Rules for players during play


FAO: The Secretaries of the NIPGL, NIBA, NIPBA and ILB* and the Competition Secretary (National Championships) of the IBA

*Applicable to the men’s National Championships only

It has become apparent in recent seasons that some knockout matches during the latter stages of Association and National Championship games have taken an excessive amount of time to complete. Whilst it is acknowledged that the further a team progresses through a competition the greater the importance are the decisions made, there is a duty on all involved to keep a game flowing.

World Bowls’ Laws of the Sport (CM4) permit a Controlling Body to restrict the movement of players during play (Appendix A4) by including such provisions within the Conditions of Play (CoP). The law allows for the adaptation of the listed restrictions.

For Irish National Championship semi-final and final matches and the equivalent rounds at Association level, umpires will observe all matches for the following:

  • After delivering their first bowl, players will only be allowed to walk up to the head under the following circumstances.
    • Singles game:
      • the opponents: after delivery of their third and fourth bowls.
    • Pairs game (each player playing four bowls)
      • the leads: after delivery of their fourth bowl; and
      • the skips: after delivery of their second, third and fourth bowls.
    • Triples game (each player playing three bowls)

      –     the leads: after delivery of their third bowl;

      –     the seconds: after delivery of their third bowl**; and

      –     the skips: after delivery of each of their bowls

                  –      Fours game

  • the leads: after the second player in their team has delivered their second bowl;***
    • the seconds: after delivery of their second bowl;
    • the thirds: after delivery of their second bowl; and

      –     the skips: after delivery of each of their bowls

In exceptional and limited circumstances, a Singles player can ask the marker for permission to walk up to the head earlier than described above.

** it is advisable that seconds should commence each end alongside their lead at the mat end

*** pay particular attention to this adaptation

Umpires are trained to watch and to not intervene unless requested to, or upon their own observation, determine that play is being routinely delayed.

All players must be made aware of ALL CoP for the competition(s) in which they play. Individual self discipline plus discipline within the team is key but, if a player does not meet the terms of this law, law 13 (Possession of the rink) will apply.

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