For more information about Official courses, contact the Bowls Sask office: or see information at

Laws of the Sport

The Laws of the Sport of Bowls have been developed by World Bowls Limited and are made available to Bowls Canada Boulingrin for publication. These laws are adopted by all member national authorities, ensuring that the sport is played according to a consistent set of rules wherever it is played.

The current edition of the laws is titled the Laws of the Sport of Bowls, Crystal Mark 3rd Edition, and was adopted in Canada on April 1, 2015. Copies can be ordered through your club or directly from Bowls Canada Boulingrin

If you have questions, or require clarification on any of the updated laws, please send an email to with the subject line: Ask an Umpire.

If you require a bowling aid and would like to use it at any of the Canadian Championships, please fill out the Application for Bowling Aid Approval form and send it to the Bowls Canada Boulingrin office.

Become an Umpire


Umpires play a vital role in ensuring that all aspects of play are in line with the Laws of the Sport of Bowls. Umpires must be able to apply their knowledge of the laws in an approach that will make the experience enjoyable for both the participants and the officials.

One of the goals of the National Officiating Committee (NOC) is to qualify at least one umpire at each lawn bowling club in Canada.

Level 1 (Club) Umpire

This is a new entry level training program for umpires that has been developed to encourage bowlers to become umpires and gain experience at their local events.  A Level 1 umpire is certified to officiate at all club, local and provincial events.

Level 1 Accreditation Process

The accreditation process is comprised of training, evaluation and apprenticeship.

Training – Level 1 Umpire candidates complete a series of three half-day training sessions:

  1. The laws of the sport – This is followed by a 25-question take home exam which must be completed and marked before the third session.
  2. Measuring equipment and techniques.
  3. Measuring practicum.

The training utilizes the Laws of the Sport of Bowls, the Level 1 Umpire Training Manual and the World Bowls DVD on Umpiring and Marking Skills as training resources, and the services of a knowledgeable and competent course conductor. Umpiring candidates must have a minimum of two years of bowling experience, and will be expected to purchase a copy of the rule book and the training manual. Rule books can usually be ordered through your home club. The training manual will be available through your provincial association.

Evaluation – In addition to the written exam completed during the training, candidates must also successfully complete a measuring exam and an oral exam.  Candidates must complete the measuring practicum prior to taking the measuring exam.

All exams are based on World Bowls standards.  A pass mark of 90% or better is required for each exam.

Apprenticeship – New Level 1 umpires must mentor with an experienced umpire for a minimum of 4 hours or 2 tournament games before they can officiate.  New umpires will receive a BCB Umpire pin upon completion of their apprenticeship.

Level 2 (National) Umpire

A Level 2 umpire is certified to officiate at all club, local, provincial, and national events.

Level 2 Accreditation Process

Level 1 umpires can qualify for Level 2 (National) status after officiating for a minimum of 12 months and after at least 25 hours of umpiring experience at club, local and/or provincial tournaments (including their apprenticeship). All umpires are encouraged to keep a log of their officiating activities so that they are able to demonstrate their experience.

A Level 1 umpire must take a measuring exam and pass with a mark of 90% or better in order to qualify as a Level 2 (National) umpire.

Umpire Recertification

Level 1 Umpire Recertification

New Level 1 umpires, who have taken the prescribed training and passed all exams, are certified for four (4) years. At any time during their second, third or fourth years, they may get recertified once they have 25 hours of umpiring experience and retake and pass the measuring exam. Upon achievement, they will become a certified Level 2 umpire, and may officiate for a further four (4) years before requiring recertification.

Level 2 Umpire Recertification

Existing Level 2 umpires are currently certified for a period of three (3) years. In order to be recertified they should pass the measuring exam. In order to transition to a 4-year recertification period, Level 2 umpires will be asked to produce a log showing a minimum of 25 umpiring hours, and they must pass the measuring exam.

In their three-year or four-year officiating cycle, any umpire must be recertified before the end of their last year in order to remain qualified. Exceptionally, at the end of their current officiating cycle, one year of grace is possible, allowing for recertification to occur during the following year. If recertification does not occur by the end of this extended period, then the umpire is no longer qualified to officiate. In this case, a former umpire can be recertified only after successfully completing the Level 1 umpire course.