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League Rules

All captains are recommended to be in possession of a current issue of the laws of the sport and a copy of the current association yearbook which features the rules set out below.

 

1. LEAGUES

 

a) There are two competitions - Premier and Saturday Triples. There is no promotion between the two competitions.

b) Clubs are required to return to the League Secretary by the 14 February preceding the forthcoming season the form indicating their entries to the Premier and Saturday Triples Leagues. The League Secretary will issue the fixture list for the forthcoming season as soon as possible thereafter. No changes to entries will be permitted after the fixture list has been issued. If a team withdraws from a league before the season starts or during the season, the Association’s Executive is empowered to refuse readmission of that team for a period to be determined at its discretion.

c) Where possible the leagues are divided into sections, each consisting of no more than ten teams. There is no limit to the number of teams an affiliated club may have in the premier league, subject to an overall maximum number of teams that the executive may determine from time to time. However, it is the responsibility of each club to ensure that it has sufficient playing members to meet all its commitments. Matches are played on a home and away basis and are numbered consecutively from one to eighteen. Unless there are exceptional circumstances each team will play the other teams in its section once at home and once away. The intention will be to achieve an 18 week season, the weeks being numbered in sequence from 1 to 18. The season will commence on the closest Saturday to May 1st. 

d) For both leagues, the two teams in each section (except Section 1) winning the greatest number of points will be promoted to the next higher section except where the number of entries to the league for the following season require, in the opinion of the Association’s Executive Committee, that this rule should be varied. . The team in each section winning the most points during the season is the champion club of the section for that year. In the event of a tie on points, the finishing order will be decided on the basis of the following criteria, listed in order of priority:

1. Rinks won and lost difference

2. Shots difference  

3. Total rinks won

4. Total shots scored

5. The aggregate results of the matches between the clubs concerned.

 

e) The top and second teams in the Saturday Triples league may apply to replace the bottom team in the premier league. These two clubs must make individual written applications to the executive, together with the bottom team in the premier league, if that club so wishes. If the executive consider each club (or two thereof capable of fielding a full four-rink team, the applications will be circulated to member clubs for consideration at an AGM. For both leagues, the two teams with the lowest number of points in each section will be relegated to the next lower section except where the number of entries to the league for the following season requires, in the opinion of the Association’s Executive Committee, that this rule be varied. The side finishing lowest in the bottom section of the premier league may seek reelection as above. Should there be any remaining vacancies in the Premier League, new applications can be considered. This will take the form of a ballot at an AGM. All league tables published in the press or on the internet are provisional pending the receipt and scrutiny of result sheets by the league secretary.

f) Matches in all sections (Premier and Saturday Triples Leagues) will normally be played on Saturdays at 2.00pm. By mutual agreement, the start can be advanced but if the start time agreed is before 1.30pm the league secretary must be advised at least twenty-four hours before the match day. On match day, if all players are present and the team captains agree, the match can start ant time between 1.30pm and 2.00pm. Matches played on a day other than Saturday, in accordance with Regulations 10,11 and 12, may start at a mutually agreeable time. Matches may be interrupted for a drink break. Clubs not wishing to have a drink break must notify other clubs in the section and the league secretary before the start of the season.

 

2. TWO SIDES FROM ONE CLUB IN SAME SECTION 

Should there be at any time more than one side from one club in the same section of the league, these sides will play each other as early as possible in each half of the season.

 

3. NEW ENTRANTS

Any team accepted for admission to the leagues will be admitted into the lowest section.

 

4. PLAYER REGISTRATION 

Detailed lists of registered playing members eligible to compete in the leagues (including first names) must be forwarded to the league secretary before the start of the first league match.  Any names of eligible players joining at a later date must be forwarded forthwith. Failure to comply with this will lead to an automatic penalty of four points per team of the offending club for each and every week until the information is received. The executive will investigate the playing of ineligible players and  may impose a penalty if it finds this rule has been broken.

No players' list is required for the Saturday Triples league.

5. PLAYERS’ ELIGIBILITY 

a) To be eligible to play in the league competition a player 

i) may compete for only one and the same affiliated club in any one season (but see regulation 5(b) below); 

ii) must be a registered member of the affiliated club. 

b) Notwithstanding Regulation 5(a)(i) above, a player may play for more than one and the same affiliated club in any one season provided he has played in no more than two league matches in the Premier League for the first affiliated club and the league secretary is satisfied that the reason for the player wishing to play for another affiliated club is valid. 

Premier League only: If a player has already played for at least one affiliated club in matches one to fourteen, then in matches fifteen to eighteen he may only play for the last affiliated club he played for prior to match fifteen. Once registered for his new club, the player may represent only that club for the rest of the season. Breach of this regulation will result in a penalty (Regulation 13).

Premier League only: Players who have played in any league team in ten or more matches one to fourteen inclusive, cannot play for a lower team (including any other team(s) from the club in the same section) in matches fifteen to eighteen.  

c) Instances of a club fielding ineligible players will be referred to the executive for consideration of imposition of a penalty. Any penalty imposed may be applied during the current season and/or during the following season as the executive finds appropriate.

d) Premier League only: No player, having played in a team on the date of the original match, may play in a re-arranged match in any other team or section. Breach of this regulation will result in a penalty (Regulation 13). 

6. CONSTITUTION OF SIDES (Saturday Triples League in brackets) 

a) League sides consist of sixteen (six) players of each club; four (three) players of each side per rink; twenty-one (eighteen) ends to be played. (Any variation to the number of ends played in accordance with the laws of the sport must be notified to the league secretary) - two trial ends. The rinks to be drawn by the visiting captain and only changed by agreement of both captains. It is expected that threes will play up in all games. Any team which finds it is unable to field a full team of sixteen players may play up to four rinks of triples with a limit of three games per season which consist of more than one rink of triples. Any such game played after the third depleted team will be considered unfulfilled and Rule 13 will apply.

b) Premier League only. The Association’s Executive is authorised to vary the constitution of sides in the lower sections of the League to twelve players (4 per rink) where it considers necessary to achieve the optimum structure for the League.

c) Time Limit : If a single member of a side is absent at the start time of play, fifteen minutes must be allowed, after which a substitute may be introduced, who must be a fully paid up member of the club to which the side belongs. If for any reason a team is delayed, then the game must still be played as a full game.

d) Absent Players and/or Illness on Green: If, at the time of commencement of play, a single player is absent from one rink of either club, the match will proceed. In the defaulting rink, the number of bowls is made up by the lead and second player playing three bowls each but one quarter of the total shots scored by the depleted rink will be deducted from the score at the end of the match. If unusual circumstances occur and more than one player is absent, the match should be played and the league secretary informed the same evening.  The league secretary will decide what action is to be taken and will refer to the executive for confirmation. If, during the course of a match a player has to leave the green owing to illness or any other reasonable cause, his place may be taken by a substitute who must be a member of the same club. Should the player affected be a skip, his duties and position must be assumed by the third player and the substitute must play as lead, second or third. If a substitute is not made, the number of bowls will be made up for the remainder of the match as provided above and one quarter of the shots scored by the depleted rink after the withdrawal will be deducted from the score at the end of the game.

e) Substitutes: Except for the introduction of substitutes provided in Regulation 6(d), teams cannot be changed once the match has started on the day of the match.

f) Saturday Triples League only: If a club can field three players instead of six, then the game can still be played. The team fielding only one triple will be deemed to have lost 5 points to nil on the triple not played.  Otherwise the normal rules will apply.

g) Saturday Triples League only: There will be no restriction on the mix of male and female players in each team. Where teams are including females this is provided that suitable facilities are available at the match venue. 

7. SCORING

a) Scoring is as follows (Saturday Triples League in brackets)

Each winning rink on either side will receive two (two) points and the overall winning side six (two) points. The maximum number of points will be fourteen (six) points. In the event of a draw, either on a rink or overall, the rink or or overall points, as the case may be, will be shared equally between the sides. Where matches have been reduced to three fours under rule 6(b) the overall winning side will receive four points.

b) In all matches, rink score boards are to be kept in place until the match is concluded. At the end of the match score cards must be signed by the respective skips before the result forms are completed. All score cards are to be kept and produced at the request of the league secretary. Any green fees are borne by the home team.

8. RESULTS

The results of each match must be entered on the Horizon Web Results website by 7.30pm on the day of the match. The result forms showing the agreed score, together with the names of all players participating, must be sent to the league secretary after every home game; an email copy is acceptable. The result form must be received no later than seven days following the match. Failure to comply with this will incur an automatic penalty of four points. 

9. POSTPONEMENT - WEATHER: 

a) Where, on account of bad weather affecting the condition of the green, it is impossible (in the opinion of the captains of the sides and/or the green keeper) to start a match on the day appointed, it is the home team's captain's responsibility to notify the visiting team's captain of the situation as soon as possible before the start of the match. The clubs concerned must agree a rearranged date so that it is played within fourteen days. However, if this is not possible, a reasonable extension can be agreed by the league secretary, bearing in mind all circumstances of the situation and the time in the season that the postponement has occurred. 

If all rinks have completed – 

fewer than 5 ends: The match starts from scratch. Trial ends will be played. 

14 or more ends (Premier League) or 12 or more ends (Saturday Triples League): If both captains agree the match is considered complete. 

If neither of the above applies, the match resumes where it left off. Trial ends will be played. Any rearranged match will be played in the evening unless an alternative day (i.e Sunday) has been agreed by the clubs concerned. During the last two matches, should sides be unable to play due to adverse weather, playing time limited because of darker evenings or the inability of agreement between the clubs concerned, the match will be declared a tie, both teams sharing the points. (No rink points will be awarded.)

b) The league secretary shall have the discretion to apportion rink points equally if, in his opinion, not awarding any rink points results in an unequal situation. He may also rule that a club is in default if it is acting unreasonably in not agreeing a date for a postponed match. In these circumstances, the result will be determined as in Rule 12 below. The league secretary must be informed of any rearranged date or any other arrangements within forty-eight hours. Failure to notify the league secretary or not advising him of the problem will result in an automatic penalty of two points for the home team.                 

10. POSTPONED, REARRANGED OR RESUMED MATCHES – SELECTION 

When a postponed, rearranged or resumed match is played, both clubs must play the original sides selected (so far as is practicable) for the resumed match. Should a match be played at any other time than the appointed time Regulation 6(b) will apply. Any club may advise the league secretary (in writing) if there is reason to believe there has been a breach of this regulation. The executive will investigate a written complaint and may impose a penalty (Regulation 13).

11. CHANGE OF FIXTURE DATE BY MUTUAL AGREEMENT 

When a club considers that valid grounds exist to change the date of an appointed league match and the other club agrees to the change, the match must be played within fourteen days or up to six days after the scheduled date. The club initiating the change must notify the league secretary immediately agreement has been reached. Should there be a problem between the two clubs involved and the league secretary is unable to resolve it, he will refer all details to the executive, whose decision will be final. The league secretary may refuse permission to change a fixture date if, in his opinion, any club would be disadvantaged by allowing the agreed rearrangement of the fixture. Breach of this regulation will result in a penalty (Regulation 13).

12. MATCHES NOT PLAYED (Saturday Triples League in brackets)

Where a side fails to fulfill a fixture, the side will be penalised to the extent of twenty (ten) shots and their opponents awarded fourteen (six) points and twenty (ten) shots. If any team fails to play two matches throughout the season or fails to play one match in weeks sixteen to eighteen, it will automatically be relegated to the section below, replacing the second lowest if necessary and if in Section 6 they will face re-election.

12a, ONLY APPLICABLE TO THE SATURDAY TRIPLES LEAGUE

(i)  In the instance of non-availability of one player on a rink, two players may be permitted to play against three in accordance with Appendix A - "Bowls Triples Matches Sequence of play where one team is a player short on a rink". There will be no shots or penalty in this case.

(ii) If a team can field three players instead of six, then the game can still be played. The team fielding only one triple will be deemed to have lost five shots to nil on the triple not played. otherwise the normal rules will apply.

13. PENALTIES

If any club has committed a breach of these regulations the executive may, after investigation of the circumstances, impose a penalty on the club. The executive will determine the type of penalty, which must be proportionate to the nature and extent of the regulation breach. The maximum penalty the executive may impose is a deduction of the maximum number of points and twenty shots, unless the regulation breached allows for a different maximum penalty. The executive may also rule that a club which has breached regulations has defaulted in the matches concerned and may apply the provisions of Rule 12 to the match(es) in question. A club has the right of appeal against the imposition of a penalty. Such an appeal must be made in writing or by email to the General Secretary within seven days of receipt of notification of the penalty.

14. DRESS

a) Dress: Regulation dress for all matches is white trousers or in hot weather plain. tailored white shorts, (except for postponed matches played in the evening when grey trousers will be worn), with either white or coloured shirts with collars (in club colours as registered with Bowls England and approved by the County Association). Headgear, if worn, must be white or in club colours. Wet weather clothing, including headgear when worn, must be white or in club colours. Bowling shoes must conform to the appropriate law in the laws of the sport. 

b) Coloured Shirts: Clubs intending to use coloured shirts must advise the league secretary of the colours before the season starts. This notification need only be done once when coloured shirts are first adopted. However, any changes to colours or design must also be notified. All sixteen team players must wear the team coloured shirt otherwise all team players must wear white shirts.

15. BOWLS 

All bowls used in the league matches must be stamped and comply with the laws of the sport. All players must have their own club stickers on both sides of their bowls. Both captains of the match are responsible for checking all bowls for the correct stickers and warning each player accordingly if the rule is breached. If a player continues and plays without complying with this regulation, it is the captain's(s') responsibility to report to the league secretary and there will be an automatic one point penalty imposed on that team.

16. DAMAGE TO GREENS 

lf the home team captain or the designated management official of the home club or green at which the match is being played believes that a player is causing damage to the green as a result of his delivery or any other action, then the opposing captain must be told. This will be treated as a first warning. Action must be taken immediately to stop the problem. However, if it continues, a second warning will be given and if the player does not heed the warnings, the captain will automatically have permission to demand the player's withdrawal. A substitute is not permitted for the withdrawn player. From then on Rule 6(d) will apply as for illness during a game with a substitute not being available. The league secretary must be advised immediately of the situation after the game. 

17. REGULATIONS 

These regulations are subject to alteration temporarily, as necessary, by the executive to deal with any unforeseen circumstances which occur during the season. Any alterations must be communicated to member clubs as soon as possible. Any alterations will cease to have effect after the completion of the league season, unless made permanent at the AGM.

 

 APPENDIX A - BOWLS TRIPLES MATCHES - Order of Play where one team is a player short

 

 

 

                  

 

 As shown below: Team A has 3 players: Team B has 2 players.

 

 Team A plays 9 bowls and Team B plays 6 bowls

 

 There is no deduction of shots at the end of the game.

 

 

 

 Where Team A  (3 Players)        Where Team B (2 Players)

 

           plays Jack                                    plays Jack

Lead

A team

Lead

B team

Lead

B team

 Lead

A team

Number 2

A team

Number 2

A team

Lead

A team

Lead

B team

Lead

B team

Lead

A team

Number 2

A team

Number 2

A team

Lead

A team

Lead

B team

Lead

B team

Lead

A team

Number 2

A team

Number 2

A team

Skip

A team

Skip

B team

Skip

B team

Skip

A team

Skip

A team

Skip

B team

Skip

B team

Skip

A team

Skip

A team

Skip

B team

Skip

B team

Skip

A team

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                

 

 

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LAYOUT OF THE GREEN - DISPUTE PROCEDURES

 

If a visiting team captain believes that the green has not been legally laid out then:-

 

a. a formal complaint must be made to the home team captain before the start of play.

b. if the green lay out is not rectified, the match MUST be played.

c. any formal protest must be made to the League Secretary within 72 hours.

 

The League Secretary will arrange a review of the situation and if necessary, apply the appropriate penalties.