Lawn bowls is one of the few sports where common courtesy and etiquette is still prevalent. We should be proud of this and in order to make the game as enjoyable as possible blowing green etiquette should be promoted to all members old and new. Much of this is common sense but below are some of the main rules.
The rules of the game are defined in full in the official Bowls England ‘Joint Laws of the Game’ booklet. All bowlers should familiarise themselves with these rules as soon as possible.
For Bowlers and Spectators
Please do not distract bowlers who are bowling towards you, by moving or walking across the end of the rink. Wait until the bowl has been delivered before moving.
It is not good etiquette to interrupt players when they are on the green, particularly during competitive matches. If you need to speak to a player, it should be before or after their game.
Concentration is all important when bowling. Players and spectators should avoid movement or loud noises during matches. Spectators should show appreciation and commend good shots regardless of whether they are by home or away player. Encouragement or applause should be suitably muted, particularly when other rinks are in use, to avoid distractions. Encourage, rather than criticize – no one delivers a bad bowl intentionally.
Before the Game
Make sure you know the rules of the game or competition you are playing.
Know the correct dress code (it will differ for different types of matches) and ensure you arrive correctly dressed, with time to spare i.e. 15 minutes before. Make certain your bowls have the correct club stickers attached. Change into bowls shoes at the clubhouse and do not wear bowls shoes outside the club facilities.
Ensure that jacks, mats, scoreboards, and other equipment are in place ready for the beginning of the game.
During the Game
Enter and leave the green by the banks and footpaths – do not walk across other players’ rinks.
Respect and protect the green – the Club’s most important asset. At Ramsbury we are privileged to have one of the best greens in the area. Look after it. Do not drop your bowls on the green and ensure that your delivery does not cause scuff marks or is otherwise damaging.
Keep track of play, be ready to bowl when it’s your turn.
Mobile phones should not be used on or around the green. Likewise smoking or vaping are discouraged and should be restricted to outside the club house.
Introduce yourself and shake hands, or a Covid safe alternative, with your opponent(s).
‘Possession of the Rink’ must always be respected. Stand well behind the mat or the head, keeping still and quiet while others are delivering their bowls.
When at the head, bear in mind that some bowlers like a clear view of the rink markers.
When at the head in sunny conditions, or as the sun sets, avoid standing where your shadow is cast over the jack, making it difficult to see from the mat.
Similarly, standing directly behind a white jack in white shoes can make the jack difficult to see.
Follow the direction given by the ‘skip’, whether or not you agree.
Remember that the directions for the ‘skip’ are only given by the number three in rinks, or the number two in triples. Other players should not interfere, unless asked.
The result of each end (including measuring where required) is determined between the threes (or twos in triples). Other players should not normally interfere.
Do not disturb the head until the result of the end has been agreed.
Commend good shots.
Learn to accept lucky shots, both for and against you – they will balance out in the long run.
Flukes are simply revelations of unrecognised opportunities.
After the Game
Shake hands, or a Covid safe alternative. Congratulate the opposing team and offer to buy your opposite number a drink (after singles matches, your ‘marker’ should be included in the invitation), particularly if your opponent is a guest of the Club.
Ensure that jacks, mats, scoreboard, and other equipment are returned to the store.
Avoid making excuses for your lack of success the topic of conversation.
You don’t need to be competitive to be a member of Ramsbury and Aldbourne bowls club, as friendly roll ups are enjoyed by many.
A knowledge of the above will make you a better respected bowler and will contribute towards the enjoyment of the game for everyone involved, both on and off the green.