Formby & District Bowling League

Formby League:
RULES for 2024
Quick guide to RESULTS ENTRY
Detailed guide to RESULTS ENTRY
Division 1
Division 2
Green Finder
Arcari cup
Butterworth Shield

2023 Honours
Honours List from 1933
1934 Formby League Winner's Medal Photo
Season Archives from 2012 onwards
The 1933 race for honours

Merseyside BCGBA
Aughton League
Birkenhead Bowls
Bootle Vets
Burscough League
Garston & Aigburth Leagues
Maghull League
Ormskirk League
Silver Bullet Bowls
Southport Ladies League
Southport L V league
Southport Parks League
Southport Vets
Westhead League

BCGBA Membership Form

BCGBA player membership application form
League admin


The Formby & District Bowling League normally run two divisions, playing on Wednesday evenings. Please scroll down for news and notices. 


President: vacant

Chairman: Dave Butterworth

Secretary: Ken Buckley 01704 872834 

Treasurer: Colin Parry 

Assistant Secretary: Rob Doyle

County Delegate: David Halewood


To my knowledge, after only a few weeks so far, the following games are to be rearranged. Please make best endeavours to do so in order to prevent a fixture pile up later in the season and let me know revised dates so that I can update the web site.

Well done to those who have already rearranged or played postponed games.

Div 1

NSC v Weld

Our Ladys v Walnut

Brownmoor Br A  v Weld

Formby S + S v NSC

Our Ladys v Formby Park A

Nags A v Brownmoor Brooke B

Div 2

Crescent A  v Nags 

Olympic v Rainford E + C (planned date now 9th July)


The dates for these competitions are as follows. Thw draw has not yet been made.

Prelims           Wed 11th Sept

1st Round      Wed 18th Sept

Semis             Wed 25th Sept

Finals             Wed 2nd Oct


Please note that further to the fixture sheets issued to date, the Olympic Captain will be Neil Watts. His contact details have been emailed to Div 2 captains.  22/3/2024


Note that league games start 6.30 pm April and August, 7.00pm May/June/July and 6.00pm September.

Floodlit greens all start 7.00pm throughout the season (Our Ladys, Freshfield/Tin Tab, Formby Village, Formby S and S, Olympic, Scarisbrick NSC and Rainford Eagle and Child).

Ken Buckley, Secretary


 I have been asked if I could help trace  the whereabouts of a leather Gladstone Bag, embossed with the initials EMS. 
The item was sold, complete with bowls, in the mid 1980's, possibly in the Formby area.
Sentimental reasons have prompted this request.
If anyone can help, please contact me, Ken Buckley 01704 872 834.

AGM January 2024

This was held on Monday 15th January 2024, 8.00pm at the Brownmoor Brooke Bowling Club. The minutes of the meeting have been emailed to captains and secretaries. The main points arising were as follows.

1.      Fees for 2024 to remain £45 per team.

2.      Merseyside County are proposing increases in club and league fees 

3.      Rainford Eagle and Child and Olympic are welcomed into our league (Division 2).

4.      Both Divisions 1 and 2 will have 12 teams next season.

5.      League season expected to start on 10th April and end on 4th September, followed by the usual knockout cup competitions (both divisions 5 home/5 away).

6.      The playing twice rule will now be changed to that in operation in the Monday night Maghull league.

7.      In a team cup final, in the event of an aggregate tie, the requirement to play an extra game is scrapped. The winner to be determined as per earlier rounds based on most winners, best winner etc.

8.      All other proposals were defeated.

Note. Updated rules for 2024 are now on the web site.




From the 1 May 2023 the fee for a new member was increased from £12 to £15 and the fee for a Replacement Card was increased from £4 to £5.


We have received a photo of a 1934 league winners medal awarded to a bowler at the Grapes Hotel. Scroll down for more detail, or click on the link on this home page under the Archival heading.







Match Scores Entry quick guide



The 1933 Race for Honours



Note the Playing Twice rule was amended at the January 2024 AGM to follow the way implemented in the Maghull League.

Rule 20 (b) Up to two players will be allowed to play twice in a league match if a team is short. In particular

·        If short of player(s), the team captain must make the opposing captain aware prior to the start of the game.

·        The names of players listed in games 1 – 6 go into a draw made by the opposing captain.

·        If captains agree, discretion may apply as to how many players go into the draw.

·        A redrawn home player gives the opposing player a five point start, if redrawn away gives three points.

·        No player can play twice in a match more than four times in a season.

·        This rule does not apply for cup matches.

This rule is for emergencies only and for only when teams are genuinely short of players. It must not be abused to try to give teams an extra advantage and the league will step in if it feels this is the case.


(Saturday 20 January 2024)



At the January 2024 AGM, changes were made to the Playing Twice rule (see rule 20), and the Cup Final rules (see Appendix 2, para 4) - as underlined. 



  1. The League is called ‘’Formby & District Bowling League, and is open to Male and Female members. 
  1. The objects of the League shall be to organise, encourage and develop the Game of Bowls in the Formby and District, and to play in conformity with the Laws of the Game as set out by the British Crown Green Bowling Association.
  1. The headquarters of the League shall be the Brownmoor Brooke Bowling Club, Crosby.
  1. The Officials of the League shall consist of a President, Chairman, Secretary, Fixture/Competition Secretary, Treasurer and County Delegate, who will form the Executive Committee. The said Committee shall have the right to make those decisions necessary for the efficient running of the League, subject to the right of the Management Committee to over-rule by a simple majority any such decision. Any decision reached by the Executive Committee shall be subject to the right of any Club or Club Member to appeal, for a decision of the full Management Committee. Any appeal must be sent in writing to the League Secretary, to be received within 14 days of the decision reached by the Executive Committee, when such an appeal shall be put before the full Management Committee as soon as possible, whose decision shall be final. The Committee shall have the power to co-opt as it deems necessary.
  1. The Executive Committee together with two Delegates from each Club will form the Management Committee. The Executive Committee will call for meetings of the Management Committee as occasion demands. Any Club not represented may be fined by the Management Committee, no Club shall be allowed to attend any meetings unless all due fees are paid. A quorum shall consist of four of the Executive Committee members.
  1. The Formby & District Bowling League shall operate one Bowling League, all games scheduled for Wednesday evenings, consisting of Divisions containing a maximum of 12 teams per Division.
  1. The number of Clubs that the League shall consist of will be at the discretion of the Management Committee. A Club desirous of becoming Affiliated with the League must be Proposed, Seconded and accepted by a majority of the League Management Committee. A Club shall not be accepted into the League unless in possession of a green upon which to play their Home games. All Clubs must notify the League Secretary not later than the AGM, or 15 January of how many teams they will be entering in the League.
  1. Facilities shall also be given to the League Secretary to attend various Club Headquarters and Greens, when engaged on League Business.
  1. All Monies must be paid to the Treasurer, who will pay all accounts, any monies received by any other League Official must be handed to the Treasurer who shall Bank all monies in the name of the League. No liability exceeding £10 shall be undertaken without the sanction of the League Executive Committee. All cheques drawn on behalf of the League must be signed by any of two of League Treasurer, Chairman or Secretary.
  1. An honorarium shall be paid to the Honorary Secretary, the Honorary Fixture & Competition Secretary and the Honorary Treasurer at the end of the financial year, the respective amounts thereof to be decided at the AGM.
  1. Winners and Runners-Up of all Divisions of the League may receive Prizes or Medals as appropriate. The amount for same to be reviewed by the Executive Committee as required. They shall be presented at the Annual General Meeting. Divisional Winners to hold the appropriate Cup or Trophy to the end of the following season. These trophies and all individual trophies shall remain the property of the League, and cannot be won outright.
  1. No alteration or addition to these Rules shall be made except at the Annual General Meeting or Special General Meeting. Forty two days notice in writing shall be given to the League Secretary setting forth in detail such proposed alterations or deletions. No Rule shall be altered or deleted, or added to unless carried by at least two-thirds of those voting and entitled to vote at the meeting.
  1. Any changes in Rules will come into force upon completion of the Annual General Meeting. 


  1. The Annual General Meeting shall be held in January of each year, when the Business shall Include (a) the election of the Executive Committee members (b) the League Secretary shall present his report for the past season, and (c) the Treasurer shall present a full account of receipts and disbursements, after it has been duly audited by the official auditors, who will be elected by the Management Committee. (d) The meeting will also consider any proposed Rule changes and (e) the composition of the League for the following season. (f) Awards of Prizes/Trophies.
  1. Fourteen days notice in writing of the Annual General Meeting to be sent to each Club Secretary. Any player registered during the past season shall be eligible to attend the Annual General Meeting, but only three representatives from each Club will be allowed to vote on any subject under discussion. The League Chairman shall have a casting vote, whenever there is a deadlock in the voting.
  1. A pre season Registration Meeting to be attended by club captains and/or nominees will be held in March to receive Player registrations, club fees and to finalise dates for the season. Players wishing to play in the League must register quoting their BCGBA number on an official schedule for the League. The schedule must be returned to the Secretary for registration before the first Tuesday in April. Each Club shall pay a subscription (per team) as determined by the Annual General Meeting, this shall be paid to the Treasurer before 30th April each year. Any amount outstanding after that date will be subjected to a 10% surcharge. Such surcharge will increase by a further 5% for each month, or part month any amount remains outstanding.


  1. All entries to league Competitions must be made through Club Secretaries, and each Club shall be responsible to the League for the payment of entrance fees in respect of its entrants, the fee to accompany the Competition Form.
  1. All League and Cup Matches shall be played on the scheduled dates, except where individual Club Rules require otherwise. If through unfavourable weather or any other cause over which the Clubs or League have no control, a Match cannot be commenced or completed on the fixed date, the Clubs concerned must mutually arrange to play or complete the match within 21 days, and the Home Captain must notify the League Secretary accordingly. If this has not been done by the time stated, the Executive Committee will fix a date, and their decision will be final. It is essential that both Captains report to the Green on Match nights, irrespective of the weather, in order that the provisions of this rule can be strictly adhered to. Shortage of players will not be an acceptable reason for postponement. In any match which is awarded as a WALK OVER, then the points awarded to the non offending team shall be the maximum of either 12 or 13 depending if they were the home or away team.
  1. Players must be registered the day before playing a League match. Any Club playing an unregistered player shall forfeit the relevant points for each offence and shall be fined £2 by the League. Additional players may be registered after the first Tuesday in April. Registered players shall be eligible to play for only one Club in any one League, subject to the discretion of the Executive Committee. A player may be allowed to transfer to another Club provided he or she has not played more than three matches for his or her original club, and is not indebted to his original Club. No transfer will be allowed after 31st May (during a given season). The last date for new registrations shall be July 31st.
  1. (a) A Player shall not play in more than one match on a night. Competing players shall be drawn against each other, including Captains, in sections of four players from each side. A Player, having played six or more games in a particular Division, shall not be eligible to play in a Lower Division of the league (during a given season). Where a Club has two or more Teams in the same Division, a Player having played six or more games for one side, cannot play for any other side (during a given season). In a rearranged game which corresponds with a game that was played on its original night (or rearranged date) by that club’s other team, a player cannot play in both games.

(b) Up to two players will be allowed to play twice in a league match if a team is short. In particular

·        If short of player(s), the team captain must make the opposing captain aware prior to the start of the game.

·        The names of players listed in games 1 – 6 go into a draw made by the opposing captain.

·        If captains agree, discretion may apply as to how many players go into the draw.

·        A redrawn home player gives the opposing player a five point start, if redrawn away gives three points.

·        No player can play twice in a match more than four times in a season.

·        This rule does not apply for cup matches.

·        This rule is for emergencies only and for only when teams are genuinely short of players. It must not be abused to try to give teams an extra advantage and the league will step in if it feels this is the case.

  1. In League matches, the ‘Home Team’ is responsible for all Greenage charges.

All League games shall be played by 10 players on each side. Games to be 21 up and governed by the British Crown Green Bowling Association Laws of the Game. Two points awarded for the highest aggregate score for a Home win; three points if Away. If the Aggregate scores are equal, the Home team to receive one point and the Away team to receive two points. In addition teams receive one point for each individual winning player. At the end of the season the teams with the highest number of points to be declared the Divisional winners. The two Teams in each Division with the lowest number of points shall be relegated, and replaced by the two teams from the Division below them who have scored the highest number of points. In the event of teams resigning, or new teams being admitted promotion and relegation will be at the discretion of the Executive Committee. In the event of two or more teams in key positions scoring the same number of league table points, their positions shall be decided by the results of the head to head games of the teams involved, in the following priority order.

a)   Most league points scored in the head to head games.

b)   Best cumulative aggregate chalks difference in the head to head games.

c)   Most individual player wins in the head to head games.     

  1. The Green shall be at the disposal of the Home team only from 30 minutes prior to the start of the match, then for the succeeding 15 minutes only, at the sole disposal of the Visitors for the 15 minutes immediately preceding the start of the match. In addition, the Visiting team captain has the option of starting his fifteen minute practice at any time during the Home team practice session. In Cup Competitions, other than the Presidents Cup, the Team drawn out first shall be deemed to be the Home team, and the Team drawn out second shall be deemed to be the Away team. In individual competitions no practice will be allowed on the day of play, except where a competitor had received a bye/walk over on the day of play, and is drawn against a player who has competed on that day.
  1. All League games will commence at the times Fixture Card. Any club failing to have four players to commence play 20 minutes after the starting time shall forfeit full points for each absentee. Furthermore, any team not having sufficient players to keep the green fully occupied (not less than four sets), during the match, shall, on appeal of the opposing captain, have full points deducted for each absentee. Any team found to have entered the names and fictitious scores instead of declaring players absent will be fined £10 for each offence.
  1. The Home Captain shall have full control of the Green. He shall act as Referee, and his decision shall be final. During such time as the Home Captain may actually be playing a Match, his duties as Referee shall be taken by the Home Sub-Captain, or failing him, by the Nominee of the Home Captain.
  1. Official standard Jacks bearing a valid date stamp to be used in all League Matches and Open Competitions.
  1. The Visitors to have the first throw of the Jack. Check markers to be used.
  1. The Captain of the Home team shall ensure that all Match Scorecards reach the Fixture Secretary, by card delivery to his home address, or by electronic media, within 48 hours of the Match being completed. If sent by electronic media, the captain should retain the Scorecard.

Penalties for late submission of a Scorecard will be:

(a)    First instance, the League Secretary will issue a warning to the Secretary of the offending Club.

(b)    Second instance, the League Management Committee will impose a deduction of 2 points for every occurrence within a season.

  1. Any team member (player or spectator) being guilty of disorderly conduct, using objectionable language or violating the rules of the League may be subject to disciplinary action, including possible expulsion from the League. 
  1. Protests of any such Match must be made to the League Secretary within seven days. The Club protesting must accompany the protest with a deposit of £10. The Executive Committee decision shall be subject to the right of appeal, and should they consider the complaint frivolous, the £10 shall be forwarded to the League.

January 2024

Appendix 1       Player of the Season Rules         

Appendix 2       Arcari, Butterworth and Sykes Cups 


The Player of the Season award is open to all registered players, and shall be awarded for each division of the league.


1.      To qualify, a player must play in at least three quarters (75%) of league games in a division.

2.       Games won will be divided by the games played to give an average.

3.      Total points scored will be divided by points against to give an average.

4.      These averages are added together to give the players a final average.

5.      All league games played will count. (but not cup or Plate handicap)

6.      If a player wins 21 – 0 by virtue of the opposing team being a player short this result will not count towards the player average, as it is a game not played. Also if a player plays twice in a match, the second game does not count towards the average.

7.      Any player/club found to have abused rule 6 (i.e. put in a false name and score) will be dealt with by the Executive Committee.

8.      The top player in each division with the best average will receive a trophy. The following is an example of the calculations.

·        Games won 19 divided by games played 23           Average            = 0.826

·        Points for 436 divided by points against 302          Average             = 1.444


TOTAL AVERAGE                  = 2.270 


1.      These competitions are run under the auspices of the Formby & District Bowling league, and all rules of the league shall apply to these competitions.

2.      The Arcari Cup shall be for First Division teams, the Butterworth Shield shall be for Second Division teams and the Sykes Cup shall be for Third Division teams. Only those players registered to play in those teams shall be eligible to play in these competitions.

3.      Up to and including the semi finals, matches may either be played on the basis of (a) neutral greens or (b) five individual matches on each of the two opposing teams’ greens. The Finals matches shall be played on neutral greens, with the host clubs providing standard jacks, footers, scorecards and measuring equipment. Where matches are split between the two greens, the away team players have the jack. Where matches are played on neutral greens, captains will toss for the first five jacks.  

4.      All matches to be on merit (off scratch) and will be 21 up. The result is based on aggregate scores. In the event of a tie, the team which has won most individual games will be declared the winner. If it is still a tie, then for all games, including the final, the winner will be the team with the best individual winner, and so on.  

5.      Players must have played three or more league matches before being allowed to play for a club in a semi –final, or final, of any cup competition.**. A Walkover in a league game counts as one of the three league games played, as long as the player was present and recorded on the match card, as witnessed by the opposing captain.

6.      No practice is allowed in any round.

7.      Players may play in only one of these competitions.

8.      Referees may be appointed for the finals.


Updated January 2024



(Saturday 20 January 2024)


We have received a photo of a 1934 Formby and District league winner’s medal awarded to a Thomas Lovelady of the Grapes Hotel. These two relevant extracts have been found in the Formby Times archives.

at August 3rd. FORMBY TRINITY v. GRAPES HOTEL. 21 F. Stephenson 21 T. H. Harsh H. Bannister 12 121 A. Kirby T. Lovelady 10 1 17 E. Meadow 3 W. Thomas J. Bailey 21 21 11. Palmer A. Rotherham — Miles Pormbi 21 C. M. Sole 20 It : Hrnward ...

Published: Saturday 11 August 1934

Newspaper: Formby Times

3rd September. Three of the teams on Wednesday had a great bearing the championshdp, and the result of these matches the Grapes hotel now lead by :two points. with only one match to play to complete the programme and that a home one against the Railway ...

Published: Saturday 01 September 1934
Newspaper: Formby Times

In fact, the Bristish Newspaper Archive web site has many past years’ archives for the Formby Times on line, with bowling results included, as they were until the early 2000s. Extracts such as the above can be freely found with the relevant search parameters.

(Thursday 20 April 2023)


Requests for membership cards must be accompanied by a BCGBA Membership Form.  (Follow the links on

The current fee for a BCGBA Membership Cards is now £15 (£5 for replacement cards) and all cheques must be made payable to Merseyside County CGBA.

Send to: Kye Gorman, Acting County Registrar, 94 Fishers Lane, Pensby, Wirral, CH61 8SB


(Thursday 23 March 2023)

Match Scores Entry quick guide

To enter match results

·         Results may be entered by team captains or their representatives.

·         Go to the Formby League web site home page

·         Click on the TABLES heading.

·         In the league tables displayed, click on your team or your opponent’s team.

·         Click on today’s fixture and you should see the fixture heading displayed.

·         Click on the EDIT MATCH heading near the top of the screen.

·         Now log in with your club User Name and Password, ensuring you have the correct capitals and spacing.

·         Enter the match individual players and scores by selecting from the drop down menus of players and scores displayed.

·         Results can be entered or amended up to 7 days after a match, otherwise only the league secretary can enter/amend.

(Friday 20 January 2023)


Division 1

League winners:  Brownmoor Brooke A;   Runners up:  Our Ladys

Cup winners:    Brownmoor Brooke A; Runners up:  Formby Village A

Merit winner:   Don O'Sullivan (Freshfield);  Runner up:   Les Plank (Brownmoor Brooke A)

Division 2

League winners:  Scarisbrick NSC;    Runners up:  Sefton & Thornton A

Cup winners:       Scarisbrick NSC;    Runners up:  Sefton & Thornton A

Merit Winner: Brian Fisher (Sefton & Thornton A); Runner up: Lisa Smith (Scarisbrick NSC)


(Sunday 6 November 2022)


From BCGBA: All clubs must have a Safeguarding Official by 1st March 2019. If the official is a member of more than one club then they can cover all clubs they play for.  If not, such clubs will be subject to a £25 fine, increasing by a further £25 for each succeeding 3 months without such a person, with the ultimate sanction of being barred from playing.

Just to remind you all, the recommended Action Plan for Clubs is as follows:

1. Identify an individual

2. Arrange for a DBS application to be completed through the BCGBA

3. Show the certificate to the County Safeguarding Officer / Evidence Checker / Counter Signatory.

4. Advise Club Members who the nominated Safeguarding Officer is.  This can be done by printing a copy of the Safeguarding Policy from the Safeguarding Website, adding the name of your Safeguarding Officer and then posting it on your Club notice board.

5. Ensure your Safeguarding Officer has a place on your committee to feedback any updates in policy.

6. Let the Merseyside Registrar have full details of the Safeguarding Officer for your Club. (This must be done by 30/6/2019 to avoid a fine)


KB 7/3/2019


(Thursday 14 February 2019)

The 1933 Race for Honours

Earliest records found indicate that the Formby and District bowling League was founded in 1933,  as shown by the first league winners inscribed on the Lister Cup, which is still awarded to this day for the League Division 1 winners. (See also the  Archival section on this web site).

In fact the race for honours in 1933 was described in a 1933 newspaper article, as reproduced on a pillar in the Railway Hotel, Formby,  and shown as follows:-

‘’Formby League.

With only four more games, Formby Conservatives have a lead of four points. Their position was strengthened by the defeat of the Southport team, Railway Hotel, Ainsdale, who lost by one in their game with the Railway Hotel, Formby. There were several games decided by one or two points only, and the decision was in doubt to the last end, Ainsdale doing their utmost to save a point, or get both, in order that they should retain their position in the race for honours.

A four a side knock-out competition on neutral greens is attracting great deal of attention, and the surprise of the first series of games was the defeat of Formby Trinity ‘A’ by Formby Trinity ‘C’ by six points.’’

(KB note. The Lister Cup shows that the 1933 league winners were the Railway Hotel, Ainsdale, who in fact were league winners fourteen times between 1933 and 1959).


(Monday 19 March 2018)


You can now view the history of league honours, going back to when the league started in 1933. To view, click the honours link in the links section.  If you can help to fill in the blanks or have any further info, please let me know.  Thanks to Phil Howlin for all the info.

(Wednesday 5 March 2014)