Bowls Competition

Club Competition Rules


The following rules have been drawn up to assist Club members who wish to participate in internal Club competitions to understand the current practices by which Club competitions take place.

From time to time the Management Committee will review the adequacy of these rules and may amend, add or delete some to reflect best practices and changing needs.

1. History

Since 1990 the Club has annually run a number of competitions for members only.  Other than for the Handicap competition, the winners’ names have been recorded on an honours board in the clubhouse.  For all the competitions, including the Handicap, to commemorate their success both the winners and runners-up have been presented with mementos at the annual Presentation Evening at the end of the season.

2. Entry and Eligibility

Entry into the Club competitions will be confined to members who have given the completed official Entry Form to the Competition Secretary before the due date given on the form.

Competitions shall be confined to members of the club who have paid their subscriptions by 1st May for the current year.  No other fee is required to enter the Club competitions

New members who are complete beginners will not be allowed to enter the Club competitions, other than the Maiden Singles Competition, until their second year of membership.

3. Conditions

The Competitions Secretary will organise all the competitions. All competitions shall be played under the rules, byelaws and regulations of Bowls England unless otherwise specified in this Competition Rules Document.

4. Questions and Disputes

The Competitions Secretary shall determine all questions or disputes.  The decision of the Competitions Secretary shall be final.

In the case of a disputed tie, notice should be given to the Competitions Secretary within 24 hours of the dispute, stating the nature of the dispute and giving the names of the players (markers for singles to be included) involved.  The Competitions Secretary will consider the dispute and a ruling will be made as soon as possible.  Players, and marker, if the tie was a singles match, will be informed of the Competitions Secretary’s decision verbally and in writing.

5. Competition Draws

The Competitions Secretary and two other members of the Club will make the draws from valid Competitions Entry Forms. The draws will take place by the middle of May.  The listings of games to be played will be posted on the Notice Board as soon as possible after the draws, together with completion dates for each round.  The name of the competitor first drawn out for each game shall be termed the ‘Challenger’ and the second competitor drawn out will be termed the ‘Opponent’. In the case of the pair’s competition, the first two names will be the Challengers and the second two names the Opponents.

The Competitions Secretary may independently alter the dates for completion of a round if the circumstances dictate.

6. Duties of the Challenger and Opponent

• In all single competitions the challenger will be responsible for making initial contact with his/her opponent as soon as possible but no later than 7 days after the scheduled start date for that round. A date should be arranged for playing the tie as soon as is convenient.  In the pairs competition the skip of the challengers shall assume responsibility.

• In any case of difficulty in making contact, the Competitions Secretary should be informed and will decide on the appropriate action.  Attempting to make contact with the opponent and informing the Competitions Secretary will be held in your favour should the game not be played within the scheduled time.

• Opponents not notified within the 7-day period should likewise notify the Competitions Secretary.

• Competitors in default of the above rules who cause the tie not to be played on time will be eliminated from that particular competition.  Competitors who ignore the above rules will be held in default.

• In case of difficulty in playing competitions (due, for example to ill-health or bereavement) members should approach the Competitions Secretary as soon as possible.  Each case will be considered on its merit and a final ruling given.

• In the event of the green being declared unfit for play by the Green-keeper, matches will be re-arranged before the closing date.  If this occurs on the closing date of a round an extension of 3 days is allowed from when the green is declared fit again.  In a singles match if one player cannot play within the 3 days limit they forfeit the match.  Where both players are unable to play the Competitions Secretary will decide what action will be taken.

• In a pairs match if one of the players in either pair cannot play, the rules on the use of substitutes (see Section 7 below) may come into play.

• Either the challenger or the opponent shall arrange a mutually agreed marker for singles games.

• Either challenger or opponent may insist that trial ends be played before the start of a game.

7 Substitutes

• Substitute players are not permitted in any Singles competition.

• Only one substitute in a pair’s team will be allowed.  The Competitions Secretary will sanction whether a nominated reserve will play.

• No player will be allowed as a substitute who has already played in the same pairs competition.

• A substitute in the pairs may play in any round other than the final unless sanctioned by the Competitions Secretary because of exceptional circumstances, such as ill-health or bereavement

• A substitute in the pairs must play lead.

 8 Notifications of Results

The winner’s name(s) shall be entered on the competition draw sheet immediately following the end of the game.

9 Postponed and Interrupted Games

Should it not be possible to start or complete a game, either through inclement weather conditions, or exceptional circumstances beyond the players’ control, the Competitions Secretary should be notified as promptly as is feasible.

Approval will normally be given to arrange a new date.

The game shall continue from the last fully completed end but trial ends are permitted.

10 Dress Code

White tops or club colours and grey bottoms will be worn in the club competitions. Shirts in the club colours will be worn for the finals.

11 Rink Bookings

The challenger in the rink-booking book will enter rink bookings at least two days before the date of the match.

As the choice of rinks for Club Competitions may impinge on other matches to be played at the same time the order of priority for choice of rinks is as follows:

(i) National and County matches

(ii) Inter-club league/competition/cup matches

(iii) Inter-club friendly matches

(iv) Club Competitions

(v) Roll-ups

In each category above, should there be more than one competition, then rinks are to be drawn.

Where inter-club league matches take place at the same or similar time involving two Thringstone Bowling Club teams, the captains for each team will draw for rinks.

On any one day, where a player has already played on a particular rink that day, they are not allowed to play again on the same rink in a Club Singles Competition unless agreed by both players.

12 Additional Rules for each Competition

(i) Men’s Championship

• A singles competition for the gentlemen members.

• The draw shall be made on a completely random basis.

• The winner shall the first player to reach 21 shots.  Four bowls each player

(ii) Ladies Championship

• A singles competition for the lady members.

• The draw shall be made on a completely random basis.

• The winner shall be the first player to reach 21 shots.

• Four bowls each player.

(iii) Handicap Singles

• An open singles competition for both ladies and men.

• The draw shall be made on a completely random basis.

• Prior to the draw the Competitions Secretary will allocate a handicap to each entrant. This handicap is based on bowling experience, ability and progress in previous competitions.  Handicaps are the sole responsibility of the Competitions Secretary and his/her decision is final.  The handicap range will be between zero and seven.

• The winner shall be the first player to reach 21 shots for the lower handicapped player or 21 shots plus the shot difference in the two players’ allocated handicap for the higher handicapped player.  For example, for a player with a handicap of 4 and a player with a handicap of 7, the lower handicapped player will need to score 21 shots to win the game and the higher handicapped player will need to score 24 shots (i.e. [7-4 shots] + 21 shots)

• Four bowls each player.

(iv) Maiden Singles

• An open singles competition for both ladies and men. However, a player who has previously won the Maiden Singles or won the Men’s or Ladies Club Championship is excluded from entering this competition.

• The draw shall be made on a completely random basis.

• The winner shall be the first player to reach 21 shots.

• Four bowls each player.

(v) Two Wood Singles

• An open singles competition for both ladies and men.

• The draw shall be made on a completely random basis.

• The winner is the first player to reach 21 shots.

• Two bowls each player.

(vi) Pairs

• Prior to the draw the Competitions Secretary will nominate players as either a skip or a lead.  The ‘skips’ will be placed in one group and the ‘leads’ placed in a second group.  A skip and a lead will then be drawn at random from each group.  The first two players (skip plus lead) drawn out will play the second two players drawn out in the same way as the first two players (i.e. a skip from the ‘skips’ group and a lead from the ‘leads’ group drawn at random).  This same procedure will be repeated to select the remaining pairs for each game.

• Players in each pairing may change positions of play (skip or lead) from round to round but not during a game.

• The game consists of 21 ends.

• Four bowls each player.

13 General Information

The effects of holidays should be considered before entering the Club competitions.  Make allowance for holidays when arranging dates for matches so as not to overly restrict the choice of dates for your opponent(s).

Please try to arrange and play Club competition matches as early as possible.  Do not leave it to the last minute as this does cause problems, especially if you can’t book a rink or there is inclement weather around on the date you have agreed.

The smooth running of competitions is dependent on the common sense and good will of the players.


1st draft: 26-09-11 of previous Competition Rules

1st Revision: following review by the Management Committee 26-09-11

2nd Revision: following review by the Management Committee 28-12-11

3rd Revision: following review by the Competitions Secretaries, current and elect, 10-01-12

4th Revision: following review by the Competitions Secretary elect 10-01-12

5th Revision: following review by the Competitions Secretary and ratified by the Management Committee 17-02-14