Laws of the Sport of Bowls - Crystal Mark Third

Review of the Laws of the Sport of Bowls (Crystal Mark Second Edition)
Summary of Changes adopted by Bowls England 1st April 2015
In April 2013 all Member National Authorities (MNAs) of World Bowls (WB) were invited to submit
their proposals for changes to the Laws of the Sport of Bowls (Crystal Mark Second Edition).
Responses were received from various countries, together with proposals from the Board of WB.
This document summarises the changes that have been included within the revised Laws and
published as the Laws of the Sport of Bowls (Crystal Mark Third Edition). These changes were
approved at the Biennial Council Meeting held in August 2014 and introduced in England for the
2015 outdoor bowls season.
The following highlights the changes that have been accepted by the WB Laws Committee.
Additional comments have been added by way of explanation where necessary.
New Law
Old Law
That all references to ‘should’ and
‘will’ be altered to ‘must’ within
the laws
Amend to read: “Deliberately
releasing a jack or a bowl from the
hand or an artificial device using an
underarm movement. If the jack or
bowl accidentally slips from a
player’s hand or artificial device
during delivery, the player can pick
it up and start the delivery again.”
Amend to read: “The heads of the
indicators match either the colours
of the adhesive markings on each
player’s bowls or the colours of
each player’s bowls”
Additional Comments
Recognition of use of artificial
device added.
Law 52.1.8 refers to adhesive
New Law
Old Law
Amend to read: “If, after the draw
for rinks has been made, a player in
a competition or game plays on the
same rink before the start of play
on the day of the competition or
game, that player will be
disqualified. This does not apply to
open tournaments.”
Amend to read: “Each player must
not use more than the number of
bowls being used during the game.
If a player or an umpire notices
that a player is using more than the
permitted number of bowls, the
defaulting player will lose the right
to play any bowls remaining to be
played in the trial ends.”
Additional law reads: “For
domestic play, Member National
Authorities can decide the
requirements for using portable
groundsheets as an alternative to
the fixed groundsheets mentioned
in this law”
Amend to read: “Before delivery a
player must be standing on the mat
with all or part of at least one foot
on the mat. At the moment they
deliver the jack or a bowl, the
player must have all or part of one
foot on or above the mat.”
Additional Comments
The Law is not intended to prevent
a player who plays a club Singles
game on rink 3 at 9am from again
playing on rink 3 (if drawn to play
on that rink) during another
competition at 1pm. The intent of
the law is to prevent a player from
practising on the same rink on
which they have previously been
drawn to play a competitive game.
The laws have been revised to
remove any scope for possible
To add penalties/courses of action
to those laws that do not currently
have them.
New law allowing portable
groundsheets instead of fixed.
Bowls England has resolved that it
does not approve of the use of
portable groundsheets in any
matches under its jurisdiction.
There are two situations covered
by this law – position on the mat
before delivery and position on the
mat at the moment of delivery.
New Law
Old Law
Amend to read: “A dead end must
be replayed in the same direction
unless the skips or opponents in
Singles agree to play it in the
opposite direction. (If the jack and
bowls need to be transferred to
the opposite end of the rink before
the end is replayed, they must be
transferred in a way which avoids
distracting players on neighbouring
Amend to read: “No measuring
(that is, the use of equipment, such
as that described in law 54, placed
between the jack and bowls to
decide which bowls are shot) will
be allowed before the process of
deciding the number of shots
scored starts (as described in law
23.1). If a player measures before
the process of deciding the number
of shots scored starts, the
defaulting team will lose the right
to play any bowls remaining to be
played in that end and the nondefaulting team will deliver their
remaining bowls to complete the
Amend to read: “If two or more
players, teams or sides are equal in
line with the Conditions of Play
mentioned in law 27.1, points can
be awarded for games won or
drawn. The player, team or side
with the highest number of points
will be declared the winner.”
Amend to read: “Players, however,
must not be transferred from one
team to another. If players are
transferred from one team to
another, the defaulting team will
forfeit the game to their
Additional Comments
There are various methods of
transferring bowls up a rink – such
as using bowls gatherers. It has,
therefore, decided to change the
law by replacing the requirement
for players to carry bowls up the
rink to include the use of
Clarifies what constitutes
Adds penalties/courses of action to
those laws that do not currently
have them.
Conditions of play now specify the
awarding of points for tournament
To add penalties/courses of action
to those laws that do not currently
have them.
New Law
Old Law
Amend to read: “If a bowl is
displaced by a disabled player’s
equipment or assistant as
described in Law 41, the
equipment or assistant must be
treated as if it was the player for all
purposes under Law 37.1”
Amend to read: “If a jack is
displaced by a disabled player’s
equipment or assistant as
described in Law 41, the
equipment or assistant must be
treated as if it was the player for all
purposes under Law 38.1.”
Amend heading to read: “Defaults
by Players”
Amend to read: “The number of
bowls played by each defaulting
team must be made up by the lead
and second, both playing three
bowls singly and in turn.”
New law to read: “For domestic
play, Member National Authorities
can approve regulations which
differ from those mentioned in law
Amend to read: “...make sure that
the names of all players of both
teams are correctly entered on the
score card”
Amend to read: “For domestic play,
Member National Authorities can
decide the procedures for using a
scoreboard instead of one of the
score cards”
Additional Comments
Clarifies displacement of a bowl by
disabled player’s equipment or
assistants. This include
The previous heading was
considered to be potentially
misleading due to a side game
potentially being a combination of
For clarification
This will enable Controlling Bodies
to amend the absentee players
rules to fit their requirements
In many cases skips only get to see
the cards when given to them just
prior to a match starting. The onus
falls to the skip for checking the
New Law
Old Law
New Law to read: “for domestic
play, Member National Authorities
can transfer the skip’s duties
described in Law 40.1.7 to other
members of the team. However,
they must make sure that the
duties are transferred to players
whose positions, in order of play,
are the same in each team”
New Law to read: “A player who
has a physical disability will be
allowed to kneel on the green to
deliver the jack or their bowls. One
or both knees must be positioned
either in front of the mat with all or
part of at least one foot on the mat
or on the mat with all or part of at
least one foot on the green behind
the mat.”
New Laws to read: “Players with a
hearing disability can use
electronic devices to communicate
with each other whilst on the rink
of play. Their use must be in line
with the regulations set out in the
Conditions of Play by the
Controlling Body.”
Amend to read: “...if score boards
are not being used, tell the players
the running totals of the scores;”
Additional Comments
Bowls England can now, if they
wish, allow the delegation of the
scorecard to other members of the
team. The same player in opposing
teams must keep the scorecard.
A player with a disability can now
kneel to deliver a bowl.
Conditions of play can now specify
that communication aids can be
used by players with hearing
To remove duty of marker to state
score at conclusion of each end of
singles if a score board is in
New Law
Old Law
The coach
Either the coach of a player, team
or side or, in their absence, the
coach’s delegated deputy, can give
advice to a player during the
course of play as long as:
44.1 the umpire is given the names
of the coach or the coach’s
delegated deputy as appropriate
before the game starts;
44.2 only one person is present at
the rink to give advice at any one
44.3 the person giving the advice
does so when their team or side is
in possession of the rink; and
44.4 the person giving the advice
does so from outside the
boundaries of the green.
44.5 If, in the umpire’s opinion,
this law has been broken, the
umpire must ask the coach or
delegated deputy concerned to
stay within the law. If they do not
stay within the law, the umpire
must ask the Controlling Body to
take immediate action to make
sure that the offender stops
breaking the law.
Amend to read: “For indoor greens
and outdoor greens where play is
possible in only one direction, only
the end ditches in the direction of
play must meet the standards
mentioned in laws 47.2 and 47.3”
Amend to read: “White or brightly
coloured pegs, discs or other
suitable markings must be fixed or
marked vertically against the face
of the side banks”
Additional Comments
The Laws Committee states it is
aware that, in recent years, the
manager’s role has changed to the
point where it is, in the main,
limited to performing background
tasks such as team administration
and management. Consequently,
the role of the coach has taken on
increased significance – for
example the on-field
responsibilities previously
undertaken by the manager are
now being performed by a coach.
The committee, therefore, accepts
that this change in roles has led to
a blurring (perhaps to the point of
confusion) of the duties of the
manager and coach as they are
described in the laws. Given that
the trend has been for the
manager to no longer have on-field
responsibilities, the committee has
decided to remove the manager
from all aspects of the laws. It has
also decided to change law 57 to
better reflect the duties of the
Enables markings to be fixed or
marked permanently
New Law
Old Law
Amend to read: “If a boundary peg
is not vertical, it must be put so
before a player or the umpire
decides whether or not a jack or a
bowl is within the boundary. (The
requirement to put the peg vertical
need not apply if the umpire uses a
boundary scope to make the
Amend to read: “Bowls must be
made of wood (lignum vitae),
rubber or plastic resin (called
composition or plastic bowls) and
must be any colour or combination
of colours approved by WB. The
basic colours are added during the
manufacturing process”
Bowls marking - clarification
Amend to read: “equipment (for
deciding whether or not the jack or
a bowl is within the side boundary
of the rink when the side boundary
is not marked by a green thread as
described in law 49.9) such as:
54.8.1 a portable, retractable line;
54.8.2 a mirror and a square (both
with a levelling bubble);
54.8.3 a liner siter; or
54.8.4 a boundary scope
Additional Comments
If boundary scope is used then
boundary peg does not need to be
put vertical before decision taken.
Amended to include reference to
speckled bowls of more than one
Various amendments regarding the
use of adhesive markings due to
the changes brought about by the
bowls manufacturers with regard
to the alteration of sizing to the
inner rings on both sides of a bowl.
Although mirrors and squares are
probably used elsewhere in the
world, they are non-existent in
Australia where liner siters and
boundary scopes are the only two
pieces of equipment used.
New Law
Old Law
New Laws to read: “There can be a
time limit on play. The Controlling
Body will decide the time limit
before the game begins.
The game will end:
when the pre-arranged number of
shots has been scored;
when the pre-arranged number of
ends has been completed; or
if an end is in progress when a prearranged time limit is reached, when
that end has been completed”
Amend to read: “Three game points
will be awarded for each game won.
No game points are awarded for any
game lost.”
Amend to read: “A single re-spot
position which is 2 metres from the
front ditch and on the centre line
can be used as an alternative to the
three re-spot positions described in
law 56.5.2.”
Amend to read: “between and in
line with that spot..”
Amend to read: “Controlling Bodies
that govern club competitions which
are purely social or recreational
(that is, competitions that do not
directly or indirectly lead to the
winners being awarded a club title,
qualifying to compete for a district,
national or international title, or
receiving financial rewards within
limits set by the Member National
Authority) can set Conditions of Play
which include aspects of play that
are different from those described
within the Laws of the Sport of
Additional Comments
Law 16.2 currently contains
provision for dealing with timelimited games during international
events. These provisions are also
relevant to the types of games
described in laws 16.1 and 16.3.
The ‘points won’ is included for
guidance in line with current
procedure at World level.
It was felt there should be
something in the Laws that allows
controlling bodies to re-spot the
jack at the 2-metre mark as an
alternative to re-spotting at one of
3 points currently described in the
laws - including in games other
than sets play.
Updated to clarify the re-spot
The change will define the types of
competition that come within the
scope of this Law.
New Law
Old Law
Amend to read: “If a Controlling
Body decides that it is appropriate
to include regulations for dealing
with slow play, provision for this
must be included within the
Conditions of Play. Controlling
Bodies can adopt or adapt the
following regulations (which are
based on a 15-end game being
played within a two-and-onequarter hour time limit) ...”
Additional Comments
Introducing Slow play regulations.