Frequently asked questions

Bowls remains one of the few sports where common courtesy and etiquette is still prevalent. We should be proud of this and in order to make the game as enjoyable as possible, bowling green etiquette should be promoted to members old and new. Much of this is common sense but here are some of the main rules of etiquette.

Etiquette - the manner in which we play the game of bowls to ensure enjoyment for everyone and ensure everyone has the opportunity to play their best.  It includes behaviour and some rules.

  1. 1 Arrival at the green
    • a) Do not arrive in bowling shoes – you may carry harmful fungus etc. on the soles of your shoes.
    • b) Be early enough to be able to welcome visitors and help get things out on the green.
    • c) By not being in a rush your game will start relaxed.
    • 2 Behaviour on the green
    • a) Always consider the green keeper who has the right to cancel, say what rink to play on, tell you to use wet mats etc.
    • b) Enter the green by your rink number.
    • c) Put your bowls gently on the green, don’t walk on the edges, keep bags away from the rinks and do not put them on the seats – seats are for bottoms !
    • d) Shake hands with your opponents before and after the game.
    • e) Remember that the challenger calls for the toss, you should have a coin handy if you are not the challenger.  The challenger goes on the top of the scoreboard.
    • f) Never clap a lucky shot.  Always clap a good shot even if it is not your side.
    • g) Never waive an opposition bowl into the ditch and please put your dusters in your pocket.
    • h) Never stand in the ditch.
    • i) Never sit on the bank.
    • j) If you are not bowling, keep well away from the mat or the head but be involved.
    • k) When you walk to the other end move in the centre of the rink and do it quickly enough to keep continuity of the game.  Remember that other people have yet to bowl.
    • l) Don’t talk to people on the bank and if on the bank don’t talk to players.
    • m) Never complain about any green including yours !
    • 3 Trial ends

What are they for?

    • a) Loosening up
    • b) Trying out the green
    • c) Watching your opposition
    • 4 Position in rink and what it means
    • a) Number 1 (lead)– places mat where skip wants it and places jack where skip wants it.  Do you know where the mat must be for the first end?  Do you know what length a minimum jack should be?  You should bowl as near to the jack as possible.  Try to establish a hand to bowl.
    • b) Number 2 – should be able to bowl either hand.  Should be able to draw if number one hasn’t.  A very important position.  He/she is the first to come under the skip’s direction.
    • c) Number 3 – there to help the skip – does not take charge of the head.  Must be able to measure – should have wedges in pocket.  A good string measure is the basic requirement.  What happens if the jack is moved?  Needs to know rules.
    • d) Number 4 (skip) – all shots.  Needs to be able to direct a head.  A good skip will not leave himself to do all the work.  All the team are important.  Skip gives friendly advice – doesn’t talk about the obvious.  Makes your team feel that they have a part to play.  Watches the opposition – remembers the rule about possession of the rink.


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