Playdown Guidelines

The National Championships
Rules and Regulations Pertaining to the Playdowns
From the Laws of the Sport of Bowls, United States Lawn Bowls Association, 2011
Click here to see the full text of U.S. Regulations.

 108         Requirements for each entry
108.1      Lawn bowlers wishing to compete in a Divisional Playdown which will determine that Division’s Representatives to the National Championships must be:
108.1.1   A citizen of theUnited States;
108.1.2   A USLBA member prior to the playdowns;
108.1.3   Financially in good standing for all bowls-related obligations;
108.1.4   Able to certify, if a member of more than one division, that they have not entered the playdowns in any other division;
108.1.5   Willing to certify that they will compete at the Championships as that division’s representative or as the runner(s)-up in case of default by the winners;
108.1.6   Aware that any playdowns winner(s) who do not fulfill the above requirements may face possible sanctions from their Division.
108.2      Proof that any of the above requirements have not been fully met can be considered as cause for disqualification.

110      Substitutions
110.1   During playdowns, no substitutions shall be permitted once play has commenced.

Additional rules for Playdowns in the Central Division:
• The Pairs competition shall be completed before the Singles.
• The winners of the Pairs are ineligible to participate in the Singles.
• All entries shall be made on the official entry form and the entry fee paid and submitted/ postmarked before the deadline for such entry.


GENERAL TOURNAMENT INFORMATION
1. The Executive Board shall establish and maintain guidelines for the conduct of the Division Playdowns, including dates, venue, format, entry fees, and the appointment of a Playdowns Coordinator.

2. The Playdowns Coordinator will determine the starting time for play on each day, determine the number of games to be played each day, be responsible to create the draw, determine umpires for the tournament, tabulate results and inform the Secretary-Treasurer of the final results.

3. All events must determine a winner and a second place or alternate finisher.

4. USLBA rules as spelled out in the latest edition of the Laws of the Sport of Bowls shall apply to the conduct of play.

FORMAT FOR PLAYDOWN EVENTS
The format for both Singles and Pairs will be dependent on the number of entries.
1. Two entries: a double round robin shall be played. In the event of a tie after two games, a third complete game will be played to determine the winner.

2. Three or four entries: a complete round robin shall be played. Pairs teams/Singles with one or no loss in the round robin will compete in a playoff. Those with two losses in the round robin will not advance.
a. Playoff scenarios are detailed in Appendix A.
b. In the event of a tie for first place, plus points for/against will be used to determine the seeding for the playoffs.
c. In the event of a tie for second place, plus points for/against will be used to determine the second place or alternate finisher.

3. Five to eight entries (Pairs) / Five to ten entries (Singles):
a. A complete round robin shall be played. The team/player with thebest won-loss record in the round robin will be declared the winner.
b. In the event of a tie for first place, the Tie-breaker method described below shall be used.
c. In the event of a tie for second place, plus points for/against will used to determine the second place or alternate finisher.

4. Nine or more entries (Pairs) / Eleven or more entries (Singles):
a. Two divisions will be formed by blind draw and each division will play a complete round robin (no crossover games). The teams/players with the best won-loss record in each division will play a complete game to determine the overall winner and the second place or alternate finisher.
b. In the event of a tie for first place after division round robin play, the Tie-breaker method described below shall be used.

LENGTH OF GAMES
The length of games shall be according to the length of games established by the ULSBA for competition at the U.S. National Championships. As of this edition, the length of games is 18 ends (pairs) and 21 points (singles).

A maximum of three games in Pairs and four games in Singles shall be played each day.

The participants in each event have the prerogative of changing the number of ends (18) in a Pairs event or the number of points (21) in a Singles event by a vote prior to the start of the event on the first day. All skips in a Pairs event and all participants in a Singles event shall vote. A majority vote is required for action. Once a vote has been made to change the length of games, all matches shall conform to the change, including any playoffs.

SCORING OF GAMES AND GAME DECISIONS
Game format
All games shall be scored in “shots format” (as opposed to counting ends won) and as  detailed in Section 9 of the latest edition of the Laws of the Sport of Bowls.

“Plus” points
Plus points for/against in each game will be determined for both plus (max of +10) and minus (max of -10) points.

Tie games
Games tied at the end of regulation will be followed by one extra end to determine a winner. USLBA rules regarding extra ends will apply.

Game points awarded and determining overall winner
The winner of a game is awarded one point. No points are awarded for a loss. The overall winner will be the team or individual with the most points at the conclusion of the tournament, except in cases where a playoff is necessary. The winner of the playoff is detailed in the “Tie-breaker method” or in the scenarios found in Appendix A.

Tie-breaker method (five or more entries, Pairs and Singles)
If at the end of the competition, two or more teams are tied with the most number of points, a playoff game(s) will be played to determine the overall winner.
- Two teams tied for first – play head-to-head in a complete game
- Three teams tied for first – the team finishing with the most plus points has a bye and plays the winner of the game between the two remaining teams
- Four teams tied for first – the four teams compete in a two-round single knockout playoff. Based on plus points, team 1 plays 4 and 2 plays 3, and the winners play to determine the overall winner

Tie for second place
Determination of second place is necessary because the second place team/player will be the alternate representative to the US National Championships in the event that the winner is unable to attend. In the case of a tie for second place (after first place has already been determined), plus points for/against will be used to determine the second place or alternate finisher.

Early conclusion of games
If the first and second place teams in a complete round robin format, or the divisional winners in a two division format, are determined before the completion of the round robin, then completion of the round robin will be canceled and playoffs will commence.

OTHER RULES OF PLAY
Start of play
All players shall be available to start each match as scheduled. A penalty of one (1) point shall be assessed for lateness for each (10) minutes of lateness. A lateness of  thirty (30) minutes shall be a penalty of match forfeit.

Completion of meaningful games
-All entries shall agree to complete play of all meaningful matches in the round robin (or in the round robin phase of divisional play), except for Leave for Cause (sickness, injury, death-in-family, or for some other reasonable cause), and with the approval of the Playdowns Coordinator.
-A meaningful match is one which could affect the standings of teams that are mathematically in contention to finish first or second in a complete round robin or first in divisional play [bearing in mind that the object of the Playdowns is to select the divisional representative and alternate to the U.S. National Championships].
-Games between entrants who are not mathematically in contention to finish first or second in a complete round robin or first in divisional play need not be played or completed.
-The penalty for failure to complete all meaningful matches without approval of the Playdowns Coordinator shall be ineligibility for Playdowns participation for a period of one year in both Pairs and Singles, effective immediately upon infraction. Entrants who cannot complete a playoff or a tiebreaker in divisional play will forfeit the match, but they will not be subject to any other penalty.

Inclement weather
If inclement weather or other external factors causes play to be suspended before the completion of the tournament, the contestants can reschedule the completion of the event provided that:
1-all contestants who have meaningful games to complete are in agreement, i.e. decision must be unanimous by skips (Pairs) or players (Singles) affected by such a decision
2-there will be at least thirty (30) days between the completion of the rescheduled event and the start of the U.S. National Championships
3-otherwise, play must continue until the event is completed

PRIZE MONEY AND OTHER CONSIDERATIONS
1-All entry fees are held by the Playdowns Coordinator or the division Secretary-Treasurer and paid out to the Central Division playdown champions as follows:
a. Pairs representatives – one half of the total entry fee paid to each representative
b. Singles representative – total of the entry fees paid to the winner of the singles

2- The Central Division provides its representatives with the following:
a. A cash amount (currently $100) for each representative if they purchase a sports jacket in the division color, providing the representative is a first time winner or if the winner has not received money for a sports jacket in the past seven (7) years.
b. Central Division patch or crest to affix to the sports jacket, if the winner has not previously received one
c. One shirt in the division color for use at the U.S. National Championships (an additional shirt is provided by the USLBA Tournament Committee)

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