Last revised March 2016


1. Title

The title shall be the Blackmore Vale Short Mat Bowling League, hereinafter referred to as "the League."

2. Objective

The primary objective of the League shall be to promote competitive short mat bowling in the defined parts of Dorset and Somerset, by the organisation of league and knockout competitions. The primary competition run by the League is an inter-team competition, playing home and away, and within a number of divisions agreed by the Committee.

3. Authority

The League, together with the respective County Associations, shall interpret, as required, questions relating to the rules, laws and practices of the English Short Mat Bowling Association (E.S.M.B.A.).

4. Assets

The League is a non-profit making organisation, and its income is used only to promote its objectives, to cover its administrative costs, and to purchase equipment. In the event of its dissolution, all its assets shall be distributed amongst the League clubs.


A. Membership

Membership of the League is open to short-mat bowling clubs wishing to compete in the primary competition organised by the League and shall have their playing premises located within a 12-mile radius of Sturminster Newton, or such other distance approved at an Annual General Meeting (A.G.M.).

Clubs accepted to play in the League are hereinafter referred to as "League Clubs".

1. A League Club must be affiliated to the E.S.M.B.A., through its County Association. It must also meet the requirements specified in this constitution, and those of the E.S.M.B.A., including having its constitution and playing premises approved by the League, and possessing mats and other equipment approved by the E.S.M.B.A.

2. An application for affiliation to the League shall be made, in writing, to the League Secretary. The application must include a copy of the club's constitution and certificate of affiliation to the E.S.M.B.A.; the names, addresses and telephone numbers of the club's officials; the location of the club's playing premises; and a copy of the club's public liability insurance certificate (or evidence that it is part of a Counties S.M.B.A. insurance scheme).

3. An application for affiliation to the League shall be considered at an A.G.M. Approval shall be by a simple majority of the League Club's present and entitled to vote.

B. Blackmore Vale League

1. The primary competition is the Blackmore Vale League described in the Constitution (2. Objective) and is played by the rules at the Appendix to these Constitution & Rules.

C. League Teams

1. League Clubs must enter at least one league team in the Blackmore Vale League.

2. Any variation in name or number of League Teams entered must be notified to the Secretary by the date agreed at the A.G.M. New League Teams will enter in the lowest division. The League Committee will decide which League Teams are promoted and which League Teams are demoted for the following season.

3. A Special General meeting, at which every League Team MUST be represented, shall be held in July each year, to agree the fixture list for the coming season.

D. Players

1. A Player is defined as a League Club member who plays in the League.

2. Individual Players must be registered with the E.S.M.B.A through one club, and play for one League Team of a League Club in any season. There shall be no discrimination on the grounds of age, sex, race, disability or religion.

3. League Clubs shall be required to update their lists of Players annually, and to send them (together with the individual registration numbers) to the League Secretary before 31st August each year. Additional Players may not play in any competition until the League Secretary has been notified.

4. The League shall maintain a register of names and addresses of League Clubs and of their officers, together with a full list of registered Players for each of their League Teams.

E. Administration

1. A Management Committee shall undertake the administration of the League, hereinafter referred to as the Committee. It shall comprise a Chairman, a Secretary, a Treasurer (hereinafter referred to as the League Officers), and six other members. The whole League Committee shall be elected annually at the A.G.M. or at an Extraordinary General Meeting (E.G.M.) called for that purpose.

2. No League Club shall provide more than one of the League Committee Members. In addition a League Club may provide not more than one of the League officers. At a League Committee meeting vote, only the League Committee member’s vote will be accepted where two members are from the same Club.

3. The League Committee shall meet at least four times annually, and the agenda shall be circulated at least 10 days before the meeting. A quorum shall be five League Committee Members. Each member shall have one vote. The League Chairman shall have the casting vote if required.

4. The League Committee shall have the power to co-opt non-voting members onto the Committee for specific purposes.

5. The League Committee shall have the power to suspend, or cancel, the membership of any League Club or individual Player found to be in breach of the rules, or because of actions considered by the League Committee to be likely to bring the game into disrepute. Cases shall be considered at a meeting of the League Committee at which the Player or League Club shall have the right to be represented.

6. The League Committee shall be sole interpreter of the Constitution and Rules, and its decision on matters concerning them shall be final.

F. Annual and other General Meetings

1. The A.G.M. of the League shall be held before the 30th April each year. A quorum shall be two thirds of the League Clubs. The business shall include: -

     • reports from the League Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer

     • the audited accounts for the previous financial year

     • the election of the League Officers and other Committee members

     • the appointment of an Independent Examiner

     • fixing subscriptions and fees for the coming year

     • amendments to the Constitution and Rules

     • applications to join the League

2. League clubs must provide to the League Secretary written notice of any motion for which they seek approval, six weeks before the date of the A.G.M. agreed at the previous A.G.M. Another League club must second any proposed motion. Motions agreed by the Committee may also be submitted.

3. Nominations for the League Officer posts, and other members of the League Committee are to be received by the League Secretary six weeks before the date of the A.G.M., and must have the consent of the nominee.

4. The League Secretary shall give not less than twenty-one days written confirmation of an A,G,M. The relevant notice shall be accompanied by an agenda, a copy of the accounts, nominations to the committee and any motion(s) or proposed rule change(s) to the Constitution and Rules proposed.

5. Advance nominations and motions will be considered before nominations and motions made at the meeting.

6. E.G.M’s may be called at the request of at least one third of the League Clubs, or by the League Committee. When possible, the League Secretary shall give not less than twenty-one days written notice of an E.G.M. and shall specify the purpose(s) for which it was called. No other business shall be transacted at the meeting.

7. At an Annual (or other) General Meeting, each League Club shall have one vote, with a simple majority being sufficient for approval. The League Chairman shall have the casting vote, if required.

8. No other business shall be transacted at the Special General Meeting in July (see C. 3), although an E.G.M. may be held on the same evening provided that the appropriate notice is given.

G. Finances, fees and subscriptions

1. Assets of the League are controlled by the Constitution (4. Assets).

2. The League Committee shall recommend to the A.G.M. the amount of annual subscription for each League Team for the forthcoming year, together with any other fees that may be appropriate. The approved annual subscription is due to be paid on or before the date of the Special General meeting held in July.

3. Each League Club shall forward a copy of its public liability insurance certificate (or evidence that it is part of a County S.M.B.A. insurance scheme) and players registration details for the coming League season to the League Secretary before the start of the league season, or as soon as they are available. Insurance must cover the playing season.

4. The financial year for the League shall be from the 1st January to the 31st December. The League Treasurer shall present the examined accounts to the A.G.M.

5. All monies collected shall be passed to the League Treasurer (or a designated deputy on the Committee) for deposit in the League’s bank account. Cheques drawn on the League's account shall be signed by two of he three Officers.


1. The rules of match play in the Blackmore Vale League are:

1.1. Season’s matches to commence the second week in September and be completed no later than the Friday before the date of the Blackmore Vale Cup unless advised differently.

1.2. Matches to be played on weekday evenings (Monday - Friday) at 7.30 pm unless, due to postponement, a revised date can be obtained only during a weekend and is agreed by both clubs concerned. Changes of date must be notified to the League Fixtures Secretary.

1.3. All clubs to have third party public liability insurance.

1.4. Clubs must be registered through their County S.M.B.A. to the E.S.M.B.A. and every member playing in the League must be affiliated with the E.S.M.B.A. for that league season. Clubs are responsible for ensuring that the Blackmore Vale League Fixtures Secretary has an up to date list of all their League playing members’ E.S.M.B.A. affiliation numbers.

1.5. Teams are requested to arrive ready for a roll-up by 7.20 pm for 7.30 pm start.

1.6. A team may postpone an agreed fixture once without penalty. On a second occasion, the opposing league team can claim 6 (six) points and 10 (ten) shots for that game. Notice of a postponement must be conveyed to the other team not less than 24 hours before the scheduled start of the match, otherwise the match should be played with registered team members available, failing which the match will be awarded to the other team (Six points and Ten shots), any points and shots awarded are subject to ratification by the Committee. The new date for the postponed match must be agreed within ten days of the postponement or otherwise referred to the league secretary who shall mediate and impose a date if necessary.

1.7. If a visiting team has to cancel and the home team has to pay for the booking, then the visiting team should recompense the home team accordingly. This to be agreed amicably between the captains.

1.8. It is the responsibility of the player’s club, or clubs, to ensure that players represent only one team in the Blackmore Vale League during the course of a season.

1.9. A club having two or more teams in the same division should arrange for the first fixture against each other to be played before the end of December with the return match being played before the end of January. Any infringement of this rule shall be referred to the Committee who shall consider the circumstances and if thought fit impose a penalty which may be for the annulment of the match result.

Note:- The purpose of this rule is to avoid any perceived criticism of the result(s) which might arise if the matches were to be played towards the end of the season.

1.10.Unless otherwise stated, matches to conform to E.S.M.B.A. rules.

1.11. Home team to make measuring equipment available for the use of both teams. This should include callipers, pen measure or feeler gauges, set square and wedges.

1.12.Dress is white, or club-colour, tops with mid-grey lower. Ladies may wear mid-grey slacks.

1.13.A team consists of two triples, each player using two woods.

1.14.The two team captains to toss a coin for choice of mat and the decision stands for all four starts.

1.15.A match consists of two games of twenty ends each on its own mat. Two roll-up ends are played at the beginning, thereafter each leg on each mat is 10 ends, and the home team changing mats for the second leg. There is no roll-up for the second leg. 

Jack off the mat:  This rule applies to each of the 2 games of 20 ends on each mat.  Each occasion of jack off the mat will be recorded on the score card.  ESMBA rule C7 applies.

1.16.Home team to provide opposition number 2’s with scorecards. Home team number 2’s to keep scoreboards. Number 2’s to agree score after each end. Scorecards to remain on the same mat after 10 ends. Dead ends caused by jack-off-the-mat will be marked on the scorecard to show the team responsible.

1.17.A player about to play a forcing or firing shot must give a verbal warning to players on both mats, and to spectators, to ensure their safety. [see E.S.M.B.A. rule]

1.18.The players on the mat to finish first at half and full time should not disturb those still playing on the other mat. No refreshments (tea or coffee and biscuits) should be served at half time until both mats have finished.

1.19.Scoring:     2 points for each winning mat after 20 ends of play

                                or 1 point for each team if a mat is tied after 20 ends.

                          2 points for the higher aggregate score from both mats

                                or 1 point for each team if the final aggregate score is level.

Example: maximum score for a winning team = 2 points for each winning mat (4 points) plus 2 points for highest aggregate score, therefore maximum winning score = 6.

1.20.Losing skip to sign scorecards and home team to retain scorecards until league completion in case reference is needed.

1.21.Results to be forwarded by the HOME team representative to the League Fixtures Secretary. This may be done in one of three ways:-

     1. In the morning after the match using the result postcard provided.

     2. By forwarding the results using the website ‘’ and clicking on ‘Your Results' and completing and submitting the form there The retained result card must be held until the end of the season in case of query

     3. By emailing an image of the completed result card to the League Fixtures Secretary.

2. The Committee may vary the rules of match play of the Blackmore Vale League at any time.

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