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Cheltenham Whaddon Bowls Club

SHORT MAT BOWLS RULES

Layout of a Short Mat bowls rink Layout of a Short Mat bowls rink

GENERAL SHORT MAT BOWLS RULES

Short mat bowls is based on the outdoor version of the game, so most of the rules are the same or adaptations of the rules of the outdoor game. The following describes the major differences and should be helpful to new (and old!) players of the game.

  1. The pre-marked mat is 6 feet wide and between 40 and 45 feet long. A white wooden block is placed on the line across the centre of the mat. At each end of the mat is a wooden fender which defines the limits of the ditch area and provides some protection to the players (and the hall!) from heavily bowled woods. At the beginning of each end a rubber delivery foot mat is placed in the pre-marked central position at the end of the mat that an end is to be played from and the jack is placed on the centre jack line at the opposite end of the mat.
  2. The team who bowls first in an end decides where on the centre jack line at the head end the jack is placed (from a ‘short’ jack at the front of the line to a ‘long’ jack furthest from the bowlers).
  3. When delivering a bowl, a player must have one foot entirely within, or above, the bounds of the delivery foot mat. The other foot must be within and not touching the side delivery lines. If either condition is not met, then a foot fault occurs and the bowl is removed from the playing area.
  4. Any bowl which touches the centre block is considered dead. The block must be replaced and the bowl is removed from the playing area.
  5. Any bowl which fails to cross the far dead line is considered dead and must be removed from the playing area. To cross the line, the bowl must be wholly past the back edge of the line and not touching or overhanging it.
  6. Any bowl which crosses the ditch line without first touching the jack is considered dead and is immediately removed. In this case the bowl will have crossed the line, if any part of the bowl is touching or overhanging the front edge of the ditch line.
  7. Any bowl leaving the side of the mat is dead.
  8. If the jack is driven off the mat the end is declared dead. In the CWBC leagues the team causing the dead end automatically lose the end, conceding 2 shots.
  9. If a wood is played which touches the jack before coming to rest it is declared a ‘toucher’ and is marked with chalk.
  10. A toucher or the jack remains in play when it crosses the ditch line. If a toucher or the jack is completely over the ditch line, then it can only be moved by another toucher or the jack (in the case of a toucher). A toucher or the jack lying across the ditch line is still ‘live’ and can be moved by any wood. A toucher or jack, which has completely crossed the ditch line, has its position marked by chalk marks on the mat, so that it can be returned to its position, if it is illegally moved by a non-toucher wood.

 LOCAL RULES (Apply to all CWBC Internal competitions)

1.   The rules for Short Mat Bowls as laid down by ESMBA (see above) will apply to all competitions.

2.   All Full members and Social Plus members are eligible to play in Short Mat competitions.

3.   Fixtures must be played on the scheduled date as published on the Club’s web site. If a team is unable to play on that date, you must inform the organisers and the opposing team in advance. The organisers will try to find an alternative date, which is acceptable to both teams.

4.    If one member of a pair or triples team is unable to play in a scheduled fixture, a substitute may be allowed to play in their place.  The substitute must be a member of the club qualified to play in the Short Mat competitions and must not be a member of a team in the same division or league.

5.   Any team causing a dead end (jack off side of mat) in either Pairs or Triples Leagues or in Knockout competitions will automatically lose the end, conceding 2 shots.

PAIRS LEAGUES

6.   Pairs matches will normally be played over 15 ends. The duration may be reduced by the competition organiser, if one or both members of a pair are late. The reduction will be one end for every full 3 minutes, down to a minimum of 10 ends.

TRIPLES LEAGUE

7.   Triples matches will normally be played over 12 ends. The duration may be reduced by the competition organiser, if a team or team member is late. The reduction will be one end for every full 4 minutes, down to a minimum of 9 ends.

KNOCKOUT COMPETITIONS

8.   Matches in both Pairs and Singles competitions will be played over 15 ends. The winner will be the pair or player with the higher number of shots on completion. If the scores are tied after 15 ends, an extra end will be played to decide the winner.

9.   Pairs are expected to play as entered. A substitute may be allowed as in Rule 4 above for one match only in early rounds, but cannot be a player entered in the same competition, even if already eliminated. Substitutes may not compete in Semi-final or Final matches.