What does the stamp means on lawn bowls? The stamp holds vital information on your bowls, and can be critical for some competitions.
What does the stamp mean on lawn bowls?
The stamp on lawn bowls is used to show when the bowl was last tested to ensure it meets international standards. Bowls must go through this process every 10 years, much like a car requires an MOT. The stamp shows who tested it, to which standard it was tested too, and the year it requires re-testing.
Depending on the age of your bowl you may see a stamp that looks like one of these:
They will look different depending on when the bowl was manufactured, or when it was last tested, as different designs have been brought out over the years.
The latest style, and the most common, is the first. This was brought in in 2013 to co-inside with the latest regulations from World Bowls.
Regardless of the look, the components are the same.
The Expiry Year
This is the year the bowl requires re-testing. It is the last two digits of the year, so in this example, our bowl would need to be re-tested in 2021.
I would recommend that competitive bowlers get their bowls checked regularly, as wear on the running surface of the bowl can make the bowl run slightly staighter.
The “R” shows that the stamp is a registered trademark. This will always be present, but doesn’t have any baring on the use of the bowl.
Prior to the 2002 introduction of the World Bowls stamp, bowls were stamped with the stamps of the International Bowling Board, and prior to 1988 bowls had the stamp of the major country from which the tester was from. This was changed in 2013 so that all bowls had the same standard.
All bowls using the new style stamp will Be stamped with “WB” to indicate it was tested to the World Bowls standard.
Companies need to be licenced by World Bowls in order to officially stamp bowls. Each one is given a unique letter code which is included on the stamp. This way, if there is a fault from the test it can be traced back.
Companies can either be stand-alone testers who specialise in re-stamping bowls, or they can be the original manufacturer of the bowl – as the original stamp will be done by the source manufacturer.
Below is a list of all bowl testing companies, along with their stamp codes.
|A||THOMAS TAYLOR (BOWLS) LTD|
|G||THE BOWLS DOCTOR|
|N||HENSELITE (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD|
|P||PERSHORE BOWLS CENTRE|
|Q||SYDNEY BOWLS CENTRE|
|S||THE BOWLING ARM & BOWLS TEST CENTRE BENDIGO|
|U||BAYEUMAS BOWLS TEST CENTRE|
|V||NSW BOWLS TESTING|
|Z||AEROBOWLS PTY LTD TRADING AS WALROD PTY LTD|
You may come across other manufacturer stamps not on this list, this is because many are now no longer testing, however, their stamp code remains.
|B (pre 2002)||THURSTON & CO LTD, LONDON|
|B||BOWLS DIRECT LTD, NEW ZEALAND|
|D||GRAYS OF CAMBRIDGE LTD, PERSHORE|
|E||PYNE ASSOCIATES LTD< BURGESS HILL|
|F||DOUGLAS KENN (SPORTS) LTD, BURGESS HILL|
|G||THOMAS PADMORE LTD, BIRMINGHAM (pre 2002)|
|H||J JAQUES & SON LTD, THORNTON HEATH|
|J||CBBS CO LTD, CONGLETON|
|K||HENSELITE (UK) LTD, CUMBERNAULD|
|L||TAYLOR BOWLS AUSTRALIA, WARANA, QUEENSLAND|
|M||METROLITE INDUSTRIES, WIGAN|
|R (pre June 2014||FRED FERN’S BOWLS CENTRE PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA|
|T||E S HALLIWELL BOWLS CO, BIRKENHEAD|
|Y||RILEY LEISURE LTD (GREENMASTER), BURNLEY|
So from our example, we can see our bowl would have been tested by Thomas Taylor. As this is a well known manufacturer, this will likely be the stamp given when it was first made.
Here is a visual guide showing these elements
Do bowls need to be stamped?
You can still use your bowls, even if they have passed the expiry date on the stamp. They will not behave adversely to it, however there may be restrictions on what level you can play to.
Whilst club and local leagues may say it is a requirement to have valid bowls, in reality they are never checked. If you play to this level you should worry too much about being refused to play.
If you wish to enter National, or International comeptitons, then you will most definitely need them within their expiry date.
How much does it cost to re-stamp a set of bowls?
It will cost between £35-£50 to re-stamp a set of bowls. Once they have been stamped they will be valid for use for another 10 years