Keep up to date with all COVID-19 Update for Bowls in South Australia.

No Jab, No Play Policy

In response to the South Australian Government’s recently implemented COVID-Ready Plan, and following extensive consultation with associations, clubs, and players across the State, the Bowls SA Board has endorsed a ‘No Jab, No Play’ Policy.

This policy, which comes into effect from Monday, 10 January, 2022, will make it a mandatory requirement for anyone involved in the delivery and participation of all Association pennant competitions and Bowls SA events, including State events and training courses, to be fully vaccinated. Please see below for resources and support for clubs and members regarding the implementation of this policy.

No Jab, No Play FAQs

Why is this policy in place?

Bowls SA recently conducted a poll of its Associations and a strong majority provided in principle support of Bowls SA mandating vaccines in pennant competitions, while a survey of its membership indicated that 85% were in favour of mandating vaccines.  The latter survey also indicated that 93% of respondents were fully vaccinated, while further 2% had received a single dose and were awaiting their second.

Do Associations need to adopt this policy?

Associations must follow the same process by which they adopt all Bowls SA policies.

Whose responsibility is it to check and record vaccination status?

In relation to pennants, Clubs must check their players’ status and update status in Bowlslink – draws will then be done only including vaccinated players. Bowls SA will provide guidance and instructions. In relation to Bowls SA run events and competitions, vaccination status will be checked on arrival at the registration area.

How will I know players from other clubs are vaccinated?

Clubs must check their pennant players’ status and update this in Bowlslink.  Associations will then conduct the draws, with unvaccinated players being ineligible.  It is an offence to misrepresent vaccination status.

Should this be recorded and where?

Bowlslink has been set up to record that a member’s status has been sighted using the certificate feature of the system. Access to this information will be in accordance with the Privacy Policy.

Should we – as in clubs or associations be asking for and keeping copies of vaccine records?

No, due to privacy legislation, the only thing to be recorded is that the proof of vaccination was sighted.  This is the same way Working with Children Checks are handled within Bowls SA and in accordance with the Privacy Policy.

Who will have access to vaccination status?

Access will be limited to as few people as possible, and only provided to those with responsibility for gathering the information or using the information to administer the sport in accordance with the policy.  Those with access will be given Bowlslink administrator access which requires completion of the privacy statement.

For Bowls SA run events and programs, will I have to show a valid proof of vaccination when I arrive?

Yes. Going forward you will be asked to indicate that you are vaccinated on registration as well as needing to show proof on arrival.

What about people with medical exemptions?

Those who can produce evidence of legitimate medical exemptions are exempt from this policy and their status will be recorded in a similar way to those who’s status has been sighted.
All temporary and permanent medical exemptions must be authorised by a medical practitioner.
Authorised medical practitioners (including General Practitioners) can notify the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) of an individual who has a vaccine exemption due to medical contraindications or natural immunity, which will be displayed on an individual’s Immunisation History Statement (IHS).
This includes permanent vaccine exemption or temporary vaccine exemption until a specified date due to acute major illness, significant immunocompromise of short duration and pregnancy if required as permitted under the respective state or territory public health order.
GPs in South Australia are required to complete both the AIR’s exemption form and SA Health’s Immunisation exemption application form, which is specific to the healthcare worker mandate.
For the exemption to be legally valid, the Chief Public Health Officer or one of their deputies must give their approval.

In the instance of players not being fully vaccinated, how do we handle those conversations and support those who are not vaccinated?

Be supportive and gentle, respecting the person’s choice to not get vaccinated, while also explaining that the age demographic of the bowls community makes it particularly vulnerable to severe consequences from covid-19.  The ‘No Jab, No Play’ policy was implemented by Bowls SA, the peak body, after extensive consultation with its members and Associations and is aimed at ensuring the health and safety of bowlers.
Should the situation escalate, the Member Protection Policy applies.

Will this impact on how clearances are handled?

No, each member has their own unique membership number/national ID, when a member clears from one club to another all their data is retained within their membership.

As this policy is being implemented mid-season, will anyone who has registered for a Bowls SA event prior and is not vaccinated receive a full refund for their competition entry fees?

Yes. This will be processed upon notification to Bowls SA and refunds issued through Bowlslink system.

I am concerned that this policy has resulted in some poor behaviour due to differing viewpoints.

Refer Member Protection Policy.

Why does the policy not cover social and club events?

It is up to the individual club to determine whether to mandate vaccines for these activities. Bowls SA has written to all clubs encouraging them to adopt vaccination policies and providing them with templates and guidance on how to do this.

How do we report breaches and concerns to regarding this policy?

Refer Member Protection Policy.

What happens if I forget to bring or don’t have evidence on me when asked? Can I produce evidence at a later date? Will I have to forfeit my game?

You will need to be able to provide proof on request or you will be asked to leave and the appropriate penalties from the conditions will apply.

I’m vaccinated but because of this policy, we can no longer fill a team, therefore I can’t play. What are my options?

Substitutions are always an option.

When will this policy change/reviewed?

The policy will be reviewed at each Board meeting in 2022 as a standing agenda item in conjunction with an assessment of the COVID-19 landscape.

Is this legal when the state government haven’t mandated? Is this discrimination?

Bowls SA has opted to make vaccination a condition of playing the sport in order to exercise its duty of care to protect workers, both paid and unpaid as well as members, the majority of whom fall into a vulnerable cohort due to age (the average age of a bowler in SA is 68) as well as to protect business continuity and keep the community safe. Medical and age exemptions have been incorporated into the policy.

Do Night Owls need to be vaccinated?

Only Night Owls playing in the finals that Bowls SA run, unless the Club mandates.

Does the Policy apply to Spectators?

It applies to spectators of Bowls SA run events, but not pennants – unless the club has a vaccination mandate.

Support for Clubs

Authorised Persons

In line with the policy, an ‘Authorised Person’, is someone to whom the Club Board/Committee has given permission to check member vaccination status and record the sighting of the status on Bowlslink. (Note copies of vaccination certificates are not to be kept or requested.)

Any recording of vaccination status or medical exemptions will be done in line with the Bowls SA Privacy Policy.

Logging of Authorised Persons

All Club Boards MUST provide Bowls SA with a list of who at their club will undertake the role of an Authorised Person. This can be done HERE.

Anyone given permission by their club to undertake the role must also agree to and submit a Bowls SA Privacy Form. This can be done so HERE.

Additional Resources

Recording of Status on Bowlslink

Once an Authorised Person has sighted someone’s vaccination status, they are to record that this action has been done via the ‘Certificate’ section of Bowlslink. Access to this area is very limited to ensure individuals status is kept private.

A step by step guide to do this can be accessed HERE.

Process for New Members
  • For any new member joining your club, their status will need to be sighted and recorded as you would for a current member.
  • You may wish to update the information you provide to new members and any registration forms.
Adding members to Pennant Teams – Troubleshooting

If a member who has the ability to manage Pennant Teams, finds that they cannot add someone to a team, this may due to the player’s vaccination status on Bowlslink. These members do not have the authority to resolve the member’s vaccination status and they will need to work with the relevant ‘Authorised Person’ to address so that the member can be added to the team.

What to do if you can no longer fill teams?

Bowls SA recognises that this policy may impact some clubs’ ability to fill teams if members withdraw due to their vaccination status. In line with the Association’s Rules of Play, clubs have the following options to manage any shortfall:

  • Promote vaccinated players from lower teams
  • Seek out social players and ensure registered
  • Seek out players from other clubs
  • Utilise the 3 game substitution rule (any substitutions will need to vaccinated inline with the policy)

Clubs that need to pull lower grade teams are encouraged to work with their Association to address the issue.

Should you make vaccinations mandatory for all club activities?

The Bowls SA ‘No Jab, No Play’ Policy does not non-pennant club activities or general entry, as this is a decision that is up to each club. Bowls SA strongly recommends that each club implement its own Covid-19 Vaccination Policy and has developed the following resources to support you with this decision….Be sure to consult your volunteers and staff first!

If you do decide to make vaccinations mandatory at your club, you are asked to log your policy position with Bowls SA HERE.

Share your club facilities and wonder what can you do?

For some clubs that are co-located with other clubs such as RSLs or other community clubs, introducing risk controls such as mandate vaccinations at your venue may not be as easy as if you were the sole club. To support clubs in this situation, Bowls SA has developed the following resource to support you manage this.

If you lease Council owned facilities, the information below will still be helpful but we do recommend that you also discuss the matter with them to understand their position on the matter.

Suggested approach

Share and communicate your Club’s current situation with your co-located club(s). Points to highlight could be:

  • After extensive consultation, Bowls SA (the state sporting body) has introduced a No Jab, No Play policy for all their events and pennant competitions
  • While it is up to individual clubs, they are strongly recommending that each club introduces its own Covid-19 Vaccination Policy
  • This advice has been provided after wide consultation and the need to keep our members, volunteers and staff safe

Share what controls your club would like to introduce at the facility, see what the other party’s position is and what is realistically workable for all.

Suggested control measures could include:

  • The venue adopts a mandatory vaccination policy for all users
    • Each co-located club is responsible for managing the implementation for their members and must consult their own staff and volunteers
  • The venue adopts a mandatory vaccination policy for when the facility is being used for the purpose of bowls
  • Agree that the venue will not hold any external events or user groups when the facility is being used by for bowls activities
  • Limit space for Bowlers to access and therefore these spaces are mandatory vaccination spaces
  • Agree that all staff and appointed volunteers for all groups are vaccinated
  • Agree that non vaccinated contractors and suppliers can be onsite when limited members are on site and must wear a mask and not stay longer than required

Their position could range from:

  • Respect the club’s position and are supportive of all measures
  • Provided some limited support
  • Are against any measures besides what the Government imposes
  • Anything in between

Whatever the agreed outcomes, Bowls SA suggests that all parties involved document any agreed measures, controls and responsibilities in a Memo of Understanding (MoU). We have drafted an MoU template that clubs can use for this purpose.

More Support

If you need more support with editing any of the templates or would like to discuss your club’s situation, please contact: Sara Lane, Manager, Clubs and Governance,

Proof of Vaccination Posters for Clubs

These posters are available for any clubs, who have adopted a No Jab, No Entry Policy at their club, to use to remind patrons that they must provide proof of vaccination before entry.

Poster with background (use this copy if printing in colour)

Poster without background (use this copy if printing in black and white)

‘Roll Up for the Jab’ Marketing Resources

Bowls SA has created resources for clubs and associations to use in encouraging members of the Bowls community to get vaccinated against COVID-19. If you have any issues downloading these, please contact the office on 8234 7544 and speak to Marketing and Media Officer Joe Schwab.

Member Health & Wellbeing

Bowls SA recognises and understands the feelings of anxiety, distress and concern many people may be experiencing in relation to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. It’s a tough and trying time and we encourage members to look out for each other, and if needed, seek the help available.

SA Health have created a dedicated Mental Health Support Line for those affected by COVID-19. The line is 1800 632 753 and includes support over the phone and video, and a call-back service.

Other lines of support:

Lifeline – 13 11 14

Beyond Blue – 1300 224 636

COVID-19 at your club, what next?

To help clubs deal with this situation, a ‘COVID-19 Business Continuity Plan’ template, which maps out what actions clubs will take when they are notified of a positive case attending their club.

‘COVID-19 Business Continuity Plan’ Template

Support for Members

Withdrawing from Bowls SA Events

If you can no longer participate in any Bowls SA event or training course, due to your vaccination status, as in line with the ‘Conditions of Play’ (and ‘terms and conditions’ for courses), please notify Bowls SA via email and include the following information in your communication:

  • Name
  • Event
  • Reason for a refund request: Vax status

If your request has been received at least 24 hours before the release of draws, your request will be acknowledged within 48 hours and processed within 7 days.

All requests must be sent to:

Current COVID-19 Information

This information will be updated as information is received from SA Health.

Current South Australian Restrictions

The health, safety, and wellbeing of our bowls community remain a priority and it’s important that we carefully follow the restrictions in place by the State Government.

The following restrictions apply state-wide and came into effect at 12:00am December 2021.

Emergency Management (Activities—Associated Direction No 15) (COVID-19) Direction 2021 (PDF, 1.9 MB)

They are to operate as an appendix to the Emergency Management (Activities – General No 3) (COVID-19) Direction 2021.

Level 1 restrictions with some additional restrictions 


  • Team, club and school sport training and competition is allowed
  • Masks required for shared indoor public places (i.e. club rooms, change rooms, fitness centres).

Outdoor sport 

  • Spectators permitted at outdoor sport training or competition – no masks required
  • 1 person per 2 square metres for outdoor seated activities.
  • Masks required for health care services (i.e. club physiotherapy, sports trainers, doctors).
  • Mandatory use of QR Codes check-ins.

Indoor sport 

  • Spectators at indoor sporting venues permitted and must wear a mask.
  • 1 person per 4 square metres for indoor seated activities.
  • Masks required for indoors public spaces including people providing health care services (i.e. club physiotherapy, sports trainers, doctors).
  • Mandatory use of QR Codes check-ins.


  • No communal consumption facilities.
  • All beverages can be served to patrons over the bar, or to patrons at tables, providing the patron sits to consume the beverage.
  • No communal consumption facilities.
  • Seated consumption of alcohol when spectating. 
  • Water, soft drinks, coffee, tea and alcohol such as beer cannot be provided in jugs, urns or similar on a communal table for access by all in the club, even if everyone is known to each other.
  • Water, soft drinks and alcohol, such as beer, can be provided in jugs to patrons at individual tables providing the beverage is only consumed at that table and the jug etc isn’t then relocated to another table or area.  Obviously individual glasses, cups must be used at each table.
  • Water, soft drinks, coffee, tea etc can be accessed from a “one touch” vending machine, providing the machine is regularly cleaned.
  • Water can be accessed from a one touch “water fountain” such as Pura Tap, providing the tap is regularly cleaned and patrons use their own cups or water bottles.
  • Tea and coffee can be made available to patrons, and the beverage can be poured from an urn, jug or similar, however it needs to be served by an allocated person/s.


  • No communal consumption facilities.
  • Share plates of food can be shared amongst people who are part of the same group at the same table.  This includes “home and away” players sitting at the same table as part of their break in competition.
  • Share platters cannot be placed on a communal table for access by all in the Club, even if everyone is known to each other.
  • Food and beverages are now able to be consumed at a bar, providing that there is no food preparation at or adjacent to the bar.
  • Self service communal buffets and salad bars are prohibited, however bain maries or similar are permitted to display/heat food, with the staff then serving the food to the patrons upon request.
  • Barbeques are permitted providing the food and condiments are individually served to the patron by staff.


  • Shared equipment (mat, jacks, lawn bowls) and frequently touched surfaces MUST be cleaned between use by different individuals or groups (as the case may be).

COVID Marshals are required for:

  • Sporting Clubs.
  • All public activities.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many people can we have in attendance? (indoor)

Density requirements are one person per four square metres. The total number of participants, volunteers, team officials, support staff and spectators will differ from venue to venue depending on the size of the area. This information will be included in your COVID Safe/Management Plan.

How many people can we have in attendance? (outdoor)

Density requirements are one person per two square metres however, specific venues may put caps on spectators where necessary to remain within density/capacity requirements. The total number of participants, volunteers, team officials, support staff and spectators will differ from venue to venue depending on the size of the area. This information will be included in your COVID Safe/Management Plan.

Can we set up a Coffee/Tea Station at our club?

Yes. Clubs can allow members/patrons to access hot beverages from a coffee/tea station at the Club providing:

  • An urn or similar with a “single touch” lever is used to pour the beverage. i.e. no shared jugs
  • All tea, coffee, sugar etc is provided in individual sachets
  • Individual cups and stirring implements are used, i.e. no shared utensils
  • Masks are worn (unless it is a private function)
  • Hand sanitiser is made available
  • Social distancing is followed when queuing.

When do I need to wear a mask?

There are several instances where masks are required to be worn such as:

• Masks to be worn indoor shared public spaces (i.e. club rooms, change rooms, fitness facilities etc.)

• Masks can be removed indoors during food and beverage consumption only

• Spectators at indoor sporting venues must wear a mask

• Canteen and venue staff/volunteers must wear a mask.

• Officials/volunteers while not participating in match play at indoor venues must wear a mask.

Please note;

There is no requirement for participants and officials to wear masks while participating in training or matches, however, please respect the personal decision of those regarding the wearing of masks.

Children under the age of 12 are not required to wear a mask.

Can we drink and eat while standing?

You can stand while drinking and eating if you’re outside and there’s no more than 1 person per 2 square metres.

You must consume food and drinks while seated in indoor areas.

Do we need COVID marshals?

COVID Marshals are required for all public activities including Sporting Clubs.

Do I have to use the QR code or contact tracing record sheet?

YES contact tracing are required.

What can and can’t we do at a club regarding Food and Beverages?

No communal food or beverage service areas may operate, this includes buffets, salad bars or communal water/beverage or sauce dispensers. In addition no shared cups or utensils.

Note: If you remain at the same table, food allocated to your table can be shared among people who are at your table/group.

One touch drink dispensers can be used however MUST be wiped over frequently. Water bubblers are not permitted (this is the fountain you place your month over).

What should we do at a club to help stop the spread?

Providing a clean environment to play Lawn Bowls in is essential. Ensure you:

•            Provide soap, hand-sanitiser or wipes at all main contact points;

•            Clean all surfaces, frequently touched surfaces, doorknobs, light switches, gates and tables;

•            Regularly remind and encourage everyone of the need to wash hands regularly;

•            Display signage about handwashing and hygiene techniques at strategic points;

•            Minimise touch points wherever possible.

COVID Marshals

COVID Marshals are required for:

  • Sporting Clubs.
  • All public activities.

A COVID Marshal is required to:

  • Promote and take practical steps to ensure infection control practices (e.g. frequent hand washing) are followed by people involved in the operations (patrons, employees and contractors)
  • Promote and take practical steps to ensure people participating in the operations are complying with density requirements, physical distancing principle
  • Must ensure that all COVID Safe Plans and COVID Management Plans (where relevant) or specific polices/protocols in relation to the prevention of coronavirus are effectively implemented and monitored
  • Ensure the environment is appropriately established and there is sufficient seating, hand washing facilities and cleaning regimes
  • Be present supervising prescribed operations at all times (except where the site operates for 24hrs were at all times means times of high patronage).

COVID Marshal Training – This training module covers the fundamentals of infection prevention and control for COVID-19

Helpful Resources

  • The SA Government QR code COVID SAfe Check-In – video
  • Click Here to view the Bowls Australia COVID19 – Related Support For Clubs and Individuals Document.