Formby & District Bowling League

Formby League:
Notes in lieu of 2021 AGM
RULES for 2020
Division 1
Division 2
Green Finder
Arcari cup
Butterworth Shield

2019 Honours
Honours List from 1933
Season Archives from 2012 onwards
The 1933 race for honours

Merseyside BCGBA
2019 MCCGBA AGM report
Aughton League
Birkenhead Bowls
Bootle Vets
Burscough League
Garston & Aigburth Leagues
Liverpool League
Maghull League
Ormskirk League
Sefton League
Silver Bullet Bowls
Southport Ladies League
Southport L V league
Southport Parks League
Southport Vets
Westhead League

BCBGA Competition Highlights
BCGBA Membership 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 

Results Secretary: Chris Willan 07960267261

Acting Treasurer: Colin Parry  (Colin has taken over this role from George Gough. This will need formalising at our next AGM)

County Delegate: David Halewood

START TIMES  League and Cup - April 6.30pm; May/June/July 7.0pm; August 6.30pm (all months 7.0pm if floodlit).

September cup times - Butterworth Shield Sept 7th/14th at 6.15pm; Sept 21st 6.15pm; Final Sept 28th 6.30pm (assuming floodlit)

                                        Arcari final 7th Sept 6.30pm (assuming floodlit)


·         Fixtures (league and cup) are now on this web site and have also been emailed in the traditional format to club secretaries and captains. If any team still require printed fixtures, please let me know. 

·        Many clubs will  have Safeguarding Officers  who now require to have their DBS certificate renewed, as they expire after 3 years, and it was in 2019 when most were issued. Information (from Roy Cooke, Merseyside Safeguarding Officer) regarding renewal has been emailed to club secretaries

A summary of more detailed information regarding the 2022 season, previously  emailed to club secretaries and team captains is as follows.

·         We will have 21 teams, 10 a side, in the Formby league in 2022.

·         Compared to 2021 when we also had 21, we have lost Netherton Park A, but gained Tin Tab - a second team for Freshfield. Note because of limitations in the web site, the two Freshfield teams are shown there in the more traditionally named Freshfield A and Freshfield B.

·         We will have two divisions, as per 2019 when we last had a proper season. Final positions in 2019 have been used to determine the teams in each division for 2022. This means Brownmoor Brooke B and Sefton + Thornton B are relegated to Div 2. Northern and Crescent A are promoted to Div 1. All other teams still playing are in the divisions as per 2019 season (see the Archive section on this web site).

·         Div 1 will have 10 teams and Div 2 will have 11 teams.

·         Div 2 league games start on 6th April, and Div 1 games on 13th April. Last league games are on 31st August.


·         The Division 1 cup is spread over the season, as in the past, but as Div 2 league games will use all Wednesdays, and so are playing on the same dates as Div 1 cup games, then the Div 1 cup matches will all play on neutral greens.

·         The Division 2 cup will be played on successive Wednesdays in Sept after the league season ended and will be 5 home 5 away basis due to restricted daylight, except for the cup final on a neutral green.



This proposal, as below, has been accepted by clubs with a clear two thirds majority. There were two and a half clubs against, the remainder for, albeit some with reservations stated, so no doubt will be reviewed again before the 2023 season. This rule is for teams being genuinely short of players, and is not to be abused for a team to gain an advantage.


“For league matches only, if a team is short of players in a league match, up to two bowlers may play twice. The choice of bowler(s) is up to the captain of the team which is short of players. However, any given bowler can only play once in each half of the league season (so twice overall per season). For his/her second game in a match, a home player forfeits 5 chalks per game, an away player loses 3 chalks. Only the first game played by a bowler in a match counts towards the Player Averages. A player cannot play twice in a cup game”

 Ken Buckley, Secretary, 2/2/2022

PS. Please let me know of any changes to club captains/secretaries.


Please note that the BCGBA Club Registration Form CR1/CR2 should be completed annually by 01 June each year  and returned  to your appropriate County Registrar (for all clubs in the Formby League, this will be to the Merseyside Registrar, Linda Howard). Please note that the CR1/CR2 form consists of two worksheets, “Club” and “Members”, and can be found through a link on the Merseyside County website. BOTH sheets must be completed and returned. Please also note that annual invoices from Merseyside County will not be sent out by post. They will appear on the Merseyside County website. Reminders will not be sent.








The 1933 Race for Honours



2022 CALENDAR   

                Div 1                    Div 2               

6th April     Open date                           League week 1

13h April     League week 1                    League week 2 

20th April    League week 2                    League week 3

27th April    League week 3                    League week 4

4th May     League week 4                    League week 5

11th May    Acari Cup prelims                League week 6

18th May    League week 5                    League week 7

25th  May   League week 6                    League week 8

1st June     League week 7                    League week 9

8th June     League week 8                    League week 10

15th June   League week 9                    League week 11

22nd June   Acari Cup 1st round (QFs)     League week 12 (rev 1)

29th June   League week 10 (rev 1)          League week 13 (rev 2)     

6th July     League week 11 (rev 2)               League week 14 (rev 3)    

13th July    League week 12 (rev 3)       League week 15 (rev 4)

20th July    League week 13 (rev 4)        League week 16 (rev 5)

27th July    Acari Cup SFs                     League week 17 (rev 6)

3rd Aug      League week 14 (rev 5)        League week 18 (rev 7)

10th Aug    League week 15 (rev 6)        League week 19 (rev 8)

17th Aug    League week 16 (rev 7)        League week 20 (rev 9)

24th Aug    League week 17 (rev 8)        League week 21 (rev 10)

31st Aug    League week 18 (rev 9)        League week 22 (rev 11)

7th Sep      Acari Cup Final                    Butterworth Shield Prelim

14th Sep                                             Butterworth Shield QFs

21st Sep                                             Butterworth Shield SFs

28th Sep                                             Butterworth Shield Final

(Friday 4 March 2022)






In the absence of an AGM in January 2021, these notes have been produced.


Billy Evans, Ian Delooze, Tom Jones, Ron Storey, Colin Corless, Dave Barton, Tony Cooper (please let me know of any omissions)

  1. CHAIRMAN’S REMARKS (Dave Butterworth)

After the loss of the 2020 league season, let’s hope that at some time this season we can restart in a safe manner and with as many of our bowlers as possible.

  1. AGM MINUTES of Jan 2020 MEETING

These were circulated to all delegates in January 2020 and are taken as accepted, there being no subsequent comments.

  1. TREASURER’S REPORT for 2020 (George Gough)

Cash at start of 2020 




Income (see below)


Expenditure (see below)




Balance carried forward at end of 2020           



·  Our Ladys, Northern, Meadows each paid £30; Formby Village, Brownmoor Brooke each paid £60 for season 2020. These sums will be carried forward into 2021, unless a refund is requested, total £210.

·  An anonymous donation of £200 was received.

·  £1 paid into account to produce a bank statement at year end.

Expenditure (note the first four items were not included in the 2019 accounts)

·  £360 prize money for 2019 season paid out at the 2020 AGM.

·  £60 engraving for 2019 trophies.

·  £750 honoraria for 2019

·  £7.50 county affiliation for 2019.

·  £10 room hire for 2020 AGM.

·  £7.50 county affiliation for 2020.

·  £64.50 for printing of 2020 fixtures.

·  £65.01 insurance for 2020.

·  At the 2020 AGM George believed that we had more funds in hand than necessary, so recommended that we reduce our team fees from £60 to £30 until our balance is reduced to a more reasonable amount.



There have been none since those tabled at the AGM of January 2020.

  1. SECRETARY’S REPORT (Ken Buckley)


The BCGBA web site issued a statement dated 22 Feb. The key words on it are

The Prime Minister’s announcement confirmed that outdoor affiliated bowls clubs will be able to open from 29th March. We understand today’s developments will provoke a range of questions and we would ask people to bear with us as we work through the various implications. As soon as we can, we will be issuing more detailed guidance on the BCGBA website”.

It is not yet clear to me to within what parameters we can restart on 29th March, and further detail is awaited to see when and how league bowling as we know it can restart. In the meanwhile, I have sent out an email on 24 Feb to all clubs to assess how ready they will be to start. It may be that, at least just for 2021, we will need to implement some temporary measures, such as team and division sizes.

Please let me know of any changes to club captains/secretaries.

  1. BCGBA

The BCGBA have decided to reduce their club fee for 2021 season to £20 providing clubs had paid their 2020 fee by January 2021. They have also stated that any club in arrears for 2020 cannot play this year until such fee has been paid.


The position of President remains vacant. George Gough has resigned as Treasurer, so a new Treasurer is required. Any suggestions/volunteers?


None sought for the 2020 season. This will be clear in the 2021 accounts.


          Ken Buckley. Secretary                       25/2/2021


            Copies to        

Executive Committee;              Club Secretaries;          Club Captains on email list.


(Thursday 4 March 2021)




Rules 19, 22 and Appendix 2 updated as underlined  following AGM January 2020.

  1. ADMIN. The League is called ‘’Formby & District Bowling League, and is open to Male and Female members.
  2. 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.
  3. The headquarters of the League shall be the Northern Club, Elm Avenue, Moor Park, Crosby.
  4. 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.
  5. The Executive Committee together with two Delegates from each Club will form the Management Committee. The said Delegates to be nominated by their respective Clubs and their names sent in Writing to the League Secretary. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 first Monday of November of each year of how many teams they will be entering in the League.
  8. Facilities shall also be given to the League secretary to attend various Club Headquarters and Greens, when engaged on League Business.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Winners and Runners-Up of all Divisions of the League may receive Prizes or Medals as appropriate. The amount for same to be decided upon a meeting of the Management Committee. 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 and to give written guarantees for their safe custody. These trophies and all individual trophies shall remain the property of the League, and cannot be won outright.
  12. 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.
  13. Any changes in Rules will come into force upon completion of the Annual General Meeting. 
  14. MEETINGS.  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.
  15. 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, except when a change of Rules takes place whenever there is a deadlock in the voting. The names of the Club Representatives to be sent in writing to the League Secretary prior to the Commencement of the Meeting.
  16. 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 Membership & Competition 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.
  17. COMPETITIONS. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Players must be registered three days before playing a League match (so by Sunday evening for a Wednesday 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. 
  20. A Player shall not play two games in a match, nor 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.
  21. In League matches, the ‘Home Team’ is responsible for all Greenage charges.
  22. 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 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 cored 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.  
  23. 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.
  24. All League games will commence at the times agreed by the Management Committee and stated in the League handbook or 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.
  25. 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.
  26. Official standard Jacks bearing a valid date stamp to be used in all League Matches and Open Competitions.
  27. The Visitors to have the first throw of the Jack. Check markers to be used.
  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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 representatives of the Clubs concerned must leave the room after giving their evidence until the Executive Committee have arrived at their decision. 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 2019 


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.
  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. Each club to be issued with a form at the end of the season, upon which they are to enter their top three players from each side within the club in each division, and return it by the date given.
  9. 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

Rule 1 Updated January 2016


  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 plsy in those teams shall be eligible to play in these competitions.
  3. Up to and including the semi finals, matches are to be played on the basis of five individual matches on each of the two opposing teams' greens. The Finals matches shall be played on neutral greens, with the host club providing standard jacks, footers, scorecards and measuring equipment. Where matches are split between 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 games up to and including the semi-final, the winner will be the team with the best individual winner, and so on.  For the final, the captains will nominate a player to play (21 up) to decide the match.
  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. The two captains will toss a coin to decide which five players are to receive the jack (first five or second five).
  7. No practice is allowed in any round.
  8. Players may play in only one of these competitions.
  9. Referees may be appointed for the finals.

Cup Rules 3 and 7 updated Jan 2020

** - Handicap Plate games excluded



(Friday 24 January 2020)


Division 1

League winners:  Our Lady;   Runners up:  Brooke Hotel A

Cup winners:   Our Ladys; Runners up:  Brooke Hotel A

Merit winner:   Mike Davies;  Runner up:   Steve McManus

(both Our Ladys)

Division 2

League winners:  Northern;    Runners up:  Crescent A

Cup winners:       Moorside Tigers;  Runners up: Meadows

Merit Winner: Alex Anderson (Northern); Runner up: Ian Hill (Hightown)

(Saturday 28 September 2019)


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

The current fee for a BCGBA Membership Cards is now £12 (£4 for replacement cards) and all cheques must be made payable to Merseyside CCGBA.

Send to: Linda Howard, 65 Prospect Vale, Wallasey, CH45 6TG.


(Monday 25 February 2019)


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)