1. The Competition shall be called the Dorchester and District Skittles League and shall be run as a League with each team playing one home and one away match against each other team in their Section.

The Officers of the League shall be President, Chairman, Vice- Chairman, Honorary Secretary, Assistant Honorary Secretary/Fixtures Secretary and Honorary Treasurer, with nine members of the Committee, who will together have control and management of the League. Five members shall form a quorum. The committee have the power to co-opt. Nominations for the Officers of the League and the Committee shall be submitted to the Hon. Secretary 14 days prior to the date of the Annual General Meeting.

2. The Annual General Meeting will take place on a Friday evening in late June or early July.  The date will be set by the Committee & notified to all teams at least 6 weeks prior to the proposed date.

Any proposition to alter the rules of the League shall be in the hands of the Hon. Secretary, 14 days prior to the Annual General Meeting. Only those teams represented in the League during the previous season shall be entitled to vote at the AGM. Each team shall have one vote.

The failure of any team to attend the ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING irrespective of whether their apologies have been tendered shall result in a £20 fine.

3.  All teams wishing to compete in the League for the forthcoming season must fully complete a Registration Form and submit it to the League Hon. Secretary by the specified date. Late entries will be subject to an administration fee of £5.

Each team shall submit a list of players to be registered with the league together with their League Fee including any fine levied under Rule 2 (payable by cheque to The Dorchester & District Skittles League) by September 30th. A TWO point deduction will be applied for each week that a team’s league fee and or players registration document remains outstanding. The failure of a third party to make payment of League Fees on behalf of any team by the required date will not relieve those teams from the imposition of the penalty.

4. A player shall not register for or play for more than one team in the same season, unless he/she is transferred to another team.

5.  Any player wishing to transfer from their original team of registration may do so, providing they apply in writing to the League Hon. Secretary enclosing a £5.00 transfer fee, at the same time notifying their own team Secretary. Such player transfer to be at the discretion of the Committee and limited to one per person per season. The transfer will take effect seven days after receipt of application during which time the player should not play for any team. No transfers will be allowed after December 31st.

6. Any team playing an ineligible player will forfeit the game to their opponents. A total of 4 points shall automatically be deducted from the offending team’s total.

7. In an emergency a team can register a maximum of THREE players before a game is due to start provided such players are not registered to another team (see Rule 8). The section headed Registration of New Players on the reverse of the result card must be completed and signed by the new players and the captains of both teams.

 As a last resort teams may fulfil a fixture with a minimum of SIX players providing that their intention is made known to the opposition before the start of the game. In these circumstances 4 pins shall be added each hand for the missing players, except in the Ladies Section where a total of 30 pins for the seven hands shall be added, the additional 2 pins for the Ladies Section being added in the seventh hand. Providing a missing player is present at the completion of both teams third hand then they may play their missed hands. Otherwise they may only play the remaining hands with 4 pins awarded for each missed hand.

8. Subject to the provisions of Rules 4 and 6 mixed teams are permitted in Sections A, B, C and D (the Open League). MEN ARE FORBIDDEN FROM PLAYING IN THE LADIES SECTION.

9. No player under the age of 14 years shall be permitted to register for any team. (See Rule 6).

10. No team shall be allowed to withdraw from the League without the consent of the Management Committee. Where such consent is given the record of the team shall be deleted and a fine imposed.

Members of any team withdrawing from the League will not be accepted for registration as a player until the fine is paid.

11. All matches shall be played in the week specified and on the declared night of play for the home team, as detailed in the fixture list, unless brought forward or rearranged within the specified week by mutual consent. Any team who is unable to fulfil a fixture on the specified date shall notify their opponents, and the Secretary, at least 24 hours before the due date and shall automatically forfeit the match, their opponents being awarded the points. (See Rules 7 and 13). However, should the cancellation result from what the Committee deem to be
an exceptional circumstance then the Secretary, whose decision shall be final and conclusive, can order the game to be played within 14 days of the original date provided that the new date does not extend beyond the completion of the final week of fixtures. If the teams are unable to agree a date within 48 hours of the original date then the Secretary will set the date for the fixture. For the avoidance of doubt the inability to raise a team other than the death of a registered player or a member of their immediate family, a national emergency or an extreme weather event, will not be deemed exceptional. As a matter of courtesy, the home team shall immediately notify the landlord/club steward of that the match will not be played. From the start of the 2024/25 season no team in the Open league will be permitted to have a home night on a Monday.

No team, irrespective of the year of their joining the league, shall be permitted to have a home night on a Saturday or Sunday.

12. The secretary of the home team is to supply and complete the result card which must be signed by both teams to signify their agreement. The winning team (or in the event of a draw the home team) shall send the result card to the Fixture Secretary to reach him by 6pm on the Friday of the week of fixture for the Ladies League and by 6pm on the Sunday following the fixture for the Open League. Cards can be submitted electronically, both sides if a player or players have been signed on, via e mail, text, WhatsApp or messenger. Teams must keep any electronically submitted cards until the end of the season in
case there is any dispute. Should a result card be received without both teams signatures and the result is in dispute, the fixture secretary is to be notified within 24 hours of the game. If no such notification is received, the result card will be deemed correct.

13. In the event of any team failing to fulfil three fixtures during the season the Management Committee shall have the right to impose an appropriate fine, to deduct further points, and/or expel the team from the League.

14. Matches shall be played over seven hands per team and the number of pins scored, totalled. Each team shall consist of eight players (see rule 7, paragraph 2). No player shall be allowed to play more than seven hands.
Games shall commence between 8.30 p.m. and 8.45 p.m. Any team short of players must commence the game with the players available. If there are no representatives of a team present on the alley by 8.45 p.m. that team will be deemed to have cancelled and the match awarded to the opposing team. If a player is injured or taken ill at any stage during the match, a reserve may continue in the injured/ill players place (even in the middle of a hand) and complete the match, provided such reserve is not registered with another team. The hands thrown by the injured/ill player will stand.
Each team shall provide their own “sticker up”. Where a sticker up is under 18 the captain shall ensure that the Licensing Act 2003 is complied with. (See statement relating to sticking up at the end of the rules).
No team will be allowed to change its home alley, as notified to the league on their entry form, except in exceptional circumstances i.e. closure of alley. If for any reason the match is unable to be played on the home teams alley, the home team must provide an alternative venue unless the match has been cancelled by the opposition.
If more than the required number of pins and balls are in the alley, then prior to the game starting the home team MUST select which three balls and nine pins ONLY are to be used. The Captain of the home team shall ensure before the commencement of the game that three of the pins are CLEARLY MARKED as front pins. Under no circumstances shall any ball with a diameter of more than 6 inches be used in any game.
Players must release the ball from behind the first line, and the ball must pitch before the second line. The first line shall be 6ft. from the backboard and the second line 16ft. from the backboard. If a player knocks down all nine pins with either his first and/or second ball(s) then all nine pins shall be replaced.
Any ball hitting the side of the alley or being pitched over the second line before hitting any pins will be called a no ball, and count as a bolter. Any pins knocked down by that ball or any pins knocked down by a ball or pins which have previously left the alley shall be replaced. However once a clean (or legal) ball has hit the pins any other pins knocked down by that ball or by other pins which have remained on the alley or rebounded off the side of the alley will count. A pin knocked off the plate to be counted as down if standing or not.
Two points will be awarded for a win and one each for a draw.
The team with the highest number of points in their section shall be the winner of the trophy. Trophies shall not become the property of any team. In the event of more than one team totalling the same number of points they shall play off for that position. Where teams finish level on points as Winners, as Runners up or in the relegation positions then their finishing order will be determined by the following criteria to break the tie. Firstly their head to head record, secondly pin difference in those matches, thirdly the aggregate of the top and bottom players scores in those matches. If both head-to-head fixtures have not been played then the team who cancelled shall, as appropriate, either forfeit promotion or be relegated. In all other instances pin difference shall determine the position of teams finishing with equal points. The top two teams in each division shall be promoted. The bottom two teams are liable to relegation.
The Committee shall be empowered to promote or relegate additional teams in their previous seasons finishing order to achieve the optimum balance across all leagues for the forthcoming season. 
15. All protests must be in writing and lodged with the League Hon. Secretary within three days of the alleged breach of the Rules.
16. In the case of any dispute one representative from each team to meet the Management Committee. No member of the Management Committee shall vote upon any protests or dispute in which their team is involved or they have a personal interest.
17. In the event of any matter arising not covered by these rules, the Committee shall have the power to deal with it and impose such
penalties as they deem fit.


l. The entire control and management of these competitions shall be vested in the Management Committee of the Dorchester and District Skittles League who shall have the power appertaining to all competitions.

2. The Cup shall be called “The Dorchester and District Skittles League Knockout Cup” and shall not become the property of any one team.

3. The cup, which is a separate competition from the League, shall be open to such teams as are in membership with the league. Teams from the same section drawn together in the cup cannot double up a league fixture as a cup game.

4. The competition will be conducted on the knockout principle drawn round by round by the Committee.

5. It shall be the responsibility of each of the teams drawn together to arrange the fixture. The team drawn first shall be the home team who shall offer their opponents at least two dates for the fixture, except where a week is set aside, when only one date need be given, within seven days of the draw being notified. The onus shall rest with the away team to make contact with the home team if no date(s) have been offered on expiry of the specified period. The Fixture Secretary is to be notified, by the Home team, of the date agreed. In the event of the teams being unable to agree a date the matter is to be reported to the League Honorary Secretary for consultation with the Committee whose decision in respect of the fixture is final. Teams are reminded that Cup matches can be played on a neutral alley and as a last resort matches may take place on a Saturday or Sunday. Teams that lose in the first round proper (not the qualifying round, if held) shall automatically be entered into the Plate competition (See Rule 8).

6. Matches are to be played to a conclusion with, in the event of a tie, extra hands being played until a result has been obtained. In the event that an extra hand or hands are required to obtain a result any player(s) who are not available to throw their extra hand(s) shall be awarded 4 pins for each additional hand required. The result card shall be sent by the winning team to the Fixture Secretary in accordance with the arrangements specified for league matches. If a result card is not submitted by the appointed time for a knockout fixture the Committee shall be entitled to EXPEL BOTH TEAMS FROM THE COMPETITION and to award a bye in the next round.

7. Any team failing to fulfil a cup or plate match, other than in circumstances that are deemed by the League /Fixture Secretary as an exceptional event, shall incur a £20 fine which shall be paid to the Hon. Treasurer within 14 days of the date specified for the completion of fixtures for that round. Should the fine not be paid within the timeframe then 2 points will be deducted from the team’s league points total for each week that the fine remains unpaid. Should the breach occur in the first round of the cup then the team will also be excluded from the plate competition.

8. The qualification of players shall be as for the Dorchester and District Skittles League. Any side winning a Cup Match and including in its side an unregistered player shall forfeit the match to its opponents. A transferred player may only take part in the Cup and/or the Plate provided they have not already played in either competition for their former team during the current season.

No team shall be able to register new players after the quarter finals.  

9. Semi-finals and finals to be played on neutral alleys. Alleys and dates for these matches, which must be adhered to, will be arranged by the Committee.

10. The remainder of the rules of the Dorchester and District Skittles League shall, where applicable also apply to this competition, and must be read in conjunction with the foregoing rules.



l. The entire control and management of these competitions shall be vested in the Management Committee of the Dorchester and District Skittles League who shall have the power appertaining to all competitions.

2. The Singles Cup shall be called the Albert Grinter Memorial Cup and the Pairs Cup, the Allan Aplin Memorial Pairs Trophy. No trophy shall become the property of any one team.

3. Competitions for the cups shall be annual and open to such teams as are in membership with the League who can enter two players in the Singles Competition and a maximum of five pairs in the Pairs Competition.

Lady players, including those who play in the Open League, can enter the Ladies Singles & Pairs Competitions.

The Secretary or Captain of each team (or their nominated deputy) is eligible to enter the Secretary’s Shield. The Sticker up of each team provided they are aged between 14 and 18 years old is eligible to enter the Sticker up Trophy. Entries for these competitions, together with the appropriate entry fees for the singles and pairs, shall be submitted to the Honorary Treasurer by the date specified.

4. Teams will be informed by the Hon. Secretary,  via E mail and the web site, when and where they have to play their matches. Any person or pair not on the alley ready to play at the appointed time will automatically be disqualified.

5. Each player will throw nine balls in sets of three (players and opponents alternating), the winners being decided on the total number of pins knocked.

6. The toss of a coin shall decide who throws first.

7. In the event of a tie, each playing are to throw one extra hand of three balls until a winner is established. The winners of each pairs grouping in the Open Pairs Competition will go forward to a finals night. The other competitions including the Ladies Pairs shall be played on one night to a conclusion. The Management Committee shall fix the dates and venues for all competitions.

8. The finals of all competitions (not the final game of the preliminary rounds of the Open Pairs) shall be played over 5/6 hands.

9. In the event of a player or pair being unavailable for the Open Pairs final night, the Committee can, at their discretion, agree to a substitute player from the same team taking his/her place providing he or she has not played in the group stage or can draw a substitute pair from all the group stage losing finalists to fill any vacancies.

10. Where a competition is played to a conclusion in one evening, the committee may, depending on the number of entries,elect to run the competition using an alternate format whereby a draw will be made at the beginning of the evening to determine the order of play. Where more than one alley is used the first drawn is on alley one, the second on alley two, the third on alley three, the fourth on alley one & so on until all the players registered have been allocated an alley.
Players will throw a hand of 3 balls in the order drawn, down the board, as in a league game. Once all players have thrown
FIVE hands a cut will be made with 50% of the players plus ties, with the lowest total scores dropping out. The threshold for elimination may differ on each alley.
Those players who make the cut will throw a further 3 hands when the number of players will be reduced to 8 including ties.
Thereafter those remaining will throw a further 3 hands when the field will be reduced to 4, excluding ties, those players throwing a further 3 hands to decide the winner.
At each elimination stages scores will be reset to zero.
Where the competition is played on more than one alley the winners shall play off over 5/6 hands to determine the champion. Players will draw lots to establish the playing order their scores being reset to zero for the final.
Any player not available to take their throw will be awarded 4 pins for that hand

11. The remainder of the rules of the Dorchester and District Skittles League shall, where applicable, also apply to these competitions, and must be read in conjunction with the foregoing rules.

Stickers Up and Disclaimer

It is the responsibility of both captains to ensure that the stickers up operate in a competent and safe manner at all times. The use of mobile phones, iPads, headphones etc whilst the game is in progress is not permitted.

The Dorchester & District Skittles League accepts no responsibility or liability in respect of any material relating to Dorchester skittles posted by any team or person on social media.


Young persons between the ages of 14 and 18 years may not purchase or consume intoxicating liquor, nor may any person purchase intoxicating liquor for their consumption.


Players who play for a team based in a club shall comply with the membership rules pertaining at that club.


Team Secretaries are responsible for the return of team and individual trophies in a satisfactory condition to the Hon. Secretary by 31st January. Failure to comply will result in a fine of £5 in addition to any repair/ replacement costs.

Suspension of Skittles

In the event of a pandemic or other occurrence which forces the UK Government to impose restrictions, on the way we live, i.e. the temporary closure of pubs and clubs resulting in the suspension of skittles in the short or longer term then, the following criteria will the used to determine the outcome of the season.

To constitute a season at least 75% of the rounds of fixtures must be completed by the fourth Friday in May, the season end being 31st May. Should the full season not be completed by the cut off date and the 75% figure is reached then, where Sections contain a bye those teams who have had their bye will receive a points adjustment being their average points per game from their played matches rounded down to 2 decimal places. If the League Rules in force at the time so permit, cancelled matches remain to be played then the points will be awarded to the team who did not cancel the original fixture.

Section winners, runners up and teams to be relegated will be determined using the adjusted points totals. Where teams finish level on points the criteria outlined in the League rules shall be used to break the tie including to determine section winners.

The priority following any period of suspension will be to complete as many league matches as possible within the time available, the season restarting at the point it was suspended. To achieve this all other competitions will be cancelled irrespective of whether they were in progress or not.

Should it prove impossible to play 75% of the league season by 31st May then the season will be declared null and void. In this event any restructuring of the league required on the resumption of skittles will be based on teams finishing positions in the last completed season.