Etiquette of the Game



Bowls is a game of good fellowship and should be played in a friendly and sporting manner. A bowler's behaviour during a game not only demonstrates his/her own character, but reflects on their Club as well.


The Laws of the Game cover the procedure and control of the game but the conduct of players is mainly controlled by an accepted code of etiquette that all players should observe.


Before all games, even simple roll-ups, it is customary to shake hands with all the players on the rink, and make introductions if necessary. If trial ends are to be played it is usual to shake hands again after they are over, and to wish the opponents an enjoyable game. When the game has ended hands are again shaken, and in the case of knockout competitions the losers should wish the winners good luck in their next round.


During the game always show consideration for the bowler on the mat. The Laws of the Game state that the players in possession of the rink/mat for the time being shall not be interfered with, annoyed or have their attention distracted in any way by their opponents. This means that you should stand still, well behind the mat, and keep quiet while the bowler on the mat is making his/her shot. It is in your interest that you do the same while your team members are bowling.



The same law applies if you are standing behind the jack, as any movement you make will tend to distract the person bowling. You should stand well behind the head and allow the person directing the bowler to stand exactly where he wishes. Avoid standing in front of the centre and edge rink markers as they are frequently used for gauging shots.


Be aware of the bowlers on the next rink. They are often aiming their bowls well into your rink and any unnecessary movement by you will distract them, and remember that your edge marker is also their edge marker. Avoid 'trespassing' on to their rink and if you have to recover a wood or jack look first to ensure that you will not disturb a bowler on the mat or a bowl in its travel.


Be ready to applaud good bowls by both teams' members, and be quick to apologise for lucky 'wicks' that have good results.


It is customary for the winners of competition games, and the home side in matches, to offer a drink to the opponents, and it is also customary to return the gesture in due course.


Remember that visitors are your guests and your behaviour may well be the primary factor in their assessment of your Club.