Olveston & District Bowling Club Club Rules (Revised 2023)


  1. Joining fee

On joining the club, new members pay a one off initial fee which entitles them to:

  1. One club shirt
  2. Members’ Handbook (issued annually)
  3. ODBC Bowls Stickers.
  4. Code numbers to padlocks and intruder alarm.
  5. Helpful guidelines.

2.         Code of Dress

The club expects all members to observe the correct dress code on the green and when being entertained by or entertaining their opponents.

Dress requirements for fixtures are shown on the availability lists, selection lists and in the members’ fixture list.

Occasionally there may be a specific dress code required when travelling to and from some fixtures or events. The captain/organiser will specify these requirements on the availability/selection lists.

2.1      All members

  1. Shoes: Players, umpires and markers must wear flat-soled ‘bowls shoes’ whenever they play on the green (home or away) or act as umpires or markers.
  2. Above the Waist

i.  Club shirt when representing the Club (see 2.6).

ii. Predominantly white shirt (can be ‘old style’ club shirt) for Club Night and Club

    Competitions (see 2.5)

c) Below the Waist

Navy blue trousers or tailored shorts.

  • Any tops/sweaters/fleeces etc. must be predominantly white or Zapkam’s Olveston Club Shop Colours.
  • Headwear must be white, navy blue or Zapkam’s Olveston Club Shop Colours.
  • Waterproof clothing must be predominantly white or Zapkam’s Olveston Club Shop Colours.

2.2      Specific to men

  1. Braces when worn must not be visible.
  2. Blazers bearing the club badge may be worn if the member wishes to do so.

2.3       Specific to ladies

                         a) Navy blue trousers, cropped trousers, skirt or tailored shorts.

2.4      Specific to ethnicity

Members governed by requirements of a specific ethnic culture will be permitted to wear their traditional dress if they wish.

2.5      Club competitions

  1. Predominantly white above the waist and navy blue below the waist.
  2. Club finals: club shirt and navy blue below the waist.

2.6       County competitions

  1. As specified on selection sheets.
  2. If entering as an individual, the dress code as specified in the respective National, County or Divisional Rules.

            2.7      Markers for competitions

Markers must follow the dress code as specified in 2.5 and 2.6 as appropriate.

2.8       Dress code is unrestricted for:

  1. Roll ups
  2. Catering Duties
  3. Bar Duties

3.         Team Selection

             The Officers and Post Holders responsible for team selection are as follows:

  1. Club Friendly Matches: Men’s Captain, Sunday Captain, Midweek Captain, Ladies’ Captain, Vice Captains or nominated match Captain as appropriate.
  • League matches & League Cup matches: Respective League managers.
  • Men’sNational and County Cup Matches: A selection Panel of no more than three full Male Members; nominated by the Men’s Playing Committee.
  • Ladies’National and County Cup Matches: A selection Panel of no more than three full Lady Members; nominated by the Ladies’ Playing Committee.
  • Mixed National and County Cup Matches: A selection panel of no more than three full members; nominated by the two playing committees.
  • Rink Duty at Home Matches

Members playing in Home Matches are requested to assist the Captain of the day in carrying out Rink Preparation Duties and to turn up in plenty of time before the commencement of any Match (See Rule 15.1 below).

4.1      Before the match

  1. Unlock the changing rooms in readiness for Members and Visitors and hang the appropriate sign outside.
  2. At each rink to be used, place delivery mats, jacks, ditch markers, scoreboards and 2m measures.
  3. To facilitate access to the green, remove the access board at the side of the green which is parallel to the direction of play.
  4. Welcome visiting team members and direct them to their changing room.
  5. Hoist the club flag. (If in doubt wait and consult an experienced person first).
  6. Ensure all kit bags, of Home and Away teams, are placed in the Changing Rooms
  • After the match
  • Return all equipment to the correct storage place, putting away any items overlooked by others.
  • Take down the Club Flag and store it in the Office.

5.                 Green Protection

5.1       The availability and condition of the Green for play shall be the sole responsibility of the Green Keeper.

5.2      If the game has not started, the responsibility for deciding whether the green is playable lies with whoever is available as follows:

  1. The Green Keeper
  2. The assistant Green Keeper or
  3. The home match day captain
  4. The umpire

5.3       If conditions worsen while the game is in progress the responsibility to continue or not lies with the home match day captain/umpire.   

5.4       If divots are being caused during play, the home match day captain must suspend play until the green is in a playable condition.

5.5      The Green Keeper sets the green direction and rink markings to achieve equal use of all areas of the green and to protect some areas from overuse.

5.6       To make best use of any advantage that can be taken from playing at home, favourable rink settings shall be permitted without the need for individual requests to the Green Keeper. Following any change, settings must be returned to previous after the match:

             6.6.1 For designated Club Cup matches: direction and rink colour. A list of such matches shall be agreed each season by MC/PCs/Green Keeper, but are likely to include Hosted, County and National knockout competitions.

             6.6.2 For League matches: rink colour only.

6.        Access to the Club

6.1       Members will be issued with combination numbers of the gate and key safe padlocks and must ensure that if they are the last to leave that the intruder alarm is set and all buildings and the main gate are secured.

6.2       A Junior Member must be accompanied by an adult Member at the Green at all times.

6.3       A Junior Member shall not be given the combination numbers.

7.         Rink Hire

Rinks may be hired out to other Clubs and Organisations at the discretion of the Management Committee who will set the hire fee.

8.        Rink Priority

8.1       Rinks for matches and competitions should be booked in the Rink Availability Book a               MINIMUM of 48 hours in ADVANCE.

8.2       If the rink has already been booked for a lower priority the other party must be informed     before making any alteration to the Rink booking.

8.3       Practice and friendly roll-ups cannot be booked in the Rink Availability Book.

8.4       Booking Priority shall be in the following order:

  1. Hosted matches
  2. Club – BE National/GBA County/C&CBBA Championships & Competitions
  3. Member BE National/GBA County Championships
  4. Club League & League Cup
  5. Club Friendly
  6. Member GBA County Competitions
  7. Club Night
  8. Member C&CBBA & NEBBL Individual Competitions
  9. Individual Club Competitions

9.     Visitor Fees

9.1       A fee is payable for playing guests of Members at a rate specified by the Management Committee.

9.2       A Visitor’s Book is kept in the Office in which the current fee and payment method is specified. The fee should be put into the box

9.3       The visitor must be accompanied by a Member at all times who will be responsible for entering the visitor’s name in the book and ensuring that the fee is paid and is put in the box provided.

10.      Mobile Phones

Mobile phones shall be put into silent mode and must not be used on the green during the play.

11.      Smoking Policy

             The Club is a ‘No Smoking Club’ apart from smokers using the designated area which is clearly signposted. Receptacles are provided in this area for the disposal of all cigarette ends. No Smoking signs are displayed around the Green and on all Club doors. Captains should announce the club’s smoking policy on the green at the beginning of each game. This policy also applies to e cigarettes.

12.       Bar Duties

12.1    The Bar Manager will appoint members for bar duty to a Duty Rota which will be advised to each volunteer as well as being displayed at the bar.

12.2    The Bar Manager will train all volunteer members on the full range of bar duties including safe handling of equipment and stocks.

12.3    Bar staff must comply with Health and Safety regulations and requirements at all times.

12.4    Unless authorised by the Bar Manager, members are not permitted behind the bar when it is formally open for service.

13.       Catering Duties

13.1    The Catering Manager will appoint volunteer members for catering duty to a Duty Rota which will be advised to each volunteer as well as being displayed in the kitchen.

13.2    The Catering Manager will train all volunteer members on the full range of duties including safe handling of all equipment and food stuffs.

13.3    Volunteer catering staff must comply with Health and Safety and Food Hygiene regulations and requirements at all times.

13.4    Unless authorised by the Catering Manager, members are not permitted in the kitchen when catering activities are in progress. 

14.      Etiquette

14.1    Be punctual and reliable when selected to play; be present at least 15 minutes before the Match starts. Your Team Captain relies upon your timely attendance.

14.2    Your opponent on the green is a guest of the Club and should be treated as such.

14.3    Friendly and sporting acts towards team colleagues and opponents are appreciated and likely to be reciprocated.

14.4    Observe the rules of the contest being played and the laws of the game.

14.5    Be observant when walking around the green and watch that you do not interfere with other rinks. Do not walk past a rink when someone is on the mat about to play towards you.

14.6  Always proceed to and from your rink by way of the rink ends and, where possible, use the corner steps or boundary gap.

14.7    Do not wander about during play, stay on your rink and move to the head with all the other players, keeping well within the rink boundaries. Do not encroach on a neighbouring rink.

14.8    Do not move around when someone is on the mat about to play.

14.9    Make every effort to keep your shadow off the jack.

14.10  Be willing to acknowledge the good shot of your opponent.

14.11  No one intentionally bowls a bad bowl. Encouragement, not criticism, is the name of the game, especially from Skips to their team.

14.12  No matter how keen the competition the basis of the game is good sportsmanship. Many an argument is won by making a wise concession to the opposition.

15.       Health and Safety

15.1    All members and visitors must comply with the safe procedures put in place by the MC and appropriate post holders.

15.2    All incidents that have caused injury to members and visitors must be recorded by completion of an accident report form.

15.3    All incidents (near misses) that might have caused injury to members and visitors must be recorded by completion of an accident report form.

15.4    The accident report forms are in the Health and Safety accident book which is kept next to the first aid box in the office.

15.5    The completed forms must be passed to the club secretary for review by the MC.

16.       Club Competition Rules

16.1    The Club Competitions are:

William Davis Canning CupMen’s Championship4 Bowls, 21 Shots
Frank Bennett CupLadies’ Championship4 Bowls, 21 Shots
Mary Norris CupLadies’ Two Wood Singles2 Bowls, 21 Ends
Two Wood Trophy               Men’s Two Wood Singles2 Bowls, 21 Ends
Colonel Turner TrophyMen’s Three Wood Singles3 Bowls, 18 Ends
Ken Worsley TrophyMen’s Over 65 Singles4 Bowls, 21 Ends
Sid Hagger President’s TrophyMen’s Novice Singles4 Bowls, 21 Shots
Mary Norris President’s Trophy           Ladies’ Novice Singles4 Bowls, 21 Shots
Fred Mayor HandicapMen’s Handicap Singles4 Bowls, 21 Shots
James Ritchie Millennium TrophyOpen Singles for Men and Ladies4 Bowls, Best of 3 Sets –
7 Shots each Set
Captain Salmon Challenge CupMen’s Drawn Pairs4 Bowls, 21 Ends
Major Basil Mundy TrophyLadies’ Drawn Pairs4 Bowls, 21 Ends
Audray Worsley Sapphire TrophyLadies’ Drawn Pairs3 Bowls, 18 Ends
Fred White Challenge CupMixed Pairs4 Bowls, 21 Ends
Jack Drysdale TrophyMen’s Champion v Ladies’ Champion4 Bowls, 21 Shots
Tom Ellis Plate                               Men’s Championship Bonus Game4 Bowls, 21 Shots

           The Club Triples, the PBF Wealth Management Trophy and the Short Mat Trophy competitions are subject to rules that may differ from above and are issued by the competition organiser.     

              16.2 General:

  1. All Club Competitions shall be played in accordance with the current edition of the Laws of the Sport of Bowls as adopted by Bowls England (including Domestic Regulations), unless stated otherwise below.
  2. All entries, clearly legible, shall be made on the form provided by the Club and must be accompanied by the relevant entry fees.          
  3. Only those players who have not won a singles title at any club may enter the Mary Norris President’s Trophy and the Sid Hagger Trophy
  4. The James Ritchie Millennium Trophy is available to both women and men to enter and shall be played over three sets; seven shots to win a set.  The winner being the first player to win two sets. Once the Competitors have decided who shall start the first set, subsequent sets shall be started alternately regardless of who wins the last end of the previous set.
  5. Entrants who lose in their first match in the Men’s Championship shall be entered into the draw for the Tom Ellis Plate.
  6. Competitors must make themselves available to play during the Club’s Finals weekend on a day and time set by the Management Committee.
  7. Any Competitor having won through two or more rounds of any Competition who subsequently withdraws without good reason (or does not make himself/herself available for Finals Weekend) may be barred from entry into that Competition in the following year.
  8. The Competition Secretaries shall resolve all questions or disputes regarding the playing of the Ties.
  9. Any Competitor(s) may appeal against a decision made by the Competition Secretaries to the Management Committee whose decision shall be final. A sum of five pounds must be deposited with each appeal and this sum shall be forfeited should the appeal fail.

16.3    Match Arrangements:

  1. The Draw for the Competitions shall be made by the Competition Secretaries each assisted by one other Club Officer or Post Holder, by the 30th April.
  2. The completion dates for the various rounds of the Competitions shall be set by the Competition Secretaries such that all rounds including the Semi-Finals will be completed one week ahead of the Club’s Finals weekend. 
  3. No extensions of time will be granted unless the Competitor(s) seeking an extension can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the relevant Competition Secretary that the request has arisen as a result of unforeseeable and extenuating circumstances. No extension of time will be permitted beyond the Closing Date for the Semi-Finals.
  4. The decision of the relevant Competition Secretary as to whether or not an extension of time is to be granted will be final subject to the provisions of sub-clauses 16.2(h) and 16.2(i) above.
  5. The first named Competitor (or pair of Competitors) in each round shall be the Challenger(s) and the second named shall be the Opponent(s).
  6. Within seven days of the commencement of any round, the Challenger shall offer at least three dates for play.
  7. If the challenge has not been made within seven days of the commencement of the round, the Opponent should endeavour to contact the Challenger.
  8. If there has been no contact by the closing date of any round the Opponent shall be awarded the game provided they have made genuine attempts to make contact with the Challenger. If no effort has been made by either party then both shall be eliminated from the Competition.
  9. The Challenger shall have choice of rink (unless they fail to comply with 16.3(f)) and shall be responsible for all of the Match arrangements (including arranging a Marker), except in the Final.
  10. Once the rink has been chosen for play neither Competitor may play or practice on that rink within twelve hours prior to the commencement of the Match. However either Competitor may play or practice on any other available rink until one hour prior to the commencement of the Match.
  11. Competitors should endeavour to arrive 15 minutes before the agreed time for the commencement of the Match. If a Competitor fails to arrive and be ready for play within 30 minutes after the agreed time for commencement, their Opponent may claim the Match as a “walk-over”.
  12. Markers for club and county competitions should be competent individuals who have a good knowledge of the responsibilities of a Marker. Markers shall use the rules of the competition being played and shall dress appropriately for the competition.
  13. In the event of the scores being equal when all ends have been played in any match, an extra end or ends will be played until a decision is reached. To determine who starts an extra end or ends, a coin is tossed and the winner must choose whether to deliver the jack and first bowl. If the end is declared dead, the option the winner of the toss chose will still apply.
  14. If any match is stopped due to inclement weather or other valid reason, it shall be re-commenced at a mutually agreed time with the scores as they were when the match was stopped. An end not completed shall be declared dead. Trial ends will be played when the match is re-commenced.
  15. Pairs shall be played with the Leads first delivering their four bowls, followed by the Skips delivering theirs.
  16. Substitutes in Pairs Competitions: If an entered player is unable to play, another player may be used as a substitute at any time providing he or she has not already played in the particular competition. A substitute who plays in a Semi-Final must also play in the Final. A substitute cannot be first used in the Final unless the need for a substitute arises from what, in the opinion of the relevant Competition Secretary, are unforeseeable and extenuating circumstances and only then if the substitute is selected by the Competition Secretary. The decision(s) made by the Competition Secretary in this regard shall be governed by the provisions of sub-clauses 16.2(h) and 16.2(i) above.

17        Amendment of Club Rules

The Management Committee has formulated these Club Rules and has the power to make any amendments deemed necessary in the interests of the effective operation of the Club. Members wishing to propose changes to the Rules should send them in writing to the Honorary Secretary, for presentation to the Management Committee.