GVBD Rules for Pennant – Seymour VRI Bowling Club



All matches will be played in accordance with the Laws of the Sport of Bowls (current edition), Bowls Australia Domestic Regulations and Policies and Bowls Victoria Rules for Competition.


Controlling Body –Goulburn Valley Bowls Division Match Committees




  1. Eligibility The GVBD Pennant Competition will be open only to a Side or Sides from affiliated Clubs. Each Side will comprise affiliated members of the Club concerned, subject to the Bowls Australia Domestic Regulations 2 relating to replacements and substitutes.
  2. Midweek Pennant Men can play in Midweek Pennant but in Division 1 men can only play in the position of lead or second. In other Divisions men can play in any position other than Skip.
  3. Saturday Pennant There is no restriction on selection of players, other than those referred to under Composition of Sides. All selection should be done on merit in accordance with Bowls Australia Policy and Bowls Victoria guidelines.
  4. Starting Times         Midweek – games will not start later than 10.30 am


                                          Saturday – games will not start later than 1.30 pm.                                                                            


Unless delayed due to inclement weather. It is permissible to commence play earlier if all players are present. Otherwise trial ends must be completed before the allotted starting time. Starting times can be altered at the discretion of the Match Committee.


  1. Umpire An accredited Umpire who is not a Side Manager shall be appointed by the home side. If the home side does not have an accredited Umpire and the visiting side has an Umpire, they shall be appointed Umpire of the day. Failing no accredited Umpire being available the senior side Manager shall appoint a suitable person to act as the Umpire of the day.


The Umpire of the day shall be recorded on the Team Sheet. The Umpire shall act on behalf of the GVDB Match Committee in respect to substitutes in accordance with Law 33.


  1. Timing of Greens Bowls Victoria has directed that all greens must be timed before the start of competition and recorded on the Pennant Team Sheet. Timing of greens should be carried out thirty minutes prior to the scheduled starting time by the nominated umpire in conjunction with a member of the opposing Side. Clubs are reminded that Bowls Victoria has recommended that greens for play run at between 13 and 17 seconds.
  2. Pre – Match Practice Before 12 noon on the day of a match, any player due to play in that match can with the permission of the Venue Club, practice on any rink other than the rinks on which they are scheduled to play, or any part of the rinks allocated for the match (including east – west or on the pegs if the game is to be played north – south & vice versa if the game was to be played east – west by direction of the home club).
  3. Draw for Rinks The draw for rinks and opponents will be conducted prior to the commencement of trial ends by the opposing Side Managers, or earlier by mutual agreement, who will exchange cards and shuffle them, after which the cards of one Side will be placed name downwards by one of the Managers and the other Manager will then place a card on each and the teams will play as thus drawn.


Rinks allocated for Pennant play must be consecutively numbered and where possible played on the one green (splitting up teams that are part of a Side is not permitted on the same green – i.e. allocating rinks 1, 2, 6 &7 for a pennant Side).    


  1. Mobile Phones The use of mobile phones/MP3 players/iPods and the like, Pagers and /or other similar sound device on the green is not permitted. Should a bowler have a legitimate reason (medical or emergency personal ONLY) to answer a phone, the phone must be left in their bowls bag or with a spectator on the bank. If a player is observed to be using a mobile phone or the like on the green, the umpire will warn the player and advise the Manager. If the player’s found to be using a sound device on a second occasion the umpire will immediately suspend the player from play for the remainder of the day. No replacement or substitute will be allowed to replace the player in the team.
  2. Smoking Smoking on the green is not permitted under any circumstances by participating players at any time whilst a game is in progress. If a player is observed to be smoking on the green, the umpire will warn the player and advise the Skip and Manager. If the player is found to be smoking on a second occasion the umpire will immediately suspend that player from play for the remainder of the day. No replacement or substitute will be permitted to replace the player in the team.
  3. Approved Bowling Arm


An affiliated member must gain approval to use an artificial device (bowlers arm), which can be completed by contacting Bowls Victoria. A medical certificate stating that the player concerned requires the aid to continue to participate in lawn bowls must accompany the approved form. The player will be issued with a card as a means of identifying their approval status which must be carried when playing.


  1. Absentee Player If, 30 minutes after the scheduled start time for a game, one player is absent from one or more teams in a side and no eligible substitute is available or allowed the game must continue, however;


  • A team with an absent player plays as though the second is the missing player
  • The order of play shall be maintained by the second of the complete team playing consecutive bowls
  • Each player uses the number of bowls specified for that event
  • If an absent player arrives late, they must take their original place in the team
  • If an eligible substitute or replacement player becomes available and is permitted by the controlling body, they may join the team at the completion of the end in progress.


13 Duration/Format of Play There is no time limit for completing a game that has not been disrupted by inclement weather. Each match will consist of 25 ends played by each team in a side. Midweek Pennant lunch will be at noon with play to resume at 12.30. Saturday Pennant will have a break of at least 15 minutes at a time agreed by the senior side managers.


14 Failure to Keep Appointment Failure of any player, team or side to keep an appointment to play in any Division or State events, will be deemed to be an infringement of the rules, unless suitable action has been taken to notify the Controlling Body with a satisfactory reason. A fine of $50 will be applied if appropriate action has not been taken to advise the withdrawal in advance of the event.  


15 Attire It is the responsibility of the Club President to ensure that all members of a Pennant Side are correctly attired at all times. If a club fails to comply with Bowls Victoria Regulation for Attire for a Pennant match and a formal complaint is made by the opposing club to the Match Committee, action can be taken which may result in either a fine, loss of points or forfeiture of the match.


16 Trial Ends Trial ends as in Law 5.1 will be completed prior to the appointed time for commencing play, regardless of the period of grace.


17 Scoring The order of Sides in each Division will be determined by the total points gained. Ten points will awarded for each Side win, forfeit or walkover and five points for each Side tie, no points will be awarded for a bye.


In addition to the points awarded, a Side Giving a forfeit or walkover will lose 15 shots and the Side receiving the forfeit or walkover will gain 15 shots. In the event of a walkover both Sides must complete a Pennant Team sheet showing which Side has given the walkover. For the Side receiving the walkover, the round still counts towards player eligibility. Only the lowest Side in a Club can give a walkover.


18 Results Notification The home club shall arrange for results of all matches played on its green to be entered on the prescribed team sheets and sent to the Pennant Recorder of the day immediately upon completion of the match.


Team sheets must be submitted for all games including byes, forfeits and abandoned games. Pennant games played or not will count towards a player’s eligibility to play in finals. Failing to carry out this By-Law may result in all points being disallowed for that game.


Both Managers must sign the team sheet as a true and correct record of the game.


No Alteration to a completed team sheet received by the Pennant Recorder shall be permitted unless a correction agreed to in writing by both Clubs is lodged within 14 days of the match, or such longer period as the Match Committee can allow and failing such agreement the matter will be determined by the Match Committee and/or the Umpires Committee.


Failure to notify results in the prescribed forms and time will be deemed to be an infringement within Rule 1C and a fine of $25 will apply.


19 Replacements and Substitutes Where a club has insufficient of its own members to field a complete Side, affiliated members from other Clubs may be used as substitutes to make up the number. However, in any Side only one substitute and one replacement player may be allowed in each team. Substitutes must be played in the Clubs lowest graded Side unless the vacancy occurs after one hour prior to the start of the match.


After the commencement of play in the match, a substitute can take the place of any member of the Side in accordance with Laws 32.4, 33, DR 2.3, only if such member becomes unable to continue to play in the match by reason of circumstances arising after the commencement of the match.


20 Composition of Sides


(1) A club can field one or more Sides in Pennant Competition.


(2) If more than one Side is fielded by a Club;


(a)  In Pennant Competitions comprising one or more Divisions, or


(b) In Divisions/Region Competitions/s comprising Sides from one or more Divisions, the following will apply;


(1) The second and subsequent Sides of the Club will be graded in numerical sequence as 1, 2, 3, etc. In descending order of their seniority. Where a club has two Sides in the same Division, the numerical sequence continues as if the two Sides were in two separate Divisions and the Composition and Eligibility rules are applied in the same manner.


(ii) Sides will be filled by available bowlers in descending order of seniority. If there are insufficient bowlers available to fill all the Sides entered by the Club in the Pennant Competition, the lowest numbered Side will be the Side which forfeits.


(iii) Prior to the last four rounds of sectional play, there will be no restriction on the interchange of bowlers between Sides of the Club.


(iv) for the last four rounds of sectional play, no Side will include more than three bowlers who have played the majority of their games during season in a higher numbered Side;    


(v) in any post sectional knockout match a Side will not include any player who during the current season has played less than four games for the Club in that actual competition ( the Saturday and the Midweek Pennant Competitions are separate competitions and games played in one competition do not count towards player eligibility in the other competition}.


(vi) in any post sectional match a Side will not include any player who during the current season has played more than four games in any of the higher numbered Sides unless the player has also played in four or more games in the Side concerned and/or any lower numbered Sides.


(vii) If any club is uncertain of having available sufficient bowlers under (vi) it can apply to the Match Committee for permission to play if necessary, other nominated bowlers and if permission is granted, such bowlers can play in any position other than Skip.  


21 Green Availability When a home game is not available the match must be played on the opponents green or a green available to both clubs. Any club obliged to play on a green other than on which they have been drawn to play in the first round, must play in the reverse order for the next round, or on a green available to both clubs. The Match Committee must be informed of any venue change.


22 Slow Play – Delaying play If the umpire, either by their own observations or on appeal from one of the skips decides that a player is unnecessarily delaying the delivery of the player’s bowl or a skip is acting or issuing instructions designed to delay play;


  • On the first occasion the umpire will warn the player
  • If the player commits the same offence a second time the end will be regarded as completed and the opposition of the offender will score as many shots as there are available on that end


23 Inclement Weather – Wet Weather or Excessive Heat The Match Committee shall be the authority for determining at any time prior to 2.5 hours before the appointed time of commencing play, whether or not play shall be abandoned for the day and its decision shall be conveyed by the secretary of the GVBD or any member of the Match Committee to the secretary or president of each club. If any club’s greens director closes its green before 8.00am for Midweek or 11.00am for Saturday pennant, that club should inform the relevant Match Committee chairperson.


(A) If due to inclement weather a match has not commenced within 1.5 hours of the scheduled start time, it shall be abandoned. Team sheets for the match must still be submitted.


(B) When play for the day has been commenced and stopped owing to inclement weather, it shall not be resumed if the club Greens Director or his nominated deputy declares the green unfit for play. Otherwise the Side Managers shall decide whether to resume or not. Failing agreement the decision shall rest with the umpire.


(C) If any game has been delayed or interrupted by inclement weather and is not completed or been abandoned within 5.5 hours of the appointed starting time, it shall stop. Any ends in progress at that time shall be completed, including dead ends.


(D)If the actual dry bulb temperature recorded at the venue club has reached 38 degrees Celsius for Midweek Pennant or 40 degrees Celsius for Saturday Pennant 30 minutes before the start of play, then commencement of the match will be suspended until such time as the temperature falls back below 38/40 degrees Celsius.


Following commencement of a game, Side Managers can check the thermometer and if the temperature is 38/40 degrees Celsius or above, the game in progress will be suspended until such time as the temperature falls below 38/40 degrees.


All play will be abandoned 5.5.hours after the appointed starting time as per rule (C) above. Every effort must be made to complete the ends in progress prior to leaving the green for the suspension of play. Side Managers may by mutual agreement abandon the game at any time due to the prevailing weather conditions if a resumption of play is unlikely.


(E)  If the temperature forecast the night before on WIN TV is 36 degrees for Midweek pennant or 38 degrees for Saturday pennant for our area, then the thermometer shall be placed appropriately and shall be checked prior to the start of play by both Side Managers and then at intervals not greater than 30 minutes.


(F)  Midweek Pennant; if the temperature forecast the night before on WIN TV is 39 degrees or above for Midweek Pennant, all matches will be cancelled. For Saturday Pennant, if the temperatures forecast the night before on WIN TV is 41 degrees or more for our area, all matches will be cancelled.                


(G)In the case of abandonment the following will apply;


If a sectional match is abandoned before or during play before a result is obtained, each Side will share equally the maximum points, including Team points for the match.


If a sectional match is abandoned during play and a result is possible, the points will be allotted as if the match had been completed, with the points for Team wins and shots allocated on the scores as they stand at the time of the abandonment.


(H) Unless 50% of games in a Division are completed, the Match Committee will declare all games in that Division abandoned with points being shared between the responsible competing Sides.


(I)    When playing in warm or hot conditions, players should take responsibility for their wellbeing with good hydration and suitable preparation before and during the game.


BV Championships for BV Men’s and Women’s Championships conducted by the Division/Region the local heat policy will apply. If games are interrupted by inclement weather, every effort must be made to complete the ends in progress prior to leaving the green for suspension of play. The game should be completed on the same day providing time allows and the temperature falls below 38 degrees Celsius for women’s events and 40 degrees Celsius for men’s events.


If a game is unable to be continued on the same day, it will be continued at a time and place as determined by the controlling body with the scores as they were at the time of the stoppage.


24 Death of a Player If after the commencement of any sectional pennant match the death of any bowler occurs at the club, all matches in progress at the club will be abandoned and the matches deemed a tie.


If after the commencement of any post sectional match in which the death of a participating player occurs, play will be abandoned for the day and it will be resumed under such conditions as the Match Committee decides with the scores carried forward as they were when play was abandoned.


25 Division Winners The final series will conducted as follows;


Qualifying Match – top Side plays the second Side


Elimination Match – third Side plays the fourth Side


Preliminary Final loser of qualifying match will play winner of elimination match


Final – winner of qualifying match will play winner of preliminary final.


26 Finals every effort will be made regardless of time to complete a post sectional match. If the match is abandoned for the day it will be completed under such conditions as the Match Committee decides. The Match Committee reserves the right to transfer games as required, this includes using synthetic greens. Emergencies used in finals are not required to pay green fees to the host club.


27 Tie in Finals to determine the winner in the event of a drawn game, each rink will play one extra end or ends as necessary in accordance with Law 28 until a decision is reached.


28 Promotion and Relegation before the start of the next pennant season, Sides eligible for promotion and relegation shall see the bottom Side relegated and the top Side promoted where possible. The Match Committee will decide upon the merits of the promotion and relegation.


29 Synthetic Surfaces where a club has facilities available which allows it to play games on either grass or synthetic surfaces, it would be deemed common courtesy if the Club’s opponents could be advised early in the week prior to the game if the decision is made to play the game on the synthetic surface. Please note that there is no obligation under the rules to provide this advice, it is a courtesy action only.


30 Condition of the green If a green of a Club after inspection by the Greens Committee in the normal course of its duties or following complaints received, is deemed unfit for the playing of pennant matches;


(a) The Match Committee can direct the Club to make arrangements to play their remaining matches on another Club’s green and if arrangements are not made:


(i) Order the forfeiture by such Club of all pennant matches scheduled to be played on its green


(ii) Withdraw approval to that Club for the conduct of any open tournaments for the remainder of that season


(b) The Club concerned will after notice from the Match Committee, take such steps as the Greens Committee considers necessary to bring the green to a reasonable standard and if, following such action, the Greens committee subsequently certifies that the green has become fit for competition play the Match Committee can authorise return to normal pennant play on the Clubs green and reinstate approval for any open tournaments previously scheduled for that part of the season remaining.


If a green is deemed unfit for pennant play by the green’s Committee at the time of closing of pennant entries for the following season, the Match Committee can refuse to accept entries for the pennant competition for that club


For the conduct of pennant matches, Bowls Victoria has recommended that the pace of the green should be between 13 and 17 seconds


Any Club wishing to lodge a complaint about another Club’s greens should make that complaint in writing, clearly specifying the reason for the complaint. Such complaint must be signed by the president and Secretary of that club, together with that of the Side manager of the day.


Such complaint must be made within 48 hours of the completion of the match about which the complaint concerns.




These Pennant Rules should be read in conjunction with the Pennant Guidelines.