Bowling Etiquette

Bowls is one of the few sports where true sportsmanship still prevails. This is a position that should be guarded jealously, and by following the few simple principles listed below you can help to maintain the sportsmanship and courtesy that has characterised the game of bowls for so many years.

Before the game:

  • Check that you know the correct dress for the occasion, and wear it;
  • Make sure that you know the start time of the game and be there in sufficient time to change your footwear, and be on the green ready to start at the appointed time;
  • In a team game, be in time to welcome your guests.

During the game:

  • Enter and leave the green by any steps provided;
  • Do not drop your bowls on the green;
  • Shake hands with your opponent before and after the game;
  • Do not sit on the steps or the banking;
  • Do not drop litter in the ditches;
  • Stand still when your opponent is about to play;
  • Do not infringe the laws of rink possession;
  • Wait until the result of the end has been decided before┬ámoving the bowls;
  • If you are responsible for keeping the score, compare your card with that of your opponent at regular intervals;
  • If score boards are in use make sure they agree with both cards;
  • Unless delegated to decide the shots at the completion of an end, do not interfere in any way with this process;
  • If an Umpire has been called, stay clear of the head until a decision has been made;
  • If you have lost the game, remember to congratulate your opponent;
  • Never be heard to criticise the green or your opponent;
  • Acknowledge a “fluke” and commend an opponent’s good bowl.