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  • GGGAZETTE is a bimonthly newsletter about lawn bowls. You can Read Previous Editions and Join the Mailing List
    Articles of Interest from gggazette
    Skins Tournaments - Six different games, all called skins
    Draw your Club Champs - fabulous free spreadsheets
    Bowling Arms -Do they offer too much help?
    Singles Tournaments - bowlers like this profitable 1 day singles
    Fours - Playing the positions What the authors of the three great old bowls books said (gggazette 10-11-12-13)

    Bowlers - improve your draw bowling by 20% for less than the cost of a cup of coffee.
    Robert (Bob) Tuck, the originator of getagameofbowls, has recently written a book called Lawn Bowls: The Game & How To Play It Well. You can find out more about the book from this link or read part of the chapter on getting your weight here
    You can buy the printed book for $24 posted or as an ebook for less than $5 on all platforms.

    Pennant & Tournament Ideas
    This page is mainly for those involved in the running of club tournaments and weekly social games. The ideas have come from a variety of sources and are available freely for any club to use

    I welcome additional ideas. If you know of a type of tournament not shown here please send me the information and I will put it on this page

    Getagameofbowls now provides download links for a variety of brilliant spreadsheets written by Geoff Graham from Bateau Bay Bowling club. This link takes you to his page. Geoff, like me, provides his service free of charge to assist clubs in the game he loves

    Bob Tuck email phone 0434898913

    Making Your Tournaments and Social Days More Interesting
    TRY ** Playing More Short Games
    TRY ** Using Powerplays
    TRY ** Using Sets Play and Finals Draw and Scorecards from Geoff Grahamhere
    TRY ** Using Different Scoring Methods - introducing the TIGER SKINS scoring system
    TRY ** Having a Singles Tournament

    Organizing Your Club Championships
    USE ** Geoff Graham's spread sheets do the draw, print noticeboard sheets, and even enter results

    Some Different Types of Tournaments & Social Days
    For many of these tournaments Geoff Graham will have a speadsheet which will help you do the draw and collate the results
    RUN ** Mix and Mingle - have fun meeting people includes Bob's word file downloads for scorecard s for betwen 8 and 64 players
    RUN ** One day Singles - the gold medal tournament. Includes downloads of draws for 27 to 60 players, word merge files to print cards and results spreadsheets
    RUN ** Skins Tournaments - there are six different games with this name - all are fun to play
    RUN ** A club Handicap Fours Competition- a great club building day
    RUN ** Green on Green St Patrick's Day - a very funny day
    RUN ** Melbourne Cup Day 'Club Cup'- fills the time between lunch and race
    RUN ** Medley fours and pairs- Serve lunch in two sessions
    RUN ** Medley triples and pairs- Serve lunch in three sessions
    RUN ** Indoor 24 bowlers on 2 mats- Wet-go indoors and play up to 24 on two mats
    RUN ** Scroungers- Play as an individual and score in a different way

    Organizing Pennant Competitions
    SEE ** Matched Fixture Grids - to use in IMG Console
    SEE **Allotting Seeding Numbers - to avoid green capacity problems
    GET ** Downloads for Fixture templates for use in setting up pennants in IMG sportsdesq
    GET ** Downloads for Training for IMG sportsdesq results entry, entering player names and competition setup

    Play More Games
  • Around Australia the most common game of bowls is three bowl triples. In many clubs they play this every week. A draw is made and the whole day then consists of 20 or more ends against the same opponent. If your team goes down a lot of shots early in the day then interest in the day declines.
  • In many other clubs there are two games of perhaps 11 ends with prizes for the overall winner and for the best single game winner. This keeps up the interest and is good for a regular social game. However for an occasional day you can spice it up by playing more games. A good tournament for three bowl triples can have four games of 5 ends.
  • When you have more games the speed of the day is determined by the slowest finishing rink, so you must have no dead ends,jack placed. If you play four or more games in an afternoon tournament your afternoon tea break will get all games back on time

    The draw for a multi end tournament is easy to do.
  • Divide the total number of teams by the number of games you are playing and them into groups. For example in a five game comp with 30 teams you would have 5 groups of 6 , with 26 teams you have would have 4 of 5 and 1 of 6

  • Then when group A plays group C this means each member of group a plays a member of group B. If A plays A this means that each member of group A plays another member of group A.
  • Three game (1) AvB CvC (2) AvC BvB (3) BvC AvA
  • Four Game (1) AvB CvD (2) AvD BvC (3) Avc BvD (4) AvA BvB CvC DvD
  • Five Game (more complicated)
    (1) AvB CvD EvE (2)AvE BvC DvD (3) AvC Dv E BvB (4) AvD BvE CvC (5) BvD CvE AvA
  • Six Game First five rounds is a six team round robin followed by group playing internally in the last game.

  • You have to watch these matters
  • The draw is done by allocating rinks to each team. Alter the orders of the rinks allotted to each group so that patterns of the draw do not develop For example if after the first game if group A plays on rinksteams 12346 and group E plays on rinks 11,12,13,14,15,16, the next time you put in those rinks use 561234 and 14,15,16,11,12,13
  • Where groups have different numbers of teams you have to take care when drawing the odd teams that a double up does not occur. This is not difficult as you do not have to check very many games

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    Powerplays are Powerful
    In the English Premier League bowls shown on Foxtel their game consists of two powerplay sets of five ends of singles.

    The powerplay works like this
  • Each player/team can nominate one end of each game or set as his/her/their powerplay end.
  • On this end the nominators score is doubled while any score by the other player remains the same
  • The powerplay can be declared at any time from the completion of the previous end until the first bowl is delivered. (ie can be after the jack is played)
  • In a short game the powerplay usually keeps both teams in the game right to the last end

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    Use Sets Play and Finals
  • We see sets play on television, but most bowlers have never had an opportunity to play this exciting form of the game. Sets play has the disadvantage for a multi-game one day event in that the whole tournament can not wait for a couple of games to complete their tiebreakers. It is certainly good in a two or three game event with finals
  • Draw and Scorecards for sets play from Geoff Graham here

  • Play Finals
  • A one day tournament can have a final at the end of the day. For example you could run a one day fours competition with six games of five ends followed by a final of two sets of five ends plus tiebeaker. You would play two games, then morning teas, two games then lunch and two games after lunch. All would come in and the finalists would be announced and other prizes given. The final would then be played. This would encourage other players to stay around to watch the final increasing bar takings!! Suggestions for making a draw for a multigame tournament are below

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    Use Different Scoring Systems

    Most tournaments are scored using some variation of one of these two systems
  • Games won plus shots up where the winner of the day is the side which has won all games (or the most games) and has the most total shots up
  • Points for games won and for ends won where a team is given perhaps 20 points for a winning game plus one point for each end won and sometimes an extra point for any end scotring 4 or more

  • Both of these systems have the same major flaw. Half of all teams will lose interest in the day after the first game because a team which loses its first game has very little chance of winning the tournament.

    In 2013 I took part in the Tiger Bowls tournaments in Hongkong where they use this innovativescoring system which kept the interest of all 72 teams to the end of the two day fours tournament

  • On the first day we played six games of eight ends (of fours)
  • In each game after 3 ends two points were allocated to the team scoring mosts shots (or one each for a draw)
  • This was repeated for ends 4 to 6 and for ends 7 and 8
  • The team winning overall was given an additional two points

  • Hence for each game the teams shared 8 points, so that the maximum score for the day was 48.

  • The scores for the first day were totalled, with ties being separated by shot difference and then percentage.
  • On the second day the top 36 teams played for the Tiger Cup and the remaining teams played for the Tiger Plate - again playing 6 games of 8 ends with the same scoring system.
  • The top four in each then played eight end semifinals and finals at a central venue (under lights -it was a long day).

  • This TIGER SKINS scoring system would work well for any one day club tournament playing 3 or more games
    Here is a scorecard for a tournament in which you play four games of eight ends - suitable for a full day of fours, three bowl triples or 2-2-2-2 pairs, a long half day of two bowl triples or three bowl pairs or a full day with semifinals and final. It could be used for a two day tournament as in the Hongkong Tiger Bowls tournament
    tiger skins card MS word document
    Unfortunately editing this card to alter the number of ends or games may be a somewhat frustrating task!


    Offer a Singles Tournament

  • Singles are not popular with clubs. When the state association gives you singles you usually get about 16 players who do not provide any revenue and you have to find markers for 24 games
  • Most players get few opportunities to play singles. In most clubs they can enter no more than two singles per year and so many only get two games and few get more than four.
  • In a one day singles tournament the participants get to play six games and mark three. You can have three times as many players as you have rinks. The organisation of a one day singles is set out below


  • Mix and Mingle

    The Concept - the afternoon consists of four games of 7 ends of two bowl triples or 3 bowl pairs. In each game you play with and against a different team
  • This is a good 'getting to know you' afternoon. It began when a small group playing winter Saturdays wanted to do something different. We tried this style and they liked it so much that we played it every week from then on. After the game the players would to sit around as one group and those with good scores would 'claim' the prizes
  • If you have the draw sheets it is one of the easiest of all tournaments to organise. You do not need names in advance you take their money and keeep a count of how many have paid. At the starting time you decide which set of cards is needed and give them out. Everyone who turns up can get a game without causing you any problems.
  • WRINKLES As the organizer I play the full afternoon if the number of players is even. If it is odd I find someone who is happy to share with me and we play two games each - this avoids a pair having to play a triple. At the interval between games no rink can start a new game until everyone has finished the previous game
  • During the day each player will play with or against most of the other players
  • Because the draw allows for any number between 12 and 48 anyone who arrives can play.

  • The Draw
  • We provide four draws (download links below) -three rinks for 12 to 18 players, four rinks for between 16 and 24, and six rinks for between 24 and 36 players and eight rinks for between 32 and 48. If you have more than 48 players you could use two sets of cards and put them different greens
  • There can be up to four games during the day
  • When playing re-number the rinks you are using as 1 to 3,4,6 or 8.
  • To run the day you can write the cards from the draw list which shows for example 'card 12 4A 3B 3B 1B'. This means that for the first game player 12 goes to rink 4 and plays in team A
  • To make it even easier for you I have included downloads for sets of cards for 12-18 players, 16-24 players, 24-36 players and 32-48 players. I print sets for each of these and only start to distribute them when I know which set best fits the number who have arrived

  • The Game
  • With twelve players you play three bowl pairs on 3 rinks. As the numbers increase some games change to two bowl triples. When the expected numbers are over 16 you use four rink and cater for up to 24 players, then 6 rinks if you have 24-36 . Where the expected number is over 32 go to 8 rinks with up to 48 players. If you expect over 48 you use two sets of cards, which would lead to some rink numbering problems
  • As the organiser of the tournament I only play if an odd number of players arrives - hence avoiding any situation where a pair plays a triple
  • At the start of each game the players meet on the rink and decide who wil play each position in the pairs or triple. Since the total number of players is even, if five players arrive at one rink, there must be 5 on another rink, so one player moves to another rink to make one rink of pairs and one of triples
  • Some time is wasted at changeover because the slowest game sets the pace - it is best to go in for a cuppa after two games

  • Scoring
  • All players keep their own cards and at the end of the day there are individual winners
  • At end of the game each player works out the number of points scored and writes it on the card.
  • Each game is scored as 10 points for a win, 5 points for a draw and one point for each end won. If you want to introduce your own system you can edit the cards as you wish
  • The players keep their cards and the organiser counts down from the maximum possible score to determine the winner.

  • Download Files
    Mix and mingle card for merging
    Data for mixnmingle-3 rink
    Data for mixnmingle-4 rink
    Data for mixnmingle-6 rink
    Data for mixnmingle-8 rink
    Set of cards for mix and mingle for 8-12 players (2 rink)
    Set of cards for mix and mingle for 12-18 players (3 rink)
    Set of cards for mix and mingle for 16-24 players (4 rink)
    Set of cards for mix and mingle for 24-36 players (6 rink)
    Set of cards for mix and mingle for 32-48 players (8 rink)
    Each of these card sets prints in a different colour. The best way to do it is to get some A4 200 GSM card which most bubbblejet printers wil accept (about $12 for 100 sheet package) The cards print with 3 per sheet

    If you expect more than 48 players prepare two sets of cards of different colours and use rink numbers twice.


    One Day Singles

    The Concept - in a full day tournament each bowler plays six games of six ends of singles and marks three games.

    The History
  • Many players at my club have said to me that they wish to play more singles. In this conversation I always asked them if they would be happy to mark in a singles tournament and they always said they would.
  • I experimented with a variety of draws and in 2008 tried playing a four game afternoon singles comp internal to my club. This afternoon included set play semifinals and finals.
  • The players liked it but the timing did not work. Someone arrived late and one first game finished late, which went out to two second games and before we knew it we were a whole hour behind schedule. In March 2015 we decided to have a half day event again in October 2015 and advertised it in on 27th March. On 29th March later I had a call from a player who had been in the original tournament wanted to enter again - he said it was the best half day he had ever played (I thought it was a bit messy!)
  • I then made changes to marker allocation and organised a full day, advertised it and got a field of 54, but was frustrated by hitting the only really wet day for months. Finally on October 18th 2009 we ran a very successful one day open singles which remarkably was won by 14 year old Nathan Pederson, the youngest player in the field - who is now an SA state player
  • What follows is the method we used

  • Structure
  • We had six qualifying games of six ends in nine time slots
  • Quarterfinals and semifinals were of eight ends and the final was two sets of five ends with a three end tiebreaker - might be better to just play four finalists
  • All games and sets included a powerplay (In every set each player can choose an end for the powerplay. In that end the score for the end is doubled for that player. The powerplay must be declared before the jack is rolled).
  • You can have 3 players for every available rink. We had 36 players and used 12 rinks.
  • Scoring was 10 for a win, five for a draw and 1 for each end won. Because we had six games and only 36 Players, three players who lost two games made the quarterfinals. Even if you have 20 rinks it is very likely that all those who lose only one game will make the quarterfinals
  • We picked the top 6 players as 'seeds' and placed them in the same group (the draw had six groups of six players). This means that every player in the tournament met only one of these seeded players in the qualifying games. The winner was not seeded. It is probably better not to do this unless you have a good knowledge of the ability of all entrants
  • Cards were printed for every player using word merging - these cards had space for 6 games of 6 ends and showed nine timeslots with the rink played on or the marking requirements at each time
  • Scores were placed in a spreadsheet which was kept up to date by having those marking hand in their cards and all hand in cards at the lunch break

  • Timing
  • We allowed 35 minute per six end game.
  • A bell was rung exactly 30 minutes after the starting time for each game and no new end could be started after the bell. No dead ends were allowed - jack was re-spotted
  • The week before the tournament had been wet and the greens were running only about 13 seconds. Most games were finished in 25 minutes and with the 35 minute allowance no one missed an end
  • I believe that the 35 minute timing would be quite OK for greens up to 17 seconds. If your greens are likely to be 18 seconds a lot of games will only be of five ends
  • Our game starting times were 9.30, 10.05, 10.40,11.15,11.50, Lunch 12.25-1.00, 1.00, 1.35, 2.10 and 2.45 The quarter finals started at 3.30, the semifinals at 4.15 and the final at 5.00
  • An important factor in timing was that we only allocated a rink for markers for the first game, and after that the marker reported to a green and found players waiting for a marker. This meant that players could normally get on with their game as soon as both were ready, and one delayed finish did not cause three late starts in the next game. Also no matter what time a game started no end could begin after the bell.

  • Feedback
  • The feedback from participants was positive. They liked the whole day and did not find it too long. The powerplays were very popular as was the format of the finals.
  • Most said they would jump at the chance to play in another such tournament
  • One of our veteran coaches who was in the surprisingly large crowd who watched the finals, said that he was thrilled to see bowls being played so well and with so much enthusiasm and enjoyment

  • Download Files
  • Spreadsheet XXX with draws/data for one day singles days with from 27 up to 60 players (9 to 20 rinks)
    one day drawsXXX

  • Results spreadsheet for one day singles
    one day results

  • One Day singles scorecard (word merging file)s
    one day scorecard

  • Word document - data to mergergfe with (word merging file)s. Replace this data for the number of players in your tournament by copying from spreadsheetXXX for
    one day draw data file

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    A Skins Tournament
    In a skins tournament after qualifying the top two teams play a skins competition to determine how much of the prizemoney each team receives.Four example if the prize money for 1st and 2nd totals 600 and they play 5 skins ends, $120 is allocated to each end. On the first end a team which scores 2 or more wins the $120. Otherwise it jackpost to the next end. On the last end the winner of the end gets the current jackpot.

    Here are the instructions for a very successful skins fours half day held at Brighton Bowling Club. In this tournament the top eight teams played off for prizemoney and the others for eight $2.50 bar vouchers

  • The draw was made by assigning a random number to every team, then sorting by the random numbers and then allocating rinks
  • Each team plays their first two games on the same green and their third and fourth games on other green.
  • Players may practice between 11.45 and 12.20, but not on the green assigned for their first game
  • We suggest that teams take a break for drinks or coffee after the first two games.
  • Scores must be reported at the end of the second game. At the end of the fourth game please report your score as soon as possible.
  • In the event of a rain disruption in the middle of an end the bowls should be left in place and the end completed as soon as possible
  • If a rain disruption is extended the organizer may declare that game with scores as at the end last completed
  • If rain makes completion of the skins section impossible any unallocated prize money will be shared between the two teams
  • While the organizers have ensured that an even number of teams have entered the tournament, if a team does not appear then the tournament will proceed with an odd number of teams. The teams drawn to play the absent team will receive a forfeit and 9 points for that game. They may practice on the allocated rink if they wish to do so

  • Four games of 5 ends
  • Scoring 5 points per win, 3 points per draw, 1 point per end won. After each game the second should write the score (out of 10) on the card and get the opposing skip to sign it
  • Since your second and fourth games are on the same green as your first and third, these games can start from the bank where the first and third finished
  • In the event of a tie in the total points after four games, shots up then least shots against, then last ends won
  • No dead ends � jack is replaced on the half rink mark on the 6 foot line on the side it goes out

  • All teams play off for prizes. If two teams score equal points the team with the higher number of shots up will be ranked higher
  • The higher ranked side has the choice whether to take the mat or not on the first end
  • Teams ranked 1 to 8 play 5 ends, others play four ends. Equal prize money per end
  • On first four (three) ends the prize is won by a team scoring two or more. If the team winning the end scores 1 the prize jackpots to the next end
  • On the last end the prize is won by the winning team
  • In skins competition dead ends will be re-played

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    Club Handicap Fours Competition

    A handicap fours afternoon is a good method of to bring your club together at the end of a pennant season.

    This is how we ran such a tournament at my club.
  • We called the day the Past Presidents Handicap Fours and asked our past presidents to make contributions towards some small prizes
  • On the last week of pennants we asked the side managers to tell players about the tournament. Players were asked to play in their pennant rinks and if there were absentees they were to try to fill a team from within the side.
  • The afternoon consisted of three games of seven ends and each team was given a handicap which was to be their starting score in each game
  • The handicaps we used were
  • 0 - top open side
  • 1 - second side, top ladies side
  • 2 - third side, second ladies side
  • 3 - fourth side, third ladies side
  • 4 - fifth and six sides, 4th ladies side, teams from night owls (bare foot bowls, get on the green)

  • 70% of the pennant players at the club took part in this competition. A team from our fourth side won the day and a team from the top side came second

    See our section below on draws for multiple game competitions to help with the draw


    Green On Green Day
    This very funny day could be used on any occasion, but as the name implies, we used it for St Patrick's day.

    Advertise it as a special day telling prospective players
  • there will be a competition for the best green costume
  • some different and interesting things will happen (but don't tell them what you plan)

  • Play three bowl triples with two games of eleven ends and play 4 special ends in each game

  • End three - long bowls removed - Any bowl which passes jack high is removed and placed on the bank (this includes bowls knocked past jack high jack by other bowls)

  • End six - short bowls removed - Any bowl finishing short of jack high is removed and placed on the bank. If the jack moves, bowls then short remain on the green. If the jack goes into the ditch it is replaced on the central spot.

  • End nine - reverse order of play - The jack is not delivered. The skippers play their bowls, then the seconds. The leads then deliver the jack and play their bowls.
    Order of play
    ____Skips______3a,3b,3a,3b,3a,3b skips go to head

  • End 11 - powerplay end - The number of shots scored on this end is doubled

    Give the first prize to the team with the lowest score


  • Melbourne Cup Day 'club cup'
  • On that day we played a short morning game because our members who play social bowl every Tuesday still wanted a game.
  • When the arrived we asked them if they wanted to participate in a draw bowling competition with entry fee $2. We called the competition the 'Brighton Cup'
  • During the morning one of the club coached rated the players who had entered, putting a price on them from $1 to $4
  • These prices were put on a sheet of paper and during lunch all present were asked if they would like to buy a 'horse' in the Brighton Cup
  • We used our the target bowling competition described in the school coaching section - each bowler in the first round bowling two bowls at the target mats and taking any bowl finishing on the mat to a second round. In the second round the places were determined by closeness to the centre of the mat
  • Prizes were paid to the placegetting horses and owners. it was good fun!

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    Medley - Fours and Pairs
  • This is the big tournament to play if full greens of fours results in too many people for your dining area or kitchen.
  • The day starts and finishes with games of fours - ten or twelve ends depending on the length of the day you wish for
  • After the first game two members of each team go in for lunch, the others play a game of pairs. Six or eight ends of three bowl pairs. five ends of 2222 pairs or 6 ends of 2-4-2
  • The players change places and the other two eat lunch
  • Scoring is fairest if the points for each pairs is half that for the fours - for example 20 points for a win and 1 for each end won for the two fours games, and 10 points for a win and 1 points for each end won for the pairs games

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    Medley - Triples and Pairs
  • This is an interesting variation of the medley to make a popular triples full day tournament with full greens
  • The day starts and finishes with games of triples - 14 or 16 ends of 2 bowl or 10 or 12 ends of 2 bowl ends depending on the length of the day you wish for
  • After the first game you play 90 minutes of 3 bowl pairs while one member of each team at a time goes in for lunch
  • Thank you to Lilydale Bowling Club (Vic) for this idea

  • INDOOR - two mats with up to 24 players
    A wet day and you are forced inside. There are more than 16 players who would l;ike to play on the indoor mats, but you only have space for two. This is the plan for a game which can last for 90 minutes to two hours
  • Pick six teams, 3 or four player in each
  • Play a round robin with the six teams
  • You play up to seven rounds as set out below
  • Each game is of three or four ends
  • In indoor bowls a dead end caused by a players gives a penalty equal to the player’s position – eg 3 shots if it is on the third’s bowl. The normal rule is that the end is re-played. In this game apply the penalty and re-spot the jack on the tee and play on
  • Each side can keep their card going up to 15 or 20 ends , or you can use a five round card
  • You could well finish after round 6 when everyone has played four games

  • The draw
  • Round 1 -- 1v3--- 2v4 --- bye 5,6
  • Round 2 - 3v5 --- 4v6--- bye 1,2
  • Round 3 - 1v6 --- 2v5--- bye 3,4
  • Round 4 - 1v4 --- 2v3 --- bye 5,6
  • Round 5 - 3v6 --- 4v5--- bye 1,2
  • Round 6 - 1v5 --- 2v6--- bye 3,4
  • Round 7 - 1v2 --- 3v4--- bye 5,6
  • Round 8 -- 5v7

  • With the indoor game being more intimate and with short relaxation periods you can have a lot of fun with this format you. It could even be used outdoor!

    Rules may vary from club to club
  • Dress mufti.
  • Prize money to be determined on day depending on number of players
  • Each player will play with three bowls only with a maximum of four players per rink.
  • The player drawing the lead position on the first end on each rink will keep the score card for the entire game, other players to measure and declare the results.
  • On the first end the player drawing the lead position delivers the jack a minimum length of 21 meters and to be played to where the jack is rolled. Should the jack be delivered out of bounds or in the ditch a penalty of two shots shall be deducted from the offending player.
  • On the second and subsequent ends the player with the highest score on the previous end will lead followed by the player with the next highest score and so on.
  • Game will be 18 ends max or the bell as decided by the controlling body.
  • On each end scoring will be:1st shot-four points 2nd shot--three points 3rd shot-two points 4th shot-one point
  • No driving is permitted. If a player knocks the jack into the ditch the end will be declared dead and five points deducted from the offending player, the end will count.
  • A bowl knocked into the ditch or out of bounds will incur a penalty of two points by the offending player.
  • A bowl in course rolling into the ditch or finishing out of bounds will incur a penalty of two shots. This player remaining bowls are included in the final count.
  • Players are not permitted to inspect the head; a penalty of five points will be deducted from the offending player.
  • The winner shall be player with the highest overall score.
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    Using Fixture Templates

    The IMG computer system works best if you use a Fixture Template to generate your fixtures. These can be drawn up so that careful allocation of numbers to sides will ensure that club wishes regarding home and away games can be completely satisfied.

    Ideally the pennant fixture templates are worked out so that across all draws
  • If side 1 is home, side 2 is away
  • If side 3 is home, side 4 is away
  • If side 5 is home, side 6 is away
  • If side 7 is home, side 8 is away
  • If side 9 is home, side 10 is away
  • In this document a template which includes this and provides a good home and away structure is called a prime template - hence prime10, prime 8, prime6.

    In South Australia for metropolitan pennants we try to have ten team sections as being the normal, and we set up 8 or 12 team draws only where numbers make then necessary. This is because the 8 and 12 team draws which match the standard ten team draw give some unusual orders of games. It is mathematically impossible to get a perfect match.

    For season 2013/14 I set up IMG fixtures for nine country associations and became aware that in most cases the number of teams in sections was rarely ten. Eight was the most common with lots of sixes.

    As I like solving mathematical puzzles I have set up
  • a prime8 team draw with 6 and 10 team draws that fit quite well called six_fit_8prime and ten_fit_8prime
  • a prime 6 team draw with 8 and 10 team draws which fit well called eight_fit6prime and ten_fit_6prime

  • These draws are available as downloads below.

    When you come to make your draws for this year you will have 10 fixture grids available for you
  • If you have only one division on any day use the prime6, prime8 or prime10 fixture template
  • Where you have more than one division use the prime6, prime8 or prime10 fixture template top division and have other divisions with the same number of teams if possible, or use the other size matching draws which fit your top division draw.
  • If you can see no problems with overloading greens or home match allocation use only the prime draws

  • The non prime draws will offer a few unusual instances
  • In a six or eight side draw two sides may play each other home and away on consecutive weeks but play their third game in the other half of the draw.
  • Home and away games between two sides may both happen in the same half of the draw
  • Towards the end of the draws there will be a few cases where the 12 34 56 pairing has had to be altered to achieve optimum fixtures. There is no need to worry about this until all of the fixtures on that day have been generated by IMG. In the unlikely event that this has caused a venue to be overloaded when you check the fixture grid you will find a game unallocated and you can swap venues for it

  • Country associations using their own web sites will need to download the fixture grid templates to be used and install them in the IMG console . This process will be included in the training


    Allotting Seeding Numbers to Sides to Avoid Green Capacity Problems

  • The allotting of numbers is called SEEDING in the IMG system.
  • You must do this before entering your competition in sportsdesq

  • Before starting this procedure it is sensible to create a spreadsheet with division names in the columns and club names in rows. You can download a sample of this spreadsheet here.
    side numbering spreadsheet

    The spreadsheet includes formulae which enable you to check the process of numbering during the process> It can be used for practice. You can alter it for your own use by adding or deleting rows and columns

    The process of allotting numbers is a manual process (pencils and erasors) which is made much easier by following these guidelines. The following method is used by the BowlsSA match and program committee to allocate draw numbers for 500 sides in 50 divisions in three competitions, but the method used are applicable for competitions of any size.

    1. Sort club team nomination sheets into this order for the competition you are working on. (All divisions in a a competition are played on the same day)

  • Special requests (eg side A must play home whenever side B plays home and then side C is away)
  • All home or all away
  • Then sort remainder in order of increasing number of sides

  • 2. Allot numbers for clubs with special requests (if the request applies to only two sides leave the remainder to fill later)

    3. Allot numbers for clubs who want all teams home together, in which case every team entered by a club needs to be given the same number. If too many clubs ask for special consideration or all home and awayit marks it harder to get the numbers to fit

    4. Working from the club with the least number of sides to the club with the most sides, allot paired numbers to sides from remaining clubs (who will all get half home and half away)

  • IF A CLUB HAS AN ODD NUMBER OF SIDES DO NOT ALLOT THE LAST NUMBER FOR THE CLUB AT THIS STAGE (this could be for any side entered by the club)
  • It may take between 1 minute and 24 hours to complete this stage for the biggest club but a flawless solution can be found.. For competitions with less than 5 sections on a day it should not take very long.
  • The reason for doing the biggest clubs last is that they offer considerable degrees of freedom. Many solutions may be available, but it may take time to find them. Do not take a shortcut by just accepting any even with any odd
  • For clubs with four or more sides use the worksheet below and solve the problem for the club before entering it in your fixtures spreadsheet

  • TOP

    Please note that I can not guarantee that the templates other than the prime 10 set are free from errors. I have used three prime 10 templates at bowlsSA for many years and they work well. I decided that other prime templates would be useful to the bowling community and developed them as a mathematical exercise. I did use spread sheets to check them carefully, but I have had no opportunity to use them in a practical situation. Please let me know if you use them and find any errors or if you can suggest any improvements. Please email me at

    Prime Ten Side Templates
    Download the prime ten side template template prime10.xls

    12 side draw linking with prime10 template Download Template 12side_link_prime10.xls

    8 side draw linking with prime10 template Download Template 8side_link_prime10.xls
    This draw will not be popular with some people. As it is an 8 team draw in an 18 round competition, each side plays 4 opponents 3 times and the other 3 twice. In a number of cases sides play each other home and away on consecutive weeks but play their third game in the other half of the draw.

    6 side draw linking with prime10 template Download Template 6side_link_prime10.xls
    This draw will be even less popular. As it is an 6 team draw in an 18 round competition, each side plays 3 opponents 4 times and the other 2 three times and all have equal numbers of home and away matches.
    In a number of cases sides play each other home and away on consecutive weeks but play their third game in the other half of the draw. There are also 4 rounds (6,11,12,14) where the 1home2away 3home4away 5home6away protocol does not work

    If you have no concerns about home games and venue overfilling you would be better to use the 6 side prime draw

    Prime Eight Side Templates
    Download the prime eight side template template prime8.xls

    6 side draw linking with prime8 template Download Template_6_side_link prime8.xls
    To allow teams to play each other the same number of times the 12 34 56 home away condition is matched only partially in rounds 14,15,18,19,20,21. After generating fixtures in IMG you should check the fixture grid and adjust venues if needed. The draw has been extended to 21 rounds to match 3 rounds of an 8 team draw and should be OK in terms of number of times sides play each other used to 17 or more rounds. You would need to do an adjustment of the later rounds if you only used it for 14 or less rounds

    10 side draw linking with prime8 template (19-21 rounds)Download Template_10_side_link prime8.xls
    This template allows that the prime 8 side competition wil play three full rounds (21 games)

    10 side draw linking with prime8 template (up to 18 rounds)Download Template_10_side_link prime8_18round.xls

    This template presumes that the competition will play a full season of 18 rounds, in which case the 10 side section will all play one home and away game. Because getting the home and away right takes precedence there are two cases where clubs play their home and away matches on consecutive weeks, and there are three places where the home and away linkage has had to be broken - so check the fixture grid to see if any greens have been overloaded . This would be OK for a season length from 14 to 18 games

    12 side draw linking with prime8 template Download Template_12_side_link prime8.xls
    This file has been extended to 21 rounds to match three full rounds of the prime 8 side draw. If you use more than 18 rounds be aware that no attempt has been made to preserve home ground matching in rounds 19-21. You will need to use the IMG fixture grid to sort these out. In rounds 15 to 18 one game in each round may cause similar problems.

    Prime Six Side Templates
    Download the prime six side template Prime six side template Template prime6.xls

    8 side draw linking with prime6 template Download Template 8 side_link_prime6.xls

    10 side draw linking with prime6 template Download Template 10 side_link_prime6.xls
    In this template all sides play each other home and away in an 18 round draw. However in rounds 15 to 18 many of the 1-2 3-4 5-6 7-8 9-10 matchings were not achieved. After you have used the template to generate your fixtures you will need to look at the fixture grid to make sure there are no over full venues. If you need to extend it to 20 rounds to match a six side comp let me know and I will help you with the extra two rounds

    Prime Twelve Side Template
    After completing the draws above I remembered that some country associations have one 12 side competition in which they may have more than one side from some clubs competing and hence might need a matched 12 side draw to manage green allocation. To complete the set I developed the twelve side prime draw. I do not think developing smaller draws to match this one is worth doing at this stage because it is unlikely they would ever be needed

    I you need such templates please email me and I will work on them to complete the set

    Prime twelve side template Download Template prime12.xls


    Training for Results Entry
    Powerpoint Entering results Powerpoint
    PDF Entering results PDF
    Editable check list results checklist

    Training for Entering Player Names
    Powerpoint Entering Player Names Powerpoint
    PDF Entering Player Names PDF
    Editable check list name entry checklist

    Training for Setting Up Competitions
    Powerpoint Setting Up Competitions Powerpoint
    PDF Setting Up Competitions PDF
    Editable check list competition set up checklist

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