CORONAVIRUS FALLOUT: International bowls event postponed
LAWN bowlers will have to be patient when it come to seeing the world's best in action after World Bowls (WB) and Bowls Australia (BA) decided that the 2020 World Bowls Championships planned for the Gold Coast be postponed indefinitely as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19).
The event, which was set to be staged on the Coast from May 26 - June 7, and involve 36 competing nations from around the world, has been put on hold due to the health and safety of the public, players, staff, officials and volunteers.
Also with the introduction of travel bans and the closure of borders, many nations have also implemented strict measures on local and international travel, where travellers from overseas are currently being made to self-isolate for at least 14 days.
The intention remains to stage the event at an appropriate time in the future, however, given the current climate around the uncertainty related to the virus, WB and BA are unable to provide an official confirmation of rescheduled dates at this stage.
WB Chief Executive Officer, Gary Smith, said the unfortunate decision was made with the health and safety of the public, players, staff, officials and volunteers as the primary concern.
BA Chief Executive Officer, Neil Dalrymple, said both parties would continue to monitor the situation and liaise with competing countries as to the future staging of the event.
"We have been monitoring the coronavirus situation closely for several months, with advice taken from the relevant stakeholders and government agencies," Dalrymple said.
"The decision was not made without careful consideration and we firmly believe they have been made in line with the best interests of the public, players, staff, officials and volunteers.
"We are fully aware that athletes, officials and others may have made travel arrangements for this event, but our overriding concern is the health and safety of all involved in the event."
Other major bowls events which have been affected by the COVID-19 crisis include:
2020 Australian Open
June 13 - 26
This year's instalment of the annual Australian Open has been cancelled.
While the short-term future of the coronavirus' impact is uncertain, it is envisaged the event will re-commence on the Gold Coast from 2021.
All entry fee payments for this year's event will be refunded as soon as practicable.
Again, Bowls Australia urges those who have made travel arrangements to seek to cancel those plans where possible.
2020 Australian Indoor Championships
August 17 - 20
This year's instalment of the annual Australian Indoor Championships has been cancelled.
Following BA's recent recommendation of the immediate suspension of club events, the majority of states and territories have enacted these recommendations as strict measures, putting their related qualifying events for the 2020 Australian Indoor Championships in jeopardy of being run, and therefore making the national event untenable for this year.
October 2 - 16
At this stage, no decision has been made on the status of The Nationals, including the Australian Multi-Disability Championships.