Devizes Bowls Club Rules

01 Title
The Club shall be known as The Devizes Bowls Club at Long Street Devizes Wiltshire SN10 1NW.
02 Acceptance of Rules
A  Member shall be deemed to have accepted the Rules of the Club upon joining. A copy of the rules shall be supplied to each member on election.
03 Junior and Vulnerable Adult Membership
No Junior or Vulnerable Adult shall be accepted as a Member of the Club without the completion of a prescribed Consent Form by a Parent/Guardian of the Child or by the Vulnerable Adult.
04 Alcoholic Drinks

a)    Subject to Rule 4(b), intoxicating liquor may be supplied or sold by, or on behalf of the Club for consumption on the Club Premises in accordance with the Licensing Act in effect at the time.

b)    No persons under the age of 18 years shall be supplied with or allowed to purchase intoxicating liquor.

05 Smoking
In accordance with the ban on smoking dated the 1st July 2007 there will be no smoking permitted within the club house. Smoking outside of the clubhouse will be restricted to a designated smoking area as decided by the Management Committee.
06 Guests and Visitors

a)    The member introducing a guest shall be responsible for ensuring that the guest observes the Rules of the Club.

b)    No ex-member of the Club who has lost the privileges of membership shall be introduced as a guest.

c)    A visitor coming with a Member to bowl may be asked to pay an appropriate rink fee as set annually by the Management Committee.

d)    A visitor may only bowl on three occasions without then becoming a Full Member unless being officially coached.

e)    A potential new member will be coached under the supervision of the Coaching Co-ordinator and will not bowl without supervision until the Coaching Co-ordinator is satisfied of their competency and having paid the Full Membership Fee. The coaching fees will be reviewed and set annually by the Management Committee.

07 Members

a)    Members will be encouraged to support the club by helping with work on the greens, surrounds and the buildings etc. They will also be encouraged to help with catering for certain Club fixtures. This work will be on a voluntary basis.

b)    The Management Committee may refuse membership or remove it, only for good cause such as conduct or character likely to bring the Club or sport into disrepute. An appeal against refusal or removal of Membership shall be lodged with, in the first instance Bowls Wiltshire and subsequently with Bowls England.

08 Dress Codes

For all league and friendly matches Club shirts will be worn. When representing the club in County/National Competitions Club shirts will be worn. Any match not covered by this rule the shirts will be decided by the Captains.

As a general rule before 6pm white is worn below the waist for matches and greys after 6pm, but this can vary. Weekend matches are generally played in white but again there may be times when this can vary so check the availability and or team list for confirmation. For roll ups and spoons members will wear grey below the waist and either a white or Club shirt above.

09 Bowling Do’s
  1. Be conversant with the laws of the game.
  2. Make sure you are gripping your bowl correctly. A wobbling bowl cannot be consistently accurate.
  3. Check to ensure that when you adopt your stance on the mat you are facing the shoulder of the arc of the hand you wish to play. Remember to be perfectly balanced and relaxed – with knees slightly bent if bowling from the athletic position.
  4. Make sure your whole body flows through with your delivery. Be certain there is no stiffness in any part of it.
  5. Be aware of the pace of the green and the general conditions, because your arm and leg movements will be governed by them. The faster the green, the more alive the bowl will become, and the more sensitive the touch required. On heavier greens the bowl should be held more firmly, but on faster surfaces it should be caressed by the fingers and the whole mechanics of delivery more delicate. The movement is slower, the backswing shorter and with the long, graceful follow through the delivery becomes a gliding movement.
  6. Having estimated weight by looking at the jack, keep your eyes firmly fixed on the shoulder of the intended arc when delivering the bowl. Keep your head down until the bowl has been released.
  7. Practise, practise, practise and try to become proficient in all the shots of the game. Remember that there is a perfect weight and green for every shot attempted, and nothing gives more satisfaction than to apply it successfully. Mastery of this combination is the hardest part of the game, but ability to play shots with perfect weight and green is a great asset.
  8. Always be positive when you step on the mat. Be sure of the shot you wish to play before doing so.
  9. Always stand well back from the mat when your opponent is in play (at least a metre). Never be over eager to play your bowl. Take your time and fully assess the position before you bowl.
  10. Remember to use the mat and jack intelligently. Have a sound reason for every tactical move you make.
  11. When you are playing in pairs, triples or fours and you are not the skip, always remember it is a team game. There is only one person in command so mould your play to their wishes. Four players, no matter how good, playing their own game will never be a successful side.
  12. When playing lead or second in a four encourage your third man and skip, but do not let your enthusiasm run away with you to the extent of becoming a nuisance and overcrowding the head. Remember the third and skip are in control, and other players should keep well back where they can still take an interest without interfering and confusing the issue.
  13. Keep well clear of the head whilst the thirds are deciding the number of shots so as not to disturb bowls which may be in contention.
  14. When in trouble remember that more often than not it pays to play for second shot. Your opponents cannot go far on singles alone.
  15. Watch your opponent’s game carefully and look for weakness which you may be able to exploit profitably at a suitable time later in the match.
  16. In singles play you cannot afford to waste a single bowl and these games, therefore, are the ones in which it is easiest for a bowler to build up or improve self-discipline and deep concentration.
  17. Take pride in building up deep concentration and willpower, but remember it is only a game, and do not let results get out of perspective.
  18. Train yourself to think deeply about the game and in practice be prepared to experiment. It is the only way to learn and your tactics and general knowledge will improve steadily.
  19. Remember that few players succeed in top-class play unless they have excellent temperaments. Set out to be an example to others on the green. Sportsmanship costs nothing. A player who is a true sportsman will always be an inspiration to his team and the serenity and the coolness that accompanies them will be conducive to better play, with his partners being completely relaxed but still concentrating to the full.
10 Bowling Don’ts
  1. Don’t question your Skip’s instructions. They are in charge and nine times out of ten they are a better judge than you as to what is needed. The Skip is at the head and may have a completely different view from that which you have on the end.
  2. Don’t stand on the mat until you have been told which shot to play or in singles until you have decided on which shot to play.
  3. Don’t criticise other bowlers for their standards of bowling. You will have off days too.
  4. Never throw the jack. Take your stance on the mat as if you are bowling a bowl and endeavour to bowl the jack to the distance at which you hope to obtain maximum advantage.
  5. Don’t run off the mat when delivering your bowl. Take your time.
  6. Don’t allow your eyes to wander when bowling a wood. Keep them fixed on the shoulder of the intended arc.
  7. Too many bowlers deliver 75-80 per cent of their bowls narrow so ensure you take sufficient green so that your bowl ends up on a good line.
  8. Don’t be distracted by shadows or movements.
  9. Don’t relax when you build up a big lead. There will surely come a time when you regret it.
  10. Don’t be too hasty in deciding which shot to play. Study the head carefully for there are usually many more possibilities than are apparent at first glance.
  11. Don’t fire/drive unless you have studied the head carefully and are absolutely sure no better alternative exists. Indiscriminate firing/driving when the position is against you can, and often does, cost the match.
  12. Never let your opponent think they have you rattled. Whatever the fortunes, appear serene and cheerful and concentrate your thoughts on how to pull those shots back and reverse the mental pressure,
  13. Don’t let your opponents dictate the pace of the game. You cannot rush a game of bowls and give of your best. You should play at your speed and let him play at his.
11 Matters Not Provided For
If any matter shall arise which in the opinion of the Management Committee is not provided for in these rules then the same may be determined by the Management Committee in such manner as it seems fit and every such determination shall be binding on Members unless and until set aside by a resolution of an Annual General or Special General Meeting.


Dated April 2013

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