Nicholas Soames League


The Nicholas Soames League is normally played on a Monday evening to an Australian Pairs format in teams of three pairs.

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Nicholas Soames Trophy Detailed Rules (Updated February 2020)

    Rule 1 Entries
  • 1a) Each club may enter one or two teams. Any member of a club can play in a particular match and in any position but once a member has appeared for one team he or she may not appear for the other team from that club.
  • 1b) Depending on the number of entrants the competition will be played on either a league or knock out basis with each club arranging its own fixtures. The exact format will be announced once all entry forms are received. This will include a timetable of matches with deadlines.
  • 1c) Matches will normally be played on the evening of the designated Monday shown in the timetable but may be played at an earlier date if both teams agree. Matches should normally start at 6 pm ( 5.30 in August) although home clubs should make reasonable allowances for the travelling time for visiting clubs. If some players are delayed those present may start at six with the latecomers commencing play as soon as possible.
  • 1d) The only acceptable reason for a postponement beyond the deadline for the round is one caused by weather. In this circumstance the re-arranged fixture must be played within one week. Should this prove impossible due to weather the home team should inform the Organiser when the match will be played.
  • Rule 2 Playing Format
  • 2a) The matches will be played on an Australian Pairs format in teams of three pairs. Teams will bowl alternately with a toss on each rink for the mat before the first end. Two trial ends will be played or if both Captains agree trial ends can be replaced by playing one shot on the first two ends.
  • 2b) There will be 18 ends but before play begins Captains may agree to play a shortened match taking into account weather or light however all pairings must play a minimum of 12 ends. Each team must include three of each sex who can play in any combination. Any dead ends will not be replayed but the team causing the end to become dead will concede two shots to the other side.
  • 2c) Before the start of the match a draw will take place to determine which pairs play each other and a second draw will be made to select which rinks will be used by each pairing (from those made available by the home team). These draws will be made by the visiting captain.
  • 2d) On the first end in each team, player A will bowl the first two woods of his/her team. Player B will bowl all 4 of his/her woods. Finally player A will bowl his/her final two woods. On the second end the two players will reverse roles with B bowling the first two, A the next 4, and B the final two. This procedure then repeats itself for the remaining ends.
  • 2e) Those holding a County Badge are not eligible to play in this competition. Only one 'unbadged' player who has played for the County (Sussex or other) in the last three seasons may be part of a team of six players.
  • Rule 3 Points & Results
  • 3a) Points will be awarded on the basis of two points per rink over 18 ends and four points for the overall shot score. Thus a maximum of 10 points are available from each match (2 x 3 = 6 + 4 = 10).
  • 3b) In the event of a team being able, for whatever reason, to field only two pairs the match will proceed with two rinks. The 2 points on the third rink will be awarded to the other club as well as a five shot advantage. In the event of one team being able to field only one pair or failing to arrive for the match at all then all 10 points and fifteen shots will be awarded to the other team unless the other club agrees to reschedule the match within the permitted time-scale.
  • 3c) If for whatever reason the match is abandoned before all pairings have completed 12 ends it must be replayed within one week. If due to weather or another exceptional reason a match is abandoned after all pairings have completed 12 ends, and if both captains agree, then the result will stand as if the full eighteen ends had been played. All completed ends to count. 3d) In a knock out match (including the final) in the event of the points score being equal at 5 each then the match will be decided by one extra end played on the rink where normal play finished last.
  • 3e) A results sheet must be signed by a member of each of the competing clubs and returned to the organiser within three days of the match. There is no need to forward individual rink score sheets.
  • 3f) The early stages of the competition will normally be in a league format and be won by the team with the most points and if equal by the team with the greatest shot difference and if still equal the team with the highest number of shots scored.
  • 3g) The organiser will despatch details of results and regular league updates to all clubs at least twice per month. In 2020 the organiser will be Basil Larkins whose full contact details are on the invitation letter. In all other regards the normal Bowls England rules will apply. In the event of queries about these rules or any other matter the organiser’s decision will be final.
  • Rule 4 Semi-Finals and Final
  • 4a) The semi finals will be played at the same time on a green nominated before the timetable is agreed. The venue will rotate among those clubs willing to host a semi-final.
  • 4b) The final will be played at a home of the previous year's winners on a date in September to be agreed with the host club.
  • Notes

    Spirit of the Competition
  • This Competition is aimed at those less experienced or less skilled bowlers so that they can be introduced to competitive bowls in a gradual manner. .
  • Clubs are free to pick their teams as they see fit (subject to rule 2e) but each club should make every effort to include bowlers of mixed abilities and not rely entirely on the best bowlers in the club.
  • Refreshments
  • The provision of a light supper after the match by the home team is the norm, for which the home club may make a small charge. If food is not required by the visiting team it is the responsibility of their Captain to contact the home club in good time to cancel the provision of food.