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Lets kill any rule which stops bowlers bowling

Veterans League

Any rule which stops bowlers bowling has to be a stupid rule in an era when our sport is struggling to survive as bowlers and teams drop out of our leagues in record numbers. The future of the Veterans League 50% rule which restricts bowler appearances will be determined by clubs at a Special General Meeting this month. Let's open the discussion on the value of the current rule.

The Veterans League has a rule to stop bowlers bowling half-way through a season. Where is the sense in that? So its okay for these bowlers to bowl from the beginning of April to the end of June but not after that point? Why? What sensible purpose does it serve?.

The Veterans League has always tried to protect its 6-Man League with a series of measures to restrict top bowlers from playing in a League designed to provide a game for bowlers not good enough to get a regular start in their club's 10-man team. That may have had some credibility in the days of plenty of bowlers and not enough teams. The days are now gone where a League can pick and choose which bowlers they want to bowl in their League. If a League is interested in surviving then they have to be more welcoming of bowlers of all abilities.

Team selection is a matter for clubs, not leagues! If a club feels strongly about protecting places for its less able bowlers then they can do that without any interference from the leagues. That team will then find its own level of competence over time. Leagues shouldn't be forcing team selections, that is a matter for clubs alone. By reducing the pool of bowlers available to clubs the League is hastening its own demise as more and more teams struggle to field full teams and teams withdraw from local leagues in record numbers.

Clubs and bowlers will have their own vested interests to influence their thinking on this topic but anyone with the future of the Veterans League at heart should put those personal preferences to one side and think about the impact on the Veterans League as a whole. Time to look at the bigger picture now and not just at how it might affect you or your team. To retain a rule designed to stop bowlers bowling can only lead to one final conclusion, a conclusion that will inevitably lead to fewer bowlers being available to bowl in the League and that in turn is to no one's long term benefit.

Have your say, share your views on this topic.

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I don’t know about other Clubs and the availability of bowlers but , at LINDLEY, this season we are experiencing more bowlers going on holiday during the bowling season making it more difficult to select two teams every week.

Bowlers are going on holiday because they have been prevented from doing so in the last couple of years because of COVID and so the current rule is unhelpful.

Philip of Lindley.



The starting point is “ what are we trying to achieve with this rule?

I believe that the current rule should be deleted as fundamentally it stops bowlers bowling. That can’t be right.

If the intention is to stop teams choosing first team bowlers to strengthen a second team in order to eg win promotion then a cut off day 4 weeks before the end of the season would be an improvement to the current rule.

There is no easy answer but, on balance, I’d go back to having starred bowlers.



At this year's AGM for Lockwood, with 35 registered Vets, we genuinely thought a Monday team would bring access to 26 different bowlers every week.

How wrong we were. With health issues, day to day commitments and holidays etc, this has proved impossible. While fully understanding the need to protect the 6 man league, as from early next month the present 50% rule will impact heavily on our side. So much so that I can envisage us turning up short of numbers by mid August, which helps no one.

The proposed rule deletion, or amendment, would help greatly in my opinion.

Or possibly keeping a 50% rule to apply to the singles aspect of games only?

In this way the…


Totally agree all rules stopping people bowl is a no no when we are a dying sport a bit like only allowing vets bowl in winter league when we could so increase the amount of people bowling in the winter ....... No brainer


I'm not on about the summer 6 and 10 men vets leagues because there's other Huddersfield leagues to play in..

I'm on about winter bowling when there's no leagues to bowl in in Huddersfield in winter for open age apart from the Griffin which is weekends which is no good to me regards job....

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