Can Play Stop in the Course of a Game of Lawn Bowls?

  • By: Jack Toucher
  • Date: July 10, 2023

Yes, there are circumstances when a game of bowls can come to halt before the requisite number of ends has been played, or before the requisite winning number of points has been reached.

These are:

  • Wet weather, poor visibility, excessive wetness of the green, or any other reason declared by the Controlling Body, the green keeper or the person in charge of the match or competition;
  • When an umpire stops play following an appeal by the players;
  • When the players agree to stop play, when the Controlling Body, person in charge of the tournament is not present.

In these cases the game must be continued either on the same day or on a different day. The
scores will be as they were when the game was stopped.

If an end has started but not all the required bowls have been played, the end must be declared dead – even if one or players choose to stay on the green during the stoppage.

If an end has been played and the players are still determining the number of shots scored when play is stopped, the number of shots scored must be decided before the game stops.

Can you substitute players after a game delay?

If a game has been stopped and it is then continued at another time, there are conditions under which a player may be substituted:

  • If a player in the original game is not available, then one substitute player is allowed
  • However, it is not allowed for a player to be transferred from one team to another. Should this happen, then the defaulting team will forfeit the game to the opposing team.

All these rules are to be found in the World Bowls Crystal Mark Laws of the Game of Bowls, Section 2 – Game Anomalies, Clause 33