Rules Governing Competitions





1. This Competition shall be called The Northern Ireland Bowling Association League, though a sponsor’s name may be included in this title at the discretion of the General Purposes Committee. The Competition shall consist of four elements to be known as League Divisions 1 to 4. Divisions 1 to 3 will consist of a minimum of 10 Sides, and these will play each other on a home and away basis each season.

Division 4 shall consist of those Sides not included in Divisions 1 to 3 and fixtures shall be arranged to maintain the integrity of the Division with each Side playing a maximum of 18 matches each season. 

2. The League shall be open for competition to all affiliated Clubs subject to the conditions outlined in Rule 5 of the Constitution. A Side shall consist of four Teams of four players.

3. Each season before the commencement of the games to be played on the third Saturday of the season, all Clubs are required in writing, to furnish the Honorary League Secretary, a list of Member’s names who are entitled to play for that Club. Returned scorecards will be checked by an appointed member of the General Purposes Committee.
New players joining any Club at any stage throughout the bowling season or after the said list of
members names has been dispatched can do so provided;
(a) the name(s) of the new player(s) are written or telephoned to the Honorary League Secretary before they play a game.
(b) the appropriate capitation fee is forwarded to the Honorary Treasurer before the final League game.
Any Side found to have included an ineligible player shall forfeit three (3) points for each relevant game.

4. (a) The Competition shall be played on a League basis with:
Three (3) points for each winning Side and one point for each winning Team on either Side. In a drawn game, 1½ points will be awarded to each Side and one point for each winning Team on a Side. Where rinks finish level, each rink will be awarded ½ point.
(b) A system of promotion and relegation shall apply throughout the League. At the end of each season, the top two Sides in each of Divisions 2 and 3 shall be promoted, subject to Rule 4(c) and 4(d), to the next higher Division and the bottom two Sides in Divisions 1 and 2 shall be relegated to the next lower Division. The Honorary League Secretary, with the approval of the General Purposes Committee, may adjust this system in exceptional circumstances to maintain the integrity of the Competition.
(c) A Side may decline promotion and in such circumstances the next highest placed Side becomes eligible for promotion.
(d)(i.) A Side is not eligible for promotion to a Division in which another Side from the same Club is competing.
(ii.) If a Side is demoted as in 4(b) and a second Side from that same Club is already in the relevant Division (other than Division 4) that second Side must be relegated to the next lower Division. An additional Side from that lower Division may be promoted to fill the resultant vacancy.
(e) If two or more Sides finish with equal points, their relative positions shall be decided by shot average, the total number of shots scored divided by the total conceded. If this does not separate the Sides concerned, test matches on neutral green shall be arranged by the Honorary League Secretary, if required to decide promotion and/or relegation.
(f) The winner of Division 1 will be awarded The Taylor Cup; the winner of Division 2 will be awarded The McAteer Cup; the winner of Division 3 will be awarded The McNeice Cup and the winner of Division 4 will be awarded The Cullery. Winner and Runners-up in each Division will be awarded 16 medallions. Clubs on making written application are permitted to purchase up to an additional 9 medallions for winners and runners-up, making a maximum of 25 in each year.

5. Matches shall normally be played over 21 ends but fewer ends may be played subject to a minimum of 18 ends provided both Sides agree prior to the commencement of a match. For results purposes, all matches will be deemed to have been over 21 ends.

6. League fixtures shall be arranged not later than 31st January each year. Unless League games are brought forward by mutual agreement of the two Clubs concerned or postponed in accordance with General Competition Rule 14, they must be played on the dates, times and venues specified.

7. Each Club which has two Sides competing in the Competition must, when submitting their list of players under Rule 3, register 8 of those players who shall only be eligible to play for the Side in the higher Division. Any player who has played at Senior International or Senior Inter-Association level in the current or any of the previous two seasons must be included in the list of registered players.
During the playing season the Competitions Committee may examine the lists of registered players returned by Clubs and if they consider any player to be unacceptable shall require his Club to register another player in his place.
Clubs wishing to alter their list of registered players must notify the Honorary League Secretary in writing. Alterations to the list shall only apply when approved by the Honorary League Secretary.
When it is proved that a Side has played an ineligible player in the lower Division, such Side shall forfeit the game and the full seven points shall be awarded to their opponents, the shots scored in any such match to be disallowed except when the defaulting Side was defeated. In addition, a further three penalty points will be deducted from the defaulting Side.

8. In the event of a Side scratching a match, 48 hours notice must be given to the opposing Club Secretary and the Honorary League Secretary before the date on which the match should be played. The opponents will be awarded seven (7) points and the defaulting Side shall have three (3) penalty points deducted. If due notice is not given, the defaulting Side shall also be liable to pay 50% of any catering and/or travelling costs incurred.
If the date on which the match should have been played is after 1st August the deduction of penalty points may, at the discretion of the Competitions Committee, be applied at the start of the following season, rather than the season in which the default occurred.
Sides scratching three or more matches shall be suspended for the remainder of the season and shall be required to apply for re-admission to the League for the following season. All matches already played by the offending Side, or a Side withdrawing from the League, shall be deemed null and void.

9. Under no circumstances will matches be rearranged for playing on dates which have been declared as ‘closed dates’ in any season. Such matches, if found to have been so played shall be declared void and three (3) penalty points will be deducted from each participating Side.

10. General Competition Rules shall apply, except 3, 4 and 5.

11. The entrance fee per Side shall be agreed annually at the Annual General Meeting.