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Lawn Bowls etiquette


Etiquette is a code of behaviour whereby individuals treat one another the way they would like to be treated. Breaches of etiquette are sometimes wilful, and sometimes inadvertent. Particularly in the latter case, injured parties should avoid overreacting, or else a breach of etiquette more objectionable than the original could occur.

Etiquette is an important part of Bowls and all clubs and their members should not only practice it, but inform new members what is proper and expected behaviour on the green and in the clubhouse. Thoughtfulness and common sense are the keys to etiquette.

1.1 Rules of etiquette for lawn bowling

Rules of etiquette for lawn bowling include (but are not limited to):

  1. Players and spectators at the head end should stand still and keep quiet.

  2. When it’s your team’s turn to bowl it’s your mat and head, your opponents should be away from both, if they are not ask them nicely to move.

  3. Wait for your skip to tell you which shot you should play, keep up with play at all times.

  4. There should be no trespassing into neighbouring rinks; this includes going to or from the clubhouse, moving to better see the jack, and particularly when walking from one end of your green to the other. Please be aware of others playing. If you are helping your teammate aim, do not infringe upon neighbouring rinks.

  5. Walk up the centre of the rink with minimum delay, if it is not your team’s turn to bowl DO NOT STOP TO CHAT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE RINK, IT’S NOT YOUR MAT OR HEAD.

  6. After bowling each bowl, step off the mat to the right. As you approach the mat to bowl, do so from the rear left. Though not essential, this is a useful habit of convenience to avoid collisions!

  7. Always show good sportsmanship by acknowledging a display of good skill by another bowler.

  8. Never applaud lucky shots, never complain about lucky shots, and admit a lucky shot with good grace. Do not say thanks for a bad shot that goes you way.

  9. Do not criticize the playing surface.

  10. Do not criticize the performance of colleagues. No one plays a bad bowl on purpose.

  11. Avoid delaying play by leaving the rink without the knowledge of the other players.

  12. Avoid interfering with the head until the results of the end have been agreed upon by the vices.

  13. If an Umpire is called, move away, you’re done, his/her decision is final.

  14. Bowlers should shake hands at the end of a game.



Be gracious in defeat and humble in victory.