Menu Close

Bowls Etiquette for New Bowlers at Ashcombe


That you should always be on time and must arrive at least 15 minutes before the start of a game, to give yourself plenty of time to prepare.  Never arrive in bowls shoes, you never know what has been picked up on them.

When it’s your turn, once your bowl has been delivered don’t turn your back on it until it has stopped. Once it has come to a stop, possession of the rink belongs to the opposition.  So leave the mat and stand to one side and at least one metre behind it to let the next bowler take their turn – don’t linger or stand in their way or walk up the green. The rink belongs to the team whose bowl is being played.

It is only human nature to clap or say thank you (sarcastically) when something goes your team’s way to the detriment of the opposition. This is not very good behaviour and can cause offence.

Keep quiet whilst another bowler is on the mat so as not to disturb their concentration, it’s only good manners.

Respect your skip’s decision. If you do see it differently from the mat, then by all means politely tell the skip, but play your bowl as the skip directs. After all the skip is in charge of the team and can see the head.

Never walk across the head end of a rink , either on the green or on the pathway, when a bowler is on the mat, and if you see any spectators moving in that direction ask them to stop, if you can, until the bowler has delivered their bowl.

Stay within your own rink and do not wander into an adjacent rink.

Always pay attention to your team’s play and try not to be distracted by spectators, even if they are trying to catch your attention. If necessary, spectators should be politely advised that games should not be interrupted.

Unless it’s your role, you should keep out of the head and if your position covers gathering the bowls this should not be done until the shots have been agreed.

Don’t stand in front of the rink markers or numbers when you are at the head end or stand where your shadow can fall over the jack and remember, you should never walk through or stand in the head.  Also, when walking from the mat end to the head you should only glance at the position of the bowls – do not linger.

Should an umpire be needed on your rink, then you should stand away from the head until they have made their decision and remember, their decision is final and should not be questioned.

After the game, as well as at the start, shake your opposition and your team members’ hands.  Please remember as the host team you should always offer your immediate opposite number a drink after the game – and if playing in the Umbrella, then the winning team should make the offer.

ABOVE ALL, be proud to represent your Ashcombe Park Bowling Club and always act and dress in a proper manner – enjoy your game of bowls.

Skip to content