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BRITISH ISLES | Irish BA to undertake formal consultation with stakeholders

25th March 2022: Statement released by the Irish Bowling Association

“Following on from the recent announcement of the British Isles International bowls calendar for 2022, the Irish Bowling Association feel that it is incumbent upon us to set out and clarify our position. As has been widely reported, the IBA have been involved in discussions with other home nations with regard to the long term future of British Isles competitions.

“Our position has always been and always will be in support of a 24 player team at senior level and junior international level. Furthermore, we are of the view that the British Isles Championships must be retained even if they are a โ€˜stand-aloneโ€™ event as they provide an opportunity for all club players to compete at an โ€˜internationalโ€™ level.

“Anecdotal evidence suggests that there is overwhelming support throughout the British Isles for the retention of these three events in their current format. However to confirm this view and to provide a robust evidential base, we plan to conduct an online survey with our key stakeholders. This survey will seek their views on the current set up and alternative structures.

“We would encourage other stakeholders across the British Isles to consider adopting this approach. This will undoubtedly help all NGBโ€™s have a better understanding of their membershipโ€™s views, help to cater for all their needs and to help inform any future working groups who will be attempting to gain consensus on a workable solution.

“The Senior and Junior Menโ€™s international series along with the British Isles championships have proven to be a successful, established and competitive pathway for all countries in nurturing and helping to develop talent.

“Of course, we recognise that our sport must embrace any necessary change and consider the
significant benefits of achieving gender parity and developing more commercially viable options for television and sponsors. However, we do not believe this should be to the detriment of the international series (Senior and Junior) and championships in their current format.

“Therefore, we recommend maintaining these core events and adding to them with other events to cater for all needs. We see no reason why high performance type events cannot be organised in parallel with or separate to an international series. Needless to say, tradition has a key part to play in our sport alongside modernisation.

“In conclusion, after having consulted formally with our stakeholders we will be ready, determined and willing to play a constructive part in the proposed โ€˜cross nation working partyโ€™ to discuss and plan the way forward. However, discussions should take place with all options on the table. We will continue to work to get the best possible outcome for all our bowlers.”

“As an association we are delighted that our members will be enjoying a more โ€˜normalโ€™ bowling season in 2022 and it is important to remember that we all have the best interests of our wonderful sport at heart even though our views may differ on how this may be achieved.”


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