A roadmap to complete the 2020 road bowling championships was unveiled by Ból-Chumann na hÉireann this week. It is planned to complete all three All-Ireland series to a modified calendar.
The All-Ireland senior final will be played on the weekend of October 24 and 25 at Baile Bhúirne in Cork. This had originally been scheduled for mid-July. The All-Ireland Intermediate women’s final, Junior B and Veteran (over-50) men, both the boys and girls under-16, and the boys under-12 finals will also be played that weekend.
The Senior women’s final will be played at Newtownhamilton in Armagh on the weekend of November 14 and 15. Also on that weekend will be the men’s Intermediate and Junior A, the boys and girls under-18, and the boys under-14 finals.
There is no change to the dates for the Junior C and Novice finals, which will be played on September 12 and 13 at Westport in Mayo. This series includes the North American and British champions as well as representatives of all four Irish provinces. Those grades are now being given priority at provincial level in conjunction with underage and veteran grades.
The Munster senior championship does not kick off till August 8, with all rounds being played in a straight knockout format leading to the Munster final on October 11. Intermediate men have their first rounds on September 5, and senior women also kick off in September. Holding attendances to current Covid-19 protocols would have proved a virtually insurmountable challenge for top tier competitions.
The Ulster championships will start next Sunday. The Covid-19 protocols there limit attendance to 13. To ensure attendances remain within the parameters there is a large number of clashing fixtures in the novice Junior B and C and veteran grades that would normally attract smaller attendances. Senior men and women, Intermediate and Junior A men will not see championship action until August.
King and Queen of the Roads is still scheduled for its original dates of September 26 and 27, though this may be a scaled-back programme. It is still hoped that Dutch and German competitors will be able to participate, but that will depend on the status of the Covid-19 pandemic at that stage.
There are also tentative plans to run an international contest on the Zandvoort F1 track, which will host next year’s Dutch Grand Prix. Dutch champion Silke Tulk is likely to be the lead performer, but details will become clearer over the next while. That event is also hostage to Covid-19.