History of the Welsh Indoor Bowls (WIB)
A new chapter has opened for Welsh Indoor Bowls with the Welsh Indoor Bowls Association ( WIBA) founded in 1934 and the Welsh Ladies Indoor Bowls Association (WLIBA) founded in 1950 agreeing to unify and will now be known simply as Welsh Indoor Bowls (WIB).
Negotiations on unification started as far back as October 2015 and after a couple of preliminary meetings were placed on hold until they were reconvened in September 2019. Following a series of meetings by a dedicated working group prior to and during lockdown a new draft Constitution and a plethora of polices and procedures were drawn up for acceptance by the members of the WIBA & WLIBA at their respective Annual General Meetings. During the negotiations at the forefront of the working group was to ensure gender balance where possible when appointing or electing Officers and Committees, therefore the Presidential Rota will alternate between male and female and the new organisation will have a joint Secretariat, one female and one male.
The forthcoming 2021—2022 season will be a transitional year while Officers and Committees are put in place in readiness for full unification in the 2022—2023 season. During the transitional year each Association will organise their own calendar of events and Ken Henderson of Islwyn IBC will be President and will officiate at both ladies and men’s events and a joint handbook will be published for the first time.
Cath Harvey Secretary of the Welsh Ladies Indoor Bowls Association (WLIBA) issued the following statement:-
“The WLIBA and the WIBA are delighted to announce that they have agreed to merge together and unify under the same Association. This exciting development has been agreed by both organisations and work is being done to guarantee a smooth start to the 2022—2023 season”
While John Phillips Secretary of the Welsh Indoor Bowls Association (WIBA) said the following:
“The WIBA at its Annual General Meeting held on Thursday 27th May voted unanimously in favour of unifying with the WLIBA, this decision was also confirmed by the WLIBA at their Special General Meeting held on Saturday 19th June. This historic agreement will move the indoor game forward presenting new opportunities for all indoor bowlers, however at the forefront will be assisting Clubs with their return to play strategy following the pandemic. Over the next year Officers of both Associations will be working together to interview candidates and put in place Officers to take on the running of the new organisation from the start of the 2022—2023 season. This is a good time for indoor bowls, we need to grasp the opportunity presented to us with both hands and move the indoor game in Wales forward”.