Please consider Accrediting as an UMPIRE for your added enjoyment – see Bowls Vic website 

From the green – umpiring questions resolved – as per Laws of the Sport of Bowls Crystal Mark 3rd Edition January 2015,  Bowls Vic Domestic Regulations and Pennant Conditions of Play 

These Laws available as a soft copy from Bowls Australia – but Bowls Vic Domestic Regulations only in the hard copy  of the Laws cost $9 and Pennant Conditions of play 2017-18 (soft copy on BV website)







36 — Points when play is abandoned and less than half the matches in the Section are completed

36.1 All matches in that Section are deemed a tie.

36.2 A forfeit or walkover in that Section will count as a completed match. Each Side will share equally the maximum points available. It will be a tie unless the scores are such that one Side must win the match if all the remaining ends were played.

62 –When Play cannot commence

62.2 If after 1 hour of play being suspended the match cannot commence, the match is abandoned.

63 — Play cannot continue after play has commenced

63.1 If at any time after play commences, play cannot continue, play may be suspended for up to 1 hour.

63.2 Every effort must be made to complete any ends in progress prior to leaving the green.

63.3 If after 1 hour of play being suspended play cannot recommence, the match is abandoned.

== Clubs may not play on a Sunday unless approval is granted by BV.

Note– Copies of the Laws of the Sport of Bowls including the Domestic Regulations available at the Club for $9, or utilise the club copies as required (including Conditions of Play)

Latest update a number of changes to the 2017-18 COPs

Please take note and these are to be applied for this season

     (a) the finishing time on Saturdays for an interrupted match is now 6.00pm not 6.30pm

     (b) In the 19 Instantaneous Penalties 19.1 was removed due to differences to BA policy. 

As a result the penalties for

  1. Smoking           17. Personal Devices 8. Consumption of Alcohol 

are now more severe than previously

The first offence is still a warning, but it now *can result in an 8 shot penalty for Pennant

26.6 SUBSTANCE POLICY – LEGAL AND ILLEGAL – Bowls Australia Policy

As the governing body of the sport of lawn bowls, Bowls Australia will conduct all events where BA is the controlling body) with the safety of all stakeholders in mind. Therefore, all playing areas and immediate surrounding areas will be both ‘smokefree’ and alcohol free.

While any game/match is in progress, participating players should refrain from smoking and/or drinking alcohol at events where BA is the controlling body. Any player who breaches the Legal and Illegal Substance Policy may face penalties as set down by the Bowls Australia Disciplinary Committee or Bowls Australia Judicial Committee.


Smoking – see update Changes to Conditions of Play 2017-18

Smoking (defined as having a lit cigarette, pipe, cigar or other smoking implement on the green) on the green is not permitted under any circumstances by participating Players at any time whilst a game or match is in progress. If a Player is observed to be smoking on the green by the Umpire he will warn the Player and advise his Skip, the manager and/or the controlling body. If the Player is found to be smoking on a second occasion the Umpire will immediately suspend him from play for the remainder of the day. Should the penalty be applied, no replacement or substitute Player will be allowed for his Team. In a Team game, the game will be forfeited to their Opponents in accordance with law 46.1, and in a Side game the Team will play one Player short in accordance with law 46.2.2

The scoreboard at the end of each rink or the ‘main’ board can be adjusted by any player whether they are involved in the game or a volunteer.

It is then up to the skips to ensure that the scorecards and the individual rink scorecard are aligned at least every second end (when the skips are at the scoreboard end)   

Mat on wrong line – can be moved to the correct position at anytime during play, when it is noticed

Jack on the wrong line – cannot be moved after the first bowl has been played

Length from front of mat – to the jack – 21 metres at the roll up

If the jack is rolled incorrectly by each team – the jack is placed on the T and the mat is placed by the first lead between the 21 metre and at least 2 metres from the rear ditch

23 If the jack is improperly delivered once by each player in any end, it should not be delivered again in that end. Instead, it should be centred with the nearest point of the jack to the mat line being 2 metres from the front ditch, and the mat should be placed as described in law 19.1.1 by the first player to play

 19.1.1 Before the start of play in each end, the player to play first should place the centre line of the mat lengthwise along the centre line of the rink, with the mat line at least 2 metres from the rear ditch and at least 25 metres from the front ditch.

Bulletin -Greens

It is no longer a requirement to measure the pace of the greens for a pennant match

There is a recommended pace range of 13-17 sec. for pennant, and obviously, the speed range of greens is determined by a number of factors, most times outside the control of the persons preparing greens for play.

Law 20 Foot Fault – Before delivery a player should be standing on the mat with one foot fully on the mat. At the moment they deliver the jack or a bowl, the player should have all or part of one foot on or above the mat


21.1 If the umpire, either by their own observation or on appeal by one of the skips or opponents in Singles, decides that a player has not met the terms of law 20, the umpire should, on the first occasion, warn the player in the presence of the skip and advise the manager or the coach when they are present that a warning has been given.

21.2 On each occasion after this, the umpire should have the player’s bowl stopped and declared dead

Ten Minute Break–   toilets (please do not be caught short or rush it is allowable to call a ten minute break at any time if required – just organise with skip on the rink please – who should then inform team manager)

Apart from the designated break of 15 minutes – there is provision for a player to leave the green for 10 minutes – for health or emergency phone calls –

51 Leaving the green during the course of play (Laws of the Sport of Bowls)

51.1 No player should delay play by leaving the rink of play or their team unless their opponent agrees, and then only for no more than 10 minutes.

51.2 If a player has to leave the green during the course of a team or side game due to illness or some other reasonable cause, and they cannot return within 10 minutes, the umpire or the Controlling Body can approve the introduction of a substitute.

51.3 A substitute should only be introduced if, in the opinion of both skips or, if they cannot agree, in the opinion of the umpire or the Controlling Body, the substitution is necessary.

Movement of players during pennant

4.1 After delivering their first bowl, players will only be allowed to walk up to the head under the following circumstances.

A.4.1.7- Fours game (Pennant)

A. the leads: after the second player in their team has delivered their second bowl;

A. the seconds: after delivery of their second bowl;

A. the thirds: after delivery of their second bowl; and

A. the skips: after delivery of each of their bowls.

A.4.2   In exceptional and limited circumstances, a skip can ask that a player walks up to the head earlier than described in law A.4.1.

December 2011
Toucher on the rink or in the ditch – marked/ not marked can be nominated by thirds, if no agreement- call the umpire
Length from T to 21 metres – measure don’t guess – If the mat is situated right behind the T and your team are affected by the length – Measure don’t guess even if there is a line on the green – it may not be accurate