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Practising before a match on the same day

There has been a lot of discussion in the club on this issue so I wish to clarify it now.  Wanda is our most experienced umpire and I am quoting from her email below:  Cynthia

World Bowls – Laws of The Sport of Bowls.

In the Laws, there is only 1 instance sited where players are entitled to practise on the same day on the same green.

4.1      If a player or team that has not yet played is due to meet a player or a team that has already played on the same day, the player or team that has not   yet played can practice as long as:

4.1.1  the controlling Body gives approval

 I could go on and type out the rest of rule 4 but

The North London Bowling Club  is the controlling body in this instance and does not give approval for practice in our own rules.

This rule needs to be pointed out to the persons debating the matter.

As a region Umpire, I had to study these rules long and hard for my exams.  It was a challenging yet rewarding experience and I would recommend the course to any interested club members.


Please note that it also means that if you go to another club you should not ask to practice on their green on the same day when you have a match there unless you know that your opponent(s) have already played another match on the same day.

Occasionally it is not possible to avoid having more than one match on the same day, in which case a disadvantaged player can request a short practice if that is possible without delaying the game.

There is one club in Middlesex, Century, which has an artificial outdoor green which plays completely differently from a normal turf green.  They are expected to offer opponents a short practice before a match to help compensate for this.  If their players come to our green we would be expected to offer them the same courtesy. This is the advice from Bowls England as regards artificial outdoor greens.

1. All rounds in the competitions should be played and completed by the date/deadline stated on the draw. Failure to do so may result in disqualification for the defaulting player. Extensions may be granted in exceptional circumstances but only at the discretion of the Competitions Committee, which comprises the men’s captain (or vice captain), the ladies’ captain (or vice captain) and the president (or secretary). There will be no extensions to finals.

2. The first of the two names bracketed together on the draw is the challenger, who must arrange with his/her opponent to play the tie in good time, providing a choice of at least three different dates, one of which must be accepted.

3. Should the challenger or his/her opponent be unable to obtain a definite date and time to play then, three days prior to the expiration of the deadline, this fact should be brought to the attention of the Competitions Committee, who may disqualify the defaulter for non-compliance with rule 1.

4. It is the responsibility of the challenger (first named) to arrange a marker for any singles competition, except for the finals. However, if requested, the Competitions Committee may appoint a marker for the semi finals of any singles competition. The challenger may choose a preferred rink in advance of a match but, if so, this must be booked in the clubhouse diary with the booking timed/dated to avoid clashing with others who wish to play their match on the same rink and at the same time.

5. Members involved in roll ups must vacate rinks drawn by those playing in club competitions although one rink should be made available for roll ups where possible. In the event of more rinks being required than are available then rinks will be allocated in the following priority: club representative matches, county competitions, national competitions, other external competitions, club competitions. Within each group higher rounds have priority.

6. No player in a competition shall play previously on the same rink on the day of such competition.

7. The difference in minus handicaps must be played off before scoring commences in both men’s and women’s handicap competitions.

8. Club competitions played after 31 July shall not commence later than 18:30, unless a later start has been agreed by all players.

9. A member of the North London Bowling Club who has membership of any other bowling club may not enter the club championship of North London in addition to the championship of the other club(s).

10. Disputes relating to these rules, or other matters relating to club competitions, should be adjudicated by the Competitions Committee.

Passed at general meetings in 1988 and amended in 1989, 1991, 1992, 1996, 1998, 2001 and November 2013.

Etiquette guidelines

The rules of the game are defined in full in the official booklet ‘Laws of the Sport‘. All bowlers should familiarise themselves with these.

In addition to the rules, a certain amount of etiquette is followed. Etiquette refers to the way in which we play the game to ensure enjoyment for everyone and so that all have the chance to play their best.

The etiquette guidelines offered here should be noted by beginners and experienced bowlers alike. They are all based on common courtesy, which will make them easy to remember.

For bowlers and spectators

  • Do not distract bowlers who are bowling towards you, by moving or walking across the end of the rink. Wait until the bowl has been delivered, then move.
  • It is not good etiquette to interrupt other players when they are on the green, particularly during    competitive matches. If you need to speak to players, it should be before or after their game.
  • Respect and protect the green – the club’s most important asset.
  • Do nothing in your actions, words or appearance that will reflect badly on your club.

Before the game

  • Make sure you know the rules of the game or competition you are playing.
  • Know the correct dress (it will differ for different types of games), with time to spare.
  • Do not arrive in bowling shoes as you may carry harmful fungus on the soles of your shoes.
  • Be early enough to be able to welcome visitors and help get things out on the green.
  • Ensure that jacks, mats, scoreboards and other equipment are in place ready for the beginning of the game.
  • Always consider the greenkeeper who has the right to cancel, decide which rink to play on or tell you to use wet mats.
  • The challenger calls the toss and goes on the top of the scoreboard. 

During the game

  • Enter and leave the green by your rink number and use the footpaths – do not walk across the green.
  • Do not drop your bowls on the green.
  • Do not sit on the bank – it causes unwanted wear on the edge of the green.
  • When you walk to the other end, move in the centre of the rink and do it quickly enough to maintain the continuity of the game. Remember that others have yet to bowl.
  • Never complain about any green, including yours.

‘Possession of the rink’ must always be respected.

  • “Possession of the rink shall belong to the team whose bowl is being played. The players in possession of the rink … shall not be interfered with, annoyed, or have their attention distracted in any way by their opponents.”
  • Stand well behind the mat or the head, keeping still and quiet while others are delivering their bowls.
  • Questions, information or instructions should only be exchanged while you have ‘possession of the rink’ – as soon as your bowl comes to rest, ‘possession of the rink’ is transferred to the opposing player or team.


  • When at the head, bear in mind that some bowlers like a clear view of the rink markers. Stand behind the head, inside the rink markers, but not obscuring the central rink number.
  • When at the head in sunny conditions, or as the sun sets, avoid standing where your shadow is cast over the jack, making it difficult to see from the mat.
  • Similarly, standing directly behind a white jack in white shoes can make the jack difficult to see.
  • Players at the mat-end of the rink who are not delivering a bowl should stand at least one metre behind the mat.


  • Follow the direction given by the skip, no matter whether you agree or disagree.
  • Remember that the directions for the skip are only given by the number three in fours matches, or the number two in triples. Other players should not interfere, unless asked.

Results of an end

  • The result of each end (including measuring where required) is determined between the threes (or twos in triples). Other players should not be involved.
  • Do not disturb the head until the result of the end has been agreed.


  • Encourage, rather than criticise – no one delivers a bad bowl intentionally. 
  • Avoid stating the obvious but provide help by indicating how far a bowl is from the jack.
  • ‘Call’ or shout at your own bowls by all means – but do not ‘call’ your opponents’ bowls to go through gaps, get ‘wrecked’, or to promote your own bowls – wishing misfortune on your opponents’ bowls is unsporting.
  • Commend good shots.
  • Learn to accept lucky shots, both for and against you – they will balance out in the long run.

After the game

  • Shake hands. Congratulate the opposing team and offer to buy your opposite number a drink (after singles matches, your marker should be included in the invitation). Remember that your opponent is a guest of the club.
  • Ensure that jacks, mats, scoreboards and other equipment are returned to the shed.
  • Avoid making excuses for your lack of success the topic of conversation.

A knowledge of the above will make you a more well-respected bowler and will contribute to the enjoyment of the game for everyone involved, both on and off the green.

August 2018


Complaints procedure

The aim of this framework is to deal with behaviour that you believe is contrary to the rules of the game or established etiquette. It is intended to deal with all cases: where there is a breach and it is deliberate; where there is a breach and it is accidental; and where you mistakenly believe there to be a breach.

In all cases, the hope is that this framework will make it easier to raise the issue and for the issue to be dealt with fairly if escalation is needed.

So, if you perceive wrong-doing on the part of your opponent please follow this procedure:

  1. Ask them to stop and if you feel it is required (ie there is some resistance) explain which rule is being infringed.

    This first step is most important. It gives your opponent an opportunity to modify his/her behaviour and in 90% of all cases you can expect your opponent to desist. Often people are simply not aware of either the offence their actions is causing or the rule in question.

  2. If your right to curtail their actions is questioned and/or the behaviour continues, you should attempt to appeal to the most knowledgeable club member present. It is important to note at this stage that the behaviour in question is not black and white and the appeal to a third party is important in both resolving the dispute there and then but also in providing evidence should the disagreement be escalated to the Board of Management.

    If a suitable member is available, their judgement should be respected. However, if one or both parties do not consider the available people sufficiently credible, then that third party should continue to observe the game and note the relevant behaviour carefully, so as to be able to be consulted on the matter after the game.

  3. As a last resort, if the situation could not be resolved during the game - or if the resolution was so partial as to continue to cause offence, the matter should be reported to the Board of Management which will gather all available evidence and make its best effort to conclude the matter. The conclusion could include disqualification from the relevant competition, suspension of membership or any normal sanctions.

Above all, it is important to remember that these disputes can and will happen - and that having a procedure that is understood and can be used without causing undue stress is an important part of maintaining good relationships within the club and beyond.

August 2018

Rules to follow for Markers

Every singles match in a competition needs a marker. As a marker you can make or break a game. Good markers always comply with the following rules of conduct:

They know the names of the competitors, know which of them is the challenger and can identify their bowls
Remind the players that they will mark touchers immediately after the bowl has come to rest
Remind the players that they need the players’ agreement before removing a dead bowl
Have measure, chalk and pen handy
Keep their attention entirely on the game they are marking
Stand still unless required to mark a toucher or to answer a question
Ensure the mat is centred, particularly if it has been brought up the green
Satisfy themselves that the jack is of legal length
Wait until the players have agreed the shot(s) before marking the score card or leaving the head
Keep the players informed of the score
Alter the score board at every end
In a two-wood singles, they ensure that the score board shows the ends as well as the score
Walk quickly up the side of the rink so as not to delay the players starting the next end
If it is a very tight measure and the players cannot agree on the shot, good markers suggest that the umpire be called – the more often the shot is measured the more likely it is that something will be moved
Know what to do when there is an extra end in a two-wood singles
Ensure that the players sign the card
Try not to stand in front of the same spectators every time – but they know they will always be in someone’s way
They are alert, decisive and unobtrusive
Never stand on the bank having a cigarette or chatting.
Never watch the game on the next rink. Never offer the players advice or declare the shot.

Privacy Policy, please read carefully

Effective date: October 25, 2018

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Website T&C

1. Terms

By accessing this web site, you are agreeing to be bound by these web site Terms and Conditions of Use, all applicable laws and regulations, and agree that you are responsible for compliance with any applicable local laws. If you do not agree with any of these terms, you are prohibited from using or accessing this site. The materials contained in this web site are protected by applicable copyright and trade mark law.

2. Use License

  1. Permission is granted to temporarily download one copy of the materials (information or software) on North London Bowling club's web site for personal, non-commercial transitory viewing only. This is the grant of a license, not a transfer of title, and under this license you may not:
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  2. This license shall automatically terminate if you violate any of these restrictions and may be terminated by North London Bowling club at any time. Upon terminating your viewing of these materials or upon the termination of this license, you must destroy any downloaded materials in your possession whether in electronic or printed format.

3. Disclaimer

  1. The materials on North London Bowling club's web site are provided "as is". North London Bowling club makes no warranties, expressed or implied, and hereby disclaims and negates all other warranties, including without limitation, implied warranties or conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or non-infringement of intellectual property or other violation of rights. Further, North London Bowling club does not warrant or make any representations concerning the accuracy, likely results, or reliability of the use of the materials on its Internet web site or otherwise relating to such materials or on any sites linked to this site.

4. Limitations

In no event shall North London Bowling club or its suppliers be liable for any damages (including, without limitation, damages for loss of data or profit, or due to business interruption,) arising out of the use or inability to use the materials on North London Bowling club's Internet site, even if North London Bowling club or a North London Bowling club authorized representative has been notified orally or in writing of the possibility of such damage. Because some jurisdictions do not allow limitations on implied warranties, or limitations of liability for consequential or incidental damages, these limitations may not apply to you.

5. Revisions and Errata

The materials appearing on North London Bowling club's web site could include technical, typographical, or photographic errors. North London Bowling club does not warrant that any of the materials on its web site are accurate, complete, or current. North London Bowling club may make changes to the materials contained on its web site at any time without notice. North London Bowling club does not, however, make any commitment to update the materials.

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Any claim relating to North London Bowling club's web site shall be governed by the laws of the UK without regard to its conflict of law provisions.

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This club is monitored by 8 closed circuit television cameras with night vision. Images are recorder for the purpose of crime prevention, public safety, & ASB. Operated by NLBC member Alan Miller and associates.

General Terms and Conditions applicable to this Website.

Privacy Policy (GDPR)

Relevant to all who deal or interact with us.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new law that has replaced the Data Protection Act 1998 and has applied in the UK from 25 May 2018. Your privacy is very important to us. Accordingly, we have developed this Policy in order for you to understand how we collect, use, communicate and disclose and make use of personal information. The following outlines our privacy policy.

  • Before or at the time of collecting personal information, we will identify the purposes for which information is being collected.
  • We will collect and use of personal information solely with the objective of fulfilling those purposes specified by us and for other compatible purposes, unless we obtain the consent of the individual concerned or as required by law.
  • We will only retain personal information as long as necessary for the fulfillment of those purposes.
  • We will collect personal information by lawful and fair means and, where appropriate, with the knowledge or consent of the individual concerned.
  • Personal data should be relevant to the purposes for which it is to be used, and, to the extent necessary for those purposes, should be accurate, complete, and up-to-date.
  • We will protect personal information by reasonable security safeguards against loss or theft, as well as unauthorized access, disclosure, copying, use or modification.
  • We will make readily available to customers information about our policies and practices relating to the management of personal information.
  • All profits generated by this website shall be solely for the benefit of NLBC.
  • Photography -Members consent to all photos that are taken by the official club photographers, all photos can be used in promotional publications including the North London Bowling Club website.

We will make readily available to customers information about our policies and practices relating to the management of personal information.

We are committed to conducting our business in accordance with these principles in order to ensure that the confidentiality of personal information is protected and maintained.

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