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Northern Ireland Private 
Greens Bowling League

League Championship Rules

1 (a) The League shall consist of not more than four 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 four 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 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

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(s) consisting of 3 rinks of 4 players which shall be known as the Subsidiary Division(s).

  • Should the number of teams in this Division be 10 or below, teams will play each other home and away.
  • Should the number of teams in this Division be between 11 and 18, teams will play each other once
  • Should the number of teams in this Division exceed 18, the Division will be split into 10 in the top division and the remaining teams in the second division. Teams in both divisions will play their opponents home and away. The bottom two teams in the top division shall be relegated to the lower division. The top two teams in the lower division shall be promoted to the top division;

There shall be no automatic promotion from these Divisions into the Divisions 1-4 outlined in 1 (b). Should a club playing in this division(s) at the end of the season decide they have enough players to play in the main Divisions 1-4 as outlined in 1 (b), they should apply to join the bottom Division by contacting the General Purposes Committee no later than the end of October. The General Purposes Committee will review the application and confirm a decision before entry forms are circulated for the following season.

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.

  • In divisions where 4 rinks make up a team, 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.
  • In divisions where 3 rinks make up a team, six 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

(c) Where a Club has two or more teams playing in the League Championships and is unable to field the requisite number of fours on each team on a given day the following shall apply:

A team that plays in a higher Division than that of another Club team must in all instances, where the number of players allows, field 4 fours. In all cases where the team in the lower Division plays with fewer players short than the team in the higher Division, a written explanation must be received by the League Secretary within 7 days explaining the exceptional and unavoidable circumstances. If no written explanation is received, or the explanation is deemed unsatisfactory, in the opinion of the League Secretary, and more could have been done to avoid the higher Division team playing short, then the teams involved forfeit the matches and the points are awarded to their opponents.

Should the team in the higher Division forfeit the match, the team in the lower Division will automatically forfeit the match. Both teams will be penalised with the deduction of seven points from their accumulated totals. Note that there may be circumstances where a team in the higher Division postpones the match lawfully under POSTPONEMENT OF MATCHES section of the rules 7-9.

4. Registration of panel of players.

a) Prior to the first league match a club (with two or more teams competing in the League Championships) that has a designated A team competing in Division 1 must submit to the Honorary League Secretary a panel of 8 players (male and/or female) who will only be permitted to play for that club’s designated A team.

b) A club with a second team in Division 1 (designated as that club’s B team) must also submit a further panel of 8 players (male and/or female) who will only be permitted to play for that club’s designated B team. 

c) In the current season, and only when selected, all players (male or female) who compete for their respective Senior Inter-Association or International teams must be added or substituted to the relevant 8 player panel if not already included.

d) Players who are not included on any panel are eligible to play on any of their club’s teams in the League Championships with the following exceptions:

Where a club has two teams playing in the same division a player may only play for one of those teams during the course of a season.

e) An additional substitution system to 4(a and c) above will allow clubs to change 2 players in each panel in the same playing season.  No amendments to the panels will be permitted after the 31st July in each season except in case of exceptional circumstances.  Amendments will require the approval of the Honorary League Secretary.

f) The panel for each club will be posted on the Northern Ireland Private Greens Bowling League website prior to the first league match.

Penalties

g) A club which fails to register the minimum number of players shall have 7 points deducted from their accumulated total in respect of each match played until the full quota of plyers is submitted to the Honorary League Secretary.

h) Contravention of 4(c and d) above will result in the forfeit of the match and 7 points plus 50 shots awarded to the opposing team.

5. League Championship matches shall consist of 4 fours and 21 ends shall be played; except in Divisions 4 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 with a 50 shot victory. The club will also be deducted seven points from its accumulated total.

POSTPONEMENT OF MATCHES

7. Irish Bowling Association Cup Matches and National Championships.

7 (a) 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.

7 (b) 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.

7 (c) If a team has two or more players engaged as umpire in an Irish Bowling Association cup match or at the finals of the Irish Bowling Association National Championships the fixture due to be played on that Saturday may be postponed but must be played on or before the following Tuesday.

7 (d) If a Club has a team in the final of an Irish Bowling Association cup competition the Club may postpone any fixture involving a Club team. Any fixture postponed under this rule must be played on or before he following Tuesday.

EXCEPTIONS

7 (e) 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.

7 (f)  Any fixture scheduled for a Saturday may be played on the following Sunday with the agreement of both teams. The Honorary League Secretary should be informed of this agreement before the original fixture date. Failure to comply with this requirement will result in the game being declared void.

8. (a) A fixture may be postponed when a team has two or more players involved in the following sanctioned events:

  • European Bowls Union Championships
  • Commonwealth Games
  • World Bowls
  • Senior and Junior Inter-Association Series
  • British Isles events which are jointly controlled by the competing countries

For clarification High Performance Elite or Emerging Squad events do not qualify.

Involvement is not restricted to playing in these sanctioned events but also covers anyone who attends these in an official capacity e.g. Team Manager, Selector, an Officer of a governing body or officially appointed Umpire.

8 (b) 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.

8(c)  A club desiring a postponement under either 8(a) or 8(b) must contact the Honorary League Secretary and the opposing club, giving at least 48 hours notice.

Postponed matches must be played on or before the following deadlines:

Month fixture is Postponed or Abandoned        Deadline                             

April                       30th June

May                       31st July

June                      31st August

July                        31st August

August                  7 days after last scheduled league fixture

September         7 days after last scheduled league fixture

An abandoned match must be advised to the Honorary League Secretary on the day on which the event occurs and must be completed within the above timescales.

8(d) In respect of rearranging a postponed fixture or the continuation of an abandoned fixture the home team shall offer two dates (not consecutive and which do not coincide with a fixture, involving either team, arranged by the Northern Ireland Private Greens Bowling League) to the opposing team, one of which must be accepted.

Neither of the two dates offered may be a Sunday. It is however permissible to play the fixture on a Sunday if both teams are agreeable to do so.

The Honorary League Secretary must be informed in writing (letter, email or text message from the Club Secretary or Match Secretary will be acceptable) of the date agreed by both clubs concerned not later than 21 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 maximum points shall be awarded to their opponents with a 50 shot victory.  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 21 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.

SCRATCHING A FIXTURE

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

(a) The maximum points shall be awarded to their opponents with a 50 shot victory.

(b) 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.

(c) 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.

10. Protests and appeals must be received in writing by the Honorary General Secretary within two weeks of the offence taking place except where the protest or appeal  relates to the last scheduled league match when  the time limit shall be seven days. In the case of an ineligible player a protest may be made at any time during the League season.

11. 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.

12. 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

13. 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

14. 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.

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