Founded in 1921

Social Bowling


Etiquette of the sport of Lawn Bowls

Lawn Bowling is about good sportsmanship, common sense and good manners.

The sport is played for enjoyment and the pleasure of pitting skills against others in friendly competition. It has a long tradition of common courtesy and etiquette.

  1. Be punctual for the game. Being late is considered disrespectful to your opponents and to your own colleagues. Ensure the appropriate clothing is worn for the game you are about to play and if in doubt ask.
  2. Introduce yourselves to your opponents by your first names, and exchange handshakes before the game, with perhaps a friendly comment such as “Enjoy your game” or even “Have a good game”.
  3. During the game, whilst at the “end mat” do not move about and make disturbing noises whilst an opponent is on the mat, nor stand in a position where you might be in your opponents’ line of vision. (The Laws of the Sport say a player should stand at least 1 metre behind the mat 36.1.1)
  4. During the game, whilst at the “head end” when an opponent is on the mat to deliver a bowl:
  5. Do not move about in or near the “head” as it can be distracting to the one about the play.
  6. Stand well behind the “head” when your opponent is on the mat, and, if the jack is in the ditch, stand on the bank behind the “head”.
  7. In sunny conditions avoid allowing your shadow to cover the jack.
  8. Avoid obscuring rink centre or boundary markers.
  9. At the conclusion of each end, unless you are they player responsible for the measuring and agreeing shots scored, keep well away from the “head” and so not under any circumstances “kick away” or otherwise move any bowls in the head until the score has been clearly declared.
  10. Compliment your opponents, as well as your own colleagues, for a well delivered bowl. In the event of your opponent having a “lucky” result, do make any derogatory comments, although you might think them. Better to say nothing in this situation. If one of your own players has a “lucky shot”, do not say “Well bowled”. Do not use offensive language or gestures.
  11. Do not openly criticise the green, your own players, and more importantly your opponents. If you cannot say something positive it is better to say nothing. If there is need for some critical comment, make it in private, not openly in front of other players or spectators.
  12. Pay attention to the game on your rink. It is very frustrating to your team if you are not giving your full attention to the game. For example, by frequently leaving the green or chatting to players on another rink, or using a mobile phone on the green during play. If one must carry a mobile phone whilst on the green, make sure it is turned to silent so as not to disturb other players.
  13. Treat the green you are playing on with respect, it is costly and time consuming to maintain, and everyone should try to deliver their bowls without “digging them” into the turf.
  14. Be a gracious winner and a good loser. Shake your opponent’s and team mate’s hands afterwards and thank them for the game.
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