Rules & Bye-Laws


A member club will represent the recognised Veterans Section of a club affiliated to NIPGBL or NIBA or a Union of several such clubs sharing a common playing facility to be known within VBL as ‘X Park United’.

1.1 Bowlers attain Veteran status on reaching a 60th birthday.

1.2 Member clubs will contribute to the growth of the VBL. This includes attending General Meetings.

2.1 A President, Vice-President, Honorary Secretary and Honorary Treasurer will be elected at the AGM.

2.2 In addition a Competition/ Cup Secretary and Section Secretaries as needed will be elected. The President and Vice-President will be nominated according to a club Rota, NIPGBL and NIBA WILL alternate each year.

2.3 Two Auditors will be appointed at the AGM.

2.4 Charitable Donation. The President may nominate a Charity (not to repeat within 5 years) for a VBL donation of £100.

3.1 General Purposes Committee. It will consist of the Officers and Immediate Past President. The Committee will deal with all matters affecting the welfare and promotion of VBL.

3.2 Competitions Committee. It will consist of the Honorary Secretary, Competition/Cup Secretary, and Section Secretaries. It has power to arrange League, Cup and Championship games and regulate all Competitions.

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Veterans’ Bowling League will be held on the 3rd Monday in November each year. It will alternate between NIPGBL and NIBA premises, provided that accommodation is available.

4.1 A club not represented will be fined £5, £10 next time, etc on an incremental basis. Clubs may be disciplined.

No alteration of or addition to the Rules and Bye-Laws will be made except by 2/3 majority vote of those present and eligible to vote at an AGM. Clubs are restricted to one voting member at an AGM or other Special General Meeting.

Notices of Motion must be with the Honorary Secretary by 15th October for AGM discussion.

7.1 DRESS. Regulation bowling shoes, grey trousers, and white shirt is the standard. Coloured tops and bottoms (Club Kit) approved by the NIPGBL and NIBA may be worn.

7.2 PLAYING, DATE AND STARTING TIME. All League, Cup & Championship matches will be played on or before the date stated, commencing at 1.30pm. By mutual agreement, (1) the date or time may be brought forward or, (2) in unusual circumstances may be deferred per Rule 7.7.1. and Section Secretary told. (See Rule 9.1 for infraction.)

7.2.1 The time set for commencing each match or tie (League, Championship and Cup) must be adhered to within a limit of 15 minutes, otherwise the match or tie may be claimed by the competitor(s) ready to commence play.

7.3 CUP/CHAMPIONSHIP SEMI FINALS AND FINALS and LEAGUE TIE BREAKERS. All will be played on neutral greens. The Competition/Cup Secretary determines discs.

7.4 DURATION of MATCH. Singles, Pairs and Fours matches to be played over 18 ends. Triples will be 15 ends.

7.4.1 CUP or CHAMPIONSHIP. (Other than Singles). If tied after the last end, play extra ends to a finish.

7.4.1a INCLEMENT WEATHER. League games, Club representatives may agree before the start to play 15 ends.

7.4.2 TRIALS. Two trial ends will be offered, then the League, Cup or Championship match will be played, as per rules.

7.5 SCORE CARDS. Must be completed fully, clearly, and promptly by both clubs clubs, and mailed to arrive with the Section or Competition/Cup Secretary by Saturday of a League match or within 3 days for Cups etc. See Rule 9.3 for an infraction.

7.6 POSTPONED MATCH. If a match is postponed because of weather or other exceptional circumstances (1). It must be played within 14 days of original date. (2). The home team must submit two non consecutive dates. (3). Both teams must notify the Section or Competition/Cup Secretary immediately and give particulars of the agreed rearranged date.

7.6.1 A team in default of this rule will be penalised. (Rule 9.1) Zone Section Secretaries have discretionary powers.

7.7 CONCEDED MATCH. Both teams send cards to Section Secretary. Defaulting team is penalised, Rule, (Rule 9.19.1)

7.7.1 To avoid conceding. If the opponent agrees a club lowest level team may defer a scheduled match but it must be played the same week and tell the Section Secretary. Maximum is 3 deferrals per season. The late card rule is relaxed.

7.8 GREEN FEES. The home club is responsible for the payment of Green Fees or Greenkeeper’s Fee.

7.9 PRIZES. VBL awards ten winner’s lapel badges to winning League and Cup teams. The winning clubs may purchase a maximum of 2 extra badges.

7.10. COMPETITION ENTRY AND REGISTRATION DATES. League entries must be made by AGM date. Registration, entry forms and fees for Cups and Championship must be received by end of April.

8.1 REGISTERED PLAYERS must be bona fide male members of a NIPGBL or NIBA club. Registration Forms and fees must be with the Honorary Treasurer before he is eligible for a VBL League, Cup or other Competition.

8.1.1 UNREGISTERED PLAYER. A club that plays one will be penalised. (Rule 9.2)

8.2 INELIGIBLE PLAYER. A player cannot play for a League team if he plays more than 6 League matches for a combination of higher teams that year. A club that plays an ineligible player will be penalised. (Rule 9.2)

8.2.1 A player may move from one VBL Club to another VBL Club during the designated playing season.
The transfer must be completed, and the player registered with the relevant Section Secretary no later than 31st May.
VBL Bye-Laws & Rules 8.1 also applies.

8.3 Restrictions for League, Cups and Championships.

8.3.1 Lyttle Cup. Players are tied to one team only.

8.3.2 A player that players in the E. Thornton Memorial Cup is not eligible for the Stevenson Cup and vice versa.

8.3.3 STEVENSON CUP. Players are tied to one team only and must be otherwise eligible to play League matches for it.

8.3.4 CHAMPIONSHIPS. A player is eligible for one event only (singles, pairs, triples or fours).

8.3.5 LEAGUE. When a club has 2 or more teams in same section, a player is tied to the higher one played for.

8.4 SUBSTITUTE. In the event of illness or accident to a player during the game, that player may be replaced by an eligible substitute without penalty to the player’s team. This rule will apply to any VBL League, Cup or Competition game except for singles matches. The substitute may not play as Skip.

9.1 Breach of rules. (7.2) Playing date and starting time, (7.6) Postponed Match, (7.7) Conceded Match.

9.1.a Leagues. The defaulting team earns no points, the opponent receives 10 points. The club may be disciplined.

9.1.b Cups. The defaulting team is eliminated, the opponent advances. The club may be disciplined.

9.1.c Championships. Non appearance. If a club’s representative fails to appear the opponent will advance.

9.1.c.1 If the defaulting club’s secretary fails to give at least 48 hours of a valid reason, the player(s) will be suspended for one season.

9.2 BREACH of RULES. (8.1.1) Registration of Players, and (8.2) Ineligible players. The opponent receives 10 points.

9.3 Breach of rules. (7.5) Cards returned late. (a) There will be a written notice for the first time. (b) On all subsequent instances teams will forfeit the points they earned in the game.

10 League Competitions.
10.1 A team consists of two rinks, four players to a rink. Scoring is on a points system. A match has a total of ten points. Winning rink earns four, a winning team earns two, equal scores share points.

10.2 Clubs with 2 or more League teams (4 or more rinks) players can play in all League matches subject to Rule 8. (But see Rule 8.3.5. when a club has 2 teams in the same section).

10.3 Promotion and Relegation. (2 down 2 up) applies at the discretion of the Committee, after discussion with the Club(s) involved.

10.4 Trophies will be awarded to winning League teams of all Zone Sections. Runners-Up will also be awarded medals.
Zone A Section 1, Montgomery Cup
Zone A Section 1A, Sam Boyd Memorial Cup
Zone A Section 2, Hugh Simpson Cup
Zone B Section 1, Pickie Cup
Zone B Section 1A, D Gill Trophy
Zone B Section 2, Raymond Connor Cup
Zone B Section 2A, Warnock Memorial Cup
Zone B Section 3, Fashion Sport Cup
Zone B Section 3A May Trophy
Zone B Section 4, Mourne Cup
Zone B Section 4A, Portadown Trophy

11.1 There are knockout competitions for teams of 2 rinks.

11.2 If the score is tied play extra ends to a conclusion.

11.3 Trophies will be awarded to winners of all team knockout competitions. There are lapel badges for Runners-up.

George Hatch Memorial Cup, open across all Zones.
Lyttle Cup, Restricted to Zone A. All teams may enter.
Thornton Cup, Restricted to Zone B Teams below *1 may not enter.
Stevenson Cup, Restricted to Zone B. Open only to 2nd and lower teams.

12.1 There are singles, pairs, triples, and fours competitions, which will be an open draw across all Zones.

12.2 SINGLES. If a nominated player cannot play his first match, a replacement can be nominated. The replacement is now the nominated player for the competition. Notify the Competitions/Cup Secretary before the playing date.

12.3 All other competitions. If the score is tied after regulation play, extra ends played to a conclusion.

12.3.1 One substitute may be used for a valid reason. He may not play in the skip position. The original player may return.

12.4 Trophies will be awarded to the winners of the competition. Runners-Up will be awarded medals.

Singles, Len McMurtry Rose Bowl
Pairs, E Thornton Cup
Triples, Richardson Shield
Fours, Art McCullough Cup

This is vested in the General Purposes Committee. Winners have a financial responsibility to return them sound to the Honorary Secretary prior to 31st July.