The Cheltenham Skittles League


founded 1906


A.        Constitution


1.         The League shall be called “Cheltenham Skittles League” and any skittles club using a home alley within six miles radius of Cheltenham shall be eligible to apply for membership. The accepted teams will be grouped into divisions not exceeding fourteen in each division.

2.         An Annual General meeting will be held before the end of June each year to receive and approve an Audited Balance Sheet and Accounts Statement made up to the end of the Financial year, (which is the 31st May), to elect the Executive Committee Officers as detailed below, to approve any changes to these Rules and approve the constitution of the League for the ensuing season.

3.         One member of each registered team shall be entitled to attend an Annual General Meeting and Notice of such meetings will be given to the registered contact of each team not less than fourteen days prior to the Meeting.

4.         The Executive Committee will consist of the following Honorary Officers: Chairman, Vice Chairman, League Secretary, Assistant League Secretary, Treasurer and not more than six representatives of the competing teams. Three Trustees shall be elected from the Officers by the Executive Committee.

5.         The Executive Committee will be empowered to administer the affairs of the League, to call a General Meeting as and when it is deemed necessary and to require any team representatives to attend their meetings if required. A General Meeting may also be called at the signed request of not less than twenty four registered teams stating the business to be transacted.


B       Team and Player Registration


1.         All teams will be required to register for membership each season. Applications for Registration and applications to join the League from new teams must be made in writing, on the official Application Form, together with the Registration Fee as detailed in Appendix A, to the League Secretary not later than the first Saturday in May.

2.         Teams must register to play on a Home Alley and this cannot be changed once the Constitution of the League has been set. In exceptional circumstances application must be made to the League secretary if a Home Alley closes.

3.         All registered players must be at least sixteen years of age, and be registered with the League Secretary not less than five clear days before being eligible to play in any fixture. The date of the postmark or the date the registration form is received by the League secretary shall count as the first day.

There should only be a maximum of 3 players aged 16-18 in any one team.

An appropriate Family Member must be named who is deemed to be the ‘guardian’ of the young player during skittles games. This Adult will be named on the Registration Form. No attempt to Purchase alcohol by, or on behalf of any young person aged 16 or 17 should be made. Team Members are reminded that Rule E1 applies.

          An under 18 Registration form must be used to register a young player

4.         A player may not sign a registration form to play for more than one team in any season. The penalty for doing so is set out in Appendix A and the player will be suspended from playing in any fixture until payment is made. The earliest dated signature will be treated as valid. A player wishing to transfer from one team to another after registration must apply to the League Secretary for an official transfer form. This form must be completed and signed by the Secretaries of both teams and returned to the League Secretary, together with payment of a fee equal to the player’s registration fee, for approval by not less than 2 Members of the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee may refuse the transfer if there is any objection made but will not do so unreasonably. No transfers will be permitted after 31st. January.

5.         Player Registrations received by the League Secretary after the main issue of Handbooks and initial confirmation of players must be accompanied by a suitably stamped and addressed envelope.

6.         Teams with the same names are required to add ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’ and so on to their name to differentiate between them.

7.         Any team failing to settle monies due to the League by the end of the League’s Financial Year, for whatever reason, shall not be eligible to register for membership in the following season.

8.         Teams wishing to change their name from that registered in the previous season and to retain their League division status must request their change, in writing, to the League Secretary not less than fourteen days prior to the Annual General Meeting at which their request will be considered.

9.         Any team withdrawing from membership after the fixtures for the season have been approved or which fails to complete their fixtures during the season may be refused future membership at the discretion of the Executive Committee.


C       Fixtures


1.         All fixtures will be arranged by the League Secretary and each registered team will be provided with a Fixture Card prior to the start of the season. Men’s matches will be on Mondays, Tuesdays or Wednesdays and Ladies matches will be on Wednesdays or Thursdays.

2.         Should any changes to the constitution of the League be necessary, for whatever reason, after it has been approved at the Annual General Meeting the League Secretary will officially notify those teams affected by any such changes.

3.         Each Team will play the other Teams in their Division both at Home and Away. The winning Team at each match will be awarded two points in the League Table and if the match results in a draw each team will be awarded one point. At the end of the season the Team scoring the highest number of points will be declared the Champions of their Division. If the total points awarded to Teams are equal at the end of the season a mini league will be calculated for those Teams and the points they scored when they played each other will decide their League positions. If their points are still equal then the difference between the totals of the pins scored in their matches will decide their positions. If the positions can still not be determined then a play off match will be arranged and controlled by the Executive Committee.

3a    If any part of a season schedule is forced to be cancelled with less than half of the matches completed, no final tables will be produced. However, if more than half the matches have been played, the Executive will determine the final placings in the main tables, whilst acting in the best interests of the League.

4.         The three top Teams in each Division (except for the Premier ‘A’ division) will be promoted to the next higher Division and the three bottom Teams will be relegated to the next lower Division for the following season unless the Executive Committee decides otherwise. The three bottom Teams in the lowest Division must seek re-election to the League.

5.         Perpetual trophies will be awarded to the winners and runners up in each Division and the Teams who receive those trophies will be required to ensure their safe return to the Hon. Secretary by April of the year after they have been won, or as determined by the Executive Committee. In addition the Champions of Each Division will receive fourteen mementoes to be provided by the League.

6.         Any Team breaking a fixture shall be fined according to Appendix A although a satisfactory explanation in exceptional circumstances may be accepted by the Executive Committee in which case the fine will be waived.

7.         Should circumstances arise whereby a fixture has to be changed, the Secretary of the team requiring the change must inform and obtain the agreement of their opponents at least fourteen days prior to the fixture date and agree a new date, within twenty eight days of the original date or before the final day of the season whichever is the shorter, for the fixture to be played. The League Secretary must be informed, in writing, giving the revised date of the fixture before the date of the original fixture. Should this Rule not be met the offending team shall be deemed to have broken the fixture and shall be fined according to Appendix A.

8.         If bad weather conditions cause the postponement of a fixture the team requiring the postponement, whether the Home Team or the Away Team, must give as much notice as possible to their opponents. It is the responsibility of that Team to arrange a new date for the fixture within twenty eight days or before the final day of the season, whichever is the shorter period, at the original venue. The League Secretary must be notified of the postponement, in writing, and of the rearranged date not more than seventy two hours after the original fixture date.

Should this Rule not be met, the offending team shall be deemed to have broken the fixture and shall be fined according to Appendix A.

9.         Rearranged matches need not be held on normal match nights.

10.      In the event of a dispute between the two Teams over a changed fixture the League Secretary will rearrange the fixture and the date given will be final and shall not be subject to alteration.

11.      ALL MATCHES MUST BE PLAYED unless they are in an area of the schedule which has been officially cancelled. Points cannot be claimed for unfulfilled matches.


D.        Before the match (Covid Appendix A1 Applies)


1.         The Home Team is responsible for providing a set of balls and pins, in compliance with the rules, and for settling all costs related to the use of the alley.

2.        The Front Pin must be clearly marked with a white band around it. The two Front Quarter Pins must also be marked in a way to distinguish them from the Front Pin.

3.         Three lines shall be drawn on the alley. The first line, which can be a wall or an imaginary line, represents the back of the alley. The second line must be drawn at least eight feet in front of the back line to provide for the players’ run up. The third line must be drawn eight feet in front of the second line. The player’s feet must be behind the second line when releasing the ball and the ball must touch the alley before it crosses the third line.

3A.    Should a new Alley be proposed for inclusion in the circuit, it will be inspected by Executive Members before a decision is made, but it should be the following preferred minimum size: 37 feet from the third line to the front pin, and a further 5 feet to the back pin. The overall width of the alley should be 6 feet 3 inches wide. This rule will be applied to all new alley applications which may arise from September 2018.

4.         The home team may appoint an Oche Judge and, if so, they must notify the name of the person appointed to the opposing captain before the start of the match. The Oche Judge shall call “No Ball” if the Rule above is breached and that decision shall be final. Any pins floored by a “No Ball” shall not count and will be reset.

5.         A ball touching the cush on either side of the alley before striking the pins will be a “No Ball” and all pins floored by that ball will be reset.

6.         All pins must be down FLAT to count towards the score.

7.         Simultaneous Cheltenham Skittle League Matches on alleys side by side are not permitted.

8.         To protect alley surfaces all players must ensure that their footwear will not damage the surface of the Alley.




1.         The Cheltenham Skittles League expects matches TO BE PLAYED IN AN ENJOYABLE AND SPORTING ATMOSPHERE. TEAM SUPPORT FOR THEIR OWN MEMBERS IS ENCOURAGED, BUT PERSONAL ABUSE, INTIMIDATION OR GESTURES TO THEIR OPPOSITION WHICH CAN BE TERMED ‘PERSONAL BARRACKING’ WILL NOT BE TOLERATED. These are reportable offences and representatives of Teams reported for these offences, will be required to attend a meeting of the Executive Committee at which their case will be considered. Complaints or protests must be made in writing to the League Secretary within seven days of the incident. The Executive Committee may monitor future matches involving Teams against whom complaints have been made. Any Team found guilty of misconduct or conduct which, in the opinion of the Executive Committee, will bring the match or the League into disrepute will be fined in accordance with Appendix A. League points may be deducted or their membership of the League may be terminated immediately. Players from Teams whose membership is terminated in this way may not transfer to another Team without the specific permission of the Executive Committee.

2.         Each Team shall consist of 12 players, and shall be divided into 4 sets of 3, each set to bowl 3 balls (1 hand) alternately with their opponents until 18 balls (6 hands) are completed. At the end of the match the team flooring the highest total number of pins shall be the winners.

2a    Team Captains to declare the number of players they are fielding prior to the start of the game. (The game format is 12 v 12) However, teams unable to field a full side may nominate up to 2 players from the four lowest scoring players, to play again on the last leg.

3.         All matches shall commence at 8.00pm and the three players for the next set must be on the alley ready to play as soon as the previous set has been completed unless mutually agreed between the two captains.

4.         Once a match has started it will count as a League fixture and if any Team is incomplete they shall be reported to the League Secretary for the first offence and for any subsequent offence they shall be fined in accordance with Appendix A.

5.         It is the responsibility of the Home Team to ensure that each player personally signs the Official Result Card, in ink, with their normal signature (which will be the only signature accepted) either before they play or immediately at the end of their leg.. Failure to do this will render the home Team liable to a fine in accordance with Appendix A. Matches under League Supervision (Cup Games/Front Pin) will maintain the Sign Before You Play Rule.

6.         Once a match has started the pins and balls may not be changed unless exceptional circumstances arise, in which case the opposing captain must agree to such change.

7.         If a match, after it has started, has to be abandoned for any reason it must be rearranged and played within twenty eight days or the final day of the season whichever is the shorter period.

8.         If a player, through genuine accident resulting in injury or sudden illness, is unable to complete their hands, that player may be substituted by another Registered player from the reserves for the remainder of the match subject to the agreement of both captains. A report of this occurrence must be sent, in writing, to the League Secretary within seven days of the match.

9.        A Team that knowingly plays an ineligible player or players will be

               i.           Fined in accordance with Appendix A.

             ii.           Two points shall be deducted from the offending team’s total points, and, in addition, both points for the match shall be awarded to their opponents.


F.         After the match (Covid Appendix A1 Applies)


1.         The Home Team is responsible for correctly completing the Official Result Card and ensuring that it is approved and countersigned by the Captain or Secretary of both Teams in the appropriate place. Captains or Secretaries signing their approval of the Result shown must ensure that the Card is completed correctly and fully, before signing. Failure to ensure this is done will result in both Home and Away Teams being fined in accordance with Appendix A, F1. Any alterations to entries on the card must be initialled by the Away Team Captain. The Total scores shown and signed for on the Result Card will stand.

2.         Should a genuine error occur and be discovered after the Result card has been received by the League Secretary both teams may appeal to have the result corrected. Such appeals must be made in writing to the League Secretary explaining the reasons for the error. Both teams concerned will be required to attend a meeting of the Executive Committee and, if the error is ratified, both Teams will be fined in accordance with Appendix A and the result will be amended.

3.         The Home Team is also responsible for ensuring that the Result Card is received by the League Secretary before 10.00pm within three days of the match. For Ladies matches played on Wednesdays the Cards are to be received by the Saturday following the match, and for matches played on Thursdays the Cards are to be received by the Monday following the match. Teams in default of these deadlines will be fined in accordance with Appendix A.

4.         If a Team wishes to make a complaint of a Rule infringement which may affect the result the match, the Captain or Secretary should not sign their approval on the Card, should advise the opposing Captain or Secretary of their reason for not doing so and that a complaint will be made. Their complaint must then be made, in writing, to the League Secretary within seven days of the match.


G.        Charities Cup


1.         The normal League Rules will apply to all Charities Cup matches except as detailed below.

2.         It is a condition of membership of the League that every Registered Team will participate in the Charities Cup Knock-Out Competition. A draw will be made before the start of each season to determine which Teams will play each other and which Team shall be the Home Team.

3.         The Home Team will make a collection of money for the benefit of the Charities Fund. The amount collected must be received by the Assistant League Secretary, together with the correctly completed Result Card, within three days of the match. If a Team fails to make a collection the Executive Committee may impose a fine equal to the average amount of collections made during the previous season. Such fines will be put into the Charities Fund. Alley and Sticker costs should not be taken from the Charity Cup Collection.

4.        In the event of a drawn match, at any time during this knock out competition, the result will be determined by a sudden death play off. Both Captains will select three of their players to participate in this play off. Each player will bowl three balls until the total of one leg exceeds the other.

5.         The dates for the Semi – Finals and the Final matches will be published at the start of the season and will not be subject to alteration. Should the Final result in a tie the result will be determined by a sudden death play off between three players from each side as in Rule G4.

6.        Any player who has played in a cup game, and then has a transfer into a new Team, is not eligible to play in Cup Matches.


H.        General


1.         Clubs must reply to official correspondence from the League within fourteen days of the date of that correspondence. Failure to do so will result in a fine in accordance with Appendix A being imposed.

2.         All fines must be paid within fourteen days of notification. Fines unpaid within this time will be doubled. If the increased fine is not paid within twenty eight days of the original notification the matter will be dealt with by the Executive Committee.

3.         Any matters not covered by these Rules will be dealt with by the Executive Committee and their decision shall be final.

Appendix A


Registration Fees, Fines and Penalties

Registration Fee (per team) Rule B1                                                £10.00

Player Registration Sheet (up to 20 players)                                     £35.00

Player signing Registration forms for more than one Team

in a season. Rule B4                                                                    £10.00

For breaking a fixture. Rule C6 and C7.                                            £20.00

Misconduct. Rule E1                           not less than                        £15.00

Failing to obtain signatures on Official Result Card. Rule E5

           First offence                                                                   £4.00

           Subsequent                                                                    £6.00

Incomplete Result Card            

           First offence                                                                   £4.00

           Subsequent                                                                    £6.00

Incomplete Team. Rule E4

After first offence per player short                                                    £5.00

For playing ineligible players. Rule E9 Per ineligible player                     £10.00

Late Result Cards. Rule F3

           First offence                                                                    £4.00

           Each subsequent offence                                                    £6.00

Correction of errors on Result Card. Rule F2 Both Teams each                £25.00

Late reply to League correspondence. Rule H1                                   £10.00

Note that all fines imposed are to be settled within fourteen days of notification after which they are doubled. The increased fine is payable within twenty eight days of the original notification. Rule H2.




Appendix A1




On entering the premises, players MUST


Respect and follow the guidelines within all skittle alleys and premises attended. This may include the wearing of face masks when requested by those premises. This may include scanning the NHS QR Code, or providing name and contact details to the Pub/Club. This should ensure everyone receives the necessary public health advice should it arise.


Whilst self isolation is no longer needed, government advice suggests taking a PCR test for Covid if close contact happens.


Playing the Game :

During the current post-Covid period, it is everyone’s responsibility, (in the interests of collective social responsibility) that the following Guidance is followed:


·         THE HOME TEAM must ensure that all pins and balls are sanitised before the game commences.


·         ALL PLAYERS are expected to take adequate precautions (e.g. hand sanitisation) at all times immediately prior to bowling.


·         Players must not: Lick Hands : Spit on Hands : Use damp sponges/cloths HOME TEAM must provide hand sanitiser for their Sticker


·         Players may, if they wish, wear gloves during play but must not share these with anyone else.


·         Result Cards could be in a clearly visible static position for each player to sign, rather than circulating round team members.


·         Fundraising any raffle or other fundraising opportunities should be managed on a common sense basis and then only with the consent of the players willing to participate.


·         End of game: handshakes and close contact between teams is not advised. Fist or elbow bumping is a preferred sporting option.


·         HOME TEAM to sanitise all pins and balls prior to packing them away.







Dates for diary

Charities supported

Looking for alley/players

Downloadable forms



History of the league

West Midland league

Those were the days



send mail to webmaster

copyright 2004. Cheltenham Skittles League All rights reserved