1. The competition will consist of two sections of 4 Counties, which will be drawn biennially, at the Annual General meeting.

  2. Section games: Each County shall play one match each year against each other county in their section, home and away alternate years or at a neutral venue both years.
    Match dates will be on the Saturday of weeks 20, 21 & 26. Should the third game be a 'Dead Rubber' with neither side able to mathematically win their group, then by Mutual Agreement the game can be cancelled.                           
    Should a County fail to fulfil a fixture, the following penalty shall apply:
    22 points shall be awarded to the non-defaulting side and the defaulting side shall be liable for all costs charged by the host club.
    Should the defaulting side be the away side then they will, in the following year, concede their home advantage in either the return fixture or their first home game in the case of a new draw.

  3. Final: The winners of each section will contest a Final for the Leonard Denny Cup, which will be played on the Saturday of week 28 at a green selected by the. HCBA. Green fees charged at the Final venue and the cost of an umpire will be paid by the HCBA. Any further costs are to be met by the two contesting counties.
    Before the start of the match, the nominated managers shall toss a coin for choice of jack (first end), the winner having the choice of keeping or giving the jack away. Then a further toss of a coin for choice of jack (extra end) should one be needed. The winner has the option to make the choice immediately after the 21st end has been played.
    The winner shall be decided on the total number of shots of all rinks. There are no points for individual rink wins.
    In the event of a tie after 21 ends, then all six rinks shall play an extra end or ends simultaneously until there is a winner. The total number of shots of all six rinks shall count on the extra end.

  4. Matches to start at 11am unless mutually agreed otherwise.

  5. Each side shall consist of six rinks of four players. No player shall play for more than one county in any one year.
    Not more than eight current* Middleton Cup players, for any County, should play in any one match.
    Transgression of this rule shall result in the defaulting side gaining no points for the match, and the non-defaulting side be granted 10 points for the match plus points in respect of those rinks which they won in the course of the match.
    Each County must provide a written team sheet identifying current* Middleton Cup players to the opposing County prior to the commencement of the match.

  6. If, 30 minutes after the scheduled start for a game, one or more players are absent from one or more teams in a side, the game should continue but:
    (1) The number of bowls played by each defaulting team should be made up by the lead and second, both paying three bowls; and
    (2) One fourth of the total shots scored (including decimal places) by each defaulting team should be deducted from their score after the game has finished.

  7. If, 30 minutes after the scheduled start for a game, there are insufficient players in a side to apply the above format, the Team managers, using common sense with the objective of playing the game, will decide on a mutually agreed format for the game to take place.
    Two points and 10 shots for each missing rink will be awarded to the non-offending side.

  8. Method of scoring. Points are awarded as follows:
    Total shots win, 10 points. Total shots draw, 5 points each side.
    Winning rink, 2 points. Drawing rink, 1 point each team.

  9. In the event of adverse climatic conditions and subject to agreement by the two Captains or on appeal to the Umpire, if a total of 60 or more ends have been completed then the actual score at the time of termination shall be taken as the result. If less than 60 ends have been completed then each County shall be awarded 11 points and no shots difference.

  10. Results of matches: The home County Secretary or Manager is responsible for sending the completed Result sheet, identifying current* Middleton Cup players of both sides, to the Denny League co-ordinator by email within 48 hours of the match.

  11. In the league games, the home County shall be responsible for all costs agreed with the host club and the provision and payment of an umpire. There will be no meal after the game. Light snacks for purchase upon arrival will be requested from the host club.

      Any matter arising and not covered by these rules, to be referred to the Management Council whose decision shall          be final.

   * Definition of a Middleton Cup player.

      A current* Middleton Cup player is a player who had played for any County in the last Middleton Cup match prior to        the Home Counties League Match being played in the current season, or if there has not been a Middleton Cup              match in the current season, the last Middleton Cup game of the previous season.

Clarification on travel and match dress.

Travel arrangements and dress, are the responsibilty of the individual County.

Match dress in both the League fixtures and Final, shall be the County playing dress as stipulated by the respective Counties.

There will be no after-match meals.

      Updated April 2024