The results from the BCGBA Rules Revision meeting

The annual rules revision meeting can be a controversial thing. An early start on a winter’s morning followed by a battle to find somewhere to park. A brew and chat with people you haven’t seen for ages and then a shuffle through various bit of paper.

In the past there have been lengthy discussions before the meeting has started. You must be in the room to vote, “ah yes but what do you mean when you say the room?” Does going to the toilet count as being in the room? Going for a cigarette break or a brew? For years the agreed protocol seemed to suggest that a quick trip to the toilet is in the room, but a trip to the kettle is not. I’m not sure if the bishops electing a new Pope must agree on similar protocols or if they do, they keep quiet about it.

You also have counties arguing for or against a proposal but not voting with how they argued. My favourite is of course a county with 6 votes proudly announcing 2 in favour, 2 against and 2 abstentions.

When voting starts you have eyes going around the room trying to work out if a county is claiming more votes than they should. In years gone by there have been nearly a hundred souls crammed in to vote but this year we had a, hopefully healthy, 80 which swiftly grew to 85 when an expedition safely navigated its way in from the car park.

Sometimes there is passionate debate over changes to rules. This year the only real passion flared around the time delegates get a bit grumpy when they need a brew but dare not go to get one.

The attempt to introduce metric measurements wasn’t thought to be an issue but apparently it was. The UK has been signed up to the Metric system since 1875 but of course the BCGBA and its county delegates were only just getting round to discussing its pros and cons. Anyway, after a bit of a debate the BCGBA has accepted millimetres into the BCGBA language. Metres were adopted quite some years ago, which is why millimetres were thought a shoo-in, and whether grams and kilograms will want to join the party is a matter for another time. Sadly, Albert Einstein was busy elsewhere or we may have been able to understand how what seems to be a hefty argument against only leads to a minor disturbance in the voting columns.

We also had the delight of a lovely lunch, which by divine intervention I was near the front of the queue for. I’ve always found the queue for the lunch far more interesting than the queue for a BCGBA handbook. The afternoon’s activities will be covered elsewhere as believe me this goes on for long enough,

The following were agreed, and passed, by the Rules Revision meeting on the morning of Saturday 5th March in the year of our lord 2022.

The full results will on the BCGBA website and if I have made an error below I apologise. Even reading back through it is painful.

 

MEMBERSHIP

Page 55 / Rule 3, Rule 4 (Proposed by the Management Committee)

Proposal – To introduce an annual fee of £10 per registered League and Association.

Rationale – Each League and Association benefits from the savings on the purchase of Public Liability Insurance in the same manner as individual clubs do. Clubs have to pay an annual fee but currently Leagues and Associations do not. We feel that it is only right that they should also pay an annual fee.

This was passed – 63 in favour, 14 against & 7 abstentions

New rule:

All Leagues and Associations affiliated to one or more counties shall pay, via the county of their primary affiliation, an annual BCGBA fee of £10.00. The sum to be paid before the 30th of June each year. Counties shall retain 5% of all such monies collected on behalf of BCGBA as an administration fee. Any League or Association failing to comply by that date will, together with all its registered members, shall be suspended from playing any form of competitive Crown Green Bowls until the sum due is paid. League or Association in default from the previous year shall remain suspended until all past dues are paid.

SENIOR COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP COMPETITION RULES

Page 130 / Rule 1 (Proposed by the Management Committee)

Proposal – Line 12 – After ‘Club.’ Insert ‘someone who represents a club in an official league / cup match.’

Rationale – To close a loop-hole in the existing rule which would allow a player to ‘guest’ for a club whilst not being a member of that club.

This was passed – 78 in favour, none against & 6 abstentions

New rule:

Definition of a playing member ~ One who pays a subscription to a Bowling Club or to a Bowling Section of a Sports or Social Club, someone who represents a club in an official league / cup match or is a member of an organisation which utilises the green of such Club or Section.

Page 132 / Rule 4 (Proposed by the Management Committee)

Proposal – Line 1 – Delete ‘21’ and Insert ‘14’

Proposal – Line 3 – Delete ‘21’ and Insert ‘14’

Proposal – Line 4 – Delete ‘14’ and Insert ‘7’

Rationale – As all teams are exchanged electronically the timescale can now be reduced

This was passed – 79-0-6

New rule:

County Associations shall select their team at least 14 days before the dates of their matches, except when County matches are due to be played within 14 days, when the County Associations shall select their teams at least 7 days before the date of the matches.

 

Page 133 / Rule 5 (Proposed by the Management Committee)

Proposal – Line 1 – Delete ‘21’ and Insert ‘14’

Proposal – Line 4 – Delete ‘3’ and Insert ‘2’

Rationale – As all teams are exchanged electronically the timescale can now be reduced

This was passed – 79-0-6

New rule:

Counties shall give at least 14 days’ notice of their teams, reserves, venue and officials to their opponents and the National Administrator by entering all the details on the approved Bowling Results website before midnight on the Sunday 2 weeks prior to the match.

 

 

Page 133 / Rule 7 (Proposed by the Management Committee)

Proposal – Line 1 – Delete ‘Neutral’ and Insert ‘Approved’

Rationale – The change will allow for the appointment of home-based county referees in group matches. Neutral referee appointments will still be made for the semi-final and final matches.

This was passed 74-4-7

New rule:

Approved referees shall be appointed for all County Matches and they shall be paid agreed match expenses and a meal provided at the County venue.

JUNIOR COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP RULES

7 Page 138 / Rule 1 (Proposed by the Management Committee)

Proposal – Line 15 – After ‘Club.’ Insert ‘someone who represents a club in an official league / cup match.’

Rationale – To close a loop-hole in the existing rule which would allow a player to ‘guest’ for a club whilst not being a member of that club.

This was passed 79-0-6

New rule:

Definition of a playing member ~ One who pays a subscription to a Bowling Club or to a Bowling Section of a Sports or Social Club, someone who represents a club in an official league / cup match or is a member of an organisation which utilises the green of such Club or Section.

 

Page 140 / Rule 5 (Proposed by the Management Committee)

Proposal – Line 1 – Delete ‘21’ and Insert ‘14’

Proposal – Line 3 – Delete ‘21’ and Insert ‘14’

Proposal – Line 4 – Delete ‘14’ and Insert ‘7’

Rationale – As all teams are exchanged electronically the timescale can now be reduced

This was passed 79-0-6

New rule:

County Associations shall select their team at least 14 days before the dates of their matches, except when County matches are due to be played within 14 days, when the County Associations shall select their teams at least 7 days before the date of the matches.

 

Page 141 / Rule 7 (Proposed by the Management Committee)

Proposal – Line 1 – Delete ‘Neutral’ and Insert ‘Approved’

Rationale – The change will allow for the appointment of home-based county referees in group matches. Neutral referee appointments will still be made for the semi-final and final matches.

This was passed 79-0-6

New rule:

Approved referees shall be appointed for all County Matches and they shall be paid agreed match expenses and a meal provided at the County venue.

 

Page 145 / Rule 1 (Proposed by the Management Committee)

Proposal – Line 10 – Delete ‘the last Sunday in June’ and Insert ‘a date agreed by the Management Committee’

Rationale – To be able to allow more time for counties to play their qualifying rounds.

This was passed 79-0-6

New rule:

Qualifying rounds of the Senior Individual Merit must be played by a date agreed by the Management Committee.

Laws of the game

Page 236, Definitions D.4

Proposal – Insert after ‘counted and’ and Insert ‘, if on the green,’.

Rationale – To clarify the existing Law

New definition will read:

A DEAD BOWL is a bowl that cannot be counted and, if on the green, shall be taken off the green so as not to interfere with play.

Page 236, Definitions D.5

Proposal – Leave wording as is but reformat to make Definition clearer

New definition will read:

‘AN END:

  • commences when the leader first delivers the jack,
  • is concluded when the last bowl comes to rest, and
  • is completed when the score is agreed.’

Page 238, The Game Law 2.3

Proposal – Delete ‘make’ and Insert ‘win’

Rationale – Modernise the language

New Law will read

Before commencing play the number of points to be scored to win the game shall be fixed.

Page 240, Method of Play Law 5.3

Proposal – Add after the last sentence – ‘The player must have a medical dispensation.’

Rationale – Law concerns the delivery of the bowl i.e., right hand / right foot on footer etc.

Page 242, Running Jack or Bowl Law 6.4

Proposal – Delete ‘endeavour’ and Insert ‘attempt’.

Rationale – Modernise the wording

New Law first sentence will read

A player must not attempt to affect the running of any bowl

Page 245, Referee, Measurers and Players Law 9.10

Proposal – Line 1 – Delete ‘owing to the above clause’ and Insert ‘under Law 9.9’ (Law 9.9 refers to suspension of game due to bad light)

Rationale – Clarifies to which law the sentence applies

New Law will read

In the event of a suspension under Law 9.9 or any other unforeseen circumstances, the points scored by each player shall stand and the position of the jack shall be marked. Ends should be completed, if possible, games being restarted from an agreed point as near as possible to where the jack lay at the last end played.

Page 245, Referee, Measurers and Players Law 9.10

Proposal – Line 3 – Delete the comma after ‘possible’ and Insert ‘.’ (full stop)

Proposal – Line 3 – Start a new sentence with ‘Games’

Proposal – Line 3 – Delete ‘being’ and Insert ‘shall be’

Rationale – Modernises the language

New Law last two sentences will read

9.10 Ends should be completed if possible. Games shall be restarted from an agreed point as near as possible to where the jack lay at the last end played.

Page 236, Definitions D.5

Proposal – After ‘footer’ Insert ‘remaining or’.

Rational – Clarifies what happens to the footer

The new definition will read

A VOID END is an end to be replayed with the footer remaining or placed as near as possible to where it originally lay during the void end.

Page 237, Definitions

Proposal – Add new Definition D.14

A MEDICAL DISPENSATION: can only be provided by the referee’s society on the evidence of a medical

practitioner. The Dispensation letter should be available for the Referee if requested prior to the commencement of a game.

Page 237, Definitions

Proposal – Add new Definition D.15 and alter as necessary any references to ‘game’ and ‘match’ anywhere within the bye laws to match these definitions.

‘a) A GAME is a single contest between two/four players

  1. b) A MATCH is an amalgamation of individual games.’

Rationale – To clarify what is a Game and what is a Match

The above were all passed 85-0-0

PAGE 237, Equipment Law 1.3

Proposal – Round up/down the measurements to 125mm and 155 mm.

Rationale – To go fully metric, UK is officially metric, and only the USA. Liberia and Myanmar use imperial measurement. The metric dimensions would allow the continued use of existing commercially produce footers.

This was passed 71-6-8

New Law will read

The FOOTER, which shall be round, shall have a diameter of not less than 125mm and not more than 155mm.

Page 237, Equipment Law 1.5

Proposal – Line 1 – Delete ‘(2lb)’

Rationale – To go fully metric.

This was passed 57-16-12

Page 237, Equipment Law 1.6

Proposal – Delete existing Law and Insert ‘BCGBA approved measuring devices, mechanical devices and artificial surfaces are listed in the Appendices.’

This was passed 71-6-8

Page 238, The Game Law 2.5

Proposal – Line 1 – Delete ‘may’ and Insert ‘must’

Proposal – Line 2 – Delete ‘but must be’

Rationale – To clarify the fact that the leader must place the footer.

New Law will read

At the commencement of a game the footer must be placed by the leader within three metres of the entrance to the green, on either the left or right side and one metre from the edge.

This was passed 81-4-0

Page 238, The Game Law 2.5

Proposal – Line 4 – After the word ‘edge Insert ‘but no more than two metres from the edge.’

Rationale – To stop players from objecting to the placement of the footer when it isn’t exactly one metre from the edge,

New Law will read

At the commencement of a game the footer must be placed by the leader, within three metres of the entrance to the green, on either the left or right side and at least one metre from the edge but no more than two metres from the edge.

This was passed 81-4-0

Page 240, Setting a Mark Law 4.9 and 4.10

Page 242, Still Jack or Bowl Law 7.1.a

Proposal – Delete the last sentence in each Law and Insert ‘Any dead bowls are reinstated for the new end. Any forfeited bowls are not reinstated for the replayed end.’

Rationale – The existing Laws reward a player who has forfeited a bowl(s) when the end has not been completed i.e., they get a second chance.

New sentences in each Law will read

Any dead bowls are reinstated for the new end. Any forfeited bowls are not reinstated for the replayed end

This was passed 85-0-0

Page 241/242, Method of Play Law 5.15

Proposal – Insert after the last sentence ‘The footer must not be moved after the first attempt to set a mark by either the leader or the opponent until the end is concluded.’

Rationale – Clarifies that the footer cannot be moved.

This was passed 85-0-0

New Law will read

After each end is concluded, the footer shall be placed at the jack by the last player. The footer may only be repositioned by the leader of the next end and before the first attempt to set a mark, anywhere within a space of one metre from where the jack lay at the conclusion of the last end but at least one metre in from the edge of the green.

The footer must not be moved after the first attempt to set a mark by either the leader or the opponent until the end is concluded.

Page 241/242, Method of Play Law 5.15

Proposal – Insert after the last sentence ‘The footer must not be moved after the first attempt to set a mark by either the leader or the opponent until the end is concluded.’

Rationale – Clarifies that the footer cannot be moved.

New Law will read

After each end is concluded, the footer shall be placed at the jack by the last player. The footer may only be repositioned by the leader of the next end and before the first attempt to set a mark, anywhere within a space of one metre from where the jack lay at the conclusion of the last end but at least one metre in from the edge of the green. The footer must not be moved after the first attempt to set a mark by either the leader or the opponent until the end is concluded.

This was passed 85-0-0

Page 243, Still Jack or Bowl Revamp Laws 7.5 and 7.6

Proposal – Change Law 7.6 to 7.5 a,

This was passed 85-0-0

Page 244, Measuring Law 8.4

Proposal – Delete ‘claimed’ and Insert ‘in question’ in the last sentence

Rationale – Clarifies which point the player loses

New Law last sentence will read

8.4 If either the jack or a bowl being measured is displaced by a player, that player shall lose the point in question

This was passed 80-5-0

Page 245, Revamp Laws 10 and 11

Proposal – Delete Laws 10 and 11 and Insert ‘Law 10 ELECTRONC DEVICES and SMOKING

10.1 Electronic devices e.g., mobile phones, pagers, smart watches etc. in active mode are not allowed on the green.

Should a player fail to comply, that player shall forfeit the game. The offender(s) to receive no further score and the opponent(s) to receive the maximum score.

10.2 Smoking: Smoking, vaping and the use of electronic cigarettes is not allowed whilst participating in the game of

Crown Green Bowls. The offending player(s) shall receive no further score and the opponent(s) shall receive the maximum score

This was passed 85-0-0

Page 245, Add to New Law 10 as 10.3 (if previous proposal is passed) or Add new Law 12

Proposal – If other proposal is passed then Change title of Law 10 and add 10.3 to read

Law 10 ELECTRONIC DEVICES, SMOKING AND FOOTWEAR

10.3 Footwear: Hard block-heeled or open-toed footwear must not be worn whilst on the green in any game played under the Association’s jurisdiction. The offending player(s) shall receive no further score and the opponent(s) shall receive the maximum score.

Rationale – To amalgamate the existing Laws and introduce a new Law on Footwear, moving the latter out of the Dress Code byelaws into the Laws with an appropriate punishment.

This was passed 85-0-0

BYE LAWS

Note – This proposal should be discussed after the decision on the Laws of the Game Footwear proposal

Page 39, 15a Players Dress (Proposal will be withdrawn if Proposal 23 fails)

Proposal – Delete all of section ‘a’ and re-numerate the following sections of Bye Law 15

Rationale and problem – If proposed changed to Law 10 is passed then this would duplicate Bye Law 15a), with the Law having a punishment and Bye-Law 15a) having no punishment. If proposal on Law 10 fails, then this proposal will need to be withdrawn as there would be no reference to the footwear bye law in the Laws or Bye Laws.

 

 

Thank you for reading so far….

The End

 

 

 

About Steve Davies 155 Articles
Throughout his bowling career Steve has always supported the admin side of the game as well as a keen player of the game. As a club secretary, association secretary, county delegate on the BCGBA (National Governing Body) Management Committee, Media Officer for the BCGBA, Merseyside champion in 2002 and Merseyside County President (2014-15) Steve has always been keen to promote the game especially through the broadcast of the game on TV or Internet. Steve set up the LIVE BOWLS YouTube channel which became the Bowls Observer channel and, through the LDBA, runs national competitions. Seeing an avenue to report on and promote the game Steve set up the Bowls Observer on-line magazine.