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Rule changes – guidelines

Pregame procedures for this season

Pregame procedures have been amended for this season. Here are some guidelines.

Players will start arriving at the game venue, let’s say from 1 hour before the start time (start times are in Rule 5.1).

  • If the greens are open at that time, players can practice on any rink of the green they will play on until approximately 30 minutes before the start time (Rule 5.3.2 and the first part of Rule 5.3.4).
  • The draw for rinks / opponents will be started by side managers at approximately 40 minutes before the start time (Rule 6.2.1).
  • At 30 minutes before the start time, players will be notified of their rink of play by their side manager (scorecards handed out).
  • Players can continue their practice on their rink of play only (second part of Rule 5.3.4).
  • Just before the start time of the game, players should take the opportunity to prepare themselves for the game (water etc) and be ready to play at the start time.
  • At the start time, a signal (e.g., a bell) will indicate that the first end of play will begin (Rule 5.4).
  • There are no Trial ends. Play will begin immediately.

Side coaches

Rule 15.9 (Coach) has been amended to conform with Law 44. Please ensure that coaches that accompany your sides are aware of the requirements of the Rule.

15.9 Coach (refer Law 44)

Either the coach of a side, or in their absence, the coach’s delegated deputy, can give advice to a player

during play as long as:

  • The Umpire of the Day is given the name of the coach prior to the game.
  • Only one person is present at the rink to give advice at any one time
  • Advice must only be given when team is in possession of the rink
  • Advice must be given from outside the boundaries of the green
  • Interaction between coach & player must not interfere with play on the rink or other rinks.
  • If, after observation, the umpire’s opinion is that this rule has been broken, the umpire must ask the coach to follow the rule. If the Coach does not stay within the rule, the umpire must ask the MBA to take immediate action to make sure the offender stops breaking the rule.

Clarification regarding evidence of issued permits

Following feedback from clubs, we have included a new rule 3.2.3 (Permit validation)

that asks side managers to identify any players who have been issued with a game permit by the MBA Match committee to the opposition side manager and on the scorecards. A copy of the permit email should also be available.

This requirement was not intended to apply to season-long Pennant permit holders.

3.2.3 Permit validation

Where a player permit has been issued, the player concerned must carry permit documentation whenever playing under the permit authorisation.

Side managers must declare their intention to play permit players when the draw of cards for a game is made.

(PER) and the abbreviation of the name of the permit player’s Member Club (if applicable) must be recorded on the scorecards alongside the permit player’s name.

Stopping bowls (guidelines)

The recent changes to the Laws of the Sport included 2 new clauses that had severe consequences for stopping bowls. Those clauses have since been removed by World Bowls. However:

  1. Bowls that are in course (just delivered) should not be stopped, unless they are (e.g.,)
    1. Wrong bias (your team’s bowl) or
    1. Likely to interfere with your head (bowl from another rink). [You can lift bowls, but only bowls that are unlikely to have any bearing on the outcome of the end on your rink should be lifted].
  2. Bowls that are in motion (moved by another bowl or the jack) should only be stopped if they are going to interfere with bowls on another rink.
  3. Non touchers going into the ditch – ask permission to stop an opposition bowl.

Selection of Sides in the same Division

Some confusion existed at the start of last season regarding the matching of sides to their correct opponent where a club had 2 or more sides in the same Section/Division.

Club selectors are reminded that the selection of their sides must conform with the requirements of Rule 3.7 and the designation of side rankings in Rule 2.4.1 and Rule 4.5

If there are any questions regarding the above or further clarification required, please contact MBA Match & Program committee (

Steve Franks

Chair, MBA Match & Program Committee

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