BCGBA updates its Disciplinary policy

Crown Green Bowls’ National Governing Body, the British Crown Green Bowling Association (BCGBA), has just published its updated Disciplinary policy. 

This document, and last year’s original, owed a huge amount to the work of outgoing Chief Executive Mark Bircumshaw as well as to the late great Glynn Holmes. Glynn worked with some of his influential Derbyshire players to develop their own Disciplinary code which became the source for much this BCGBA policy which Mark spent so much time developing.

This policy has been updated following recommendations from the Ann Craft Trust, a charity dedicated to safeguarding adults and now the leading UK authority on this matter. They believe everyone should be treated with respect and dignity and that everyone deserves to be safe. The Online Safety Act of 2023 has also used as a source for this update.

For those who are asking why we need a policy such as this then the answer starts quite a few years ago.

Crown green bowls had to decide if it was a hobby or a sport. For many who play it, it is a more of a hobby or a form of exercise. Many of the volunteer their time to help their clubs or look after their greens do that as a hobby. Bowls would be hugely damaged if they all decided they were not going to bother anymore.

Crown Green Bowls decided it was going to be a sport, and it was accepted that the BCGBA was going to oversee it. Although not all clubs, or leagues, are members of the BCGBA it is universally accepted that the BCGBA is its governing body (NGB).

If you are the NGB of a sport then there are some requirements made of you by Sport England, or by the Welsh Government as those across the border will testify to. Some of those requirements refer to making sure there are policies and rules that govern the sport.

So here we are with this updated document which includes sections relating to players, officials, supporters, parents, use of social media and non-compliance.

Rather than provide a comprehensive review or summary of its thirteen pages (I have other things to do) I urge you to review the document yourself. Any questions on it please don’t hesitate to ask someone else.

I have taken the liberty of reproducing the flowchart outlining the actions to be taken.



  • If any person physically involved is under 16 years of age call the Police.
  • Any assault, GBH etc, call the Police.
  • Any Safeguarding concerns to be raised with the county official responsible.
  • Social media posts to be monitored by the clubs, leagues and county associations.


  • To be dealt with at club, league and county level initially.
  • All outcomes to be reported to the BCGBA who will keep a record of all cases.


Referral to this body re questions of eligibility qualifications of players or interpretation of the rules.


Made to the BCGBA within 21 days of the hearing of the appeal by the county association together with the sum of £100 (non-refundable).


Cases of misconduct occurring at events which are the direct responsibility of, or are directly organised by the BCGBA for breaches of Bye Law 11(c) covering open contests may be investigated by the BCGBA without reference from a third party

For further and full information, see the BCGBA Discipline Policy January 2024.


About Steve Davies 168 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.