Bowling Etiquette

Conscious that those who are new to bowls may be concerned with adhering to protocol, we have prepared this section which may assist in understanding some basic do's and dont's of the game. The laws of the sport can be found under the Bowlers Zone section 

Positive Etiquette

  • Where steps are provided, do enter and leave the green by using them 

  • Do show consideration to other bowlers, as you would expect them to show to you

  • Do keep quiet and stand still when someone is about to play a bowl

  • Do stand well behind when your opponent is on the mat

  • Do be ready to play when it's your turn

  • Do accept your skip's instructions as to the hand he/she wishes you to play, unless they give you the option

  • Do bowl ... don't drop

  • If you decide to play a drive shot, warn those at the head 

  • Do remember the rules regarding possession of the rink. When a bowls comes to rest, you must be behind the mat or behind the head 

  • Do walk close to the centre of the rink when changing ends to avoid distracting the adjoining rinks 

  • Do stand well clear of the head - not in it

  • Do compliment a team member or opponent for a good shot 

  • Do assist with the collection of the bowls when an end is completed and you are at the mat end 

  • Do shake hands with your opponent before and after the game (unless there are restrictions - e.g. Covid - which prevent this)

  • Do be a good loser - don't blame others on the rink 

  • If you've entered the club competitions ensure your ties are always played by the due date for each round 

  • Do above all, enjoy the game for the fun, fitness, pleasure and the lasting friendships it provides 

Negative Etiquette

  • Don't drop your bowls - place them on the rink

  • Don't walk across other players' rinks 

  • Don't deliver your bowl before the previous bowl has come to rest

  • Don't wander around or move about the head when a player is about to deliver a bowl

  • Don't kick in the bowls until all the shots have been decided and agreed 

  • Don't cheer or applaud lucky or unlucky bowls - accept them graciously 

  • Don't complain about your opponent's lucky bowls - you will have your fair share throughout the season

  • Don't waste time - if the result of a head is in doubt then measure. Looking at it for several minutes won't provide definitive proof of who is lying the shot

  • Mind your language whilst on the green

  • Do not eat, drink or smoke on the green

  • When walking past ongoing games it is considered good practice not to walk behind/in front of the bowler who is standing on the mat preparing to bowl at either end 

  • It is always expected that any competition singles match has a marker  

  • When marking a singles match, try and facilitate a good flow of the game. Ideally you should be at the other end ready to set the jack when the bowler is about to throw the jack