Rule Changes Due To COVID-19




To allow Social Distancing to work for a Fours game the Mat must be positioned a minimum of 3 Metres from the Ditch. Variation to the Laws of the Sport as follows:-

  • Before the start of play in each end, the player to play first must place the centre line of the mat lengthwise along the centre line of the rink, with the mat line at least 3 metres from the rear ditch, and at least 26 metres from the front ditch.

This will mean the club will require to move the markers in the central part of the side of the rink (25m) one metre further away as the minimum length jack will remain at 23 metres.


To allow for Social Distancing any jack which leaves the rink to the right of left or over the top of the ditch banking will be re-spotted on the 3 metre ‘T’.

If the re-spot is covered then the jack will be positioned directly in front (nearer the person delivering the bowl) of the obstruction.

The following paragraph would use the World Bowls Laws of the Sport to revise our Rule for this season:

  • If a jack in motion passes completely outside the boundaries of the rink of play or rebounds to a distance of less than 20 metres from the mat line, the end must not be declared dead. Instead the jack must be placed within the nearest point of the jack to the mat line at the appropriate spot on the 3 metre ‘T’.

All other rules with regard to the Re-spot will remain as per the SIBA Rules and Regulations.


To allow for Social Distancing the game of 2 hours duration will not be 1 hour and 45 minutes. This will give time for members equipment (bowls and shoes) to be cleaned and sufficient time to leave the bowling green whether to exit the premises or to enjoy refreshments in the café. Therefore, leaving enough time before the next session bowlers arrive.


Two jacks to be provided for each match, one yellow and one white, with each team delivering their own jack throughout the match. Jacks should be ‘set’ by foot and not by ‘hand’. For each game, the players who play lead will collect the jack. The leads of each team will be responsible for the jack at all times. If the Jack leaves the rink during play only the lead that delivered the Jack can pick it up.


Only one team can set or lift the matt, to be determined at the start of the game. The mat should be marked at one end, this end will be used by the lead and the end with no mark can be used by the skip to lift the mat. (Where clubs can supply a mat per team this could be used but will still require a mark for the lead and skip to identify which end to use.)


When a bowl goes into the ditch, it should be left to be picked out by the person who delivered it.

When a bowl has touched the jack it can be marked by spray chalk ONLY.


  • Physical distancing guidance for the Scottish Government must be followed at all times.
  • No shaking of hands at beginning or end of games. Good sportsmanship should still be acknowledged verbally.
  • Scoreboards will not be used, for local games. However, will be used for SIBA, AIBA games with only one player responsible for the scoreboard and for cleaning the scoreboard at the end of play.
  • Scorecards can be compared but do not require to be handled or signed by the opposition. Only kept by one player in each team. Full names of each player should be completed on the card this will assist with the Government’s Trace, Protect, Support Strategy. All scorecards to be left in a tray at the rink office.
  • The club may opt to limit the number of players per rink based on the facility, the ease of access and the possibility of overcrowding. This may be the case where leagues are split to two sessions, using Rink 1, 3,5 and 7 and Rink 2,4,6. This being especially so for Fours game.
  • Local competitions can begin but organisers may require variations to the rules to ensure the respect of physical distance.
  • At the end of the game, each team should clean any equipment used or borrowed with the sanitising products provided.



In line with Scottish Government guidance, staff, coaches and volunteers will wear protective face coverings and should not share equipment. Where there are screens staff do not wear a face covering. Face coverings should be worn by players as they come into the building or if they are moving around areas of the club where social distancing could be difficult however when playing the sport face coverings are not required on the green or at the designated rink tables and chairs behind each rink.

If members wish to wear face coverings while playing they will not be hindered from doing so however this is not a requirement.

If any members wearing a face shield a face mask must be worn along with the face shield.


The Management Committee will agree starting date of Junior Section. When the sessions commence physical distancing measures will be in place with a maximum of four juniors and one coach allocated to each rink.


Indoor Bowlers with a disability and disability clubs should consider the following points:

  1. Consideration needs to be given for physical distancing on the rink with wheelchair bowlers potentially positioned along the side of the rink as it may not be possible to have all players behind the head and following social distancing. If this is not possible, or preferable, reducing the numbers in each team is an alternative option.
  2. Wheelchair bowlers who require a ‘pusher’ will be required to have support from a family member or approved carer until social distancing measures are relaxed.
  3. Further guidance to follow on the social distancing measures to allow B1 Visually Impaired bowlers to participate in the sport.
  4. Visually Impaired bowlers who require someone in front of them for guidance on direction of play will need to follow distancing measures unless they are a household member or approved carer.
  5. Visually impaired players can use the string with one person responsible.
  6. Further guidance to follow on the use of face coverings for Indoor Bowling with dear or hard of hearing players who rely on lip-reading and/or British Sign Language (BSL) eg transparent masks are being developed.
  7. Additional consideration required on the access and sanitising of disabled toilets as in some circumstances Indoor Bowlers with a disability may need access more frequently.


Umpires can perform their duties while being mindful of physical distancing, and with special consideration given to:

  • Preferably using only their own equipment
  • Cleaning measuring equipment before and after use
  • Gloves should be worn when collecting the scorecards at the end of the session
  • Shots should be indicated by an umpire after any measure but the umpire should not physically touch the bowls that are awarded as shots. If an umpire requires to remove a bowl to measure they should make the player aware of any bowls handed.
  • If an umpire requires assistance then one person on the rink should be nominated to assist on all occasions.

The checking of jacks or bowls on the edge of the rinks should not be done using a ‘gunsight’ unless it is the umpire’s personal equipment. A mirror with a black line down the centre or strings.

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