Rules of Play

Adapted from Cambridge & District League Rules 2015


1. All players must wear flat regulation shoes or slips, white tops or official club colours, grey trousers, grey skirts or grey bowls cropped trousers in all league and competition matches. Finals events will be played in white trousers or skirts and all team members shall wear the same tops - either white or official club colours.

2. All League and Gilbert Cup matches will commence by 6.30pm during May, June and July and by 6-15pm during August.

3.  In League and Gilbert Cup competition games all rink score cards will be laid face down and numbered by the visiting captain.

The result cards to be both COMPLETED and SIGNED by Both team captains and include the names of ALL players in the match. The result cards for each league match must then be sent to the League Fixture Secretary within three days, by the  home club.

4. A team shall consist of four rinks each of three players. 18 ends of three bowls to be played. All four rinks must be played. If a team is short of players, rinks of two against three must be arranged. No player to play more than three bowls.

5. If a rink is a player short the order of play should be as follows:

a)   When the pair of players win the jack.

     The lead player of the pair casts the jack and plays one bowl.

     The opposing lead plays two bowls.

     The pairs lead plays one bowl (his/her second).

     Then the triples lead plays one bowl (his/her third).

     The triples second player plays one bowl.

     The pairs lead plays one bowl (his/her third).

     The triples No 2  plays his/her final two bowls.

     The skips play their three bowls in the normal way.

b)  When the triple win the jack

     The triples lead casts the jack and  plays two bowls.

     The pairs lead plays one bowl.

     The triples lead plays one bowl (his/her third).

     The  triples No. 2 plays one bowl.

     The pairs lead plays one bowl (his/her second).

     The triples No 2 plays his/her final two bowls.

     The pairs lead plays his/her final bowl.

     The skips play their three bowls in the normal way.

6. All rinks to be divided by white string: bowls touching the string shall become dead.

7. If the jack touches the string, goes into another rink or the ditch, the end will be counted but no score taken.

8. Skips will be allowed to change the order of their rink, between ends, as many times as they wish during the match in both League and Cup competitions.

9. In all League and Gilbert Cup matches only, the trial ends will be omitted and the first two ends of the match will be played straight off, with only one shot being awarded on each of the first two ends.

10. If an end is disturbed the skips may come to an agreement; otherwise the end shall be replayed.

11. On the first end the lead shall place the rear of the mat one yard from the ditch and not less than one yard from each string.  Thereafter the mat may be placed as far up the green as desired so long as a  21 yard  cast is obtained, retaining the one yard from each string and ditch rule. No cast shall be less than 21 yards.

12. Any query about the length of the jack must be resolved before the first bowl is played. Once the first bowl has been played the end must be completed.

13.The jack and all bowls must be delivered from the mat with at least one foot on or above the mat. The mat must not be moved during the end. If the mat is inadvertently moved it must be restored to the original position.

14. The jack shall rest not less than one yard from the ditch and each string.

15. In the event of the jack not resting properly after two casts the opposing lead shall deliver the jack and be allowed two casts. The opposing lead may reset the mat but shall not play out of order. If after four casts the jack has still not been cast correctly it reverts to the original lead.

16. No bowl shall count at conclusion of the end resting more than one yard from the jack.

17. If after the completion of an end two bowls are touching and one bowl is resting on another, measurement is to be taken, as far as is possible, before the bowls are moved or touched.

18. Clubs may NOT alter dates of League matches. In the event of a match being postponed for any reason other than severe weather conditions or unfit green the club calling off the match shall be penalised as follows:

     Altering one match will be deducted 4 points

     Altering  two matches will be deducted 6 points per match

     Altering  three matches will be deducted 8 points per match

     Altering  four matches will be deducted 10 points per match

The penalty for altering five or more matches will be decided by the Management Committee.

19. All postponed matches to be rearranged and played and the League Fixtures Secretary must be notified of this new date within 14 days, as the final agreement must be sanctioned by the Management Committee.

20. If prior to a match, the green is unfit for play, the home team shall notify the visiting team, if possible, at least two hours before play is due to start. If however, during a match, the green becomes unfit rule 22 applies.

21. Teams failing to turn up for a match, shall forfeit SEVEN points and will reimburse the cost of any expenses incurred by the non-defaulting team. The match will be rearranged, to the approval of the League Fixtures Secretary, within 14 days of the original date.

22. Should a League match or a Gilbert Cup competition be stopped by the weather or other circumstances and 15 ends have been completed on ALL rinks, the result will stand. If any rink has completed more than 15 ends, the scores shall be taken as at 15 ends on all four rinks. Where fewer than 15 ends have been completed the match will be completely replayed on a date agreed by both teams and the League Fixture Secretary shall be notified of the rearranged date.