THE new Crown Green Bowling season is just around the corner. It all gets under way with the Worth Valley Veterans starting on Monday, April 3, followed by the first individual competition the following day.

The Jeff Clark Spring Floodlight qualifying round will be held on Tuesday, April 4 with a 6.45pm start with the final being staged on Thursday, April 6 at 6.30pm.

There have been some big changes through the close season in the Skipton and District Bowling Association.

In an effort to stop declining numbers of clubs and bowlers, the association executive put forward sweeping proposals to change the structure to two separate leagues.

The clubs approved the format which sees a Thursday JACS Trade & DIY Merit League with three divisions of ten teams and one division of 11.

The change to ten teams should improve competition with two teams promoted and relegated each season, the scoring system is as previous seasons.

There will be three divisions of ten teams and one of eight in the Tuesday 5,4,3,2,1, League which has been named after the new scoring system.

Players will earn more points for their team the better their match score.

A winner scoring 21 will receive five points, the losing player will receive more points the better they do, one point when scoring five, two points when scoring ten, three points when scoring 15 and four points on reaching 20.

The League has secured sponsorship from Walker Foster Solicitors and Skipton Building Society.

The two leagues on Tuesday and Thursday will increase bowling to 36 matches per season in most cases, to accommodate all the fixtures games will continue to be played on Wednesdays in the lower divisions.

The league's long-standing cup competition, the Clarkson Cup, will be sponsored by Skipton Hire Centre who will also be supporting the Supplementary Cup.

There are 32 teams entered and the qualifying round gets under way on Tuesday, May 9.

Last season's Jeff Clark Spring Floodlight Trophy was won by Crosshills bowler Phil Dowgill, and he is expected to defend his title in what the organisers are hoping will be a strong entry.

It was a disappointing season for competition entries in 2016, and the league executive have stated that the competitions will need to see support throughout the season to make sure they are continued in 2018.

Player can enter the Jeff Clark Spring Floodlight through their club, by email to the league secretary or phone 01756 790902.

There is also at present a big drive to save greens which are maintained by Bradford Metropolitan Council.

Each member club has had to pay substantial fees to the council to help maintain the greens.

But the future is looking bleak as the council are looking to cut costs and withdraw support of maintenance to the council owned greens.

The league are asking bowlers to sign an online petition and give their support.