Bowls Etiquette

Bowls is a sport where true sportsmanship still prevails. This position should be guarded jealously and by following a few simple principles you can help maintain the sportsmanship and courtesy, which has characterised the game for many years.

Bowls is a friendly game and all players should show courtesy and good sportsmanship.

1). Before the Game:

  • Check you know the correct dress for the occasion – and wear it.
  • Make sure you know the starting time of the game and arrive in sufficient time to change and be ready to start on time.
  • In a home game, arrive in time to welcome your guests.
  • Update the match selection sheet to show that you are available – if not available call team captain as well as updating the selection sheet.

2). During and After the Game

  • Enter and leave the green by the steps – if provided.
  • Do not drop your woods onto the green.
  • Shake hands with your opponents before and after the game.
  • Do not stand or sit on the bank unless it is the only option.
  • Do not drop litter or cigarette ends in the ditches – use the receptacles provided.
  • Stand still while other players are about to play.
  • Do not infringe the laws of rink possession – always stand well within your allocated rink.
  • Wait until the result of an end has been declared before moving any of the woods.
  • If you are responsible for keeping the score, compare your card with your opponent’s card at regular intervals. If scoreboards are in use, ensure it matches with the scorecards.
  • Unless you have been delegated to decide the shots at the completion of an end, do not interfere in any way with the process.
  • If an umpire has been called, move well away from the head until the umpire has made their decision. The umpire’s decision is final and should not be challenged.
  • If you lose the game remember to congratulate your opponents.
  • Never be heard to criticise the green, your opponents or their shots.
  • Acknowledge a “fluke” and commend an opponent’s good wood.
  • It is customary to buy your opponent a drink if you have won the game. If you have had a “marker” in a singles game you should also offer them a drink.
  • If meals are being supplied after the game, please make every effort to stay on until they are finished. Check the costs with your Skip and pay them.
  • On an odd occasion if you cannot stay behind for the meal, please indicate this to your team captain well before the game, or you will still have to pay for the meal.
  • Be aware of who is playing beside you and watching and ensure that appropriate language is used at all times.
  • Remember the position that you are playing and only add your comments if asked by the Skip.