top of page

MEMBERSHIP, COACHING & PLAYING

The club is currently over-subscribed with more members wanting to play in leagues and casual roll-ups than there are places available.

At the start of the coming season (April 2024) we will be able to reassess our capacity to take on more new members after finding out how many current members renew their subscription.  All current members will need to complete a new, updated membership form this year. 

The club will then review new applications to become a member with priority being given to those for whom Morpeth Bowling Club is their nearest club. There are several bowling clubs nearby and we are trying to encourage people to support their local clubs, as they need new members more than we do, and, as you improve, you will have a greater opportunity to represent them in the various bowling leagues.

We reserve the right to decline any application based on our capacity and where you live in relation to other clubs. We may offer the opportunity for you to be put on a waiting list for membership.

We will accept new members on the understanding that squads for the coming season are already picked and that simply being a member does not mean you can automatically represent the club in matches. If you just want to play socially then there is scope for some new members.

If you are interested in joining the bowls club or have a general membership enquiry, Click here to email the membership secretary.

Please note that the membership secretary (or in their absence, any committee member) is the person who takes completed membership application forms (either in person at the greens, or scanned then emailed). Do not hand the completed form to other members at the club.

Memberships

Membership Fees

There are three elements to what a member must pay - the Morpeth Bowls Club fee plus the affiliation fees to both Bowls England and Bowls Northumberland.

One membership fee is collected which includes an amount for both affiliation fees which are forwarded on your behalf and each member is individually registered with both organisations as a player.

Because the Club is affiliated to these two organisations (see their websites for more details of what they offer) every member who bowls at the Club (even just social bowling) must pay the fees set by them. If these fees increase (as they have just done by £5) it is outside the control of the Club. A player who plays at two clubs should only pay one set of affiliation fees.

The membership fee for new members for season 2024 is £50. This includes your affiliation fees which the Club pays on your behalf.

Current members who renew their subscription this April will be subsidised from club funds to cover the recently increased affiliation fees but will need to pay the increased amount from 2025.

The membership fee for existing members is therefore held at £45 for this season. This includes your affiliation fees which the Club pays on your behalf.

You will receive a membership book with details and contact information for club officers along with competition and league match dates.

How to pay your fees

You need to have had your membership renewed or accepted before paying any fees. Paying a fee before acceptance does not make you a member and fees will be returned.

Payment is by cheque payable to Morpeth Bowling Club, or cash given ONLY to the Club Treasurer (Maurice Crake) or by bank transfer.

To make a payment by bank transfer use the following details:

Select 'Business Account' if asked, then use:

Sort Code: 40-33-20

HSBC Account number: 21438808

Morpeth Bowling Club is the name on the receiving account.

Importantly, add your name as a reference to the transfer.

It speeds up the treasurer's record-keeping if you additionally let him know (by text or in person) that you have transferred funds (otherwise it only shows on the next monthly statement).

Free coaching

Free Coaching For Beginners

Before becoming a member, players need to be assessed by one of the coaching staff to ensure they can bowl correctly (which is not the same as needing to be an expert) and that they understand how to play according to the rules and requirements of a team game. Utilising the free coaching sessions will ensure you know what is expected.

If you are a complete beginner and not sure if bowls is for you, then come and try it out!

We still plan to offer free coaching for local people who wish to find out if this is a sport for them. This will help them gain the competencies required to join in casual roll-ups with other members and to further develop their understanding of how to play the game.

The club offers help from experienced bowlers to take you through from the basics of how to hold and play a bowl, where to place a mat, how far the jack should be rolled right the way through to being competent enough to join in events after a final assessment.

No membership is required for these coaching sessions. Places will be limited and Morpeth Bowls Club needs to be your local club with regard to where you live as your membership application, should you eventually apply may be rejected if another club is nearer to you.

You must reserve your place on a course after the dates are posted here in the next few weeks. You will receive confirmation that you have a place booked. We expect to begin coaching around the second week of May. 

There will be four separate lessons, each of about 90 minutes, in a course and the course will be run twice.

Bowls will be lent for the coaching sessions if you don't have any. Wear whatever is comfortable but bring flat-soled shoes to play in. If the weather is warm bring a hat and a drink as the greens are a sun-trap. We continue to play in light rain.

Places are limited so please click here to book a space once dates are made available.  

To become a member, you must be assessed beforehand to ensure you can play without damaging the greens or without hindering other players. The coaching lessons will prepare you for this informal assessment.

Experienced bowlers who have applied for membership and been provisionally accepted, just need to be assessed.

Once you have been accepted as a member and paid your membership fee, there are no additional green fees to pay for casual play. You can turn up and play/practice as much as you like. You cannot use the greens apart from the free coaching unless you have paid your membership fee. Greens are accessible at any time through use of a passcode.

Roll Ups  (Which is simply practising or having a casual game).

​No need to book.  Just turn up and play with someone or practice on your own. If you want to find someone to play with, then you could try our members only facebook page which is where you can say when you would like to play and see if someone else is looking to play. You can ask questions of other members to clarify things about how the club runs or what the various bowls rules are and so on. It's for casual conversations about bowls.

Visit: https://www.facebook.com/groups/629555371387677 to get to the Morpeth Bowling Club Facebook group page where members of the club can join.

Formal league matches and other club competitions take priority over casual play. Some veterans’ competitions have an entry fee.
Check noticeboards in the locker rooms, this web site, or your members' handbook for details of when these matches take place.

Opening times

Opening times

Monday – Sunday: 9am – 9pm from April (date tbc) until the beginning of September

Please note that we do not have a clubhouse since the council made it into a café and can only get access to the toilets when the café is open. It is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays and Bank Holidays. The locker rooms are, however, opened daily around 9 a.m. and are kept open late for scheduled evening league matches. If you use a storage locker, make sure your bowls and shoes don't get locked in if you plan to play after café opening hours.

When the café is shut, access to the greens may require use of a combination code provided to members. Similarly, when the café is shut you can use the code to open the gate behind the hedge leading to the public toilets. If these toilets are closed, there is a key for opening the disabled toilets.


Maintaining Security
Members are also provided with an access code for the equipment store. 
It is really important that the store is locked when you leave the greens if there is no-one else playing, regardless of what time of day it is, as there is public access to the area. If you are not sure if someone else is around then just lock the shed.
Similarly, the gate needs to be locked when leaving in the evening. Please take responsibility for maintaining site security.

Playing etiquette & Rule book

Dress Code
When playing a casual game then the only rule is that you change into flat-soled shoes which should not have been used to walk to the ground. This is to avoid damage to the green.
If representing the club in a match then a club shirt should be worn along with grey below the waist. Shorts, if used in formal matches, should be of a type approved by Bowls England.
To purchase a shirt please contact the club secretary, via the link on the home page. The first club shirt bought is subsidised.

PLAYING ETIQUETTE

To help players to be aware of some of the do's and don'ts around a game of bowls there are a few basic things to know. Things like understanding the various roles players have in a team.

 

In a triples match (three players per team) each side's players have the following roles:

The first player:

places the mat, rolls the jack and plays their bowls in turn. At the end of that end, if their side has won the end, then this first player should concentrate on getting the mat and the jack ready to roll again to start the next end while the other players get the bowls out of the way. This avoids delays.

If the other team has won the end, then the first player of the losing team should be mainly responsible for getting the bowls in and using the pusher (if in use) to round up the bowls. 

Normally, this first player has no involvement in saying which bowls are scoring and which are not. Keep out of the way, keep quiet and let the number two players decide scores. It may be that at the beginning of the match your team informs the other team that the number one will do the measuring throughout - let's say they are more able to get down (and, more importantly, back up again!) to measure than the number two player.

 

The second player:

is responsible for guiding the third player (the skip) as to where to aim, if required, and to answer the skip's queries about the state of play. They can step in to the head to give advice before their skip bowls but should then step back and to the side along with the other players. After all bowls are played, this player is responsible for agreeing with the other team's number two player the number of scoring shots and measuring any bowls which may, or may not be, counting . Number one players keep out of the way and should not be offering suggestions as to who has scored.

The third player:

is known as the skip and they direct the first two players as to the best shots to play. When it's their turn to play they may ask for assistance as to the state of play and this would be given by the second player. The skip usually keeps the scorecard.

Once a player has stepped up to the mat then the opposing team's players should be back from the head and out of the line of sight. Sometimes you may be asked to move if you happen to be in front of a bowler's target line or if you are standing behind the jack with white shoes which make it harder to see the white jack.

Do not be the person who steps in amongst the head after your player has bowled to weigh-up close shots and thus prevent the next team from playing when they are ready. You should examine the state of play when your teammate is next to play. Feel free to ask them to wait while you assess what advice to give, but give the other team clear access when it is their turn to play.

Walk briskly when swapping ends and avoid walking through the head (the played bowls) or stopping to have a look at situation as this delays play.

Click HERE for some points on etiquette

Click HERE for more etiquette info

Safeguarding Policy

Ted - Safeguarding officer.jpg

Safeguarding Officer

Ted Phizacklea

‘No one in sport and physical activity; whether they are a volunteer, participant, spectator or elite athlete, should ever have to worry about abuse or harassment.’

In our club we are committed to safeguarding all those who participate in our sport, ensuring they can do so in a safe, positive and enjoyable environment.

If you have any concerns please inform Ted Phizacklea, the club's safeguarding officer, and he will offer advice and, if necessary, escalate the issue to the relevant Bowls England safeguarding person to deal with it.

All conversations and correspondence will be treated with full confidentiality.

If you require further information please refer to:-

Bowlsengland.com/safeguarding where you may read the full safeguarding policy.

 

bottom of page