Etiquette is rooted in the rules and traditions of the game of bowls, respect for your playing partners and your opponents and in respect for the club and facilities.

The best way to learn the etiquette of the game is by playing with more experienced players. As a guide, the following considerations should be kept in mind by all players :

  • Bowls should not be dropped on the Green.
  • Do not stand on the edges of he green.
  • Bowls should not be kicked in until the shot has been decided.
  • After delivering a Bowl, a player should either retire behind the Mat or advance to the head. He should not take up a position in between.
  • Don’t delay the game.
  • In a Fours Game, the ‘second’ keeps the score; in a Pairs Game the ‘Skip’ keeps the score.
  • Bowling is a friendly game and all players should show courtesy and good sportsmanship.
  • All Bowlers should know the Rules as laid down by the World Bowls Board.
  • Mobile Phones should not be used on or around the green.
  • After the Game you should once again shake hands with your opponent(s) and congratulate/commiserate with them appropriately.
  • Stand still and remain quiet when another player is about to deliver, and remember that only the player on the mat can ask for instructions from their skips.
  • Remain at least 1 metre behind the mat or well away from the head when it isn’t your turn to play, but always show an interest in the game.
  • Be attentive before you bowl, your Skip may wish to give you instructions, and watch your bowl until it comes to rest — your Skip may wish to show you appreciation for a good shot!
  • Try and keep to the rink that you are playing on – don’t wander, and always walk down the middle of the rink when moving to the other end.
  • At the head, on a sunny day, try to avoid casting shadows across the jack.
  • Try to avoid obscuring rink-markers or boundary-pegs.
  • Always be prepared to admit a lucky shot (‘fluke’) and never pretend that it was intended, when you know it wasn’t. Never applaud a lucky shot, but show appreciation for a good shot—even from your opponent.
  • If you follow a bowl after delivery keep within the rules and try not to obscure your opponent’s view of the bowl running on the green.
  • If a skip decides on a firing-shot it is as well to stand well back behind the head. Ensure other players are aware so that they can avoid any bowls that ‘fly about’ in the head.
  • Never openly criticise other players shots—nobody ever intentionally bowls a bad wood. Try to appear to be enjoying the game – even if it’s a bad day at the office!
  • Don’t waste time if there is any doubt in agreeing which wood is shot. Suggest to the person asking for the shot that they get down and measure, or offer to do it yourself.
  • If a competition or league match is being played and you are not involved do not distract the players or marker. Just remember — no matter how good a player is (or thinks he is!), defeat is always a possibility.
  • A good loser is the one who appears on the surface to have accepted defeat with the best possible grace – while inwardly seething!