Etiquette plays a major part in the sport of bowls and has done since the game’s inception. Simply put, bowling etiquette is a code of behaviour that bowlers around the world adhere to, both on the green and in the clubhouse. First and foremost bowlers should remember to the old adage, “Do unto others as you would like others to do unto you”. Bowls is a friendly game and consideration for others, courtesy and good sportsmanship are a major part of its appeal. Consideration and common sense are the keys to acceptable standards.
The proposer of a new member should act as mentor, assuming responsibility for explaining the obligations and privileges of club membership. The club should provide information about clubhouse rules and customs, fees and attire.
The proposer should introduce the new member to club officials and should also arrange to play with the new member when they have their first game.
Members should be silent when officials are making special announcements.
At all times be respectful to the administrators of your club and assist them by being punctual for any appointment you may have organised and by appreciating the voluntary tasks they do on behalf of the club.
Club coaches should act as mentors in game etiquette for new members.
Bowlers should give their support to teams representing their club by attending inter-club events. Cohesive teams are often successful teams.
Bowlers should address one another by their given names during the course of a game. Bowlers should fairly share the task of kicking bowls after completion of an end. Bowlers should give the skip their loyal support and comply with directions.
In changing ends, players should avoid straying on to neighbouring rinks.
Opposing leads should facilitate play by courteously handing the mat and jack to each other, as convenient.
It is good sportsmanship to acknowledge displays of exceptional skill.
Inconsiderate distractions, such as loud noises or conversation, visible movement of players, objects or shadows, impact of kicked bowls, etc, should be avoided while a bowler is on the mat preparing for delivery.
Bowlers should not interfere with the head until the result of the end had been agreed.
Bowlers should shake hands at the end of a game.
Borrowed personal items, such as tape measures should be returned to their owners with thanks.
Mats and jacks should be collected and returned to the usual distribution point.
After domestic games, winners are normally the first to offer a refreshment.
Players in single matches should include markers in the invitation for refreshment.
Players should avoid making excuses for their lack of success on the day as a topic of conversation.
Above are just a few basic pointers in bowling etiquette.
For a complete guide to bowling etiquette download a copy of Bowls Queensland’s Coaching Manual and The Etiquette of Bowls available below: