Email from the League’s Secretary

Good Afternoon Everyone,

I hope you are all keeping safe and well during these very difficult times.

The officers and committee have agreed that we should formally cancel the 20/21 season. I am sure that most of you will have already surmised that in the current circumstances there is no chance of any skittles being played before Easter at the earliest. The following statement is being sent to all teams:

The Committee feel that as the current level of uncertainty will persist for the next few months we cannot offer any hope of skittles being played in the remaining winter months. So it is with regret that the 20/21 season is hereby officially cancelled. The plan now is to hold an AGM in June with the view of starting the 21 /22 season in September 2021.

We know that there are many of you who will want to play skittles as soon as it is possible and that venues are keen to have skittles once again when it is deemed safe to do so. There is a possibility that some venues will arrange in house competitions prior to any league skittles returning for which we will happily provide information on our league website and Facebook page.

Many thanks for all support and patience during this pandemic.

Brian Newton, Secretary

Update on the 20-21 season

The new Government restrictions for social gatherings that were announced last week means the prospect of any skittles being played in the coming months very unlikely. Once these restrictions are changed the committee will look to see what skittles may be played during the remaining months of the 20-21 season.

Email from the League Secretary

Hello All,

I would like to take this opportunity of thanking you all for returning your entry form for the next D&DSL 2020/21 season.

Another month on and the committee still doesn’t know how or when the skittles season could restart… we can’t even hold an AGM yet!

But before we can think about commencing a new season, there are considerations:

When will lockdown restrictions allow skittles to be played? Can venues host skittles in a Covid-secure way (for staff, players and sticker ups)?
Do teams want to resume playing skittles (and if so, when)? Should we aim for running say a half-season starting in January?

The committee understand all of your concerns with regard to how and when the next season will commence after the Covid 19 pandemic. The following may help:

1. We will NOT be playing skittles until it safe for everyone to play safely and keep well which has always been the committee’s intention.

2. Everyone will get the chance to meet the committee as there will be an AGM before any new season is considered.

3. Things are changing all the time and we will always be aware of the concerns of all members of our league especially the older generation into which I as secretary fall !!

4. We do not want to lose teams from the league and will do everything in our power to keep skittles going as long as possible and to assist teams.

5. If any pubs/clubs shut then we will try and help teams to find alternative venues.

6. The Committee will ensure that as much skittles, as safely as possible, is played during the forthcoming season, in whatever format can best utilise the time available.

The committee are proposing to initially approach pubs/clubs and get their take on when they believe they may be able to host skittles again – and then to approach you – the teams/players – as to if and when you would be happy to start playing again. Hence there will be an Annual General Meeting.
We’re all in the dark here, so in the meantime… captains, landlords and club secretaries please feel free to get in touch with any of the officers with your thoughts/suggestions/reservations.

Keep safe and well.


AGM – Cancelled

Following the Government’s announcement on Sunday 10 May 2020 the Committee have decided that, as there is no possibility in holding the AGM 2020 in the foreseeable future, that the meeting be cancelled.

We will however be issuing the entry form for the 2020/21 season at the end of this month and would ask that it be returned to the Hon Sec by the date specified.

Whilst it is appreciated that no skittles can take place until social distancing regulations are relaxed the Committee need to plan for all eventualities & we therefore need to know how many teams we have in order that we can move quickly once circumstances permit us to do so.

Email from the league’s secretary

This is the email that each team captain received this morning explaining the committee’s decision to null and void the current season.

Hi Everyone,

I apologise for sending you another email so soon after the last one.

Unfortunately the decision by the committee to make season 2019/20 null and void has been brought into question. Some teams have stated that we made the decision too early.

So I would like to make the following points: To finish the season we would need at least eight weeks, that is three weeks to finish the league and then the other five weeks to complete all the competitions and then hold a presentation evening. I hope that if teams wanted to finish the league it was the entire season not just the league fixtures that would need to be completed.

Also the committee understand that we as a league want to support the pubs and clubs involved in the league and the lock down. But we have been informed that the hospitality section will be the last to be allowed to re-open and even that section want three weeks notice of when they can re-open. Which does mean that pubs and clubs may very well not open for at least another six weeks probably more.

We feel that to run the league on into the summer is not possible as some teams may well be able to get 8 skittlers but a number may not be able to get 8 players as during the season they struggle to fulfil fixture with 8 players. Surely this would be unfair on some teams and with social distancing which I suspect will be in place for many months to come it will not be possible.

With regard to next season and also if anything was to happen in the near future then the committee will of course look at all the possibilities open to us. But be assured that we will do our very best to make sure that Dorchester skittle league will return, hopefully commencing in September, stronger and just as large as it is now.

Below is our reasoning for null and voiding the 2019/20 season

Reason to Null & Void the League now

The lockdown is in place for at least another 3 weeks from 16 April 2020 and it would be naïve to think that life will return to normal at the end of that period. Even when the lockdown is relaxed and this may only be a temporary measure, social distancing will remain in place and it has been intimated that some form of social distancing will be in place until a vaccine has been developed tested and made available to the general public. This is months away. There is also the situation where vulnerable people and those over 70 years old are subject to a 12 week lockdown.

Comments made by the leaders of other countries over their exit strategy give the re-opening of licenced premises a very low priority and it is expected that the same will happen in the UK. The longer our pubs and clubs are closed the greater the chance of some not reopening at all.

The Committee therefore decided that it was better to end the uncertainty as they believe there is no chance of skittles being played for some time.

Decision to Null & Void the League

There is no guarantee that all teams would be prepared to fulfil their remaining fixtures particularly those who struggle to field eight players during the winter let alone in the summer months. Some teams contain farmworkers who work long hours during the summer to keep us fed. As mentioned above there is the issue if we lose an alley. The Frampton Arms alley is already shut and The New Inn is probably no longer available.

Apart from section A of the Open League there are byes in each section meaning that some teams have played more games than others. You cannot penalise teams because of the way the fixtures work out particularly where it could have a bearing on promotion or relegation.

Options such as head to head records, points average per game, could not provide a single solution which would fit all sections and there is no way of arranging play offs, if we declared the leagues complete at this time, as required by the Rules..

The decision by the Committee was supported by members whose team had a chance of winning their section or gaining promotion. We have looked at the bigger picture and taken a pragmatic view that the only way forward was to null and void the season. We were aware that any decision would not please all but we sincerely believe that any poll of team secretaries would have led to the same result.

I hope that the above will answer any questions you may have regarding the committee’s decision.

If there are any teams with very strong views about the decision then please get back to me and I will pass them onto the committee. Also views can be heard at the next AGM when it is held.

Kind Regards,

Brian, Secretary, D&DSL


With the lockdown having been extended for at least 3 weeks & with social distancing likely to remain in place for some time the Officers & Committee have decided that the 2019/20 skittles season be declared NULL & VOID.

As things stand we have no idea if or when the 2020/21 season will commence but you may rest assured that as soon as circumstances permit we will endeavour to get skittles up & running again. The composition of each section will be based on the number of teams who enter & the time available to complete the season using league positions as at the end of the last week of completed fixtures as the base. In the circumstances it has been decided that the League Fee will be waived for 20/21 for all teams who played this season. Any new teams will have to pay the £43, there will be no refunds for existing teams who do not enter. Competition entry fees will be carried over to the new season with no refunds made.

Needless to say that Presentation Night is cancelled & at this time we may not be able to hold an AGM. If there is no AGM then the current rules will apply for 20/21

Please stay safe

The Officers & Committee DDSL

History pages

Check out the history pages on the website. This is an ongoing project which will be updated to give you all an insight on the past history of the league. If anyone can help with any missing teams/years or mistakes please contact , especially any information about league winners from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s as the skittle fixture books only started putting in the previous seasons tables from 1980.

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