Menu Close

Green Etiquette

Bowls is a social game, where consideration for your opponents and your team players are important.The following points are offered for guidance.

Give consideration to those playing. A little thought saves a lot of bad feeling

1. Dress correctly for all games and arrive in good time.

2. Mobile phones should be switched off during play and used with discretion near the green.

3. Greet team members and opponents at the start of the game and congratulate or compliment them at the end with a hand shake.

4. Thank the Marker at the end of a singles game for sparing his/her time.

5. Do concentrate fully on the game and all bowls as they are being delivered. In a competitive match save your socialising until afterwards.

6. Be ready to bowl when it’s your turn.

7. Don’t talk or make a noise behind the mat, or move at the head end, when a player is preparing to bowl.

8. Remain behind the mat or behind the head when it’s not your turn to play.

9. Remember, as soon as your bowl has come to rest, possession of the rink (at both ends) passes to your opponent.

10. Avoid obscuring the rink number, markings or the jack.

11. Keep to your own rink and don’t be a wanderer distracting other bowlers. Walk down the centre of your rink when you’re changing ends and not through the head.

12. Always be aware of players on adjoining rinks.

13. Don’t walk past the end of a rink when a player is about to bowl towards you.

14. Once the score has been agreed on an end, the concern of the winning lead is to place the mat and deliver the jack (in a pairs game they also help clear bowls)

16. In a Team game, everyone should help to clear the bowls. No.2’s alter scoreboard after bowls have been cleared. Skips (or No 2’s) fill in the scorecard – see players roles.

17. Be aware that your shadow doesn’t fall across the jack, the head or in front of the mat when a player is about to bowl.

18. Encourage and praise your team, including the skip. Bowls is a team game, you should be working together.

19. Please, don’t applaud a team member who has outrageous luck !

20. Admit a fluke with grace.

21. Compliment your opponent on a good shot.

22. DO NOT wave or verbally encourage your opponents’ bowls through the head.

23. When drive shots are played, take care of team members and the head, warning others on adjacent rinks.

24. Don’t criticise your opponents, the green, or your own team. If you can’t say something positive, don’t say it.

25. Be gracious whether you win or lose.

26. Never drop Bowls or Jacks onto the green. Be sure to have a good working knowledge of the Rules as laid down by the World Bowls Board.

It’s also customary to offer a drink if you have won and if a marker has been involved in a singles game. Observing the above will help you become a respected player and by trying to keep things friendly will contribute towards the enjoyment of the game for everyone.

Players Roles in Team Games

In all team games it is the skip’s job to direct the play. Other players should ‘attempt’ to play the shot directed by the skip, even if they may not agree with it at the time. In a fours game the ’third’ should direct the skip when required. In Triples or Pairs the Second or Lead may do this. Other players shouldn’t interfere unless invited to do so. It is a team effort but communicating and giving advice is less confusing when given by one designated player

The Skip

The Skip has sole charge of their team, and their instructions should be observed by the players. With the opposing Skip they’ll decide all disputed points, and when agreed, their decision is final. If both Skips cannot agree, the point in dispute shall be referred to, and considered by an Umpire whose decision is final. The Skip (or No. 2) will be responsible for the scorecard, ensure that the names of the players are entered on it, record the results of each end completed and compare his record of the game with that of the opposing Skip (or No. 2) as each end is declared, and at the close of the game sign both scorecards as declaring the final result. A Skip may at any time delegate his powers or duties to other members of the team, provided that such delegation is notified to the opposing Skip.

The Third- No.3

The third player in 4’s / Rinks, directs the Skip and has responsibility of measuring any disputed shots.

The Second – No.2

The Second player will record on the scoreboard all shots for and against their team. (in Triples will also direct the Skip and measure any disputed shots)

The Lead-No.1

The Lead will place the mat and cast the Jack ensuring that it is properly centred before playing their first bowl.

Once the ‘End’ has been declared and if ‘pushers’ are used, the losing lead player will collect all bowls and place them in a safe position at least 1 metre behind and to one side of the mat.

In addition to the above, any player may have to undertake such duties as may be assigned to them by their skip.

It is also worth emphasising that the head must not be disturbed by any player until the shots have been finally agreed. When the Thirds or Skips are deciding the shots the other player(s) should stand back from the head and not interfere.

During the game encourage your team mates, don’t criticise them. Commend good shots and learn to accept that ‘flukes’ happen. Sometimes they go for you, sometimes against. It’s all part of the game.

Enjoy yourself & most of all, have fun.