top of page




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 the game of bowls has rightly earned.

  • Be conversant with the Laws of the Game and any Rules of the competition and observe them.

  • Respect the decision of the Umpire.

  • Be punctual to commence play at all matches and be properly attired.

  • Keep quiet and refrain from moving when players are on the mat.

  • Stand one metre behind the mat while your opponent bowls. (Law 12.1.1.)

  • Always stand still at the head when a player is about to bowl – movement at the head or talking at the mat end is very distracting.

  • Always allow your opponent the right to the head as spelt out in the Laws of the Game, failure to do so will decrease the enjoyment of the game.( Law 13 )

  • Walk close to the centre of the rink with minimum delay when changing ends; you could distract play on the next rink.

  • Do not delay play; always play your bowl with the minimum of delay.

  • Never deliver your bowl before the previous bowl has come to rest. (Law 11.2.)

  • Keep track of play, be ready to bowl when it is your turn.

  • Any player intending to “fire” should inform the players at the head and any players on adjacent rinks.

  • Every player at the mat end should assist in collecting bowls when the end is completed.

  • Always pay your Skip the respect of waiting for their decision. Don’t step onto the mat and indicate which way you intend playing – wait for the Skip’s instruction.( Law 40.1.1.)

  • Never applaud lucky bowls – accept them graciously.

  • Never complain about lucky bowls – they tend to equal each other out over the game.

  • Respect the green at all times. Do not:

  1. Drop bowls onto the green.

  2. Stand on the edge of the green.

  3. Stand on the bank.

  4. Walk in the ditches.

Always take care to protect and conserve the green at all times.
  • Always inform your opponent when you wish to leave the green. ( Law 33 )

  • If you lose, be a good loser, don’t blame your loss on other people, the green, or the weather, etc.

  • If you win, don´t be the one at the bar saying how easy it was and that your opponent/s couldn´t play.

  • Win or lose, always shake hands with your opponent and thank them for the game. Don’t be too taken with your win today, the position could be reversed tomorrow.

  • When deciding shots at the end of an end, it is the player conceding the shots who should take out the bowls. If either want a measure, then either, or both can do so.

  • Offer your opponent a drink after the game.

  • When playing singles, whether you have won or lost, be sure to thank the marker and offer to buy them a drink. Remember that they have given their time to assist your game.  You can repay them by being courteous in return.

  • It is polite to thank the umpire of the day before leaving the club.

  • Learn to be a good marker. When offering your services, remember that a marker can make or break a game.

  • Find out who is your C.B.U.M.A. delegate and always ask him/her or any competent Umpire if you have any questions about the Laws of the game or indeed any queries regarding the Etiquete of Bowls

bottom of page