Knockout Competition Rules


The Club will continue to adopt the following format for the bowls competitions listed below:

21 shots
2 Bowl Singles
21 shots
18 ends
16 ends
18 ends
Winter & Summer Competition Secretary:
Trevor Taylor
01327 872128
Winter & Summer Competition Admin Support:
Jacqui Lancaster
01327 891018

March 2018 (v3.6)

Rules for all Competitions

  1. All rounds except Semi-Finals and Finals, will play for 2 hours. Singles matches will play to 21 shots. The Semi-Finals and Finals, will be played either to the number of ends as shown above or to a maximum of 3 hours 30 minutes, with the time commencing after the trial ends. Note that the 2 Bowl Singles is 21 shots and not 21 ends, this is a change to the National rules for 2018.
  2. Challenger and Opposition. The person shown at the top of a team list is considered to be the initial contact when arranging matches. The Home team is the Challenger and they are to produce 3 dates and times for the match to be played, (see sub-paragraphs below for exceptions) and inform the Opposition within 5 days of the official start date of the round. The Challenger must give one Weekday with a time between 0930 and 1830, One Weekday evening, time after 1830 and One Weekend between 0930 and 1630. The Opposition is to agree to one of the dates given by the Challenger within 2 days of receipt of the dates.

    If the Challenger has not complied with the 5 day rule, the Opposition then becomes the Challenger and will provide 3 dates/times to the former Challengers, now called the Opposition, who must respond within 2 days. If no response is made by the Opposition, then the new Challengers can claim the match.

    Exceptions regarding dates and times are as follows:

    1. If the Opposition are known to have team members that work, then the Weekday between 0930 and 1830 must be changed to an evening match after 1830. If the Challengers are unaware at the time of members working in the opposing team, then they must still provide a time after 1830 once they have been informed and within 24 hours.
    2. If the Short Mat Competitions, prevent a Weekend date to be given as all rinks are used, then this will revert to a Weekday, after 1830 match.
    3. Where an Opposing team member is already committed to a National/County/Representative (which includes Inter-Club Friendlies) or Club league match at the same time as one of the dates/time given, then an alternate date/time must be made, be it a Weekday or Weekend as originally given. If a team member becomes committed to a former, after a date is agreed, then a replacement/substitution is required to ensure the match is played on the agreed date.
    4. To ensure that a match does take place, if any member of a team is required to play two matches in one day, then that will have to happen.
    5. There is sufficient time during rounds for a match to be organised and played. On average there is 3 to 4 weeks between rounds, this increases to 5 during the Winter season. It is important that teams clearly record the dates/times given in the event of any dispute.
  3. Any team/person that is unable to complete their match with the opposition by the due ’BY’ date for that round, will forfeit the match and this could be dismissal of both individuals/teams from the competition if both are at fault. NO excuse will be accepted by the Competition Secretary for not completing the match by the date specified. The defaulting individuals/team(s) will also be required to pay for the expected rink fees. ALL bowlers entering the competitions must be able to bowl to at least 2030 hours. Do not leave matches to the last week in any round as this will generally cause issue with delays and availability of rinks.
  4. The Finals. These are to be played during the planned two/three week Finals programme. A date for each Final being decided nearer the Finals programme, once it is known who will be playing, thereby reducing any clashes between competitions where a player(s) is/are in more than one Final. The date shown on the competition charts and entry form is there as a guide only and where possible will be played on the date shown.
  5. Each player will pay their own rink fees. Semi-Final rink costs will be £3.50 except Singles matches which will be £2.50. Finals will be free of charge.
  6. Players are not allowed to play in more than one team within a competition.
  7. Eligibility.
    1. Anyone entering any of the competitions must be fully paid up members of the Club.
    2. Clifton Cup. To be eligible to enter the Clifton Cup Singles Competition you must not have been recorded as a winner as an individual or a member of a winning team on the Honours Board. The exemption to this is all Summer, Special Trophy and Fantastic Five Competitions.
    3. Novices. To be eligible as a Novice you must have 2 years or less bowling experience and have not been a winner in a Singles competition or a member of a winning team in the winter competitions. Novice and Junior Competitions do not count.
    4. Family Competitions. Any Family competition must consist of either Mothers, Fathers, Brothers, Sisters, Husband and Wife and must all be paid up members of the Club. Cousins, Nieces and Nephew's are not eligible.
  8. Marker. In the Singles competitions, the ’Home’ team is to arrange a marker. A marker will be arranged for the Final. All Singles matches must have a Marker. A list of Markers is displayed on the Competition board, if you are having difficulty finding one.
  9. Trial ends. In Singles matches, trial ends are permitted, two ends, two woods. There are NO trial ends in the Pairs/Triples and Fours matches except in the Semi-Finals and Finals, with two trial ends and two woods per player, if both Skips agree upon it.
  10. Substitution.
    1. Any substitute cannot have played for any other team in that competition. The substitute is for a NAMED bowler, not for the whole team. The substitute may play in any position.
    2. For all Open Drawn competitions the Competition Secretary has to approve substitutes before any match is played, to ensure that substitutes are of a similar bowling ability to the player being replaced. Where a ’Drawn’ team replaces a bowler without approval from the Competitions Secretary, the match will be deemed as VOID and the match awarded to the opposition.
    3. In all other Team competitions the Competitions Secretary is to be informed of any substitutions. A substitute should be allowed to continue to play in subsequent rounds if the team so wishes it. Where there is a substitute for a Finals match, the substitutes name will be entered on the trophy and also on the Honours board, not the original named team player. PLEASE do not make any alterations to the draw charts, leave this to the Competition Secretary.
    4. In all competitions comprising bowlers of the same gender, in Pairs only one substitute allowed. The Substitute and the original named bowler may not play at the same time. In Triples and Fours, two substitutes are permitted but the original named bowlers may not play at the same time as the substitute that replaced them in an earlier round.
  11. Replacement. If a registered player is unable to play and/or withdraws from their team prior to the team's first match in the competition, the Team Captain may find a replacement. If it is an Open Drawn competition, the Competition Secretary must approve the replacement first to ensure that the rule of similar bowling ability is applied. Where an original player in the team withdraws after the first match, the substitution rule will apply, see Rule 10.
  12. Mixed Competitions. A mixed team will comprise different genders:
    1. Mixed Pairs consist of one of each gender. Two substitutes are allowed, one man, one lady but only one substitute may play at any one time.
    2. Mixed Triples, two of one gender, one of the other. Two substitutes, rule as per Mixed Pairs.
    3. Mixed Fours, two substitutes, one man, one lady, rule as per Mixed Pairs.
    4. Open Mixed Fours, can comprise up to a maximum of three of one gender and one of the opposite gender within the team. For substitutions, one man, one lady, rule as per Mixed Pairs.
    5. Where a replacement or substitution is made, the appropriate gender mix must be maintained and substitution/replacement rules applied.
  13. Visiting the head. In Singles matches, ONE visit to the head is permitted per end. In all other Competitions, there are no visits to the head by any player apart from in the Semi-Finals and Finals.
    1. During the Semi-Finals and Finals only ONE visit to the head is allowed per end. In all rounds up to and including the Quarter Finals, the number 2 in Triples and the number 3 in Fours, UP with the skip is viewed as a visit to the head and is not permitted. This ensures the maximum time is given to bowling and is not interrupted by the movement of players, as matches are limited to two hours. In the Semi-Finals and Finals, the number 2 in Triples and the number 3 in Fours, UP with the skip is permitted.
    2. Where visits to the head are permitted, if both players visit the head at the same time, both players must return to the mat at the same time, unless the opposing player has bowled their last bowl. If the opposition in Singles visits the head at the same time as the player holding the mat, it will also be deemed as a visit to the head and no further visit during the end will be permitted.
  14. Dead-ends. There will be NO DEAD-ENDS during any matches. Where a dead-end occurs the jack will be RE-SPOTTED onto the re-spots placed left or right of the ’T’ on each rink, and is placed on the side that the jack left the rink. If a bowl is already on a re-spot mark, the jack is to be placed on the side nearest the ’T’ and not in contact with any wood.
  15. Ties. In the event of a tie in any match, a further end is to be played. Individuals/Teams will toss a coin, with the winner choosing to take or give the jack away to the opposing team. If given away, the opposing team cannot refuse.
  16. Commencement of play. The failure of a player to appear after a maximum of 30 minutes shall cause the player(s) in Singles or Pairs to forfeit the game to their opponent. In Triples and Fours, the reduced player rule will be applied. In Triples each player in the defaulting team will have 4 bowls. In Fours, the lead and second player use 3 bowls with the skip using 2 in the defaulting team. The defaulting team will have 25% of their score deducted from their final score. An order of play is held in the Steward's office.
  17. Booking of rinks. If at any time the match is known to take longer than 2 hours, then you are to do the following:
    1. Book two sessions.
    2. If you require a rink in an Open Drawn league or Fixed league session, then contact the organiser for permission to use a rink first. The match fixture will be removed if permission has not been granted.
    3. If two sessions cannot be booked and the expected time will go beyond 2030 hours, firstly see if the duty steward is prepared to stay or be available to lock up when the match is completed, or secondly, arrange with some other person who has access to the club keys to lock up.
    4. If para c above cannot be arranged, then arrange a date when a steward is available to cover closing the club.
    5. If at the end of a Competition 2 hour match, there is a tie and a result is required, then a further end will be played to obtain a result and this will be the only time an encroachment into the following session will be permitted.
  18. Score cards. Place your Score Card, when completed, into the ’Competitions’ box, not the League box. If you have been given a walkover, a card still needs to be completed showing/stating the walkover. Ensure the card has the name of the competition and team members names clearly entered.
  19. Dress. Dress is as per the Club Dress Code, white shirts and grey trousers/skirts for all rounds less the Finals. In the Finals, Club shirts with greys are to be used.
  20. In the Finals all teams will be given different coloured ’FINAL’ bowls stickers to identify one team from the other.
  21. All games are played under the WIBC Laws of Sport of Indoor Bowls, Second Edition (October 2016), less those amendments as listed above for our Club competitions. These rules do not follow the National Competition rules; however, parts of the rules have been adopted for this Club. Fantastic 5 rules are shown separately.
  22. If there are any queries to the rules or matches to be played, the Competition Secretary should be contacted as soon as possible.
  23. Any disputes, need to be brought to the attention of the Competition Secretary immediately. If unresolved at the time, it will be resolved by the Bowls Committee within 24 hours. Their decision will be final.


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