H.D.B.A. Rules of Play


From Monday 17 May until Step 4, the following applies to outdoor lawn bowls:

  • Play is permitted in accordance with the format of play below
  • Bowls coaching and other curriculum-based activity is permitted
  • Greens maintenance is permitted
  • Car sharing is permitted in accordance with government guidance
  • Spectators are permitted in accordance with social distancing rules and social gathering limits (no more than group of 30 outdoors)
  • Clubhouses and facilities that serve both indoor and outdoor hospitality are permitted in accordance with government guidance. Social distancing rules and social gathering limits must be strictly adhered to.
  • Changing rooms can be opened in accordance with the guidance on page 5
  • Clubs are advised to continue with pre-booking systems

Format of Play

Organised sport

Informal activity

Singles — Use of every rink (marker permitted)

Pairs — Use of every rink

Triples — Use of every rink

Fours — Use of every rink

Up to 30 people per session


Any combination of formats may be played under the 'organised sport' exemption, therefore the maximum number of participants on a six-rink outdoor green for 'organised' activity at any one time is 48. Clubs with less or additional rink capacity may amend figures accordingly.

Social Interaction

Social interaction before and after play should only take place in separate and distinct groups consisting of up to 30 people. We recognise that each club is different and may wish to set its own limit for numbers of people off the green at any one time.


We would advise players to avoid using shared equipment whenever possible — players are advised to have their own mat/jack during any session. If you are sharing equipment, for example jacks/mats, practise strict hand hygiene including sanitisation after using any shared equipment. Should measuring be necessary, players (or marker if used) must use their own measure.

The following items can be utilised during any session:

  • Mat
  • Bowls
  • Jack
  • Rink markers
  • Gloves
  • Scorecards (these should be retained by one person only if required)
  • Bowling arm/lifter (for use by one person only if required)
  • Bowling aids (for players with a disability if required)

The following items are deemed optional — it is for individual clubs to permit their use or otherwise:

  • Scoreboards
  • Bowls pushers
  • Ditch markers
  • 2m distance sticks
  • Chalk (Spray chalk only)


Spectators for all outdoor sports are permitted at Step 3, but need to adhere to social distancing rules and social gathering limits (groups of 30 outdoors). This number is in addition to those who are participating on the green.


Car sharing will be permitted in Step 3 for all sports. The guidance for safer travel will be updated

ahead of Step 3 to provide further information about this.

Changing rooms

Changing rooms can be opened, but participants should be encouraged to avoid or minimise use where possible. Participants should socially distance whilst in changing rooms. Subject to available space, more than one household can use changing facilities at one time but they must not mix and must adhere to capacity limits set by the club. Face coverings should be worn at all times when indoors. Use of these areas for essential activity, such as provision of first aid or access to essential equipment for training and matches, is allowed. Toilet facilities can also open.


We recommend using hand sanitiser at regular intervals, especially if you have to touch communal

surfaces or equipment. Once you are home, remember to wash your hands thoroughly.

Print Print | Sitemap
© Robert Brown