Paulton & District Skittle League

The Somerset Coalfields

It's Skittles
But not as we know it 


History of our league.

The League was founded in 1933 by 8 founding member teams

at The Red Lion Paulton, and has been running for over 90 years.

Red Lion - Paulton   Victoria Inn - Paulton.    Crossways - Midsomer Norton.

White Hart - Midsomer Norton.   Lamb Inn - Clandown.    Railway - Radstock.

Working Mens Club - Radstock.     Miners Welfare - Farrington Gurney.

History of Awards on 'Roll of Honour' page.

The Board & Committee

League Presidents:-                                            
2022 - Present Dave Baber
2019 - 2022    Position Vacant
2006 - 2019    Robin Thompson
2001 - 2006    John Derrick
1995 - 2000    Cliff Perkins
1992 - 1995    Bill Reynolds
1977 - 1992    Maurice Ladd
1933 - 1977    Frank Collier    (44 years)

League Secretary.   Only 3 since the League started:-
1963 - Present 
Graham Whittock  (60 years and counting)
1961 - 1963     Dick Price.
1933 - 1961     George Horler  (25 years)

League Chairman:-
2018 - Present
 Paul Derrick
2005 - 2018    Jeff Hodder.
1991 - 2005    John Derrick.
1957 - 1991    Maurice Ladd.   (34 years)
1933 - 1957    Walter Swift

Vice Chairman:-
2005 - Present 
Ron Edgell

League Treasurer:-
2018 - Present 
Dave Hazelton
2012 - 2018    Neil Hawkins.
1973 - 2012    Ted Pack   (39 years)
1966 - 1973    Alec Mundy.
1957 - 1966    Walt Swift.

Website Manager:-
2009 - Present 
Keith Parsons.  (Website commissioned for the start of 2009 - 2010 season)
2008 - 2009     Keith Parsons proposed a website for the league.  A years trial was agreed.

Committee Members:-
Present -
Derick Edgell,  Neil Cradock

League Constitution:-
2023 - League reduced to 76 teams, 5 Divisions of 16.  (4 spare places)
2021 - September, League reformed with 82 teams, 6 Divisions of 16.  (14 spare places)
2020 - 2021 season was cancelled due to world wide pandemic.
2020 - The 2019-2020 season was suspended, due to Covid 19. League positions were decided by PPG 
2019 - League reduced to 96 teams, 6 Divisions of 16.
2011 - League reduced to 112 teams, 7 Divisions of 16.
1987 - League increased to 128 teams, 8 Divisions of 16.
1986 - Eighth subsidiary division formed  (12 teams)
1984 - League increased to 112 teams, 7 Divisions of 16.
1979 - League increased to 96 teams, 6 Divisions of 16.
1972 - League increased to 80 teams, 5 Divisions of 16.
1965 - League increased to 64 teams, 4 Divisions of 16.
1963 - League increased to 48 teams, 3 Divisions of 16.  Graham Whittock took over as Secretary.
1955 - League increased to 23 teams, 2 Divisions
1933 - League founded 8 teams.  The league was formed at the Red Lion in Paulton.

Cup Competitions.

Knock Out Cup:-
The wife of retiring Treasurer Alec Mundy donated this trophy known as The Mundays 1972 Trophy, or more commonly called The Knock Out Cup.  This competition is open to ALL teams.

Nomination Cup:
Following the retirement of secretary George Horler in 1961, the then President, Frank Collyer donated a cup in his memory, to be known as The George Horler Nomination Cup.  In 2022 this cup was designated a top 32 teams only competition.

The Maurice Ladd Plate:-
This competition commenced in 1992 following the death of league chairman Maurice Ladd.  His daughter and son-in-law donated a plate in his memory.  In 2022 this competition became The Knock Out Plate for teams placed 33rd or lower in the league.

Nomination Individual Cup / Skittler of the Year:-
Mrs Thelma Kingman in memory of her husband Len, landlord of the Dolphin inn, donated The Len Kingman Nomination Individual Cup in 1980.  This competition was re-names in 2016 to The 'Skittler of the Year'.  The winner of this new Individual Tournament also receives a personal trophy they can keep.  This competition is now standard skittles, no longer nomination.

Traditional West Country 9 pin Skittles

The nine wooden skittles are between 10 & 11 inches high and vary slightly in shape depending on area or region. The most common in the Mendip area are shaped like a bulged cigar, with the diameter in the middle being around five inches and the diameter at the ends about three inches.  Balls are usually wooden and any size greater than a tennis ball and less than a cannonball can be used. (4.5 to 5 inches diameter should be about right).

The Skittles alley is six feet wide and normally made of wood although other surfaces can be used.  Sometimes one of the pins, known as a kingpin is used, this pin is slightly larger than the others and it's position would normally be in the centre of the diamond.

The nine skittles or 'pins' are arranged in a diamond formation at the end of the alley so that the sides are diagonal to the edge of the alley.  A typical 'diamond' size would be 45 inches from the centre of the front pin to the centre of the back pin. Each turn starts with all the skittles standing and consists of three throws down the alley.  The ball must hit the alley before the 'throw line' and continue down the alley without hitting the sides.  If the first throw is a "flopper" (all 9 pins down with 1 ball) or second a 'spare' (all pins down with 2 balls), the pins are all reset.  It is customary for the home team to employ a 'sticker-up' to reset the pins. Normally the game is played by two teams of 6 or 8 players who play a series of 'legs'.  In a leg each player is allowed one turn of three balls.  The total number of pins scored by each member of the team are added up and the team with the highest score wins the leg.  Hitting all 9 pins down with 3 balls is considered a good score.  The maximum score in one turn is twenty seven, although very rarely achieved. 

Scoring Points.
In the Paulton & District Skittles League (Bath & NE Somerset) teams of 8 players are split into two 'halves' consisting of 4 players in each half, and the game is played over 6 legs.  The "Top" half of both teams play first and 2 points are awarded to the team with the highest 'all in' half time total.  Then the next set of 4 players contest the "Bottom" half, with another 2 points being awarded.  Finally at the end of the match the total pins are added up and the the team that has hit the most wins the match and is awarded a further 2 points. A tied half results in 1 point each.  A maximum of 6 points can be gained by the winning team.

A Nomination Cup competition is also played whereby each player must 'nominate' their pin prior to throwing the ball, this makes for a more skilful competition.  The ball must strike the nominated pin first before any of the pins count.  If the player misses the nominated pin then the pins knocked down do not count in the scoring, and are not reset.

A typical pin in this league is No.3 or 4 on the pin chart below, however on some alleys pins 5 or 6 are used.

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