Category Archives: Rules & Constitution

Posts about the Rules or Constitution

Singles Competition

The Singles knockout competition was played this week at the Ivy Leaf Club, with a full entry of 64 players and some late entrants turned away – for next year I will propose ways of extending the format beyond 64 entries without making the competition longer.

Congratulations to Alan Ranscombe of Ivy A on winning and Tony Woodhams of Cookham Social on taking the final all the way to a tiebreaker third game.

Late entries can still be accepted for the Pairs (at Ivy Leaf) and Presidents Shield (at Cookham) competitions, both of which are pairs play.



Notes From The AGM

The AGM was held on Monday Aug 22. The new schedules are now on the website and team representatives present at the meeting received an updated contacts sheet for all the teams.

There are two points to note.

First, the Presidents Shield will be played at Cookham as in past years rather than at the Ivy Leaf as is shown in the printed schedule copies provided at the AGM. This will be corrected on the website shortly next time the spreadsheet is uploaded.

Second, Mark Newcombe is stepping down as captain of the Rose B (formerly Golden Harp A) and we welcome Emily DeFraine instead. Contact details are not published on the web site, so if anyone needs to contact her get in touch with me to get the details.



Cup Draws and forthcoming EGM

The cup draws are as follows (home team first)

Ivy Leaf B vs Desborough

North Star vs Ark Angels

Barley Mow vs Waggon B

(Ark Raiders vs Golden Harp B) vs Waggon A

In the Richard Pither Cup..

Bird In Hand vs Bourne End

Golden Harp A vs Ivy Leaf A

Farmers Boy vs Thatched Cottage

(Craufurd B vs Cookham) vs Craufurd A

A proposal was presented to split into two leagues for a shorter season. The June meeting will be an EGM to discuss and vote on this proposal so that the match secretary can prepare a schedule in line with the decision for distribution at the AGM.

The June meeting will be held at the Ivy Leaf instead of the Golden Harp since it will be an EGM.


Cup draws and other information from the meeting

Here are the cup draws, all due to be played on Jan 24th. The home team is first in each case.

Ark Raiders – Bird In Hand

North Star-Farmers Boy

Desborough-Bourne End

Waggon A-Craufurd A

Golden Harp A-Barley Mow

Craufurd B-Waggon B

Ivy Leaf A-Golden Harp B

Cookham Social-Ark Angels

Ivy Leaf B-Thatched Cottage

In situations where one team is playing with 6 or 7 players they should avoid having the same pair of their players play the same pair of opposing players more than once, by splitting pairs as needed. This is currently not spelt out in the rules but is considered a matter of common sense and ethical behaviour. This will be formalised in the rules next year.


Less than 8 players

At our game last night we only were able to raise 7 players. There are rules to cover this situation, however I felt it’s time to write a bit about how it should be interpreted following some of the discussion during the evening.

First, a summary of the rules. Ideally, a team has 8 or more players. A team with less than 6 players is not considered a full side and will forfeit the match (preferable to this is arranging to postpone the match which must be done at least 24 hours in advance, with the Match Secretary informed as well as the opposing team captain).

A team with 6 or 7 can incorporate extra players from any source, even from the other team’s reserves, to reach 8. The only exception is cup games were players should only ever represent one team.

So, in a situation with 6 or 7 players what happens? 16 games still need to be played, and of necessity that means that some players on the short team will need to play more than 4 matches. Repeating a match between the same two pairs of players should be avoided for good form but is not specifically forbidden in the rules.

The ‘formal’ approach is to wait until the round finishes and then form a temporary pairing from the short side to play the 4th game of that round. The standard pairs then resume to play the next round. This makes for a long evening since usually two other games are interlocked with that 4th game and will have to wait for it to complete.

A less formal approach is to dynamically create new pairs based from those pairs who finish playing first, minimising the waiting time and allowing more overlap of play. Instead of going back to their normal pairings players from the short side continue to be dynamically assigned to matches in temporary pairings as the fully-staffed opposition are ready to start them.

The informal approach makes for a shorter evening though it needs more care from the captains to avoid repeating a particular pair vs pair combination (although that is ‘bad form’ rather than actually forbidden) and balancing the number of games all the players on the short side have.

The actual rule in the constitution which applies here is:-

2.3 Team matches shall be consisted of EIGHT players per team playing in pairs to give a total of 16 games in all. It a team turns up with SIX or SEVEN players the Captain shall split pairs to make 16 games. The Captain of a team with SIX or SEVEN players may incorporate additional players from any source to get to EIGHT players (except at cup matches).

If a team fails to turn up without giving 24 hours notice (RULE 2.1) or turns up with less than SIX players the game will be forfeited and recorded as follows:-
* Non-offending team gain 3 points and a 12-4 win
* Offending team gain 0 points and a 4-12 loss
The offending team will be liable to pay average Pennies and the cost of any catering arranged by the non-offending team. Teams may appeal in exceptional circumstances. All league matches must be completed on or before the night of the team trophy final unless previously agreed with the Match Secretary.

As with many other situations, the rules don’t cover every situation, or describe every possible event, so good sense and pragmatism should be used to interpret them. Where team captains agree, the informal approach described above will make for a shorter evening compared to the time it usually takes to play out a match with the formal approach.


ps – for those following this week’s results, I’m waiting for Barley Mow/Bourne End, Craufurd A/Ivy B and Waggon A/Waggon B. Ark Angels/Golden Harp B was a draw.

Penalty applied + rescinded – Desborough

Desborough have now failed to provide results for two home games despite reminders.

In line with rule 4.5.2 a second financial penalty is applied and 3 points are deducted.

UPDATE: Desborough state that they did text a result in on Monday night, however it was not received. Given the element of doubt here, and the fact that text messages are fallible and can sometimes go astray, the penalty will be rescinded.


Rules 2.5 and 2.6 – incorrect pegging

These two rules currently read:-

2.5 In the event of pegs being moved in the wrong direction they must not be corrected and their position will stand.

2.6 If during a game, the board is overturned, the pegs must be repositioned by mutual agreement. In the event of a disagreement, the game must be replayed with the non-offenders taking first box and a TEN point lead.

Following discussion at the AGM and after, two points have arisen. The first is what happens if the pegs switch to the wrong lane and travel some way before it is noticed, which isn’t covered by the rules. The error from this could be quite large (for or against) depending whether the pegs were supposed to be moving away from home or back and how far up the track they are. My advice is that this be handled using the same principle as Rule 2.6 – sort it out amicably if possible, and restart the game with a penalty otherwise.

As far as rule 2.5 is concerned, the rule is there, but if the players agree to sort it out amicably by moving the pegs to where they should be without recourse to the letter of the rules then that’s absolutely fine – the rules are there in case a dispute cannot be solved amicably and a ruling is needed.

For next year’s AGM I’m thinking of proposing that rule 2.5 is deleted and all incorrect pegging scenarios are covered under rule 2.6, ie relying on everyone to sort things out amicably when possible and restarting with penalty otherwise.