League Rules

League Rules


1.1A team shall consist of 9 players



2.1A match shall consist of 3 games

2.2A game shall consist of 11 ends

2.3Each team of nine players shall be split into three triples

2.4Each triple shall play one game against a triple from the opposing team.

2.5Each player shall play with 2 bowls only

2.6The triple which has the highest shots total at the completion of the last end of a game shall be declared the winners of the game.

2.7Should the scores be tied at the completion of the last end of a game, the game shall be deemed a draw. The game points for this game shall be shared. No extra ends shall be played.

2.8The team which has the highest shots total after the completion of all three games shall be declared the winners of the match. Should the scores be tied, the match points will be shared equally. The game points shall stand as previously awarded.

2.9Play during a match must be continuous, with the second and third triples ready to bowl as soon as the preceding game is over.


3.The Jack

3.1The away team shall, for the first end of each game, be given the option of having the jack or giving it to the home team.



4.1Points shall be awarded on the following basis:

a)Two points to the winner of each game

b)Two points to the winner of the match


5.Time of commencement

5.1All matches shall start promptly at 7:30pm

5.2A practice period of 15 minutes shall be allowed for the visiting team from 7:15pm to 7:30pm. During this period the mat shall be solely and exclusively reserved for the visiting team and shall not be used by any other players.



6.1Only players registered with the ESMBA and WMSMBA are eligible to play in the league or in any competitions organised by the league.

6.2Players must be registered at least 3 days prior to playing in any match or competition.

6.3To register a player the secretary must be informed and such application must be accompanied with the appropriate fee.

6.4Where a club has more than one team in the league, the players must be registered to play for one team only. Cross team substitutions are not allowed under any circumstances. Players who wish to change teams must apply for a transfer. No cross team registrations will be allowed in the league.



7.1No players shall play for more than one team during a season without the express permission of the Committee. This will only be allowed following a permanent transfer.

7.2An application for transfer must be submitted to the secretary in writing together with a transfer fee of £3.00

7.3The application must have the approval of both teams involved. Any objection to the transfer must be submitted in writing with a full explanation as to the nature of the objection.

7.4No transfer applications will be granted after the 31st January in each season

7.5No player may play for two different teams in a match which is (or was originally) scheduled for the same week.


8.Match Nights

8.1Before the season starts all teams must state a fixed night on which home matches must be played

8.2All home matches must be played on this fixed night unless both teams agree to play a particular fixture on a different night in the same week.

8.3At least 14 days’ notice must be given by the team requesting the variation.

8.4The secretary must be notified immediately that such arrangement has been made.


9.Postponement of Matches

9.1Should it become necessary (and in exceptional circumstances only) a match may be postponed by the mutual consent of both teams.

9.2It is the duty of the team requesting the postponement to notify the secretary.

9.3Within 7 days of a postponement being notified, the home team shall give two alternative dates on which the match to be played. These dates should be within 28 days of the original date.

9.4These dates must not clash with any of the away teams fixtures and give the team 14 days’ notice. The only exception of this is when it is too late in the season to give 14 days’ notice.

9.5Within 7 days of the alternative dates being supplied the away team must signify which date they wish to play on.

9.6The secretary must be kept informed as to dates offered and date accepted.

9.7The secretary must be informed in writing of any disputes.

9.8Failure to comply with 9.3,9.4 and 9.5 will result in automatic forfeiture of the match for the defaulting team.

Note: For the Purpose of both rules 8 and 9 a shortage of players is not to be treated as an exceptional circumstance.


10.Match Results

10.1 One match result card shall be supplied by the home team captain and made out and signed by both captains. It is the responsibility of the home team to ensure that the result card is in the secretary’s hand no later than the third morning after the game.

10.2 Failure to comply with this rule will result in an automatic fine of £3.00.


11.Disputes and Complaints

11.1 Notice of a dispute must be submitted to the secretary in writing within 3 days of the occurrence. The secretary of the team concerned must also be notified.

11.2 The matter will be considered by the committee who will determine whether or not the disciplinary procedure should be invoked.

12. Rules of Play

12.1 Play shall be governed by the laws of the game as laid down by the ESMBA, except for ant variations agreed by the ESMBA.

12.2 The following are the only variations allowed:

i. Jack off the mat – Should the jack be knocked off the sides of the rink mat during play, the opposing team will have the option of claiming 2 shots or playing the end again.

ii. Footwear – New teams entering the league will be given a twelve month period in which to comply with the ESMBA footwear rule.

New teams and young bowlers under 14 will be allowed to wear smooth, heel-less footwear in black brown or white which must be changed into at the venue.

iii. Only heavy jacks with a weight of 907 grams shall be used.


13. Penalties

13.1 For any infringements of the ESMBA, WMSMBA or league rules, the committee shall have the full power to implement any of the following penalties:

i. A cash fine

ii. Forfeiture or deduction of league points

iii. The cancellation of any particular result with or without the instruction to re-play.

iv. A temporary or permanent suspension from the league.

The above penalties may be applied to any player, team or club and may be implemented or enforced in any combination.


14. Matters Arising

14.1 In the event of any question or matter arising which is not provided for in either the ESMBA or WMSMBA rules, such questions or matters shall be dealt with by the committee whose decision shall be final.


15. Order of play.

15.1 Each team captain may decide on the individual make up of their triples and in which order there triples games are played. A scorecard must be made out by each captain, clearly listing the players’ names and the numbers 1, 2 and 3 to indicate the order of their games.

15.2 A simultaneous exchange of cards will then take place and the remainder of each card shall be completed with the opposing player’s names. This exchange must take place before the match commences and once declared the order of the triples games cannot change.

15.3 The individual makeup of each triple can only be varied within the rules related to non-arrival of players. It is permissible to change the playing order within each triple but only after the opposing skip has been informed.


16. Non – Arrival of a team

16.1 The non-arrival of a team shall normally lead to a complete forfeiture of the match.

16.2 8 points will be awarded to the offended side and 4 points will be deducted from the offending side. No shots will be awarded or deducted from either side.

16.3 Should a team wish to appeal against a forfeiture decision they must apply to the secretary in writing within 24 hours of the time that the match was due to be played.

16.4 The schedule for claiming each game and/or match is as follows:

i. The first game shall be claimed at 7.30 pm

ii. The second game shall be claimed at 7.45 pm

iii. The third game shall be claimed at 8 pm

16.5 In the event of a team arriving late the games claimed shall stand and the match shall continue with the next scheduled game.


17. Non – arrival of players

17.1 If a team is short of one player then the opposing team shall choose either the lead or second from the first or second triple to take the place of the missing player in the last triple, this player should be picked before the start of the game and shall not be able to play skip in the final triple.

17.2 If either triple is two people short then the game will be forfeited and the game awarded to the opposing team with a score of 11-0.


18. Unfinished Matches

18.1 If a match is prevented from being completed, the arrangement must be made for its completion within 28 days. The secretary must be notified of all arrangements. If a game is suspended whilst a game is in progress then this game shall re-commence as at the last completed end.


19. Age

There are no lower and upper age limits on bowlers. However it must be remembered that some venues have age restrictions. Any such age restrictions must be observed by both players and supporters.


20. Competitions

Clubs must not organise open competitions without first approaching the committee who will in turn request permission from WMSMBA.