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LEAGUE RULES and BILL HAWKINS TROPHY RULES - Revised 25th October 2021

The League shall be called the BRIGHTON, H0VE & DISTRICT BOWLING LEAGUE [BH&DBL] and shall be open to all bowling clubs playing within the City of Brighton and Hove and surrounding area.


The objects of the League shall be to arrange competitions between member clubs and other matches as may be approved by a General Meeting, such competitions to be restricted to male members only.

It will be a policy that any person playing for an outdoor fixture against the BH&DBL for another Association or League [this excludes the Sussex County Bowls [SCB], Bowls England [BE], and the London & Southern Counties Bowling Association] will not be considered for selection in BH&DBL Representative matches for that season. 


Club members requesting to enter a team or subsequent teams for the same club must notify the Hon. Secretary in writing, not later than 15th September of the preceding year or otherwise at the discretion of the Management Committee. New Clubs shall be elected by the members at the Annual General Meeting [AGM].


Each Affiliated Club shall pay an annual subscription for each team entered, at a sum to be decided at the Annual General Meeting. Payment shall be made by cheque to the BH&DBL Treasurer by 28th February of that year. No receipt will be sent unless requested. Failure to comply could mean, at the discretion of the Management Committee, that the defaulting Club(s) team place could be allocated to another club. Each Affiliated Club shall pay an subscription for each team entered in the Bill Hawkins Competition, the sum to be decided at the Annual General Meeting.


The League shall be managed by the Management Committee consisting of the Officers. The Officers shall include, where the positions are filled by election, the President, Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Hon. Secretary, Hon. Treasurer, Match Secretary and Competitions Secretary and two Delegates proposed by Member Clubs in writing to the Hon. Secretary at least fourteen [14] days prior to the next AGM, where they shall be elected. Nominations may also be proposed by the Management Committee. Any person elected President shall stand down after three years, only if a successor is found, or he wishes to retire. All other Officers shall serve for a period of 12 months but can offer themselves for re election at an AGM.

At least fourteen [14] days notice shall be given of any meeting of the Management Committee except where the matter to be discussed is declared an emergency by the Chairman when twenty-four [24] hours may be given. Vacancies may be filled by a vote of the remaining Members of the Management Committee or under Rule 5B. In the event of a tie, The President or in his absence the Chairman shall have a casting vote.

A quorum for any Management Committee Meeting shall be the President, or Chairman and three other Officers.

The Management Committee shall have full power in respect of the following:

[A] to transact all the business of the League except such matters as are herein reserved to the Annual General Meeting

[B] to fill vacancies in respect of any office that may occur between Annual General Meetings, and to co-opt for special experience such additional member/s as they may deem appropriate,

[C] to appoint Sub-Committees for such purposes as they deem desirable.

[D] to call before them any Club whose Players, Members or Officers conduct they consider to be detrimental to the best interests of the BH&DBL. Should the Club, Players, Members or Officers refuse to appear before the Management Committee or if the cause for complaint is considered by the Management Committee to warrant such action, then the Management Committee shall have the right to expel or suspend the Club from Membership of BH&DBL.

[E] to follow the Bowls England Safeguarding Policy as laid down on their website.


The Annual General Meeting shall be held in October or as the Management Committee may decide, to receive the Annual Report and Financial Statement of the league to date. At least fourteen (14) day’s notice shall be sent to Member Club Secretaries and Delegates where nominated, together with copies of the Annual Report and financial statement where available, reports shall be supplied at the AGM. The Officers and one Delegate from each Club shall have the power to vote at all Annual General Meetings. In the event of a tied vote the President or in his absence the Chairman shall have the deciding vote. Notices of motions may be submitted by the Management Committee or any Member Club, to reach the Hon. Secretary by the 30th September of each year. A quorum for any meeting shall be deemed to exist when a majority of the Member Clubs are represented.


A Special General Meeting may be called at any time by the Management Committee or within fourteen [14] days on receipt of a request in writing to the Hon. Secretary signed by not less than four [4] Member Clubs specifying the purpose of the meeting. This shall be the only business of the meeting. A quorum for any meeting shall be deemed to exist when a majority of the Member Clubs are represented.


A] The League shall consist of one or more Divisions as the Annual General Meeting may decide. Each club shall play the remaining clubs in its division, home and away, teams comprising of three fours, each to play twenty-one ends. Four points will be awarded for a win and two points for a tie, with two further points awarded for each winning four and one point for a tie. In the event that two or more teams have the same number of points at the conclusion of the League Season, then the winner shall be decided by the following criteria in sequence:

     a] the number of matches won

     b] the number of winning rinks

    c] shot difference

    d] shots scored

In the event that the above criteria still results in a dead heat a “play off” match between the teams will be held on a neutral green.

B] When the League consists of two or more divisions the Club/Team in the higher division(s) finishing in the bottom position will be relegated to the next lower Division, and the Club/Team in the lower division(s) finishing the season in top position, will be promoted to the next higher division, at the discretion of the Management Committee.

Any tie in points shall evoke the same criteria as defined in Rule 8A.

C] All Club/Teams entering or re-entering the League shall only be permitted to do so at the

lowest division. The bottom team of the lowest division must apply for re-election in writing [as per Rule 3]. This along with any other applications for entering teams will be voted on at the next Annual General Meeting as [per Rule 3] and any adjustment necessary regarding the number of Clubs/Teams in each division shall be made between existing Clubs/Teams. The committee may decide that no re-election by vote is required where the number of teams to make up a full league has not been reached. The bottom club will therefore continue as a league member if required by the parent club.


A] All matches will be played under Bowls England Regulations. All bowls must bear the World Bowls (WB) 1985 stamp or later, where possible. Which must be legible.

B] All fixtures will be issued by the Hon. Competition Secretary to the league clubs delegates before the Spring Executive Meeting prior to the new season. All matches shall be scheduled for Tuesday evenings starting at 6.00 p.m. or earlier by mutual agreement of both partaking teams, allowing for the statutory 30 minutes subject to rule 9C. A player arriving after the 30 minutes statutory start time cannot take part in the game.

Only one trial end shall be played.

When preparing the fixture schedule the League may take into consideration the dates of any independently organised Bowls Tournament. No such consideration will however be afforded to a Club organised Bowls Tournament. After the fixture schedules have been issued matches can, subject to mutual agreement of the two Captains, be re-arranged before the 30th April, to be played at any time during the season but not later than fourteen [14] days of the scheduled date. The new date must be advised to the Hon. Competition Secretary in writing. Once agreed the match cannot then be changed except due to extreme weather conditions. No matches, except in the case of Rules 9[C] “green unfit for play” and [D] in relation to a terminated match on the last day of the season, shall be played after the final date of the scheduled league programme for their Division. The fixture list includes a ‘free’ Tuesday after the penultimate and before the final game of the season, on which postponed games shall be played. Failure to complete a match within the scheduled time scale will result in no points being awarded.

C] In the event of the home team’s green being reserved for a game of higher priority [e.g. County Matches or County Competitions] those matches, must be played within fourteen [14] days of the original date, but if necessary on a neutral ground, the HOME TEAM being responsible for any green fees incurred.

D] The Home Team Captain shall inform the opposition Captain that he considers the green and surrounds are unfit for play, at least 2hrs before the scheduled start time.

A green can be declared unfit to play if there is standing water at the scheduled start time or becomes saturated and/or slippery during the game. If the Home Team Captain considers the ground conditions are or have become a Health and Safety concern, he alone can decide to abandon the game (consideration must be given to the safety of bowlers).

If a green becomes unplayable during a game and the number of ends completed is equal to or greater than 66% of what has been agreed before the start of each game, then a result shall be declared (If a game is 18 ends, 12 or more ends constitutes a completed game. If a game is 21 ends, 14 or more ends constitutes a completed game).

E] Where a match is not played, the Hon. Competition Secretary shall be informed by email that same evening, the new date to be conveyed to the Hon. Competition Secretary as soon as agreed by both teams. If any match is terminated by the Home Team Captain due to very adverse weather conditions, that match shall be resumed within fourteen [14] days and the Hon. Competitions Secretary notified in accordance with rule 9D.  

F] If a team cannot field a team due to the number of players available, or fail to appear within the statutory thirty minutes, then the offending team will be deducted 4 points, and their opponents will be awarded 6 points.

G] Where a team is short of a player the following rule will apply:

  1] Any team turning up with only three players for a rink will play their opponents team of four.

  2] Method of play:

           a] Leads from each team to bowl in the usual manner

           b] The number 2 from the team with 4 bowlers will then bowl his woods consecutively

           c] The 3’s and skips from both teams will then complete the end in the normal way.

  3] It will be a case of 6 woods against 8; there will therefore be no deduction of shots from the team of 3.

H] In the case of inclement weather or a late start the respective Captains shall, before the start of play, agree whether to play eighteen or twenty-one ends.


Notwithstanding a Club is playing ‘away’ the names and scores shall be entered in the ‘left’ columns. Penalty for entering names and scores incorrectly; 2 points per game.   On completion of a match the results of each rink shall be entered onto the rear of the Captain’s card in the section provided. The scores should be totalled, and points earned entered. Both Captains must agree these figures and sign the score sheet. Any alteration to the scores must be initialled by both Captains.

If a card is unsigned then 2 points will be deducted from the offending team. It will be from this score sheet that the final scores will be registered.

The result of all matches shall be emailed by both teams to the Hon. Competition Secretary by 23:00 hours on the day of the match, where possible. The Result Card can be scanned and e-mailed.

Scorecards shall be posted to the Hon. Competition Secretary to ensue legibility. Cards not received within 96 hours of the match being played will incur a 3-point penalty.

In the case of re-arranged matches, the same time frame for notification of results is to apply.

The correct postage for timely delivery is the responsibility of the relevant team Captain. Team Captains shall be responsible for their Teams signed legible scorecards. If a players name is unreadable then 1 point will be deducted from that team’s points. 


A] Every club playing under the jurisdiction of the Brighton, Hove and District League must register its players with the League's Competition Secretary by 30th April annually. In the case of a player joining a club after this date his name, together with the date on which he joined and details of any previous club, must be submitted to the Competition Secretary by email at least 24 hours before a match in which he is selected to play. Confirmation of his registration will then be issued in writing to the Club by the Competition Secretary.

All bowlers playing in either League or Bill Hawkins cup matches must be “bone fide” members of the one club for which they are registered to play. 

B] In league matches any player who in the same season plays four times in the same division shall not be eligible to play in any lower division. Where a club has more than one team in the same division, once a player has played twice for one team, he is not eligible to play in the other. Any player who in the same season plays four times for a club shall not be eligible to play for any other club in a lower division that season. Any breach of this rule will result in that team being deducted 3 points.

C] Where a player has played for one team in a week he shall not be allowed to play in another team in the same week/seven-day period.

D] Playing an unregistered player shall deem the score on the rink the unregistered played to be void. The none offending club shall be awarded the 2 points. The 4 points for the overall score shall be decided on the aggregate score of the two other rinks.


Greys below the waist, whites or club shirts above the waist. Any breach of this rule will result in that team being deducted 3 points, no matter how many players flout this Rule.


a] Entering the names / scores on Scorecards in the wrong columns – deduct 2 points

b] Failure to sign score results card - deduct 2 points

c] Unreadable name on scorecard - deduct 1 point per name

d] Score Cards, Late delivery - deduct 3 points

e] Non-attendance of game - refer to rule 9E

f] Dress Code – deduct 3 points, per team.


Alterations or additions to the foregoing rules shall be made only at the Annual General

Meeting or at a Special General Meeting called for that purpose, after fourteen [14] days notice has been sent to the Hon. Secretary


All Affiliated Clubs will accept and abide by Bowls England Regulation 9.

The Competition Secretary will inform offending Clubs of any penalties imposed including any points or scores deducted within 7 days of the match being played. He shall copy his decision to the League Management Committee.

Clubs may submit an Appeal to any such decision in writing to the Hon. League Secretary within fourteen [14] days of the post mark or notification.

All Appeals will be reviewed by the League Management Committee at the next Management Committee meeting.


Any matter arising in the interpretation of the foregoing Rules or which is not covered by them shall be dealt with by the Management Committee whose decision shall be final.



Every Club playing in the League can have the same number of Teams entered for the Bill Hawkins Cup competition as it has playing in the league, whatever Division they may be in. Each team shall be represented by eight [8] players who may be substituted in different rounds. [Subject to rule 2[b] below except in the Final, one FOUR shall play at HOME and one FOUR on their opponents green. Each game shall consist of 21 ends, but an extra end must be played on the Challenger’s green. In the event of a tie the shots scored on the extra end shall be considered.


a] Only registered players may be played subject to registration League rule 11A.

b] Having once played in a TEAM a player is not eligible to play for any other TEAM that season.

c] Bowlers shall have played at least two league games prior to playing in a Bill Hawkins knockout game.


All games shall be played under Bowls England and Brighton, Hove & District League rules and shall be under the management of the Management Committee of the Brighton, Hove & District Bowling League.

4.  DRAW.

a)  The first drawn TEAM shall be termed “THE CHALLENGER” and the second TEAM drawn shall be termed “THE OPPONENTS”

b) THE CHALLENGER shall offer their OPPONENTS 3 dates, one of which shall be a weekend day. Midweek games shall start at 6pm, Weekend games shall start at either 10am or 2pm. If neither team can agree a date to play before the final date set of the round then BOTH TEAMS WILL BE ELIMINATED. NO EXTENSION OF DATES will be allowed unless the game cannot be completed due to the climate conditions whereon they must re-arrange the game within three [3] days of the fixed date.

c)  The Competition Secretary will notify all winners of their opponents for the next round.

5.  FINAL.

The Final shall be played on the 2nd Sunday in September the venue to be decided by the Management Committee when the finalists are known. The dress code for the Final only shall be white trousers / white shorts and club shirts.


The winners and losers of each round shall email the result to the Competition Secretary within 24 HOURS of the Match being played. Both Captains shall send all signed scorecards to the Hon. Match Secretary within 3 days.

Failure to comply shall enable the Management Committee the right to reverse a result.


 The winner to receive the “BILL HAWKINS CUP” and the runners-up to receive the “MARY CRADDOCK CUP”, to be held until 31st August of the following year.