Let’s look at etiquette
By Dennis O’Toole
As a member of the State’s Coaching Committee, I am often confronted by players concerned about the level of sportsmanship and common courtesy in our game.
As a “Baby Boomer” I was taught etiquette by my parents and at school. Our coaches expected us to comment on opposition’s good play and expect it to be returned. Common decency and respect were, on the whole, “the norm”.
Bowls is a sport that encourages social interaction and friendship. Individuals treat one another the way they expect to be treated. This can basically be done by applying common sense, honesty, fairness and consideration of others.
Bowls Australia has supplied a Players Code of Behaviour – these are:
- Play by the rules
- Don’t argue with officials. Let your team captain or manager approach the official.
- Control your temper. Verbal abuse of officials, sledging of other players or deliberately distracting or provoking an opponent are not permitted behaviours in any sport.
- Work equally hard for yourself and your team. Accept your position in the team and restrict comments and opinions that undermine the compatibility in that team’s environment.
- Be a good sport. Applaud all good shots, whether made by your side or the other. Accept that lucky shots occur and will eventually even out.
- Treat all participants as you expect to be treated. Do not bully or take advantage of another competitor.
- Co-operate with the coach, teammates, opponents and officials. Without them, there wouldn’t be a sports competition.
- Respect the rights, dignity and worth of all participants regardless of their gender, ability, cultural background or religion.
- Spectators also need to display good sportsmanship so that players and other supporters are not distracted or offended. We all want our team to win but there are acceptable and unacceptable ways to show support.
- Clapping and cheering should be encouraged but should not be done whilst a player is on the mat.