fours. I was assigned to a team as the lead. I was provided with a set of club bowls for $5.00 NZD and in no time, I was out on the greens.

By this time, I was getting a feel for the club and its facilities. The Orewa club has four greens. There is a grass green (not grass as we know it but a tropical grass that cuts short and is brown in color), a gravel green where stainless steel bowls are used, and two artificial greens where the playing surface is green cloth like a heavy canvas. The pace on this surface was 23 seconds. It was not difficult for someone used to play on grass like I was to roll a bowl into the ditch. I needed several ends to slow my delivery down and stay in play and several more to start getting close to the jack. In New Zealand terms the ‘kitty’. I found that I’d need a great deal more practise to begin bowling a decent game.

The mat line on the artificial greens are marked as are the side lines for the rinks. The canvas cloth is laid in panels with the seams running down the center of each rink. Because the greens are artificial maintenance is at a minimum. The players bowled on only one axis of the greens. Consequently, both artificial greens had nine rinks

While I was there the second artificial green was being refurbished. The refurbishment included redoing the playing surface and erecting a cover over the green. The cover was there to keep the greens dry in case of rain and to provide cover from the sun. The effect, however, was to make one of the nicest greens I’ve ever seen. It was a treat to bowl at that club.

The Orewa club has 268 members this year. The fee for membership is a bit more than $100 NZD anually. Bowling goes on twelve months of the year and the club is very seldom not in use. Roll-ups take place on Saturday and Wednesday. Club tournaments take place almost every day. On days when a club tournament is being played at the same time as the club roll ups both artificial greens are used. For roll ups sports clothing is permitted. When playing in tournaments, however, members must wear ‘whites’.

I thoroughly enjoyed bowling at the Orewa club in New Zealand. But I also found that the Orewa club is by no means unique. Every little town and village of any size that I passed through had a lawn bowling green. Many towns had more than one green and even more than one club. Further, the greens are almost always artificial. Even the senior citizen homes, of which there are many, have greens for bowling. Lawn bowling in New Zealand is the equivalent of curling in Canada.

Yes, the lawn bowlers are active in New Zealand. However, I don’t advise that you to rush out to make travel arrangements just yet. The New Zealand airports and sea ports are still closed to tourists. You will just have to wait until the corona pandemic has run its course. Then, you might want to try out the New Zealand greens, just for fun.


Bowls Canada Forms Regional Coach Network

Ottawa (ON) | June 26, 2020

Bowl Canada is thrilled to announce the creation of a formal Regional Coaching Network.

The purpose of this network is to create formal linkages between the national High Performance Program and what is happening in regional development across the country. This network will also seek to develop coaching resources that will reach more aspiring athletes throughout the nation and help support the growth of the game at the regional level.

In 2019, Bowls Canada was fortunate to receive funding from the Government of Canada to initiate specific opportunities for women coaches aspiring to coach at an international level. Based on the learning from these pilots, the Regional Coaching Network will involve both formal and informal opportunities for the coaches to gain experience and knowledge. Regular opportunities to connect with the other members of the network and the two national team coaches will contribute to promoting a consistent development of athletes across the country.

This structure will also allow for more opportunity to identify and work with aspiring bowlers across Canada. As Regional Coaches will be directly plugged into the national High Performance Program through regular virtual communications, they will be able to answer questions and provide updates to regional athletes on topics such as National Squad Selection, specific skills and tactics that are required for national and international play, and help athletes identify how ancillary sport sciences might contribute to their game.

“Developing a formal Regional Coach Network has been a goal of the association for the last couple of years and I am very excited for this to launch,” said Bowls Canada Executive Director Anna Mees. “While the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in this season looking anything but normal, the required funding and technology pieces are aligned to get this started. Rather than wait, we will use the ‘pandemic pause’ to establish the Network so that it is fully functional and ready to support bowlers for the 2021 season.”

Bowls Canada has issued a formal posting with the intent to have coaches in place by mid-August.

For more information, please contact:Anna Mees, Executive Director, Bowls Canada Boulingrinamees@bowlscanada.com


Bowling in 1919

We rarely get film footage of lawn bowling from this era. Enjoy.


Need a weekly fix of bowling news?

Want to stay informed on all the Bowls Canada Boulingrin news.  

Try the Bowls Canada  Newsletter



Letters to the Editor:


Comments and questions are welcome. (ellis@OLBA.ca and daley@olba.ca)


Disclaimer:The information and articles provided in this email represent the opinions of the articles author and should not be considered as endorsed by or policy of the Ontario Lawn Bowls Association OR it's Directors.

Ontario Lawn Bowling Assoc.

Box 1093
Tilbury, ON ​Canada
N0P 2L0​

​John Fantin

Susan Newsham

Steve Schuknecht
​Director at Large

James Rimmer
​Director at Large

Charles Roach
​Director at Large

Nan Hendren
​Director at Large



Phillip Francis

Ralph Ellis
​Vice President, 

Dave Burrows
​Director at Large

Wayne Daley
​Director at Large

Jason Currie
​Director at Large

Mary Lou Richards
​Director at Large