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Competition Rules


1.  Competitions are open to fully paid-up outdoor members of Eltham Bowling Club only. There must be at least 8 competitors in a singles competition and 8 teams in a pairs competition. Paid-up members can enter as many competitions as they are eligible for.

2.  Entry into competitions is on the sheet included in your annual outdoor membership fee which must be paid before 1st May in order to be allowed to enter club competitions.

3.  Match Responsibility - The first named (top) player on the draw list, the challenger, is responsible for contacting the second named player, the opponent, as soon as possible, to arrange a mutually convenient date for their match. The challenger will also be responsible for providing a marker for singles matches. However, where the play-by date is imminent it is suggested the opponent contacts the challenger to try to arrange a convenient date to play the match.

4. Draw - A draw using pool balls for the rink should be made before the match is entered in the RINK BOOKING folder. Club competitions DO NOT have priority over organised roll-ups. Where a rink has not been booked competition players should respect members already on the green and choose an alternative rink to play on or draw for rinks not being used.

5.  Failure to complete a match by the play-by-date will result in the challenger forfeiting the match; unless it can be proved that the fault lies with the opponent. The competition committee will consider each un-played match on a case by case basis.

6. Practice In the interest of fair play any Member playing Club Competitions must neither practice on, nor play more than one Competition match on the same rink on the same day.

7.  Scoreboards should always be used and a scorecard indicating the competition being played must be kept for all matches. For singles games the marker will keep the scorecard and for all other matches, the SKIPS of each team will mark separate score cards, conferring with the other at regular intervals during the contest to verify accuracy.  One of the scorecards should be signed by both of the skips upon completion of the match, and left in the box for the Competitions Committee.

8.  All matches will commence after 2 trial ends of 2 woods by each player and the toss of a coin will decide who shall start.

9.  Leaving the green – a player may leave the green at any time during a match for a call of nature, to get refreshments or to retrieve equipment/clothing left in the Clubhouse.

10.  Abandoned Matches – Where a game has commenced and has to be abandoned due to adverse weather, poor light, etc., the teams shall:

i.  decide to replay the whole game at the earliest convenient date, or

ii. agree that the result will stand provided:

in a singles game, at least one player has twelve shots or more, except in the case of a Handicap Singles game, where at least one player has reached half their required score (rounded-up) plus one shot. In a pairs game, at least 11 ends should have been played.

11. Dead Ends – are where a jack is pushed off either side of the rink. The end shall not be counted or added to the scorecard, but will be replayed from the same direction.

12. Tied Ends – are where it cannot be decided which bowl is shot, i.e. where they are identical distances away from the jack. In this case the end is counted and added to the scorecard but no score is added for either side.

13.  Dress – for all competitions for players will be greys, with white tops (or club shirts).  Finals will be played in Whites. Markers are encouraged to dress in a similar fashion.

14. Markers- All entrants in the singles competitions are expected to act as “markers” for other matches. Though a common-sense approach is expected where new and inexperienced bowlers are involved.

15.  Substitutes – No substitutes are allowed. If one player in a pairs team becomes unavailable, that pair will forfeit the match.

16. Rules - Excepting all local conditions and amendments above, all games will be played in line with the Spirit and Laws of the Sport of Bowls. Players must be considerate with respect shown to other bowlers.

17. Newer Bowlers Competition (MARUBEN or JUBILEE CUP) - This competition is open to players who have not previously won a singles competition.

18. Marker in finals - For the final of each singles competition a competent marker will be nominated by the competition committee.


The Marker’s Duties

(Source: World Bowls Laws of the Sport of Bowls Crystal Mark Second Edition (pink book 2010)— 

1.    In the absence of an umpire, the marker should make sure that all aspects of play are carried out in line with the Laws of the Sport of Bowls.

2.    Centre the jack.

3.    Mark all touchers with chalk or spray-chalk . Players should allow the marker to chalk mark touchers before playing their next wood.

4.    Place dead bowls on the bank.

5.    Place red or white markers in the ditch to show resting position(s) of a live jack and any live bowls.

6.    Using the stick spot the jack 2 metres from the front ditch if it is delivered within that distance.

7.    Wear grey trousers and white shirt. All whites in a final. The committee will not vigorously enforce this rule, especially during earlier rounds when we understand some matches may take place at short notice. 

8.    Carry chalk or spray-chalk and a measure. Also before the start of each game the Marker should ensure all the equipment is available- 2 mats, a jack, two sticks, two pushers, a scoreboard and red and white blocks (1 each colour each end) for showing where bowls and/or jack in the ditch is. The players should help collecting these items before and after the game.

9.    Give your constant attention to the head, players, and adjacent rinks. 

10.    Do not engage the players in conversation.

11.    Only talk with the players if they initiate it. The only player allowed to ask questions is the player that has possession of the mat.    

12.     Markers should make sure the jack is at least 23 metres from the front mat line after it has been centred.

13.    NEVER block a bowler’s vision of a rink marker. 

14.    Stand to one side of the rink, behind the jack and away from the head. 

15.    Do not allow yourself to be distracted from the game you are marking. 

16.    DO NOT walk towards the head to look it over unless a player requests information. 

17.    When a player asks if he is holding shot, unless it is obvious it is best to signal “it’s a measure”.  Giving wrong information could be disastrous.

18.    In general, do not volunteer information, but when a player asks a question, do not make them continue ask related questions. “You’re up two” is better than “You’re up.”

19.    STOP an incoming bowl or any other neutral object from an adjacent rink if it is likely to disturb the head on your rink. 

20.    When a runner is delivered, move to the front of the head where you will be in a much better position to observe the action and avoid moving objects. 

21.    Do not stop or catch bowls which are about to enter the ditch. 

22.    If both players ask you to measure, have them remove all bowls not in contention. 

23.    If the players asked you to keep score, wait until they mutually agree on the end before recording it.

24.    If you are at the end with the scoreboard keep it up to date.

25.    Ensure both players sign the scorecard and place it in the correct box for the attention of the competition committee.

THANKS FOR MARKING - Without your help Singles would be tiresome.


Individual Handicap Guidelines 

The purpose of these guidelines is to assist in allocating an individual handicap score  and assessing the individual against the marking criteria for use in internal handicap Club competitions.

The handicap for individuals should be assessed annually reflecting the previous seasons bowling progress/regression.

For example player A has a handicap of 1, player B of 8, the score for player B starts with 7 shots.

The difference between individual’s handicaps is marked on the scoreboard before the match commences.

Individual Handicap

Scoring Criteria

0  - Winner of this competition in the previous season

1 - Finalist of this competition in the previous season

2 - Match player experienced bowler regular A team player or player for multiple seasons

3 - A team or regular player for last season or similar level at an alternative club

4 - Occasional A team or regular B team player for previous season or similar club experience

5 - Occasional B team or similar club experience

6 - Regular Friendly player for multiple seasons

7 - Occasional friendly, roll up player for multiple seasons

8 - New player to bowls with less than two years playing experience

Eltham Bowling Club Competition Rules

Why am I not picked for matches ?

As you can see from the Handicap guidelines there is a variety of reasons for selecting a player. Each League will have different levels/standards just like the football league and selectors will be looking to put you in a league where you can succeed rather than fail on a regular basis.

 Each league should have a league diary which displays the players considered eligible and the number of times they have played or been available to play. Transparency is the key to letting members see how often they play and who has played. However it is important that if you wish to play in a league you are as flexible as possible. If player insist that they can only play in home games, or don't like playing with certain people, they should not expect to be picked over someone else who is flexible. It is about what you are willing to do for the club not what the club is willing to do for you.