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Etiquette of Bowls

The Etiquette of Bowls poem:

Crofton Bowling Club Etiquette of Bowls

Etiquette explained

The etiquette of the game of bowls is a combination of good manners, sportsmanship and sociability; these courtesies are best described as the 'unwritten Laws of the Game'.

They are extras and designed to promote social ability and the excellent reputation for friendliness and sportsmanship that the game of bowls has rightly earned.

  1. Be conversant with the Laws of the Game; observe them.
  2. Respect the decision of the Umpire.
  3. Be punctual to commence play at all matches, and come to each game correctly attired.
  4. Be quiet and refrain from moving when any player is 'on the mat' - talking behind the mat is very distracting.
  5. Stand behind the mat while your opponent is playing.
  6. Always stand still at the head when a player is about to bowl - movement at the head is very distracting.
  7. Always allow your opponent the right to the head, as spelled out in the Laws; failure to do so decreases enjoyment of the game.
  8. Walk close to the centre-line of the rink, and with minimum delay, when changing ends; you could distract play on the adjacent rink(s) by not doing so.
  9. Never step onto the mat to commence delivery of your bowl before the previous bowl has come to rest; you do not yet have 'possession of the rink'.
  10. Keep track of play; be ready to bowl when it's your turn.
  11. Always pay your skip the respect of waiting for his/her decision and call, prior to delivering your bowl. Do not just step on to the mat and indicate your intentions - await your skip's instructions.
  12. Do not delay play; always play your bowl with the minimum delay.
  13. Never applaud a 'lucky' bowl; accept it graciously.
  14. Never complain about a 'lucky' bowl - luck tends to even itself out over a season.
  15. Every player should assist in collecting the bowls when an end has been completed.
  16. Respect the playing surface at all times. Always take care to protect and conserve your green.
    • do not drop a bowl onto the green
    • do not stand on the edge of the green
    • do not sit on the bank with your feet on the edge of the green
    • do not stand on the edge of the bank
    • do not walk in the ditch
  17. Always inform your opponent if you wish temporarily to leave the green.
  18. If you lose, be a good loser; do not blame your loss on other people, the green, the weather conditions, etc.
  19. Win or lose, always shake hands with your opponents, and thank them for the game.
  20. Offer your opponent a drink/refreshment after the game.
  21. When playing singles, be sure to thank the marker, and offer him/her a drink/refreshment. Remember that they have given their time to assist in your game. You should repay them by showing courtesy in return.
  22. It is polite also to thank the umpire of the day before leaving the club.
  23. Learn how to be a good marker. When offering your services, remember that a marker can make or break a game. Read and learn the 'duties of a marker'.
  24. Above all, enjoy the game of bowls for its pleasure and the lasting friendships it provides.