Rules for Play

A copy of current Etherow IBC rules can be downloaded here and found below. You can find the ESMBA Laws of the game here and the Bowls Development Alliance Code of Conduct at this link.

The following rules must be followed whilst in attendance at Etherow Indoor Bowling Centre (EIBC). Whilst the list is not exhaustive, it is hoped that where doubts arise, common sense and good sportsmanship will prevail. Where clarity is required, centre management should be consulted, and their decision shall be final and binding. It is the responsibility of team captains to ensure that their team are familiar with these rules.

A. Player Conduct

  1. EIBC aims to provide a fun and safe environment for all, by attending the centre, you agree to help support this aim by:
    1. Reading and complying with the centre code of conduct, a copy of which can be found on the website, centre notice board, or by request from the office.
    2. Complying with all rules and policies currently in force at the centre.
    3. Listening to, and complying with, requests from centre management at all times.
    4. Familiarising yourself with fire exits and centre evacuation procedures, a copy of which can be found in prominent positions displayed in the centre.
    5. Reporting to centre management, any issues or behaviour which is incompatible with this aim
  2. In rare circumstances, centre management may ask you to leave the rink, and/or, the centre, you agree to comply with any such request immediately.

Long Mat Rink Games

B. Rink Booking and Payment

  1. Rinks must be booked by team captains at the start of the league season with the centre manager or their appointed delegate. Completion and acceptance of the Bowling League Application form will suffice to fulfil this requirement.
  2. Booking rinks by the team captain indicates a commitment to pay for each of the booked sessions.
  3. Rinks must be paid for prior to a game commencing.
  4. A captain must make all reasonable attempts to field a team for all match commitments, if the teams own pool of players is unavailable due to illness or other unforeseen circumstances, the captain should:
    1. Contact other captains from a list who have expressed a willingness to assist each other in fulfilling fixtures.
    2. Contact the centre manager to see if they know of other available players on the day.
    3. Consider turning out with a partial team and either following the guidance to play with a player short and/or attempting to recruit reserves from other members at the centre on the day.
  5. If a captain is unable to muster a team to play a booked session, the following apply:
    1. The rink must be paid for as if the game were played by the full team.
    2. A score of one point per end will be awarded to the opposition based on the maximum number of ends allowed for that league.
    3. At the discretion of the committee, and subject to agreement by both teams, a game may be allowed to be re-played at a later date selected by the committee. In this case, rules B5a and B5b would not apply. Requests to replay a game should be made in writing, marked for the attention of the committee, and handed to the centre manager.

C. Protecting the Green and Players

  1. Clean, flat-soled indoor footwear must be worn whilst on the green. Ideally, footwear produced by recognised bowls manufacturers should be worn, centre management can provide a list of retailers that sell such footwear.
  2. A bowler may use their own bowls, but these must not exceed 127mm (5”) diameter and shall not exceed 1.59kg (3½lb) in weight, for most flat green bowls manufacturers, this would be a size 5 bowl.
  3. Food and drink must not be brought onto the green.
  4. Delivery of a bowl with significant pace or “Striking” is not permitted. If a bowler intends to play a bowl with moderate pace ie a “running bowl”, they MUST give a verbal and visual warning to the players at the head end and time must be given for adjacent rinks to be warned. Any violation of this law may result in a player being asked to leave the rink and take no further part in the game.

D. Play Form and Duration

  1. Daytime league games are to be played over a maximum of 16 ends or as many as can be completed within two hours, if this is less than 16.
  2. Evening league games are to be played over a maximum of 13 ends or as many as can be completed within one and half hours, if this is less than 13.
  3. All league games must have started by the planned start time and no ends shall be started (or re-started) once the allotted game duration has elapsed.
  4. All social/casual games must have finished once the allotted session time has elapsed.
  5. The clock displayed in the centre must be used for reference to all timings.
  6. One trial end may be played in each direction prior to commencement of the game, but not until all previous games have been completed.

E. Order of play

  1. Player order must be decided prior to the game commencing and noted on the scorecard.
  2. Player order cannot be changed once a game has started.
  3. Players must deliver their bowls singly, alternately and in turn with their opposing number, ie lead bowlers will deliver all their bowls alternately, followed by second bowlers delivering all their bowls alternately and so on.
  4. Skips should remain at the head end until all other bowlers have delivered their bowls, at which point skips should change ends with the other bowlers.

F. Game Commencement

  1. A coin shall be tossed to decide who has the jack for the first end.
  2. The lead bowler from the team that won the toss shall place the mat and deliver the jack.
  3. The mat must be placed lengthways on the centre line of the rink with the front edge aligned with the cross of the “T”.
  4. If the jack fails to reach the 25m markers, rests outside the confines of the rink edges or enters the ditch, it shall be given to the opposing skip who should then place the jack on the “T” or one of the four marked white dots of their choice.
  5. If the jack finishes between the “T” and the end of the rink, it must be placed on the “T”.
  6. If the jack finishes between the 25m mark and the T, it must be moved to the rink centre line at the length it came to rest at.

G. Bowl Delivery

  1. A bowl shall be declared dead, and removed from the rink mat if:
    1. It does not travel beyond the marked boundary halfway up the rink,
    2. It comes to rest outside the edge confines of the rink,
    3. It comes to rest in the ditch, without having touched the jack, whilst the jack is on the green.
  2. If during delivery, a bowl touches the jack whilst the jack is on the green, the bowl shall be marked with chalk and this bowl shall be called a “toucher”.
  3. If a bowl is driven beyond the rink edge confines, the bowl must declared dead and be removed from the rink.
  4. If a non-toucher bowl is driven into the ditch, the bowl must declared dead and be removed from the rink.
  5. If the jack is driven beyond the rink edge confines, the end must be declared void and replayed from the same direction.
  6. If the jack or “toucher” bowl is driven into the ditch, within the edge confines of the rink, the jack or toucher should have the position marked, since they may only be moved by a toucher.

H. Playing With a Player Missing

  1. In a game of fours, a game may still take place with a player missing, in this case, the following rules apply:
    1. The first and second bowler on the team with the missing player shall play extra bowls such that the total delivered bowl count for each team is equal.
    2. The final shots score for the team with the player missing shall be 75% of their total shots, in other words multiply the score by 3 and then divide by 4. For example if the shots count 20 at the end of the game, the team shall be awarded a final shots score of 15 (20 x 3 = 60 ; 60 ÷ 4 = 15).
    3. After the 75% rule has been applied to the shot score, if the result is not a whole number, it must be rounded up or down to the nearest whole number. If the fractional result is 0.5 or greater, it should be rounded up, otherwise down. For example, any shot result ending in .25 will be rounded down and any shot number ending in .50 or .75 will be rounded up.

I. Position of Players

  1. Players at the mat-end of the rink who are not delivering a bowl must stand behind the mat and where possible, out of the eyeline of the player about to bowl.
  2. Players at the head-end of the rink and who are not controlling play must stand:
    1. behind the jack if possible if they are members of the team which is in possession of the rink,
    2. behind the jack if possible, and away from the head if they are members of the team which is not in possession of the rink.
  3. A player must not go into a neighbouring rink where play is in progress.
  4. When changing ends, bowlers should be mindful of adjacent rinks and give as much space as possible to neighbouring games who may need to use the edge of your rink for delivery of their bowls.
  5. Bowlers are not allowed to visit the head end until they change ends with the skip for their turn to bowl. A skip may not re-visit the head end once they have moved to the mat end for their turn, other than as permitted by rule I6.
  6. If the allotted game finish time has passed or if the current end count is equal to the maximum end count for the game, skips may, optionally, visit the head before delivering any of their bowls when in possession of the rink.
  7. There is no requirement for players to leave the confines of the rink, player safety should always come first and stepping on and off the rink may present an unnecessary trip hazard.

J. Scoring

  1. Both captains must agree a nominated scorer prior to commencement of the game.
  2. Score cards must be signed by both captains at the completion of a game and handed in to the centre manager or their appointed delegate.
  3. Points will be awarded as follows:
    1. Game Win: 3 Points
    2. Game Draw: 1 Point
    3. Game Loss: 0 points

Short Mat Games

Short mat games will be played in accordance with the latest version of the ESMBA Laws of the Game. A copy of the laws can be found on ESMBA website, or in hard copy in the centre office.