Competition Rules

All of the following competitions come under the jurisdiction of the Bowls Northumberland (Men’s Section) County Competition Secretary John Harthen and are subject to the County Competitions (Men’s) Conditions.



(a) The competitions shall be played under the rules of  Bowls England Regulation No 50 and Regulation No 51 and shall be under the management of the General Purposes Committee of Bowls Northumberland (Men’s Section). 

 (b) Ties shall be played only upon greens at least 34 metres long and with banks and ditches and a good surface. In the event of the Home Player’s green not complying with this condition, it is his duty to report to his opponent and play on his opponent’s green or on a neutral green if that can be agreed upon.

(c) A player having represented his club in ANY ONE of BNMS (Bowls England) Championships or in the Under 18, Under 25, Champion of Champions or Two-Wood Singles Competitions, CANNOT play for another club in any of these competitions in the same season.

(d) Winners of the Singles, Pairs, Triples, Fours and winners of under 25 singles, Junior Pairs and Senior Fours are to represent the County at the Bowls England National Championships at Victoria Park, Royal Leamington Spa.

(e) The Winners of the Singles, Pairs, Triples, Fours, Under 25 and Two-Wood Singles are to represent the County at the Northern Counties Bowls Association Championships. 

(f) Covid_19 and other pandemics – all individuals and clubs must follow the latest HM Government rules, law and guidelines as well as from Bowls England guidance and instructions. Failure to comply with these rules and guidance then clubs/and players will be subject to penalties ; including points deduction in leagues and walkovers in competitions and cups – checklist includes – 1) Hand Sanitisers, 2) Social Distancing adhered, 3) Adhere to maximum numbers, 4)Registration & Booking System (this applies to leagues and cups as well).

(g) Draw for Rinks The draw for rink/s to be played on shall be made in accordance with the current Laws of the Sport (Law 3.1). For a match requiring one rink, a minimum of two rinks shall be offered to the opponent. For a match requiring more than one rink, the minimum number of rinks offered shall be at least equal to the number of rinks required. (This is part of BE regs No 50 & 51).


(a) The Competitions are open to Male Members of Clubs Affiliated to Bowls Northumberland who have paid their subscriptions for the current year. In the Pairs, Triples and Fours competitors shall be playing members of the same club. No restriction shall be placed on any member playing in more than one competition, but no player shall play for more than one Club in any of the competitions in the same year.

(b) Under 25 competitors must not have reached the age of 25-years by 1st April in the year of competition.

(c) Under 18 competitors must not have reached the age of 18-years by 1st April in the year of competition.

(d) Senior 4’s competitors must have reached their 55th birthday by 1st April in the year of competition.

(e) Any number of entries can be made from the same club. 

(f) Entries must be made through Club Secretaries and forwarded to the Honorary County Secretary of Bowls Northumberland (Men’s Section) together with the appropriate entry fees by 31st October in the year preceding the Championships.

(g)  In the event of a named entrant leaving his club after the draw has been made the following shall apply:

  1. In all Singles Competitions, the entry shall remain with the player, but he will be responsible for informing the Honorary Competition Secretary of Bowls Northumberland (Men’s Section) and his opponents throughout the competition of the change of Club.
  2. In the Pairs, Triples and Fours Competitions, the entry will stay with the remaining member(s) if known, otherwise with the Club. Club Secretaries to notify the Honorary Competition Secretary of Bowls Northumberland (Men’s Section) of any change of names before the 1st May in the year of the competition. If however the named entrant and the rest of the team All move to another club, then the entry can remain with the players and transferred to their new club. In this case the Competition Secretary Bowls Northumberland (Men’s Section) and their opponents are to be advised of the change no later than the 1st of May in the year of the competition.  

(h) All players in team games shall be affiliated members of the same club (with the exception of the Junior Pairs Championship) and they may only represent that club in all championship events.

(i) Any entry in the County Championships shall be declared invalid if the competitor enters in another UK country’s championship in the same year.

(j) A competitor shall not enter any County Championship under an assumed name, nor shall they represent or allow their name to be submitted by more than one club or country, in any one year.

(k) Any player that is registered in County competitions or is registered / entered to another club outside of Bowls Northumberland and they win a tie, then that player / team will be in default and will be disqualified from that competition.

(l) Any player that is not registered with an affiliated club and plays in County Competitions, they if in singles, and whole team (pairs, triples, fours) shall be disqualified from that respective competition.


(a) Dress shall be grey or white trousers and white or club registered shirts with flat soled bowling shoes. Sandals shall not be permitted in any events, except in medical circumstances where a doctor’s note has been provided.

(b) Club apparel may be worn provided that all members of the side or team wear the same and provided that the design of such apparel has been registered to the County / Bowls England.

(c) Bowls England licensed and approved apparel (e.g. shorts) may be worn provided that all members of a side or team wear the same colour above and/or below the waist.

(d) Players governed by requirements of a specific ethnic culture shall be permitted to wear their traditional dress if they so desire.

(e) Tracksuits, shell suits and jeans are not acceptable.

(f) Headgear, if worn, should be white or a registered colour.

(g) Socks, if visible, should be white.

(h) White waterproof clothing may be used, or, providing all members of a side or team wear the same registered club colour waterproof/fleeces are permitted. Bowls England licensed, and approved apparel may also be worn.

(i) Regulation Dress must be worn in all finals, except for the under 18 singles when the foregoing will apply.

 4. DRAW

(a) The draws for all competitions will be made in November by the Championship Sub-committee appointed by the GPC. The sub-committee will determine the times and dates on or by which all rounds must be played.

(b) All players shall be included in the draw for the first round, the first player drawn at home subject to condition 1 (b).

(c) The method of the draw will firstly be to determine the number of byes for the first rounds and allocate these to tie numbers shown in the “competition chart” form, i.e. listing all ties with byes interspersed. Subsequent rounds will be determined by the winner playing the winners appearing on the list after the successful previous round winners are known

(d) The Semi-Finals and Finals shall be played on selected greens to be nominated by the Championship Sub-Committee, but the dates for play shall be fixed when the draw is made. In the event of a player (or players) refusing to play on a green or rink selected, or at a time or date scheduled for the tie, then the player(s) will forfeit the tie.

5. PLAY 

Singles – 21 Shots up (4 bowls each player)

Pairs – 18 Ends (4 bowls each player)

Triples – 18 Ends (3 bowls each player)

Fours – 18 Ends (2 bowls each player)

Two Bowl Singles – 21 Ends

Under 25 Singles – 21 Shots up (4 bowls each player)

Under 18 Singles –  *2 Sets of 7 ends, plus tie breaks if needed

Champion of Champions – 21 Shots up (4 bowls each player)

Senior Rinks – 18 ends (2 bowls each player)

Junior Pairs – 18 Ends (4 bowls each player)

* dependant on number of entries—if less than 4 entries then  21 up.

(a) The time of commencement of each heat up to and including the Quarter-Finals shall be 6-30 pm and any player not arriving by 7 pm shall be disqualified. The programme for the Semi-Finals and Finals, including the starting times for matches, will be arranged by the County Competition Secretary of Bowls Northumberland Men’s Section.

(b) If any player is unable to play on the day fixed he shall have the option of arranging to play the heat on an earlier day which he can mutually agree with his opponent, but if the opponent is unable to make other arrangement, the draw shall stand and the player unable to play shall be scratched.

(c) Any player unable to keep an appointment by reason of a representative game, (including The Bowls Northumberland Men’s President’s Tour), shall have the option of re-arranging the time/date of play. In the event of difficulty in agreeing with his opponent, the Honorary Competition Secretary of Bowls Northumberland (Men’s Section) shall adjudicate and determine the time/date of the tie.

(d) When players from Haltwhistle or Hexham are drawn against players from Seahouses or Wooler, the tie will be played at Morpeth unless otherwise mutually agreed.

(e) No extension of the closing date for each round will be granted for any reason whatsoever (with the exception of any conditions contained in 5c, 5d and 6a.  

(f) It is the responsibility of the ‘home’ player to provide a suitable marker in all Singles Competitions, except in the Semi Finals and Finals when independent suitable markers will be appointed by the Honorary Competition Secretary of Bowls Northumberland (Men’s Section).

(g) If the home venue is not available due to weather, and if another venue is available then the tie can be played at that venue providing both or all players are in mutual agreement, if not mutually agreed then normal rules will apply.

(h) Two Trial Ends before all competitions, with all bowls played unless mutually agreed otherwise.


(a) In the event of wet weather preventing play (or preventing completion of the game/tie) on the evenings fixed, this tie involved must be played no later and 24 hours prior to the closing date of the next round. For these games, results must be notified on completion of the same game on the same day.

(b) In the event where a game is stopped due to wet weather, then play must commence from the original finishing.


(a) In Pairs, Triples and Fours, the players taking part in the first game shall constitute the team and shall normally play together throughout the championship.

(b) The named entrant of a team cannot be a member or substitute of any other team in the same championship.

(c) Should the named entrant in a county championship event be unable to participate from the outset in the championship due to exceptional circumstances, the team may request the use of an additional player if required (this is in addition to the original players that formed the team in the first match).

(d) One additional, and the same player, may be used as a substitute at any time provided, they have not already played in the same championship. They may play in any position.

(e) The named entrant conceding a walkover before their first game in any championship cannot act as a substitute in the same championship, as this is considered a game played and lost.

(f) If a substitute is required during a game, then the rules in the current laws of the Sport of Bowls apply.



(a) The General Purposes Committee of Bowls Northumberland (Men’s Section) shall determine all questions and disputes that may arise and which do not come within the scope of the Umpire’s duties. In cases of emergency a sub-committee comprising the President and the Honorary Competition Secretary of Bowls Northumberland (Men’s Section) shall have responsibility to deal with matters of urgency.

(b) Appeals against decisions taken by the sub-committee will be heard by at least seven other members of the GPC BN (Men’s Section) whose decision will be final and binding.

(c) Appeals shall be made within 24 hours of the playing of the tie if re-instatement of a defeated appellant is desired. A clear statement, in writing shall be in the hands of the Honorary Competition Secretary of Bowls Northumberland (Men’s Section) within 48 hours of the scheduled commencement of the tie.


(a) Results of all ties must be reported to the Competition Secretary (John Harthen) Within 24 hours of the commencement of the tie and no later than 10 pm on the evening of the tie and not before 7:30 am on the morning following the tie by text on 07759976692 or by email

(b) Scorecards, signed by the losers, must be sent to reach the Competition Secretary before the scheduled date of the next round. Scorecards are not required for Singles play, but winners should retain them until the following round has been played.