Conditions of Play 2021-2022
All our members and Clubs were recently asked for input on the current WP Competitions and Championships. This request was sent to all Clubs via Circular 2021-33 and followed up with Facebook posts.
A discussion document was subsequently drawn up, with a breakdown of each WP championship and competition and an analysis of the history of entries in each of them over the last 9 years. Trends in formats played in a variety of countries and in international competitions like the World Bowls championships were included as was all input received from district members and clubs.
Any district member who expressed an interest in being involved in further discussions was sent a copy of the discussion document and was invited to attend a meeting for more in-depth discussions.
At the meeting it was agreed it is inevitable that South Africa will have to make changes to competition formats over the coming years to match international trends.
It was, however, agreed that nobody wants too many changes to competitions all at once. It was agreed to try and limit changes in a single year, but repeat this exercise on a yearly basis, perhaps starting earlier in the year, if possible.
Each competition was analysed and discussed, and some changes have been made for the coming season. These are summarised here.
In the Open Singles, the last 16 players from the previous year’s Singles competition shall be seeded.
Bowls SA has a motion at their AGM to change the Pairs format at the National Championships from 4 bowls over 15 ends to 3 bowls over 18 ends.
If this is approved and the format of Pairs at the National Championships changes, WP Bowls will follow suit for the WP Pairs.
This is more than a WP Bowls competition as the winners are entered into the Bowls SA National Mixed Pairs competition. The format of this competition is decided by Bowls SA.
The competition will be zoned for the Round Robin phase where possible. The exact zoning will be dependent on the number of entries received in each area, with the intent being to reduce travelling time and distance.
Several changes have been made to the format of the Fives competition to move towards international trends.
- There will only be one, mixed competition. A team may consist of any combination of genders.
- The Pairs will be played with three bowls over 18 ends during the Round Robin phase, and 21 ends during the playoffs.
- The Trips will be played with two bowls over 18 ends during the Round Robin phase, and 21 ends during the playoffs.
- A win for the Pairs or Trips will be worth 2 points each, with an additional point being available for the overall aggregate.
Flag and Muter
The playing format of the competitions will remain the same, but other changes are being made.
- Flag and Muter will both be structured in the same way so that they run concurrently and end at the same time.
- Premier division will have 10 teams.
- Divisions 1 down will consist of 2 sections of 10 teams each.
- The winners of the two Sections in Division 1 will be promoted to the Premier Division.
- The two bottom placed teams in Premier Division will be demoted.
- For all other Divisions:
- the bottom two teams in each Section will be demoted.
- the top two teams in each Section will be promoted.
- The places as at the end of the competition in 2019-2020 will be used to place clubs into divisions and sections for 2021-2022. No club may have more than one team in any section.
- From 2022-2023, promotions and relegations will be based purely on merit, even if this results in multiple teams from one club in a section.
The number of entries in Sully has been declining constantly since 2012, with entries down from 75 to 30 in 2020. The competition will be removed from the WP Bowls calendar for 2021-2022. This will be revisited next year.
Champion of Champions – Novice Singles
This competition will be added to the WP Bowls calendar to be held at the same time as the Open competition. Each Club may enter their Men’s and Women’s Novice Singles Champions.
Champion of Champions – Pro-10 Pairs
This competition will be added to the WP Bowls calendar.
Pro-10 Pairs is a two-bowls Pairs competition with 4-3-2-1 scoring. Each club will be allowed to enter their Club Pro-10 Pairs Champions.
This format is still under discussion and details will be released later.
The Power Trips competition will be retained, with the following changes.
On each rink:
- Each of the two sets will be worth 2 points.
- The team that has scored the most points will get 1 aggregate point.
- A tie-break will played if the points are equal after two sets, with the winner scoring the aggregate point.
- This means that each rink will be worth 5 points.
- The total points across all three rinks will be 15.
Changes will be made to allow for more games per day and remove the need to travel to another venue on the same day.
WP Bowls Tuesday Night League
A new mixed Trips competition will be introduced on Tuesday nights, to be played under lights from 6:00pm.
- The format will be 2 bowl Trips.
- Clubs may enter as many teams as they like and will play in Divisions and Sections.
More details will follow!
General Conditions of Play
Several changes are being made to the Conditions of Play for 2021-2022. The main changes are outlined below.
Registration of Players
No-one may play in any WP Competition unless they are a registered member of a Club in the District.
Withdrawing from one or more rounds of a league or sectional competition will be accepted as withdrawing from the competition. Any team or side withdrawing from a competition will have all results expunged from the record.
A fine will be levied against the Club under whose name that team or side was entered. This will obviously be at the discretion of the Executive and is not intended to penalise, for example, teams where a player is ill.
The requirements to be recognised as a Novice for District competitions is having an additional clause added. This will state that if a new member is registered after previously playing bowls as a non-affiliated club, their Novice status will be calculated from the time they joined that club and not from when they registered with BSA.
This is not something that WP Bowls will seek to police by approaching non-affiliated Clubs, but Clubs and members may be required to sign a declaration attesting to the date the member originally started bowling.
In all formats, except Singles, a dead end will have the jack spotted on the 2m mark. The end will not be replayed.
Restricting the Movement of Players
New clauses have been added to restrict the movement of players.
The last two changes around dead ends and restricting the movement of players are to address many complaints about games running a long way behind schedule, and to comply with what is fast becoming standard international practice.
We believe that these changes will all enhance the experience for all our members and increase the level of competitiveness in WP Bowls.
We sincerely hope that you agree!