General Competitions Rules




1. NIBA Competitions are open to all bona fide members of affiliated Clubs, and a player can represent only one Club in the Association’s Leagues, Cups and Championships in any one year. A player playing for more than one Club will be disqualified for the remainder of the season, except by permission of the Competitions Committee.

2. Players who in the current season takes part in even one competitive match or tie in any other League or Association affiliated to the Irish Bowling Association or play for any other Club in the IBA Senior, Intermediate or Junior Challenge Cups shall not be eligible to play in competitive matches or ties under the jurisdiction of the NIBA for the remainder of the current season, except by permission of the Competitions Committee.
A female player must be a registered member of an affiliated Club and may play in all NIBA Competitions, apart from the Open Championships competition.
A female player need not necessarily be a member of the NIWBA but must not be a member of any other Association affiliated to the IWBA, apart from the NIWBA.
If a Club has a Men’s section along with a Ladies section who are affiliated to the NIWBA, they must partner each other and with no other Club affiliated to the NIBA, NIWBA, IBA or IWBA.
If a Club does not have an associated Ladies section, a partnership may be arranged with only a NIWBA Ladies Club, who do not have an associated Men’s section, by arrangement agreed between the NIBA and NIWBA.
IBA capitation fee will apply for each female player who plays in IBA Challenge Cups Competitions.

3. Any number of entries in the Singles, Youth (U18) Singles, Junior (U25) Singles, Pairs, Mixed Pairs, Triples, Fours and Senior Fours Championships competitions may be accepted from each Club, and Club Secretaries must forward the names of the entrants in each competition to the Honorary Competitions Secretary, not later than the closing date on the Entry Form.
Only fully completed entries received on Official Entry Form (paper), or website portal Entry Form (electronic), will be accepted for all competitions.
Female members are unable to enter the Open Championships competitions.
The Honorary Competitions Secretary with the Competitions Committee shall prepare, organise and carry into effect the competitions associated with the Open, Junior, and Mixed Pairs Championships programmes.
Entrants in all the Association’s Open Singles, Youth (U18) Singles, Junior (U25) Singles, Pairs, Triples, Fours and Senior Fours Championships automatically enter for and, if they qualify, can take part in the corresponding National Championships held annually by the Irish Bowling Association.
Junior and Mixed Pairs Championships competitions are not part of the National Championships.
Entrance Fees will be included in each Club’s Annual Invoice issued by Honorary Treasurer, if not already paid at time of entrance.

4. All draws shall be by ballot, the first drawn in the various rounds shall be considered as being the home team, up to and including Semi-Finals.
All Finals shall be played on green and upon dates as decided by the Competitions Secretary or League Secretary or Competitions Committee.

5. Competitors in the Association’s Championships must accept the arrangements made for the playing of the various ties unless exceptional circumstances are proved, in which the Association’s Competitions Secretary must be notified in writing at least 48 hours, Saturday and Sunday excepted, before the time fixed for commencing such tie or ties, in order that he may make further arrangements for the completion of the same.
Failure to co-operate with the Competitions Secretary in his efforts to expedite the playing of the ties may result in defaulting competitors being scratched from the Championships.
In the event of ties being delayed through inclement weather, a definite arrangement must be made between the competitors concerned for the completion of the same within three (3) days, Saturday and Sunday excepted, from the date originally fixed by the Competitions Secretary.
Players involved in Championship ties who fail to turn up without notifying their opponents will be disqualified from entering or playing in all Championship ties during the following season. It will be the responsibility of Clubs of which such players are members to ensure that no entries for the NIBA Championships are made on their behalf.

6. Rule 6 re-located to Challenge Cup Rules (AGM 2022)

7. Bowls identification discs shall be used in all competitions. Competitors may use either registered Club discs or red and blue as applied on a home and away basis, (red for the home team and blue for the away team), subject to the following:
Where the discs of the visiting team are in conflict with those of the home team, such as to cause confusion in identification of bowls by spectators, players or officials, the visitors shall be required to change to discs of another colour or to remove the offending discs completely.
For Semi-finals and Finals, the choice of discs shall be at the discretion of the League or Competitions Secretary.

8. Sides taking part in any Cup or League match, together with semi-finalists and finalists in the NIBA Championships, must wear white or Club colours shirts, or blouses (with collars), and must wear white or Club colours trousers, tailored shorts, skirts, cropped trousers, socks and if worn, a white or Club colours pullover, cardigan or belt. Jackets, headgear and raingear must be white or of Club colours.
Club colours and kit design must be approved by the General Purposes Committee.
All players in teams or sides must wear shirts/blouses/trousers/shorts of white or Club colours of same design.
This dress code applies to preliminary ties in the NIBA Championships except that trousers, tailored shorts, skirts, and cropped trousers may be grey.
Footwear conforming to Appendix A2 of the Laws of the Sport of Bowls must be worn at all times on the green.

9. Any player who plays or practices on any part of the green shall be ineligible to play in any competitive match or tie on that green later the same day, with the exception of the Semi-finals and Finals of the Associations Championships, N.I. Veterans Championships, Leagues and Cups and IWBA or NIWBA Championships, Leagues and Cup matches.

10. Time of Commencing
The time for commencing a match or tie shall be not later than 2pm on Saturday afternoons, 5:30pm on Saturday evenings and 6:30pm (or an earlier hour, the League and Competitions Secretaries to fix times, if and when necessary) on weeknights and must be adhered to within a limit of fifteen minutes, otherwise the match or tie may be claimed by the competitors ready to commence play.

11. Umpires
If considered necessary by the Association, umpires may be appointed for matches or ties.
It shall be their duty to settle disputes in accordance with Rule 3 of the Constitution and Rules that may arise between the competitors and in the case of inclement weather, to decide whether the green at the time is in good condition for play, their decision to be final.

12. Match or Tie Results
The result of each League and Cup match must be forwarded by the Secretary of the winning Club, except in the event of a drawn or postponed game, in which case the secretaries of both Clubs must return cards, as follows:
(a) League and Cup games to be received by the Honorary League Secretary within three (3) days, Saturday and Sunday excepted, of the date the match was played or was due to be played, the defaulting Club may lose the points.
(b) All Championship results must be received by the Honorary Competitions Secretary by telephone on the evening of the tie, otherwise the defaulting competitors will forfeit the tie.

13. Protests
(a) Protests in regard to League matches may be made to the Honorary League Secretary at any time during the playing season.
(b) Protests in regard to all Championship ties must be made to the Honorary Competitions Secretary within three (3) days, Saturday and Sunday excepted, from the time they said tie was or should have been played.
(c) Protests in regard to Cup matches must be made to the Honorary League Secretary within three (3) days, Saturday and Sunday excepted, from the time said match was or should have been played.
(d) All protests must be made in writing.
(e) In the event, of a party or parties involved in such protests cannot be resolved by the relevant Competitions Secretary, protest will be referred to the Competitions Committee for adjudication. and after consideration of all statements and facts presented, will deliver a determination.
Competitions Committee determination will be binding and final.

14. Postponements
Matches may be postponed under the following circumstances:
(a) When one or both teams are engaged in the IBA Senior, Intermediate or Junior Cups. In the event of either team being engaged in an IBA Cup Final the relevant Club(s) may postpone League matches for any of its teams due to be played on that day; or
(b) When the green used by the home team is being used by the Association; or Irish Bowling Association; or 
(c) When either team has three (3) or more players and/or officials engaged in an Inter-Association or International series on the date the match was to be played; or
(d) When either team has three (3) or more players and/or officials engaged in the playing of the National Championships or the Semi-finals and Finals of the Association’s Championships.
(e) Players or Officials engaged in High Performance Elite or Emerging Squad events will not qualify for a postponement.
In (c) or (d) above, an official is defined as IBA President, NIBA President, NIBA Honorary General Secretary, NIBA Honorary Treasurer, NIBA Competitions Secretary ((d) only), IBA and/or NIBA Selector ((c) only), or an officially appointed Umpire. An official who has retired from playing or who does not normally play on a Club’s team cannot be used to postpone a game under this clause.
The Club desiring the postponement will inform the Honorary League Secretary and the opposing Club, giving at least 48 hours notice. The game must be played on the following Tuesday, or such alternative Tuesday determined by the Honorary League Secretary. The Match Secretary or Honorary Secretary of the home Club must confirm these arrangements with their opponents. The date now becomes the original date and cannot be further postponed except in accordance with this rule.
(f) In the event of a League match being postponed by inclement weather, arrangements must be made to play the fixture on the following Tuesday, or such alternative Tuesday determined by the Honorary league Secretary. If this date clashes with an NIBA Championship date, and a player from either team is involved or the green of the home team is being used for Championship ties, the home club must give the opponents two dates, one of which must be accepted, and the Honorary league Secretary informed in writing. Such date must not be beyond the last Saturday for which league fixtures for the relevant Division are scheduled unless by previous permission of the Honorary League Secretary.
For Championships, Ties or Cup matches a definite arrangement between the Players/Clubs for the completion of the same must be made to allow the next round to go ahead as planned. The Honorary League/Competitions Secretary to be advised of the arrangements.
The Honorary League/Competitions Secretary in consultation with the Clubs/Players shall resolve any difficulties which are not covered already in this rule.

15. Home teams shall be responsible for the payment of match fees for all Clubs outside the jurisdiction of the home Club’s local authority.

16. Before each League and Cup game the responsible member of each Club should, after the entering of the names of their Side’s players, place the score cards face down on the table. Their counterpart should then write a rink number on each of the cards, while still face down. These cards should then be paired, according to the rink numbers, and the names of the competing players completed on each card.