standing umpire

The Laws of the Sport of Bowls

The Sport of Lawn Bowls is played in accordance with the current edition of the World Bowls Laws of the Sport of Bowls.

The current edition is the Crystal Mark Third Edition.

This edition became effective from 1st April 2015 in England for all outdoor bowling played under the auspices of Bowls England.

This edition will become effective from the start of the 2018-2019 Indoor season in England for all indoor bowling played under the auspices of the English Indoor Bowls Association.

Copies of the Third Edition can be obtained at a cost of ₤ 2.00 plus postage from the Bowls England website

Prospective new members should note that a copy of the Law Book is provided as part of your Home Study pack.

A copy of the Bowls England Domestic Regulations can be downloaded here and they are also reproduced in the Third Edition booklet as published by Bowls England.

Bowls England Domestic Regulations

Law Changes.

The World Bowls Laws Committee, in conjunction with World Bowls Member National Authorities, undertakes a comprehensive review of the Laws of the Sport on the same 4-yearly cycle as the Commonwealth Games. The last such review was held in 2014 - it led to the publication of the 'Laws of the Sport of Bowls- Crystal Mark Third Edition'.

Member National Authorities can propose changes to the Laws of the Sport as can the World Bowls Laws Committee and these are normally approved at World Bowls Council Meetings.

The Crystal Mark Third Edition of the Laws of the Sport of Bowls was approved at a WB Council Meeting in August 2014.

Since the printed Law Book was published in 2014 there have been two minor changes to the Laws, both concerning Bowls.

5th December 2016.

Removal of the requirement for large grooved rings on the non-bias side of the bowls.

WB Law Changes 5 December 2016.pdf

14th April 2018

Introduction of two smaller sizes of Bowls. Size '000' and '0000'

WB Law Changes 14 April 2018.pdf

The text of both these Law Changes can be downloaded from the World Bowls Web Site.

World Bowls have now made available a downloadable pdf document of the Laws of the Sport.

With effect from 1st February 2018 this has been replaced with version 3.1 of the pdf document which incorporates the two Law Changes referred to above.

The pdf file can be downloaded from the World Bowls Web Site.

We do not expect that there will be a re-print of the Law Book at this time.

World Bowls Law Committee decisions.

As and when necessary the World Bowls Law Committee make decisions on interpretations of the Laws of the Sport of Bowls.

The World Bowls Law Committee decisions can be found by clicking here or going to

Of particular note for members are the following:-

Use of transparent ‘Shot Spotter’.

Shot Spotter.pdf

Bowls England request for Domestic Regulation on “Shot Spotter”
N.B. this request was refused by World Bowls.

BE DR Request.pdf