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A Brief Guide to Etiquette.


  • Etiquette is not an explanation of the duties of the various players in the team; it is the little extras that give to the game its charm; that make the loser feel he has not lost in vain; that lead one to believe there is even a sweetness in defeat. These acts of courtesy are the Unwritten Laws of the Game.

  • Many older bowlers will say that in the past more attention was paid to etiquette than today.  Although the way we approach the game today is different it should not mean that we do not observe etiquette in the game.  Etiquette is the antithesis of gamesmanship, it is the politeness that lubricates the mechanics of playing the game.

  • Always ensure you are correctly dressed.  Arrive on time and show respect to your opponents.  If representing your club remember you are an ambassador for your own club.

  • Always enter the rink you are about to play on the correct end.  Introduce yourself and shake hands with your opponents.  Remember to shake hands at the end of the game, whatever the result.

  • During the game do not move around when your opponents have possession of the rink.  Observe Law 12, which says briefly, “players of each team, not in the act of playing, or controlling the play, shall stand 1 metre behind the head and away from it, or 1 metre behind the mat.”​​

  • Do not do or say anything that could distract other players, or affect their concentration.  Many players do not like to chat when they are playing, so please keep quiet at all times.

  • Some players like to see the boundary markers or the rink number.  Do not to obscure these, and on sunny days ensure your shadow does not fall across the jack.

  • Spectators too should always behave in a manner so as not to distract the players.  Remember, even if you are playing, once you leave your rink for whatever reason you too become a spectator to the other players.

  • Finally.  Although it is an accepted tactic to play off another bowl, or to strike your own bowl(s) to improve their position, it is poor etiquette to encourage an opponents bowl to “knock your’s up.”  Remember that while your opponents have possession of the rink you should not speak.

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