Laws and Umpiring
Becoming an Umpire
Acquiring the set of skills necessary to perform the duties of a National Umpire not only enhances your competence on the rink of play, but also provides an additional and important benefit to your club.
The path to becoming an umpire is as follows: filling out an application, completing the 25-question open-book test, signing the umpire pledge. If the open-book test receives a passing grade, then your Head Division Umpire (HDU) will administer the skills test and the 10-question oral exam. In the skills test, you demonstrate your ability to competently measure between bowls, to use a boundary mirror, calipers, wedges for bowls, etc. The oral exam is designed to demonstrate how to handle typical questions that may arise during a game.
The completed open-book test is submitted to the National Umpire-in-Chief. The results of that test are kept confidential.
The Policies & Procedures Manual of the National Umpires Club is at the Bowls USA website. A detailed explanation of the requirements and duties of not only umpires, but the National Umpire-in-Chief and the Head Division Umpires is contained within that document. The P&P Manual is available for downloading.
If you would like more information, if you have other questions, or if you would like to gain the competencies necessary for the skills test, contact your Head Division Umpire.
For your convenience, here’s a list of each division’s HDU:
I look forward to welcoming you to the Bowls USA National Umpires Club.
Melanie A Vizenor (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Bowls USA, National Umpire-in-Chief
Worldwide lawn bowling rules are established by World Bowls and published as Laws of the Sport of Bowls which World Bowls continuously reviews and revises.Bowls USA is one of 55 member nations affiliated with World Bowls.
To obtain your copy of the Laws of the Sport of Bowls join Bowls USA through your club or contact your head division umpire to purchase one for $20 (includes Bowls USA membership).
Each country may add their own requirements to the worldwide rules, as long as they do not violate the Laws. The Official Rules and U.S. Domestic Regulations are included in the 2015 pamphlet which Bowls USA members receive from their club.
You can update your Laws of the Sport of Bowls rule book to reflect the differences between Bowls USA Domestic Regulations and World Bowls. Click or Tap here!
Other Important Documents for Umpires
If you are an umpire and/or a bowler who wants to learn about and/or improve your measuring and umpiring skills, use this link to World Bowls' website. Once there, at the bottom right corner of the page, you will see a box, highlighted in blue. There are several pages of recommended procedures, with videos, and the suggested equipment to use.