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Hailsham Bowling Club


Code of etiquette

Copied and adapted from “Bowls International”.

  1. Be conversant with the “Laws of the Sport of Bowls”.
  2. Be punctual to start all matches on time.
  3. Arrive correctly attired.
  4. At the mat-end, stand at least 1 metre behind the mat when you are not delivering a bowl (Law 36.1.1). Keep quiet and refrain from moving.
  5. At the head-end, if you are not controlling the head, stand (a) behind the jack and away from the head, (b) on the surrounds of the green if the jack is in the ditch (Law 36.1.2). Always stand still.
  6. As soon as your bowl comes to rest, possession of the rink passes to your opponent (Law 35.2). You should be behind the mat or beyond the jack.
  7. Do not ask any questions of your skip or team-mate at the head until it is your next turn to play.
  8. Walk close to the centre of the rink with minimum delay when changing ends; you could distract players on the next rink.
  9. Do not walk along a neighbouring rink, even if it is not in use, when a player is delivering or about to deliver a bowl (Law 36.2.2).
  10. Do not delay play. Always be ready to bowl with the minimum delay when it is your turn to play.
  11. Never deliver your bowl until the previous bowl has come to rest (Law 34.2.2).
  12. All players should assist in collecting bowls when an end is completed.
  13. Always pay your skip the respect of waiting for his/her decision. Don’t step on to the mat and indicate which way you intend to bowl – wait for your skip’s instructions.
  14. Never applaud lucky bowls – accept them graciously.
  15. Never complain about lucky bowls – they tend to equal each other out over the season.
  16. When at the head, do not “talk to” or “wave at” your opponent’s bowls.
  17. Always inform your opponent if you wish to leave the green.
  18. Win or lose, always shake hands with your opponents and thank them for the game. If you lose, be a good loser, don’t blame the green, weather, etc. – your opponent has coped with the same conditions.
  19. Respect the green surface at all times. Your greenkeeper works hard for you.
  20. Do not (a) drop bowls onto the green, (b) stand on the edge of the green, (c) step or walk in the ditches. Take care to protect and conserve the green at all times.
  21. When playing singles, win or lose, always thank the marker. He or she has given their time to assist in your game.
  22. As a spectator, keep quiet and refrain from moving when players are on the mat, even if you are behind them.

Above all enjoy the game of bowls for its pleasure and the friendship it provides.