Hastings will host one of the first post-lockdown regional or national sports tournaments in New Zealand with about 50 bowlers to hit the indoor rinks over Queen's Birthday weekend.
The three-day New Zealand Professional Bowls Association Central Districts tournament will be played at Clubs Hastings. Similar tournaments will be taking place simultaneously in Hamilton and Invercargill.
There'll be 48 mainly-Hawke's Bay players on Saturday for the popular anything-goes Shanghai singles tournament, where three players with three bowls each will strive to reach 31 points.
Rinks which will be spaced to meet self-distancing requirements of Covid-19 alert level 2.
A smaller number will take part in Sunday's Scottish singles and Monday's NZPBA national rankings matches.
Eight players will come from Wairarapa and Manawatu, with bowlers vying for national competition places in Auckland in September, and the chance of a trip to Scotland, or alternatively Perth in Western Australia, depending on the extent of the cross-border bubble at the time.
All national, regional and community sport in New Zealand had been barred since the start of the Covid-19 lockdowns more than two months ago, initially through limits on the numbers of people who could attend.
Tournament convenor and Clubs Hastings and Bowls Hastings member Dave Porteous said the decision to go ahead was made just 10 days ago in a conference call with regional hosts in Hamilton and Invercargill, and Auckland, Dunedin, Wellington and New Plymouth, where other regional rounds will be played in June and July.
There was some discussion and some opposition to the tournaments being held at alert level 2, with Dunedin's tournament being deferred until later in the season, and it was decided that if all the current conditions could be met the tournaments could go ahead.
It is one of the bigger tournaments staged each year by the Hastings club, which hosted the NZPBA series finals two years ago.
A bigger tournament – the club's own four-day Webber Shield competition, in its 78th year and contested by 16 fours (a total of 64 players) was deferred from the first week of May with plans to stage the event under alert level 1 conditions later in the season.