A Guide to Club Competitions.
The Club organises competitions throughout the year. To enter you must be a full playing member. To help you decide which to enter, the types of competitions are shown below. You can enter competitions by filling in the either the on-line or the printed version of the entry form, or if you join after the beginning of the season by adding your name to the lists on the Notice Board. In either case you can pay your entry fee on-line or by leaving your entry fee, in the envelope provided, in the ‘Treasurer’s box’. Closing dates for Fixed Day Competitions will depend on the number of entries. Closing Dates for the ‘progressive comps’ and the leagues will be notified at the beginning of the season. If you miss the closing date for these we have wildcard entries for late joiners in the progressive comps. Fixed day dates are on the Club Competition Entry form, and in the Club Handbook. Apart from League Competitions all final ties are played on Club Finals Day, and to enter other than a league competition, you must be available to play on Final’s Day. If you need any more information, please contact the Competition Secretary. Many thanks to Gordon Niven for the historical information.
There are Five Types of Competition:
1). Fixed Day Competitions.
Fixed Day Competitions are played over a single day to the semifinal stage. The structure is either a straight knockout or a round robin. Straight knockout is obvious, and only applies to some Singles. A round robin consists of a number of randomly drawn small groups where each player, or team plays each other once in a mini league over a fixed number of ends. The league winners, and sometimes the best runner up qualify for the quarter-finals etc. Typically fixed-day competitions last all day.
The Early Bird Singles - The J & W Cropper Trophy.
The first fixed day competition of the season, the Early Bird Singles is a competition open to both ladies and gentlemen. It is a Round Robin competition. Because of the Bolton Open, this is being postponed for 2022.
The Balloted Pairs - The Les Colbourne Memorial Shield.
Open to all playing members. Entry is as an individual. Skips are seeded, but the draw for partners is random. This is a good competition for newer members to enter. The Balloted Pairs is a Round Robin competition.
The Over 60's Pairs - The Eddie Morgan Shield.
Open to all playing members aged sixty years or over. Entry is as a named pair, so you have to find your own partner. The Over 60's Pairs is Round Robin competition.
The Millennium Balloted Triples - The Margaret Baker Trophy
Open to all playing members. Entry is as an individual. Skips are seeded, but the team draw is random so this is also a good competition for newer members. The Millennium Balloted Triples is a Round Robin competition.
The Mixed Pairs Competition - The Atherton-Thind Trophy.
Open to all playing members. Entry is as a named pair, (one gentleman, one lady), so you have to find your own partner. The Mixed Pairs is a Round Robin competition.
The Mixed Triples Competition - The Spencer Trophy.
Open to all playing members. Entry is as a named triple, so you have to find your own team mates, and as the name suggests, there must be at least one member of the opposite sex in each team. That is either two men and one lady, or two ladies and one man. The Mixed Triples is a Round Robin competition.
The Ladies’ Balloted Pairs Competition - The Howlett Trophy.
Open to all lady playing members. This is a balloted competition, so entry is as an individual. and Skips will be seeded. The Ladies’ Pairs is a Round Robin competition.
The President's Balloted Pairs.
This Competition is open to all club members with the exception of those who have won any Singles competition at Club, County, Northern Counties or National level within the last 10 years, i.e. since the 2009 season. Entry is as an individual and Skips will be seeded. This is a Round Robin competition.
The Club Singles Championship - The Readey Trophy.
The Readey Trophy was donated by Gerry and Doreen Readey, who owned Readey's Trophies at Chorley Old Road, Bolton, (which is still in business), and the Competition is considered to be the premier club competition. It is open to all playing members. The Club Singles Championship is a straight knockout competition.
The Ladies’ Singles Championship - The Hunt Cup.
Open to all Lady playing members. The Ladies’ Singles is a Straight Knockout competition. However, first round losers enter the Consolation Cup, (also a knockout), so you are guaranteed at least two games on the day. In addition to the trophy, the winner qualifies for the following year’s National Champion of Champion’s Competition. This is the one day in the club season where by way of thanks to all the ladies efforts throughout the season, the gentlemen do all of the work, from organisation, through marking, to catering.
The Australian Balloted Pairs Competition - The J & B Branche Trophy.
Entry is open to all playing members. This is a balloted competition, so entry is as an individual. The Australian Pairs is a Round Robin competition.
2). League Competitions.
These are played in various formats, usually singles or pairs, and sometimes triples, on a fixed day each week. Players, or teams generally play each other once.
Singles League Competition - The Jean Gordon Trophy.
Entry is open to all playing members. The league is played during the day on a Wednesday. Over the last few seasons there have been two divisions, with promotion and relegation between the divisions on a three up, three down basis. Players in each division play each other once. There are usually two sessions, the first beginning at 10.00 hrs, and the second at approximately 12.00 hrs. Singles is unique in that you need a marker, so each player plays one game each week, but on average will also mark one game every other week. More than any other format, singles teaches you how to play the game, and will improve your game. Newer players are placed in the lower division. If there are sufficient entries a third division will be considered.
The Pairs League - The Tony Gafner Trophy.
This is the conventional pairs league. Open to all playing members. Entry is as a named pair, in which case substitutes are allowed, but cannot skip, or three players can be nominated for each team, in which case substitutes are not allowed. Teams usually play each other once during the season.
The Australian Pairs League - The Nora Rose Bowl.
Open to all playing members. Entry is as a named pair, in which case substitutes are allowed, or three players can be nominated for each team, in which case substitutes are not allowed. Teams usually play each other once during the season.
3). Progressive Competitions.
As the name suggests these progress through the season and all are straight knockouts. The formats include singles and pairs, and each tie must be completed by a specific date.
The Challenge Pairs - The J. H. Smith Trophy.
The Challenge Pairs is open to all playing members. It is a straight knockout competition, and entry is as a named pair.
The TV Sets - The Lawrence Gordon Trophy.
The TV sets is a singles competition which follows the format of the UK National Championship currently played at Potter’s. It is open to all playing members and is a straight knockout competition. Each game consists of two sets of nine ends. If the score is one set each at the end of two sets, three extra ends are played to determine the winner.
The Club Singles Handicap - The McNair Cup.
The trophy was donated by Davie McNair, who was a Silversmith and a great character – a decent player and always good fun – a good club member.
The Club Handicap Singles competition is open to all playing members. It is a straight knockout competition. The purpose of this competition is to try and create an opportunity for all of our members to compete on a level playing field. This is done by giving less proficient players a varying number of points start in comparison to more proficient players. Players who enter the competition for the first time are allocated a handicap by the Competitions Sub-committee, but thereafter handicaps are adjusted purely as a consequence of performance in the competition. Thus, every player who loses their first game will have their handicap increased in their next competition. The competition winner, and the Runner-Up will have their handicaps reduced, but will not go below zero. There is a maximum handicap of +10.
The Men’s Singles Championship - The Williamson Cup.
The Williamson Cup was donated by Jack Williamson, who was a very active member at Bolton and President one year. He was a County President and County Captain. The Men’s Singles Championship is the equivalent of the Ladies Hunt Cup. Entry is open to all male playing members. It is a straight knockout competition. The winner represents the club in the National Champion of Champions competition the following season.
4). Roll Ups.
A friends roll up with a competitive edge, which take place on a specific day, and time each week. Teams are drawn at random from all who turn up, and the format played is determined by the number of participants. They are usually played over an agreed number of ends.
Monday Evening Random Roll Up.
This takes place on Monday evenings during the summer. Sign in at 18.15 for an 18.30 start.
This takes place on Thursday afternoon throughout the year. An opportunity for the newer and prospective Club Members to find their feet alongside seasoned players. Sign in is 12.45 for a 13.00 start in Winter, and 13.15 for a 13.30 start in Summer.
5). Team Competitions.
Two teams are selected from the members who nominate to play.
The Hemsley Challenge Trophy - Team Competition.
The Hemsley Challenge Trophy is played each year between the ladies and gentlemen. The structure is the same as the Ladies’ National Top Club, which is a four wood singles, a pair, a triples, and a full rink. It is usually played in the evening, in early June. A Nomination sheet is placed on the notice boards and a team selected from those who add their names.
The Memorial Trophy.
Played in remembrance of a former members, this competition is open to all playing members. Teams are captained by the Club President and the Club Captain, and selected from a Nomination Sheet displayed in the dressing rooms. Usually played on a Friday evening in the middle of September.
The Tommy Donnelly Trophy.
Wherever possible we also schedule a (friendly?) team competition between the men and the ladies in the evening.