Rules Governing League Championships

1 (a) The League shall consist of not more than five divisions. The competition shall be played on a home and away basis with each team playing each other twice in accordance with the fixture list. The General Purposes Committee shall determine the number of teams to play in each division.

1(b) A system of promotion and relegation will operate through all five divisions.
The bottom two teams, in Division 1 shall be relegated to Division 2;
The bottom two teams in Division 2 shall be relegated to Division 3;
The bottom two teams in Division 3 shall be relegated to Division 4;
The bottom two teams in Division 4 shall be relegated to Division 5.

The top two teams in Division 2 shall be promoted to Division 1;
The top two teams in Division 3 shall be promoted to Division 2;
The top two teams in Division 4 shall be promoted to Division 3
The top two teams in Division 5 shall be promoted to Division 4.

Through promotion or relegation, more than one team from a club may play in the same division.

To maintain the integrity of the League Championships structure as outlined in rule 1(a) the Honorary League Secretary, with the approval of the General Purposes Committee, may adjust the number of teams to be promoted or relegated. Clubs will be made aware of any possible change as early in the season as possible.

1(c) There shall be, in addition, a separate Division consisting of 3 rinks of 4 players, to allow the opportunity of competitive bowls for members of clubs who are experiencing difficulty in fielding 16 players on a team on Saturdays.

The succeeding rules regarding promotion and relegation shall not be effective in this division.

1(d) The team with the highest number of points at the top of each division on completion of the League programme shall be declared winners. The team with the second highest number of points shall be declared runners-up.
Seven points shall be awarded in each game. Three points will be awarded to the winning team and one point for each winning four on either team. In a drawn game one and a half points will be awarded to each team plus one point for each winning four on either team. When fours finish level each four shall be awarded 0.5 of a point.

2. (a) In the event of two or more teams being equal on points at the top of a division on completion of the League programme the team with the best aggregate of shots shall be declared the winner. The team with the second best aggregate of shots shall be declared runners-up.

In the event of two or more teams being equal on points at the bottom of a division on completion of the League programme, the team with the best aggregate of shots shall be placed above the other teams. Other teams shall be similarly placed.
The aggregate shots of any team shall be determined by subtracting the total number of shots scored against a team from the total number of shots scored by the team over the course of the League programme.

(b) In the event of two or more teams finishing equal on points and aggregate of shots at the top of any division the shots for shall be divided by the shots against. The team(s) with the higher figure will finish in the higher position(s). In the event of two or more teams finishing equal on points and aggregate of shots at the bottom of any division the shots for shall be divided by the shots against. The team(s) with the lower figure will finish in the lower position(s).

3. Team designations.

(a) Where a Club has 2 or more teams playing in the League Championships the teams shall be designated the “A” “B” “C” team etc. based on the highest to lowest division respectively in which they are playing

(b)Where a Club has 2 or more teams playing in the League Championships in the same division, the club shall designate their teams as “A” “B” “C” team etc

4. Registration of panel of players.

(a) Prior to the first league match, clubs which are required to do so, must submit to the Honorary League Secretary their panel or panels of players.

A panel shall consist of a minimum of 8 players. Those players who in the previous or current season have played at Senior International, Junior International or Senior Inter-Association level must be included on the “A” panel. Any new caps at Senior International, Junior International or Senior Inter-Association level within the same season must be added to the “A” panel once those respective teams are selected.

A club which fails to register the minimum number of players shall have seven points deducted from their accumulated total in respect of each match played until the full quota of players is submitted to the Honorary League Secretary.

(b) A Club with one only team in the League Championships is not required to submit a panel of players.

(c) A Club with two teams in the League Championships must submit to the Honorary League Secretary a panel of a minimum of 8 players who will only be eligible to play for the club’s “A” team in the League Championships.

(d) A Club with three teams in the League Championships must submit to the Honorary League Secretary two panels with a minimum of 8 players on each. The players on the “A” panel will only be eligible to play for the club’s “A” team in the League Championships. The players on the “B” panel will be eligible to play for the club’s “A” and “B” teams in the League Championships

(e) A Club with four teams in the League Championships must submit to the Honorary League Secretary three panels with a minimum of 8 players on each. The players on the “A” panel will only be eligible to play for the club’s “A team in the League Championships. The players on the “B” panel will be eligible to play for the club’s “A” and “B” teams in the League Championships. The players on the “C” panel will be eligible to play for the club’s “A”, “B” and “C” teams in the League Championships

(f) A substitution system will allow clubs to change 2 players on the minimum 8 player panel in the same playing season – amendments will require the approval of the Honorary League Secretary.

(g) The panel for each club will be posted on the Northern Ireland Private Greens Bowling League website

(h) Players who are not included on any panel are eligible to play on any of their club’s teams in League Championship matches.

5. League Championship matches shall consist of 4 fours and 21 ends shall be played; except in Divisions 4 and 5 where 18 ends shall be played.  Teams may mutually arrange prior to the commencement of a match to limit the number of ends to be played. Not less than 15 ends shall be played.

Teams may play no trial ends, 1 trial end or 2 trial ends. An agreement to do otherwise e.g. to play for 1 shot on the first two ends may result in both clubs being subject to sanctions.

6. When it is proved that a club played an ineligible player, including a player on a named panel (“starred” player), the club shall forfeit the match and the points shall be awarded to their opponents.

POSTPONEMENT OF MATCHES

(7) Irish Bowling Association Cup Matches and National Championships.

When a Saturday fixture is postponed because a team is playing an Irish Bowling Association cup match or because the green of the home team is being used for an Irish Bowling Association cup match, the fixture must be played on or before the following Tuesday.

If a Club has a player in the finals of the Irish Bowling Association National Championships the fixture due to be played on that Saturday must be played on or before the following Tuesday.

EXCEPTIONS

If on the Tuesday a Club has a player engaged in the semi-final of the Northern Ireland Private Greens Bowling League Championships the match may be postponed but must be played within 28 working days.

8(a) Senior and Junior Inter-Association Matches

A fixture may be postponed when a team has one or more players involved in an Inter-Association match, either as a player or official.  In this case an official is deemed to be one of the following: Northern Ireland Private Greens Bowling League President, Northern Ireland Private Greens Bowling League Honorary General Secretary, Northern Ireland Private Greens Bowling League Treasurer, Northern Ireland Private Greens Bowling League selector, Irish Bowling Association Honorary Secretary, Irish Bowling Association Honorary Assistant Secretary, Irish Team Manager, Irish Assistant Team Manager or an officially appointed umpire.

(b) Senior and Junior BIBC International Series / BIBC Championships

A fixture may be postponed when a team has one or more players involved in the British Isles Bowls Council International Series or British Isles Bowls Council Championships, either as a player or official.  In this case an official is deemed to be one of the following: Irish Bowling Association President, Irish Bowling Association Vice-President, Irish Bowling Association Treasurer, Irish Bowling Association Honorary Secretary, Irish Bowling Association Honorary Assistant Secretary, Irish Team Manager, Irish Assistant Team Manager, Irish Bowling Association selector or an officially appointed umpire.

(c) A fixture may be postponed where a team has one or more players taking part in a competition as an official representative of the Irish Bowling Association.

An official who has retired from playing cannot be used to postpone a game under this rule.

The club desiring the postponement must contact the Honorary League Secretary and the opposing club, giving at least 48 hours notice. The game must be played on the following Tuesday. The home club must confirm these arrangements with their opponents. This date now becomes the original date.

 

(9) Other Situations

A fixture may be postponed when the green of the home club is unplayable or for any other valid reason. Inability to field the strongest possible team (e.g. by reason of players’ holiday commitments) will not however be regarded as a valid reason for postponement.

Any fixture postponed in accordance with the foregoing must be played within twenty eight working days from the date of the original fixture.

The home team shall offer two dates (not consecutive and which do not coincide with a fixture, involving either club, arranged by the Northern Ireland Private Greens Bowling League) to the opposing team, one of which must be accepted.

The Honorary League Secretary must be informed in writing (letter or email will be acceptable, text message is not) of the date agreed by both clubs concerned not later than 10 working days after the original fixture date. Failure to contact the Honorary League Secretary by either team within this period will result in forfeit of the fixture and the award of 7 points to the opposition. In the event that neither team contacts the Honorary League Secretary then the match shall be declared void. Should the home club not offer dates within 10 working days, the visiting team is still required to contact the Honorary League Secretary to advise him of the situation or it too will forfeit the fixture and no points will be awarded to either team

The foregoing shall not apply to a match which has been postponed, cancelled or abandoned during the month of June. In such circumstances the match shall be played during the month of August unless both teams agree to play it earlier. The date on which the match is to be played must be agreed by both teams not later than the last Monday in July.
The Honorary League Secretary must be advised of a postponed, cancelled or abandoned match within seven days. The date on which the match is to be played must be advised to the Honorary League Secretary within seven days of agreement having been reached.

 

SCRATCHING A FIXTURE

10. In the event of a team scratching a fixture:

(a) 48 hours notice must be given to the opposing team, either to the Honorary Secretary or Honorary Match Secretary, and to the Honorary League Secretary before the date on which the fixture was scheduled to be played.

If the visiting team is scratching a fixture and 48 hours notice is not given, the visiting team will be liable for 50% of any catering costs incurred by the home team.

(b) The team scratching the fixture shall have seven points deducted from its’ accumulated league points and seven points shall be awarded to their opponents.

If the match scratched occurs in August or September a further three points shall be deducted from the team’s accumulated league points for the following league season.

Where a team scratches more than three matches in a single season the General Purposes Committee will have the power to declare all the results of all matches already played by that team null and void. Outstanding matches still to be played by that team will also be declared null and void. That team may only re-enter the League Championships if and when the Club can satisfy the General Purposes Committee that the team can fulfill matches in accordance with the published list of League fixtures.

11. Protests and appeals must be received in writing by the Honorary General Secretary within 7 working days of the cause of the protest, except in the case of an ineligible player when the protest may be made at any time during the League season.

12. Each Club shall keep a record of all matches played, including the names of the players participating in the matches, also the scores. Within five working days of the date on which a match had been played, each Club shall forward to the Honorary League Secretary the names of the players and also the result of the match.

13. The League Championships must be finished by the third Saturday in September of each year. League Championship matches shall not be arranged for the date of the finals of the Northern Ireland Private Greens Bowling League Championships

14. When the winners and runners-up have been declared, the League shall hand to representatives of the Clubs the respective Cups presented for competition, subject to such conditions as the General Purposes Committee may determine.

The winners shall receive 18 badges. Additional badges, not exceeding 6, may be purchased for competitors from the Honorary Treasurer

15. The General Purposes Committee shall have the power to interpret the Rules Governing League Championships and to deal with any matters not specifically provided for therein. It shall deal with any dispute which may arise as to the meaning or interpretation of these rules.

Any party to dispute may appeal a decision of the General Purposes Committee to the Management Committee