When the Essex County Bowling Association Tourists visited Ketton in 2014 to help celebrate the club’s 40th anniversary, they were sceptical about the Rules of bowls under which the club played when affiliated to the Northants Bowling Federation.
The tourists even claimed they had to seek permission from the English Bowling Association to play against the locals and insisted the match was played under their own rules on the day.

However, they were intrigued to know what the key differences were and as a result were presented with a framed print by President Peter Edwards, which identified the changes as follows:

  • No ‘Touchers’ are identified or nominated! Any bowl in the ditch is declared dead even if it strikes the jack on its original path. But if driven or deflected into the ditch within the confines of the rink, the jack is still ‘live’.
  • A bowl or jack coming to rest touching or dissecting the side confines of the rink is declared out of play. If a jack is driven or deflected out of play to the side, the end must be replayed in the same direction.
  • No bowl further than two metres from the jack when an end is completed will count.
  • A ‘rink’ of players is a two or three-bowl triple. In pairs, players have two bowls only.
  • Players may change positions in pairs or rinks at any time before the jack is re-set on completion of an end.
  • Only skips may visit ‘the head’.
  • Bowls must be registered with an official stamp no later than 30 years from the present day.

FOOTNOTE: Ketton Bowls Club plays to these rules in the Stamford and District League on Mondays and Fridays and in county competitions. However, it plays to only slightly amended EBA rules when competing in the Peterborough Tuesday and Weekend Leagues. No wonder its players have to be both flexible and knowledgeable!