Refuse to play 3 woods when short of player (Issued on 24/10/16)

In a league game, a team is short of one player when start time arrives. According to Law of Sport of Bowls, they can start the game with first two players playing three woods each and the skip play two woods, The winning score is deducted by 25%.(Law of Sport of Bowls 39.2.2.)


The defaulting team challenged and refused first two players playing three woods. They queried if the first two players played two woods and the score would not be deducted.





Clarification from VP Technical


It is a real surprise to hear about such challenge as the rule governing “Absentee players in a team or side” has been in-placed for many years.  In fact the rule has been there for such a long time that it has become a common knowledge for all bowlers.




To recap, the arrangement for a side game when one of the players absented was clearly list in law 39.2.2:




39.2.2  If, 30 minutes after the scheduled start time for a game, or sooner if the Controlling Body decides, one player is absent from one or more teams in a side, the game must continue but:    the number of bowls played by each defaulting team must be made up by the lead and second, both playing three bowls singly and in turn; and    one fourth of the total shots scored (including decimal places) by each defaulting team must be deducted from their score after the game has finished.




This is a law that must be followed when a player is absent from a side game so is not negotiable or arguable.




Supplement from VP League




If the defaulting team refuses to play, it will be treated as “Fail to arrive”.