What Are the Conditions of Play in Lawn Bowls

  • By: Jack Toucher
  • Date: August 12, 2023

The Conditions of Play in lawn bowls refer to the particular rules that will apply to a tournament or competition.

The Conditions of Play should be sent out with invitations and entry forms, posted on a notice board for all the players to refer to, and should be read out to the participants at the beginning of the tournament. Players are then welcome to ask questions if anything is unclear.

Conditions of Play DOES NOT refer to weather conditions, although there may be certain rules laid down in the Conditions of Play regarding wet weather and so on.

Why Conditions of Play is important

There has emerged a trend of slackness at clubs regarding the rules of competitions. Players are let loose on the green without the necessary information. When players then have to play trial ends or assign points for skins won, for instance, there is confusion and play has to stop. That is why it is important to have firm Conditions of Play and convey these to the players.

TIP: Print the essentials of the Conditions of Play on the back of the score cards for easy player reference.

Typical conditions of play in lawn bowls

Typically Conditions of Play include:

  • How many ends and how many games will be played
  • The format, for example knock out, round robin, sectional play, etc.
  • What to do about burnt ends (re-spot the jack or place the jack on the two metre mark)
  • Who the umpire is
  • If teams or sides may change players during the course of the competition and so on

What to include in the Conditions of Play

Fortunately World Bowls has included in the Laws of Bowls an entire section about what you can include in Conditions of Play for a tournament. Here is the recommended process for drawing up and managing the Conditions of Play:

A.1.1 The Controlling Body must decide on the Conditions of Play for an event before details of the event are publicised.
A.1.2 The Conditions of Play must be available to umpires and to entrants who ask for them and must be clearly displayed at all venues throughout the course of the event.
A.1.3 Conditions of Play must at least include the following.
A.1.3.1 The type of event (for example, Invitation Pairs Tournament, Mixed Fours and so on).
A.1.3.2 Start and finish dates and times.
A.1.3.3 Venue (or venues).
A.1.3.4 Entry conditions (for example, open or restricted entry, player eligibility and so on).
A.1.3.5 Format of play (such as sectional or knockout).
A.1.3.6 Length of games (such as the number of bowls, ends, shots, sets, time limits and so on).
A.1.3.7 Arrangements for trial ends.
A.1.3.8 Footwear and clothing (including any sponsors’ requirements). (See appendices A.2 and A.3.)
A.1.3.9 Requirements for the stamps on bowls.
A.1.3.10 Statement that all games will be played in line with the Laws of the Sport of Bowls.
A.1.3.11 The method to be used for drawing rink numbers and opponents.
A.1.4 If appropriate, details of the following must also be included in the Conditions of Play.
A.1.4.1 Statement that the event has either written approval from WB or a licence or approval from a Member National Authority or a division within a Member National Authority as appropriate.
A.1.4.2 Alterations to the format or length of the game (or both) if the game has to be stopped.
A.1.4.3 Arrangements for re-spotting the jack.
A.1.4.4 Arrangements for deciding the winners of tournament games and games in a series.
A.1.4.5 Arrangements for the use of electronic devices by players.
A.1.4.6 Arrangements for practice.
A.1.4.7 Arrangements for players to ‘warm up’.
A.1.4.8 The period, immediately after the scheduled start time of a game, during which players must be present.
A.1.4.9 Arrangements for absentee players in a side game.
A.1.4.10 Arrangements for substitutes.
A.1.4.11 Arrangements for dealing with slow play (see appendix A.5).
A.1.4.12 Arrangements for restricting the movement of players during play (see appendix A.4).
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A.1.4.13 Arrangements for dealing with players who leave the green more than once during the course of play.
A.1.4.14 Arrangements for dealing with the scorecard.
A.1.4.15 Policy on tobacco and alcohol at each venue.
A.1.4.16 Arrangements for drug testing.
A.1.4.17 Code of conduct and disciplinary procedures.
A.1.4.18 Emergency committee and disputes committee.
A.1.4.19 Prizes and awards.
A.1.4.20 Responses to climate change, including guidelines for hot weather, cold weather and air quality.

World Bowls, Laws of Bowls