Bowls England has recently received a number of queries from both players and County Associations with regard to daytime play for women players in County Championships leading to National Championship Final Stages.
I wish to remind everyone that Bowls England Regulation No. 50 (approved 31st March 2017) states:
Bowls England National Championships
1.2 All County Championships leading to National Championships shall be played either on weekdays in the evenings with a start time no earlier than 6pm or at weekends. For weekday games an earlier start may be arranged by mutual agreement between competitors, but in the absence of mutual agreement the start time of no earlier than 6pm will be adhered to.
It is appreciated that many women bowlers prefer to play in the daytime but we all have a responsibility to demonstrate a duty of care to all of our members. Bowls England fully appreciates however, that common sense must prevail and that the wishes of the majority should also be taken into consideration.
Whilst the above Regulation is the one approved by County Associations and must be adhered to for the 2018 season, this is a subject that will be tabled on the agenda for discussion at the forthcoming Counties Meeting to enable open dialogue to take place among attendees.
Tony Allcock MBE
Law 33 describes the action to be taken when a player leaves the green during the course of play.
There are multiple reasons why a player may have to leave the green and multiple situations in which this may occur. The Laws Committee (LC) does not consider it appropriate to describe all of these within the Laws (even if it could!). Rather, its approach is to define a ‘broad brush’ law which Controlling Bodies can supplement by including more detailed / specific procedures in their Conditions of Play.
In the light of uncertainty being expressed by Controlling Bodies about what can be included in their procedures. the LC would like to clarify some elements of the law, give examples of what are and what are not permissible reasons for leaving the green and provide guidelines on how the law should be applied.
Laws Committee Clarification:
Law 33.1 states that “No player must delay play by leaving the rink of play or their team unless their opponent agrees, and then only for no more than 10 minutes.”. To clarify:
Laws 33.2 (leaving the green in a team or side game) and 33.7 (leaving the green in a Singles game) state that a player can only leave the green due to illness or some other reasonable cause. To clarify:
Laws Committee Guidelines:
The Controlling Body for an event must decide on, and publicise in advance, the Conditions of Play (COP) for that event (reference law A.1 in Appendix A of the Laws). To address any issues which may arise when a player delays play by leaving the green, the LC recommends that Controlling Bodies include the following in their COP (the LC acknowledges that approaches taken by Controlling Bodies will differ - for example, due to the use of slow-play regulations and the need for time-limits to be stringently applied):