Revised: May 2016
You can download these rules here: Carpet Bowling 2016
- These rules, as published by R.W. Hensall & Sons Ltd. of Victoria, Australia, shall be considered the official rules for the Alberta 55 plus Games and all sanctioned ALBERTA 55 PLUS events.
- Age groups
- 55 plus open: one team of 4 participants.
- 70 plus open: one team of 4 participants.
a) Bowls, jack and carpet shall be of a size, shape, and quality as supplied by R.W. Hensall & Sons or the equivalent.
b) The diagram shows the plan of the carpet with the delivery rectangles, each to which is 24 inches by 20 inches. The back portion of a delivery rectangle is called the footer, which measures 20 inches by 9 inches. To protect the carpet while bowls are being delivered, a mat that may extend behind the carpet must cover the footer at the delivery end. White lines parallel to the ends of the carpet and at a distance of 10 feet from each end are drawn across the carpet. Slippers or soft-soled shoes, without heels, should be worn.
4. A Game
A game may be arranged to last until a fixed number of points (shot points plus penalty points) has been scored by the winner, or a fixed number of ends has been played or a fixed period of time has elapsed. If an end has had at least one bowl delivered at the time limit, then the end shall be continued, but will not be replayed if that shot becomes dead or penalty points are incurred by knocking off the jack. If the total number of points is equal at the conclusion of a match of a fixed number of ends, or a fixed period of time, the match shall be a tie. If a winner is required, an extra end shall be played, and the opponents shall toss as for the beginning of a game. If, during the playing of such an extra end, the jack is knocked off the carpet, the penalty shall be scored and the game therefore ended. If the winning total, in a game of a fixed number of points, is achieved through a penalty score, the end is not replayed. Control of the carpet passes to the opposing side as soon as the preceding bowl has come to rest.
- There will be a time limit of 60 minutes per game or 8 ends, whichever comes first.
- In a fours game, each plays two bowls, the leaders play their two alternately, then similarly with the seconds, the thirds and the skips.
- In a triples, the leaders and seconds each play three bowls and the skippers two bowls.
- In a pairs game, the leader and the skipper shall each play four bowls. The leaders deliver their bowls alternately, after which the skippers do likewise.
- In a singles, each player shall use 4 bowls, and deliver their bowls alternately.
- Duties of the Players
The first opponents shall toss and the winner of the toss shall have the choice of the set of bowls to use, and shall have the option of directing the opponent to bowl the jack and the first bowl or electing to do so himself. Each succeeding end shall be started by the winner of the previous end at which a score was recorded. In deciding the winner of an end, penalty scores must not be considered. The first to play at an end that results in a tie (no score), a dead end, or a penalty end shall again play first.
The skipper shall have sole control of his players and the skippers shall be sole judges of all disputed points, except on measuring.
If they are unable to agree, the dispute shall be settled by the umpire. In the fours games, the third shall be measurer and the second shall be scorer. In a triples game, the scoring and measuring shall be done by the second. In a pairs game, the scoring shall be done by the skippers and the measuring by the leaders. While the rest of the team is bowling, the skipper is the director of the head. When the skipper is bowling, the third is the director of the head (in triples, the second; in pairs, the lead).
6. Location of Players
a) The directors of the head stand at the jack end of the carpet. All players, except the skippers, must remain at the delivery end until the skippers are due to bowl and they shall then change end to end.
b) All players, except those controlling play, shall stand beyond the end of the carpet at the delivery end or beyond the end of the carpet at the jack end if the players have changed ends. The skippers, after having changed ends, shall remain beyond the end of the carpet at the delivery end. The player controlling play for the team that has possession of the carpet may stand behind the carpet at the jack end or along either side of the carpet, provided they remain less than 15 feet from the end of the carpet at the jack end. The player controlling play for the team that does not have possession of the carpet must stand beyond the end of the carpet at the jack end.
c) If a player does not stand where the rules indicate they must stand, the referee shall issue a warning after the first offence. Should a player repeat this offence, the referee shall impose a one-point penalty each time this infraction is repeated.
7. Bowling the Jack
a) If the jack, when bowled, runs off the carpet either at the ends or the sides, or if no part of it reaches the line 20 feet from the delivery end of the carpet, it shall be sent back for the opponent to bowl it. After each leader has had one unsatisfactory throw, the jack shall be placed approximately 24 feet from the delivery end of the carpet and in the centre of the carpet. The opponent’s throwing of the jack shall not affect the order of playing of the bowls. If the jack, when bowled, comes to rest on the carpet between the line 20 feet from the delivery end and the front of the rectangle at the jack end, it shall be placed at the centre of the carpet at a point opposite that at which it came to rest. If the jack, when bowled, comes to rest on the carpet at a point further from the delivery end than the front line of the rectangle at the jack end, it shall be centered at the front of this rectangle. If, at any time, the jack is shifted by play and rebounds so that it comes to rest less than 15 feet from the delivery end of the carpet, the end shall be dead and replayed.
b) The rules that govern delivery of a bowl as to the footer and the delivery rectangle shall also apply to the delivery of the jack. If a player infringes these rules, the jack will be considered improperly delivered.
c) Jack in Course. If a jack in course is obstructed or deflected by a neutral object or neutral person or by an umpire, opponent, or member of the opposing team, it shall be re-delivered by the same player. If it is obstructed or deflected by a member of the players’ own team, it shall be re-delivered by the Lead of the opposing team.
d) Movement of Jack. If the jack is diverted from its course while in motion on the carpet as the result of play, or displaced while at rest on the carpet, by anyone of the players, the opposing skipper shall restore the jack to its former position or allow it to remain where it rests and play the end to a finish, or declare the end dead.
e) Penalties will apply for knocking the jack off the carpet. The points shall be added to the score of the opposing team and the end shall be counted as an end played. Exception: The final end should be replayed if the jack is knocked off the mat; penalties will apply. Note: In all cases, the team throwing first in the end in which penalties were incurred shall throw first in the next end.
- Delivering the Bowl
a) All bowls shall remain on the carpet/box until the player’s turn.
b) At the moment of delivery a player must have at least a part of one foot or knee on the footer, or both feet or one foot and a knee on the footer whichever is comfortable. No portion of either foot or knee may be on or over any portion of the carpet except the footer area. At the moment of releasing the bowl the player must have the hand delivering the bowl within the boundaries of the rectangle
c) The bowl need not contact the carpet before passing outside the delivery rectangle. The bowl must pass wholly over the front line of the delivery rectangle. It must not cross the side-lines of the delivery rectangle. It is permissible to deliver a bowl in such a way that the natural bias does not operate except that a bowl may not be delivered disc over disc. A bowl, which comes to rest less than 10 feet from the delivery end of the carpet, or outside the boundaries of the carpet, is dead and shall be removed.
d) If a player bowls an opponents bowl by mistake, the umpire shall issue a warning, when the bowl comes to rest, it shall be replaced by one of his own bowls. Should a player bowl an opponents bowl by mistake a second time, the umpire may have the bowl stopped and declared dead.
e) If, while delivering a bowl, a player commits a fault (foot or arm) the referee may have the bowl stopped and declared dead. If the bowl has come to rest and has not disturbed the head, the bowl shall be declared dead. If the bowl has disturbed the head, the opponent shall have the option of either resetting the head, leaving the head as altered, or declaring the end dead.
a) After all bowls have been played and come to rest, the measurers shall decide the rest. If measuring is necessary, it may be carried out by either measurer. If the opposing measurer is not satisfied, he may measure himself. If the measurers are not in agreement, they shall call the umpire whose decision shall be final. If at all possible, the umpire should base his decision on the measuring by the thirds, and should only re-measure if he was unable to oversee the original measure. One point is allowed for each bowl nearer the jack than the nearest bowl of the opponent. If the nearest opposing bowl is equidistant from the jack, the end is a tie and no score is recorded, although it shall count as an end.
b) The measurement shall be made to the nearest point of each object. No measuring shall be allowed until all the bowls in an end have come to rest. When the last bowl has come to rest, half a minute shall elapse, if either team desires, before the shots are counted.
c) If a bowl requiring to be measured is resting on another bowl, which prevents its measurement, the best available means shall be taken to secure its position, whereupon the other bowl shall be removed. The same course shall be followed where more than two bowls are involved, or where, in the course of measuring, a single bowl is in danger of falling or otherwise changing its position.
d) If a bowl is not stabilized and it changes its position on its own accord before being measured, its changed position shall apply.
e) No bowl should be removed without first receiving the consent of the opposing measurer.
f) Penalties – for taking the jack off the carpet
Leader 1 point
2nd 2 points
3rd 3 points
Skipper 4 points
Triples or Pairs
The 1st or 2nd bowls of one player 1 point
The 3rd or 4th bowls of one team 2 points
The 5th or 6th bowls of one team 3 points
The 7th or 8th bowls of one team 4 points
The 1st or 2nd bowls of one player 1 point
The 3rd bowl of one player 2 points
The 4th bowl of one player 3 points
- g) Nothing in these laws shall be deemed to make it mandatory for the last player to play his last bowl in any end, but he shall declare to his opposing Skipper his intention to refrain from playing it before the commencement of determining the result of the end and this declaration shall be irrevocable.
Skippers – the player who, for the time being, is in charge of the head on behalf of the team.
Team – either four, triples, or a pair.
Bowl in Course or Jack in Course – a bowl or jack from the moment it is released from the hand until it comes to rest.
End – the playing of the jack and all the bowls of all the opponents in the same direction.
Head – the jack and such bowls as have come to rest on the carpet and are not dead.
Displaced (as applied to a jack or bowl) – disturbed by any agency that is not sanctioned by these laws.
- Movement of Bowls
a) If a bowl, while in motion or at rest on the carpet, is interfered with or displaced by one of the players, the opposing Skipper shall have the option of:
i) Restoring the bowl as near as possible to its original position
ii) Letting it remain where it rests
iii) Declaring the bowl dead
iv) Declaring the end dead
b) If a bowl, in its original course, is interfered with by a neutral person or neutral object and it has not disturbed the head, it shall be replayed. If it has disturbed the head, the two skippers shall agree on the replacement of the head. If they are unable to agree, the end shall be declared dead.
c) If the head is disturbed by a neutral object or a neutral person, the two skippers shall agree to the replacement of the head. If they are unable to agree the end shall be declared dead.
d) If a bowl or the jack is inadvertently moved while being measured, it shall be replaced by the opposing measurer. If the movement is caused by an umpire, the umpire shall make the replacement.
- Play Irregularities
a) When a player has played before his turn, the opposing Skipper shall have the right to stop the bowl in its course and it shall be played in its proper turn, but in the event of the bowl so played having moved or displaced the jack or bowl, the opposing skipper shall have the option of allowing the end to remain as it is after the bowl so played has come to rest or having the end declared dead.
b) If the result of an end has been agreed upon, or the head has been touched in the agreed process of determining the result, then a player who forfeits or has omitted to play a bowl, shall forfeit the right to play it.
c) A player who has neglected to play a bowl in the proper sequence shall forfeit the right to play such bowl, if a bowl has been played by each team before such a mistake was discovered. If, before the mistake is noticed, a bowl has been delivered in the reversed order, and the head has not been disturbed, the opponent shall then play two successive bowls to restore the correct sequence. If the head has been disturbed, the opposing Skipper shall have the option of allowing the end to remain as it is after the bowl so played has come to rest or having the end declared dead.
d) If a bowl, delivered out of the proper sequence, drives the jack off the carpet, the end shall be declared dead and penalties shall be assessed in accordance with earlier provisions of these laws.
e) No player or spectator shall be permitted to interfere with a player in any way while a player is in the process of delivering his bowl.
f) No time-outs may be called during play, except in the case of a medical emergency.
- Suggestions for Conducting a Tournament
No team should be drawn to play on the same carpet twice. If the number of carpets available does not make this possible, then the carpets should be moved to a new location on the floor after all the options have been used on the first location. The movement of the carpets should be at least 3 feet sideways or 15 feet lengthwise.
- a) Tie Breaker Information It is recommended that a round robin tournament be utilized whenever possible.
Standings will be based on Wins/Ties/Losses (a win shall count as 2 points, a tie as 1 point and a loss as 0 points).
– If, after the round robin tournament, two teams are tied, a four end game should take place. – If, after the round robin tournament, more than two teams are tied, the following procedure should apply: a) Go to most wins in round robin. b) If more than two are still tied, go to “who beat who” in the round robin. c) If more than two are still tied, go to total points scored in round robin.
- d) If more than two teams remain tied after all of the above procedures have been utilized, the captains of each team shall throw one bowl with the bowl landing closest to the jack to be declared he winner (bowls to be cleared from the carpet after each throw). The referee shall measure and remove the bowls.
Note: If a two-way tie occurs at any stage of this procedure, a 4-end game shall be played.