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Guide to Bowls


The etiquette of the game of bowls is a combination of good manners, sportsmanship and. sociability, these courtesies are best described as the unwritten Laws of the Game. They are extras and designed to promote social ability and the excellent reputation for friendliness and sportsmanship the game of bowls has rightly earned.

 1. Be conversant with the Laws of the Game and them.

 2. Respect the decision of the Umpire.

 3. Mobile Phones should not be used on or around the green.

 4. Be punctual to commence play at all matches and come to each game correctly attired.

 5. Introduce yourself and shake hands with your opponent(s) both before play commences and after the game is complete.

 6. Keep quiet and refrain from moving when players are on the mat.

 7. Stand behind the mat while your opponent is playing their bowls.

8. Always stand still at the head when a player is about to bowl - movement at the head, or talking at the mat end is very distracting.

9. Try not to walk along the bank when a player is about to bowl towards you – getting in their line of sight can be very distracting.

10. Always allow your opponent the right to the head as spelt out in the Laws of the Game, failure to do so decreases the enjoyment of the game.

11. Walk close to the centre of the rink with minimum delay when changing ends, you could distract play on the next rink.

12. Do not delay play, always play your bowl with minimum delay.

 13. Never step on to the mat to deliver your bowl before the previous bowl has come to rest, you do not have possession of the rink.

 14. Keep track of play, be ready to bowl when it is your turn.

15. Every player should assist in collecting bowls when the end is completed.

16. Always pay your skip the respect of waiting for their decision. Don't step onto the mat and indicate your intentions - wait for your skip's instructions.

17. Never applaud lucky bowls - accept them graciously.

 18. Never complain about lucky bowls - they tend to equal each other out over the season.

 19. DO NOT wave your hands to will your opponent’s bowl through or to knock out their own bowls

20. Respect the playing surface at all times. Do not: (i) Drop bowls on to the green; (ii) Stand on the edge of the green; (iii) Stand on the edge of the banks; (iv) Walk in the ditches. Always take care to protect and conserve the green.

21. Always inform your opponent if you wish to leave the green.

 22. If you lose, be a good loser, don’t blame your loss on other people, the green, or weather conditions etc.

23. Win or lose, always shake hands with your opponents and thank them for the game. Don't be too taken with your win today, the position could be reversed tomorrow.

24. When playing singles, whether you have won or not, be sure to thank the marker and offer them a drink or refreshment. Remember that they have given their time to assist in your game. You can repay them by being courteous in return.

25. It is polite to thank the Umpire of the day before leaving the club.

 26. Learn to be a good marker. When offering your services, remember a marker can make or break a game.