New look for the rule book

by John Roberts

In May, Bowls Australia (BA), in consultation with the National Officiating Advisory Group (NOAG) and World Bowls (WB), launched the latest edition of the Laws of the Sport (Crystal Mark  Version 3.1). This edition will also include updates to the Domestic Regulations (DRs) and Bowls Australia Policies.


Firstly stocks of the current Law Book have virtually sold out so BA had to do a reprint. Secondly, WB introduced new laws, which are mainly around the size of bowls and bowls markings. WB have since launched Crystal Mark Version 3.1 so BA was able to include the latest version of the Laws of the Sport in their soon to be launched publication.


Feedback from the States and Territories and our own local experiences suggested that Bowls Administrators, Competition organisers, Controlling bodies and players often struggled with the definitions around substitutes, replacement and constituted players.

NOAG set about updating and hopefully clarifying these Game Anomalies under DR 2. More questions are asked about this  DR than any other section of the entire Law Book. Hopefully, this latest version of DR2  will be easier to follow.

Domestic regulations must follow the WB – Laws of the Sport and member nations are given permission to apply local domestic regulations according to Law 57.1.

All future events after publication, run by BA and Bowls Victoria will be in line with Version 3.1.

So what is NOAG?

NOAG was established by Bowls Australia to provide advice to the Bowls Australia Board on matters related to the:

  • Laws of the Game
  • Development of National Officiating Accreditation Scheme (NOAS)
  • State/Territory based Elite Officiating Panels
  • Approval of equipment, including shoes, artificial devices and measuring equipment.

The work of this eight-person committee (from most States) may involve:

  • Reviewing the Laws of the Sport of Bowls
  • Developing and maintaining  relevant Domestic Regulations
  • Making recommendations to World Bowls in regards to Laws of the Sport of Bowls
  • Providing  clarification on the Laws of the Sport of Bowls
  • Liaising with relevant stakeholders to establish and maintain a National Umpire accreditation program
  • Providing advice to the STAs on a range of relevant matters
  • Overseeing the ITO appointments for BA and  WB events
  • Monitoring, maintaining and establishing training programs to establish a national group of
  • Presenter and Assessors assigned to undertake all umpire, marker and measurer accreditation and re-accreditation across Australia.

NOAG meets twice a year (usually in Melbourne) but works throughout the year responding to matters ranging from exploring bowler’s interventions to overseeing conditions of play for all major BA events. It is BAs most popular for Committee involvement. They are volunteer positions.