1.  Name
                      The League shall be known as the Somerset LADIES Bowls League. The League and the Divisions within the League may be named to incorporate the names of sponsors.

     2.  Entries
a)                  The League will be open to clubs affiliated to the SBA. Each team shall comprise three triples of women.

Clubs can enter more than one team.

b)                  Joining fees and annual subscriptions will shall be collected with competition entry fees in the autumn of the preceding year.

c)                   Clubs wishing to enter new teams in the League shall apply by 1st November of the previous year.

d)                   Continuing membership thereafter shall be assumed.

     3.  Structure

a)                For the County League the County shall be divided into three administrative regions.

b)                There shall be three leagues – North, Mid & South League.

c)                 Each team shall play each other team in the division twice (Home & Away). Each team shall play the same number of home and away fixtures (as far as possible).

     4.  Registration of Players

a)                Players are registered for a club through making their first appearance for a team in the

b)                Such players must not represent more than one Somerset League club in any one year.

c)                A player, who is also a member of a Club which is not affiliated to the SBA, and who has entered either National Championships, National Competitions or County Competitions from that Club, shall not be entitled to play in the Somerset Ladies Bowls

     5.  Arrangements of Fixtures

a)                Fixtures will be played on set Saturdays. The set Saturdays to be used shall depend on the number of teams in the division.

b)                Fixtures shall start with trial ends at 10.30am. Start times may be varied by mutual  The match must start within 30 minutes of the agreed time with teams  fielded in accordance with Rule 6(c) or as varied by Rule 6(d).

c)                Before the commencement of the season, with the prior agreement of both teams and the permission of the Ladies League Secretary, the fixture may be re-arranged to be played on any other Saturday (or Sunday) between 1st May and the final League Saturday.

It is expected that the number of re-arranged matches will be kept to a minimum.

d)               Any club unable to fulfil all its teams’ fixtures on a given date must give preference to fulfilling its higher teams’ fixtures.

Any club with four or more players on County duty to include international duty or involved in a Bowls England National Championship/Competition (but in earlier rounds of those Championships/Competitions Clubs should neither offer nor accept a League Saturday date as a pretext for postponing the League game) that clashes with the League programme may re-arrange the fixture.  In any of these circumstances, such arrangements must be agreed with the Ladies League Secretary. In the event of the teams failing to agree an alternative date the game will be deemed ‘null & void’ with no points awarded to either team.

e)               Catering arrangements are to be agreed between the clubs before the day of the fixture.   Unless mutually agreed, play shall be continuous.

f)                The following season’s fixture programme will be issued to Clubs by the end of

     6.  Play

a)               Except where varied by these Rules, all matches must be played under the “Laws of the Sport of Bowls (including Domestic regulations for Bowls England)”.

Matches shall be played over 18 ends, with two trial ends.

b)               Smoking on the green is prohibited during all matches played under the jurisdiction of the Somerset Bowls League.  For the purpose of clarification, the “green” in this instance is deemed to include a minimum of 1 metre on the bank surrounding the playing area.

c)                Mobile phones must not be used by players, officials or spectators on the green or immediate surrounds during the game. If carried they must be switched off except, for only, they may be switched to ‘vibrate’.

d)               Rinks shall be drawn by captains.  Home teams must ensure that adjacent rinks are used, or at least that no play takes place on any rinks between the designated rinks for the match.

e)                If a player has to leave the green due to illness, a substitute who is validly registered, or will become validly registered as a result of playing in the match, can be used.

Where no substitute is available or where a full team is not fielded, the team may play with one player short in up to two rinks, subject to Rule 39.2.2 of the Laws of the Sport of Bowls.

Players arriving late cannot play except as substitutes in accordance with the Laws of the Sport of Bowls.

f)               If a team travels to an away fixture but some players do not arrive, those players that do arrive shall play as a rink or rinks (in accordance with Rule 6(d)) in competition for the appropriate rink points.  The points for the match and any unplayed rinks shall be awarded to the home team. No further penalties or bonuses shall be awarded.

g)              Whites shall be worn for all matches, to include long white trousers or tailored white shorts, (regardless of the agreed start time), except that with the approval of the SBA, club colours may be worn so long as they are by all the players in the team.

For play, white, brown, grey or coloured flat soled shoes shall be worn providing they are in accordance with the Club’s dress code.

h)             All bowls shall carry club stickers. Where provided, the stickers shall be those bearing the sponsor’s identification.

i)              Umpires may be appointed by the home team who shall be responsible for the reimbursement of any out-of-pocket expenses claimed.  Where no umpire has been appointed, the captains of the opposing teams must reach agreement on the outcome of any dispute arising from the playing of the match before the result is confirmed and advised to the League Secretary.

    7.  Failure to Complete a Fixture

a)             Except as in 5(d) above, a fixture may only be postponed due to inclement weather.

Such fixtures shall be rearranged on the earliest mutually agreeable date providing it is before the end of the League season and advised to the League Secretary within 7 days from the day for which the original fixture was scheduled.

In the event of the failure to agree, the game will be deemed ‘null & void’ with no points awarded to either team.

Should it be physically impossible to play on or before the last League Saturday (eg the postponed game was on the last Saturday), then the decision of the Ladies League Secretary shall be final.

b)             A team failing to fulfil a fixture shall have 6 points deducted and 10 shots awarded against it.  The opposing team shall be awarded 12 points and 10 shots.

If a team fails to fulfil more than two fixtures in a season, on the third occasion, the team is deemed to have resigned from the League with immediate effect – Rule 9(d) applies.

c)              If play is curtailed or interrupted by the weather, so long as at least 11 ends have been completed on each rink, the result at the end of the game shall stand.  Otherwise, the game shall be cancelled and restarted as though the fixture were postponed.

   8.  Notification of Results

a)              Results (including players names) shall be e-mailed by the home team captain to the Ladies League Secretary within 24 hours, or as soon as the result has been agreed if later, on the day of the fixture.

   9.  Scoring

a)              Each winning rink per team shall be awarded 2 points, drawing rinks 1 point each.

b)             Each winning team shall be awarded 6 points, drawing teams 3 points each.

c)              Playing an ineligible player will lead to a 3point deduction on the first occasion by a team.  If that same ineligible player is played again, a 6-point deduction will result on the second occasion and 12 points on each subsequent occasion. Multiple ineligible players in the same team will result in a separate penalty for each player. In addition, the rink(s) the ineligible player(s) play on cannot record a win. If they score more shots than their opponents, the shots are zeroed for both teams and the rink points awarded to their When players transgress, the penalty will be applied to the rink with the highest shot difference.

d)              In the event that a team resigns from the league during the course of the season, all fixtures completed by that team shall be considered void and any points obtained by the team’s opposition in matches already played shall be forfeit.

e)              Finishing positions (from top down) are determined firstly by the greater total number of points scored and, if equal, then by the greater shot difference and, if equal, then by the fewer shots conceded and, if equal, then by the greater number of games won and, if equal, then by the greater number of rink points scored. If any finishing positions remain unresolved and they affect promotion or relegation, then play-offs on a neutral green shall be arranged in accordance with Rules 5(b) and 5(c).


 10.  Changes to League Rules

Additions or amendments to the Rules shall be made only by either:

a)             The Executive Board or

b)             The Annual General Meeting of the SBA or at such Special General Meeting convened for the purpose by a motion put forward, in accordance with Rule 9(a) of the Constitution.

c)             Requests by Clubs for Rule changes must be submitted in writing to the Ladies League Secretary from one proposing Club with at least two supporting Clubs.

d)            Proposals for changes shall be made by 1 September each year and shall then be considered by the ladies League Secretary who shall make recommendations to the Executive Board at its October meeting. The Executive Board shall proceed in accordance with either a) or b) above

e)            Changes that have been agreed by the Executive Board or the AGM in accordance with  either a) or b) above that do not affect the fixtures programme for the following year shall be implemented for that year.

f)             Changes that have been agreed by the Executive Board or the AGM in accordance with either a) or b) above that would affect the fixtures programme shall be implemented for the second following year.

g)            Changes that have been agreed in accordance with a) above shall be placed on the agenda of the appropriate AGM for information.


11.  Conduct of the League

a)            The League will be administered from day to day by the Ladies League Secretary.

b)            In the case of a dispute which cannot be settled by mutual agreement between clubs concerning the arrangement or conduct of fixtures or the reporting of results, a clear statement of the dispute shall be made in writing to the Ladies League Secretary within two days of the date on which the dispute arose. The final decision of the Ladies League Secretary shall be final and binding and must be accepted by all parties.