BOWLING RULES AND REGULATIONS OF THE CLUB

1          GENERAL

1.1       Joint laws of the game

1.1.1    Games shall be played observing the current Joint Laws of the Game adopted by the English Indoor Bowling Association Limited, except where specifically varied by the Club’s Bowling Regulations. 

1.1.2    As provided for above, the Thornbury Indoor Bowls Club Regulations will be determined by The Club.  By delegation, the Executive Committee is responsible for drawing up these Regulations. 

1.1.3    At all times Club members will comply with the rules laid down by the Thornbury Leisure Centre and with the Regulations and Rules of the Club.  The routine monitoring of compliance with these Regulations and the handling of disputes falls to the Executive Committee whose decisions shall be final and binding. 

1.2       Code of conduct and green etiquette:

            a)         Running is not permitted on the bowling carpet

            b)         Only chalk and carpet friendly puffers may be used to mark touchers 

c)         The bowling carpet must not be marked with chalk or other substances

d)         Bowling shoes worn on the bowling carpet must not be worn on outside pathways or in the car park immediately prior to entering the Leisure Centre and Bowling Hall

e)         Players must ensure that possession of the rink is given up immediately upon a bowl coming to rest

f)          Players must not encroach on an adjoining rink where play is in progress

g)         Players should always keep to the middle of the rink with leads, twos and threes moving to the head together

h)         Players shall give due consideration to neighbouring rinks at all times, particularly so when playing to a boundary jack

i)          Skips shall leave the head together and should not thereafter revisit it.

1.3       Dress code

1.3.1    The dress code of The Club specifies that members to wear predominantly white tops with grey trousers, skirts or shorts. White or cream trousers/skirts are to be worn as instructed for some friendly games and some Club Regional and National competitions and Club competition finals. County and Club insignia and the wearer’s name may be displayed on tops. 

1.3.2    In league games team players may wear coloured shirts or blouses of their choice provided all team members wear them when playing.  The colour and design of the shirt or blouse must be registered with the League Chairperson.

1.3.3    The Club dress code also specifies that only regulation white, brown, black or grey bowling shoes are to be worn on the green.  Members should note that neither The Club nor the Thornbury Leisure Centre will accept liability if injury occurs due to the wearing of sandals.

1.3.4    Any player not dressed in compliance with the above dress code shall be given a verbal warning by the officer of The Club responsible for the game in which the breach occurs.  Should the offender transgress a second time, the player will not be allowed to play again until the dress code is complied with. 

1.4       Time allowed and session rules

1.4.1    All games shall be played within the periods of times allowed for the particular competition, as notified elsewhere in these Regulations or as displayed on the Club notice boards. 

1.4.2    In the event that a National competition game is about to overrun its allotted period, the players following-on should stand aside in good grace and allow the players and umpire to complete the game as quickly as possible, without interference.

1.4.3    All fixed time games should strictly adhere to the time allowed and the session times and rules as designated by the Thornbury Leisure Centre.  The clock in the Bowling Hall will be the authority.  The following regulations will also apply:

a)         Each session will last nominally 1 hour 53 minutes or 3 hours 53 minutes according to the published times for the game, at which time the end of session warning bell will sound.  The end in progress should be played until completion.  All players involved must endeavour to complete the end in the normal manner as quickly as possible so as not to delay the start of the next session. 

b)         The last end of a session will be considered to have started when the jack leaves the lead player’s hand providing the player had one foot on or directly above a correctly positioned mat and the jack comes to rest within the rink being played.  If the jack does not come to rest within the confines of the rink being played, it shall be placed by the opposing skip.  If the jack is subsequently made dead (“a killed end”) the game will cease immediately. 

1.5       Payment of rink fees

1.5.1    The appropriate rink fee must be paid by all Club members, prior to the commencement of play, in accordance with the scale of charges determined and published by the Thornbury Leisure Centre.  Failure to comply could result in members being requested to leave the premises. 

2          CLUB LEAGUES

2.1       Eligibility, registration and fees

2.1.1    League teams must be registered by completing a registration form issued by the Membership Secretary.  It is the responsibility of the team captain to ensure that all team members are properly registered and fully paid up members of The Club.  The following rules apply:

a)         A team in the fours league should consist of a minimum of SIX players and no maximum.

b)        A team in the triples league should consist of a minimum of FOUR players.

c)      A player must not be registered for more than one team in the same league during a season

d)         A team that plays an unregistered player shall forfeit the game and their opponents will be awarded two points and five shots

e)         New players may be registered with the appropriate League Secretary up to 31st January in the current season.  After this date, no new players may be registered without the permission of the Executive Committee

2.2       Organisation, promotion, relegation and league tables

2.2.2    Fours leagues will be divided into two divisions, “A” and “B”.  At the end of each season the top two teams in division “B” will be promoted to division “A” and the bottom two teams in division “A” will relegated to division “B”.  For divisions with nine teams or less only one team will be promoted and relegated. The League Chairperson may use discretion in some circumstances.

2.2.3    There will be no promotion or relegation for triples leagues.

2.2.4    The Executive Committee has the power to alter the league structure or to introduce innovative measures to maintain/increase the competitiveness and attractiveness of the league competitions. 

2.2.5    League tables will be posted on the league notice board showing games played, points gained, shot difference and league position.  Two points will be awarded for a win and one point for a draw.  In a league with an odd number of teams, the team standing down each week will be awarded 2 points and 5 shots.

2.2.6    League table positions will be decided as follows:

a)         The highest number of points in descending order

b)         If two or more teams have equal points then the team(s) with the greater shot difference will take the higher place(s)

c)         If still equal, the team(s) with the higher number of shots scored will take the higher place(s)

2.3       Conditions of play

2.3.1    All games shall be played on fixed dates, except as allowed in 2.4 below.

2.3.2    All games shall be played during a two hour session or a maximum of 18 ends for pairs and fours and 16 ends for triples.

2.3.3    A minimum of three players shall constitute a triples and fours team.  A mixed fours team shall consist of two ladies and two men.  Open fours and triples teams can be any combination of ladies and men. 

2.3.4    Teams are not permitted to start play in a league game unless all members are present, except for the special provisions allowed for fours teams as set out in 2.7. 

2.3.5    There will be no trial ends and teams shall toss a coin to decide who has possession of the jack at the start of the game. Improperly delivered jacks can be placed by the opposing skip providing the mat is in its original position. If the mat is moved the jack must be redelivered.

2.3.6    A team making “a dead end” will concede one shot, and the option to either take the mat and deliver the jack and the first bowl, or allow their opponents to have the mat jack and first bowl, passes to the team awarded the shot in the “dead end”. 

2.3.7    At the end of the game, completed score cards shall be placed in the rack provided in the Bowls Hall.  Once cards have been handed in the score will stand unless there has been a default or infringement of the rules. 

2.3.8    Jacks must be obtained from the Leisure Centre reception.  The use of private jacks will be penalised by the deduction of two points and five shots from the team providing the jack and the award of two points and five shots to their opponents.  When a private jack is used with the knowledge of both teams they will each be penalised by the deduction of two points and five shots.

2.4       Postponement

2.4.1    Postponement of league game without penalty will only be permitted where the rink is required for Club or National Competitions.

2.4.2    In the event of the League Chairperson postponing a game, it will be re-arranged and both team captains notified. The League Chairperson reserves the right to cancel rather than postpone if re-arrangement causes undue difficulty.

2.4.3  In the event of bad weather causing a team not to arrive to play, the League Chairperson will not re-arrange any unplayed matches and will adjudicate on any default issues. 

2.5       Failure to play by concession and default

2.5.1    If a team fails to arrive for reasons other than those set out in 2.4 above, the defaulting team will be adjudged to have conceded the game and shall pay the total rink fee for both teams prior to their next scheduled game in that league or within one week after the season ends whichever occurs first.  Their opponents shall be awarded two points and five shots. 

2.5.2    In the event that two players in a team normally comprising four players fail to arrive and be ready to play before 15 minutes after the scheduled start of the session, the game will not take place and the defaulting team shall be required to pay the total rink fee for both teams prior to their next scheduled game in that league or within one week after the season ends whichever occurs first.  Their opponents shall be awarded two points and five shots. 

2.6       Late starts

2.6.1    If a team captain or any member of the team fails to collect their scorecard and pay the rink fee to the League Secretary or his deputy seven minutes before the start time, the team shall be penalised 2 shots in that game. 

2.6.2    If a player in a pairs, triples or fours team arrives late and 18 ends are not played, their opponents shall be awarded one shot for each unplayed end.  Unplayed ends are calculated as seven minutes delay, up to a maximum of two ends.  After 15 minutes delay in a pairs or triples game, the defaulting team must concede the game.

2.6.3    If one player in a fours team has not arrived the game can start on time with a team of three players (see also special provisions for an absentee fours player at 2.7).  After the end in play has been completed, a registered player may join the team to make up the four, before the start of the third end with no shot penalty, but may not play skip.  As soon as the fourth player joins the team, all players in that team will bowl with two bowls each. 

2.7       Absentee player in fours and threes teams

2.7.1    A team with only three players in a fours game must play with the lead and two bowling three bowls each.  In these circumstances the team will be deducted 30% of their score, calculated to one decimal point.  The league tables will record such scores to one decimal point also.

2.7.2   A triples game with a team of two players can be played. The team with two players plays with three bowls each and the team with three players with two bowls each. The team with two players will be deducted 30% of their score as per fours above. As fewer bowls than normal are delivered, more than eighteen ends may be played.

2.8       League Winners Prizes

2.8.1    The winning team of each league will be awarded a cash prize of £90 for 4s and £75 for triples, which will be presented to the teams secretary at the AGM. The prize should be distributed to the team members at the secretary’s discretion.

   3       RINKS FOR NATIONAL COMPETITIONS

3.1       There are two methods for Club members to obtain a rink, as follows:

a)         From the Club from rinks booked for league games

b)         From the Leisure Centre by allowing Club members early reservation of a rink for National competitions

3.2       The methodology for a) and b) above is as follows:

3.2.1    In the event that a Club member, in order to meet the regulations of the National Championship rules requires a rink at a time when a league event is scheduled and there are no other rinks available at that time and date, the Club member should approach the League Chairperson who will arrange for the postponement of a league game(s) to allow the National event to be played.  The Club member will be responsible for paying the appropriate rink fee as required for National competitions by Thornbury Leisure Centre.

3.2.2    In the event that the Club member finds that upon enquiry at the Leisure Centre reception that there is an unbooked rink, the Club member must book that rink and if she/he prefers to play on a rink reserved for a league game, then this requirement will be accommodated by the League Chairperson, who will arrange for the league game to be switched to the rink booked by the Club member for the National competition. 

3.2.3    It is sometimes convenient to book rinks for national events several weeks ahead.  The Leisure Centre will allow Club members an unspecified period of time ahead of the due date for advance bookings for National competitions.  The public are only allowed to book rinks seven days ahead.  In addition, the Leisure centre will allow provisional reservation by Club members of two alternatives to allow the Club member to meet the National Championship rules. 

3.2.4    The Club member should make a choice from the provisional reservations within three days and confirm the actual booking, cancel the other reservation and pay the appropriate rink fee all at the same time for a confirmed booking to be registered on the computerised system. 

3.2.5    In the event that the Club member does not make a choice within three days, the provisional reservations will be automatically deleted from the computerised system

3.2.6    In the event that a Club Member finds that having paid for a reservation it has to be cancelled within seven days of the date of playing, the Club member should immediately contact either Virginia Kennedy or Sharon Howard at the Leisure Centre (direct Tel. 01454 865771) and plead their case for a refund.  The outcome will depend on an assessment of the chance of the rink being utilised and will be given entirely at the discretion of the Leisure Centre.  Club members should not attempt to obtain a refund via reception as their access to the computerised booking system is restricted in this respect. 

4          INTERNAL CLUB COMPETITIONS

4.1       Eligibility

4.1.1    All players who compete in The Club’s internal competitions must be paid up members of the Club.

4.1.2    It is the responsibility of each team captain, or in a singles competition, the individual player, to pay all entry fees due, as set by the Executive Committee, with a fully completed entry form to the appropriate Competition Secretary by the due date.  All competitors should ensure they have inserted their contact telephone number and address on the entry form. 

4.1.3    Members who have entered National Indoor Competitions via another club in the current season are not permitted to enter the Club Singles Championships in the same season. 

4.2       Substitutes

4.2.1    Competitors (ie a single, a complete pair, triple or four) unable to play in the finals on the fixed dates are required to withdraw from the competitions at the earliest opportunity, but note 4.2.2 below.

4.2.2    No substitute is permitted in singles competitions but in all other competitions one, and the same, substitute is allowed in each team throughout a competition provided the player has not entered or played in that competition.

4.3       Conditions

4.3.1    The General Conditions set out in Section 1 shall apply, together with the following:

a)         The programmes for the completion of all events are at the discretion of the Men’s Competition Secretary and the Ladies Competition Secretary respectively.  The semi-final and final games will be played after the end of the league season. 

b)         If the respective Competition Secretaries decide it is practical to adopt play-by dates for the early rounds, the first named on the draw sheet for each game is the challenger and in singles competitions (other than the final) must arrange for a marker, and the player whose name appears second is designated the opponent. 

c)         For all rounds of each competition to be played on “play by dates” the challenger(s) must offer the opponent at least two dates at times when the opponent can reasonably be expected to play, ie those at work obviously cannot be expected to play during their normal working hours.  One of the dates must be either Saturday or Sunday.  In the first round only, the dates must be offered not less than two weeks prior to the round closing.  For all subsequent rounds the dates must be offered within seven days of the previous round closing. 

d)         If the challenger(s) fail(s) to offer two dates in the manner described in c) above, the opponent(s) will be awarded the game. 

e)         Within seventy-two hours the opponent must accept one of the two dates offered or by mutual agreement with the challenger arrange an alternative date.  Failure to do so will result in the challenger(s) being awarded the game. 

f)          Should d) or e) apply, at least one of the parties must report the circumstances to the appropriate Competition Secretary in writing prior to the play by date.  Failure to do so will result on both parties being disqualified. 

g)         A game must not be played after the play by date, as this will impinge upon the arrangements for the next round.

h)         The format and duration of play shall be as follows:

(i)         Singles – 21 shots or two hours from the arranged starting time for men whichever occurs first, except for the semi-finals and final which are 21 shots without time limit.  Ladies – 21 shots without time limit (booked as a National competition).

(ii)        Pairs – 18 ends or two hours from the arranged starting time for men whichever occurs first, except for the semi-finals and final which are 21 ends without time limit.  Ladies – 21 ends without time limit (booked as a National competition).

(iii)       Triples – 15 ends or two hours from the arranged starting time for men whichever occurs first, except for the semi-finals and final which are 18 ends without time limit.  Ladies – 18 ends without time limit (booked as a National competition).

(iv)       Fours – 18 ends or two hours from the arranged starting time for men whichever occurs first, except for the semi-finals and final which are 21 ends without time limit. 

(v)        Mixed pairs – 18 ends or two hours from the arranged starting time whichever occurs first, except for the semi-finals and final which are 21 ends without time limit. 

(vi)       Open pairs – 18 ends or two hours from the arranged starting time whichever occurs first, except for the semi-finals and final which are 21 ends without time limit. 

  1. Trial ends of not more than two woods per player are permitted in a 2-hour time-limited game.

j)          The game shall be conceded by the competitor or team not on the green and ready to start playing fifteen minutes after the agreed starting time.

k)         Play arrangements for games with a time limit shall be as follows:

i)          In fours and triples competitions threes and twos will not be at the head with the skips.

ii)         Visits to the head are only permitted as follows:

  • Singles – after the third bowl has been bowled.
  • Pairs – only after the third bowl has been bowled by the skip
  • Triples – only after the second bowl has been bowled by the skip
  • Fours – after the first bowl has been bowled by the skip

iii)         All players, with the exception of the skips shall remain at the mat end until it is the turn of the skips to bowl.

iv)        In rounds of a competition where a time limit operates, a player or a team making a “dead end” will concede one shot and the choice for possession of the mat for the following end.

            l)          Playing to a finish of drawn games will be as follows:

i)          If the scores are level after the prescribed number of ends or at the end of the two hour session, then the competitor or team winning the most ends will be declared the winner.

ii)         If regulation 4.3.1(l) above does not produce a winner then the competitors in singles games and skips in all other formats shall play-off by bowling one bowl each to a jack cast in the normal manner, after tossing a coin for the choice of possession of the mat.  The player whose bowl is nearer the jack shall win the game.

iii)         If the scores are level where all the prescribed ends have been played in a game without time limit, an extra end or ends shall be played until there is a winner.

iv)        The final play-off procedures as set out in ii) and iii) above need not take place on the same rink nor immediately if so required by the prevailing circumstances and agreed to by the appropriate Competition Secretary. 

m)        Except when the Competition Secretaries are in attendance, defaults/infringements of these regulations or any disputes between competitors must be reported to the Executive Committee within forty-eight hours, clearly indicating why the claim is being made.  Failure to do so may result in the defaults/infringements being overlooked by the Executive Committee. 

n)         The Competition Secretaries are authorised to exercise discretion in taking immediate steps to resolve a situation whether or not it is specifically covered by these Regulations.  Their decision (which must be impartial) will be final and binding.

o)         A player/team found to be in default that causes the game not to be played or abandoned will be required to pay the total rink fee for that game.  Default fees must be paid within one month of the date of the game. 

p)         In the event of the Competition Secretaries having to postpone a game, they will rearrange the game and notify both competitors/team captains accordingly.