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Club League Rules


Rules for League Play

1.       League composition

         The leagues shall consist of: -

(a)  Open Pairs

(b)  Men's Triples

(c)  Ladies Triples

(d)  Open Triples

(e)  Club Fours (either 4 men or 4 ladies in a team)

(g)   Open Fours

These and any other League combinations as determined by the Management Committee shall be arranged in Morning, Afternoon or Evening sessions.  The Leagues may be divided into Divisions.  Where there are two or more divisions, they may alternate between sessions as published.

2.      Eligibility & registration

(a)  All players must be fully paid up members of the Stamford & District Indoor Bowls Association.  Teams playing persons who have not paid their subscriptions will be in default of these rules and are liable to have 2 points & 5 shots deducted for any such game.

(b) The maximum number of players that can be registered in any team is eight and Team Captains should ensure that they have an adequate number of players to fulfil their League fixtures.  It is the responsibility of Team Captains to ensure that each of their registered players play in a balanced number of matches in accordance with their wishes.

(c)  Additional players may be registered after the start of the season - within the limits stated in Rule 2(b).  Registration must be made in writing or by telephone to the League Secretary.  Telephone notifications must be confirmed in writing within seven days.

(d)  A player may not be registered for more than one Team in any League.

(e)  The prescribed league registration fee shall be paid before the start of the season, or on the occasion of their first League match.

(f)   A player may only transfer to another team within any League prior to January 31st of the current season and with the written consent of both Captains.

3.      Substitutes / Floaters.

(a)   In order to limit the number of rearranged League matches, full use of substitutes must be made.  The number/gender of the substitute(s) must be in accordance with the specified League format.  One registered Team member must always play.  A substitute must be a fully paid up member of the Club and not registered with any other team in that League.

(b)  In all Leagues, substitutes may play in any position other than Skip.

(c)   The word 'SUB' must be entered clearly beside the player(s)' name(s) on the scorecard.  The Substitute may be a registered player in other Leagues but may play only once in any one League in any one week.  (See 1 &3a).

(d)  A substitute/floater may only play twice for any team in any season as a substitute

(d)   A sheet will be posted on the notice board to enable eligible players to list sessions for which they are available as a substitute

4.      Play

(a) The official scorecard must be collected and the rink fees paid before commencement of play.  Any Team not in attendance shall be responsible for the payment of the rink fees of both Teams; the only exception being inclement weather or such good reason acceptable to an emergency committee composed of the League Secretary and two other members of the Management Committee. 

If the reason for non-attendance is accepted by the emergency committee then the Captains must mutually re-arrange the fixture within seven days of being informed of the decision.  Failure to mutually re-arrange the fixture will result in both teams being responsible for payment of their own team’s rink fees.

(b)    No Trial ends are permitted

(c)  Matches will commence after the sounding of a starter signal.  A signal will sound again indicating the end of the session.  At the sound of the signal, providing that 18 ends have not been completed, a final end may be played providing that the jack has been cast from a proper stance on the mat by the appropriate Lead.

(d)  In the event of a jack jack in motion being driven outside the confines of the rink or rebounding to a distance of less than 20 metres from the front of the mat the end must not be declared dead. Instead, the jack must be placed at a predetermined spot as follows:

(d.1) If the jack passes outside the side boundary on the right of the rink, it must be placed on the marked re-spot to the right of the centre line.

(d.2) If the jack passes outside the side boundary on the left of the rink, it must be placed on the marked re-spot to the left of the centre line.

(d.3) If the jack passes above the face of the bank that is within the side boundaries of the rink of play it must be placed on the “T”.

(d.4)   If the jack rebounds to a distance of less than 20 metres from the mat line, it must be placed as in (d.1) or (d.2) above as appropriate, or in the case of it finishing on the centre line it must be placed as in (d.3) above.

(e)   Players may not visit the head nor follow up their bowl so that they obstruct the view of their opponent or interfere in any way with players on an adjoining rink.  Except in the course of changing ends, they must be behind the mat when their bowl comes to rest.  All players must change ends at the same time as their opponents.

(f)    In the event of a player in Triples or Fours not arriving for the start of a match, the match will start on time and the players play in the following order: -


Lead, Lead, Second
Lead, Lead, Second
Lead, Lead, Second
Skips as normal


Three players play against four but only bowl two bowls each.  The pattern of play is as follows: -

Lead, Lead, Second
Lead, Lead, Second
Threes and Skips in sequence

In both, a member of the Team or an eligible substitute may enter the game up to and including the start of the fourth end but not play as Skip.  The Team in default is liable for payment of the full rink fees for their Team

(g)    Players must be aware at all times of play on adjoining rinks.  If a bowl, which is on a course, which will bring it back to the rink and is bowled with correct bias could collide with a bowl on an adjoining rink, the bowl on the adjoining rink may be lifted and replaced in order to avoid collision.  If a bowl inadvertently collides with a bowl on an adjoining rink whether in motion or at rest, providing that the bowl was delivered with the correct bias and on a course which would bring it back onto its own rink, it or they (if both were in motion) shall be returned and played anew.

(h)   Both scorecards, properly completed with the scores, team name and players' names, shall be signed by a player of both Teams and placed in the office immediately after the match.


5.     Postponements of League Matches

(a)     Substitute players should normally be used to avoid postponing a match.

(b)     A Captain may however individually postpone a fixture in the following circumstances:

i.           When all members of the team are involved in National Competitions.

ii.         Exceptional adverse weather conditions.

iii.        Recent bereavement.

(c)  Any other postponement has to be by mutual consent and if one Captain does not give consent then the match will be deemed defaulted and the defaulting captain is required to pay both teams rink fees.  In this case the non defaulting team will be awarded 2 points and 5 shots.

For all postponements the Team Captain must notify the Office and the opposing Team as quickly as possible and ensure that the rink is cancelled.

(d) Where the opposition has agreed to a postponement the Team Captain instigating the postponement must agree a suitable date with their opponent and book a new fixture date, within fourteen days of the postponement, notifying the Office of such arrangements

(e) Failure to comply with rule 5d above will result in the captain of the team postponing the fixture becoming responsible for paying both teams rink fees immediately and the non defaulting team will be awarded 2 points and 5 shots.

(f)   In the event of the League Secretary having to postpone a League Match he / she will rearrange the match and notify both Team Captains accordingly.

6.     Default

(a)   A Team, which fails to turn up for a match without a good and acceptable reason, will be deemed to be in default.  The opposing team will be awarded two points and five shots.

The Team in default in these circumstances will be required to pay the entire rink fees of all players of both Teams.

Matches may neither be claimed nor conceded without reference to the Emergency Committee of the Management Committee as defined in 4a.

(g)     A team will be deemed to be in default if an ineligible player is fielded.

7.     League Tables, League structure, Promotion and relegation.

(a)     In all Leagues, 2 points will be awarded for a win, 1 point for a draw.
(b)     League positions will be decided on:

(i)       The number of points - highest,

(ii)       If equal - shots difference

(iii)      If still equal, the team that has scored the highest number of shots.

(c)    If there are sufficient Teams, each League will be divided into two or more divisions.

If a 'one division' League from the previous season has sufficient entries to form additional Division(s), the Management Committee shall decide the structure; any new Team starting in the lower / lowest Division.

In the case of a Team in the higher Division dropping out from the succeeding season, the management Committee shall decide on the replacement.

If a Team withdraws during a season all points and shots scored in matches played against such Team will be discounted.

(d)     At the end of the season, promotion/relegation between Divisions of the same League will be on the general principle of two up & two down but allowances may have to be made to accommodate changes to the number of entered teams in a league.

(e)     To maintain its status in a higher Division, a Team must re register 50% of its players and retain its Team name otherwise it will be required to play in a lower Division.

(f)      The Management Committee is empowered to refuse re registration to a Team continually in default or having committed breaches of the Rules.

8.     Late arrival for start of a fixture

If a team is five minutes late, the team not in default will be awarded two shots.

If a team is up to ten minutes late, the team not in default will be awarded four shots.

If a team is up to fifteen minutes late, the team not in default will be awarded five shots.

9.     Disputes

Any disputes or queries shall be referred in writing to the League Secretary, although any final decision may ultimately rest with the Management Committee.

10.  Dress

Dress for all Leagues will be white above the waist and greys below.  Regulation footwear must be worn.


The Management Committee and Directors reserve the right to alter these Rules at any time.

No rules cover all eventualities.  It is assumed that members playing in the Leagues will play with the good sporting attitude for which this game is renowned.

Several amendments have been made to correct some anomalies and the misuse of the existing rules by an extremely small minority.

These rules, as amended, were approved by a meeting of the Management Committee on Thursday 29th Sept 2016 and become effective immediately for the current season.

John Holroyd

John Holroyd

League Secretary