Ashtead Bowling Club

Ashtead Bowling Club - Etiquette

Etiquette - it's the right way to play!

Before stepping onto the green...

  1.  Learn the Laws of the Sport of Bowls... and abide by them!
  2. Dress correctly for all games.
  3. Be punctual – arrive about 30 minutes before the start of the game.
  4. Switch off your mobile – use it only if necessary, and then discretely and away from the green.
  5. Greet your own team members and opponents at the start: shake hands before the match, and of course again at its conclusion.


On the green: what to do, and what not to do…

  1. Concentrate fully on the game. Save your socialising until afterwards.
  2. Pick up your bowl and be ready when it is your turn.
  3. Stand still when another player is on the mat.
  4. Don’t talk or make a noise behind the mat when a player is about to deliver a bowl.
  5. Remain behind the mat, or behind the head, when it is not your turn to play. Remember – when your bowl comes to rest, possession of the rink (at both ends) passes to your opponent.
  6. Keep to your own rink. Don’t wander or distract other bowlers. Walk down the centre of the rink to change ends. Don’t walk through the head.
  7. Don’t stand in the way of rink markers.
  8. On sunny days, be aware of your shadow – don’t let it obscure the jack.
  9. Don’t walk past the end of a rink if a player is about to bowl towards you.
  10. Stand well back from the head when drive (or firing) shots are being played. Warn players on adjacent rinks
  11. Pick up the mat after the last bowl has been delivered.
  12. Don’t remove any bowls until the result of the end has been agreed. If there is a measure, any bowls not involved may be cleared.
  13. Always remember that Markers and Umpires are voluntary officials. They should be treated with respect and courtesy at all times. An umpire’s decision on measuring is never questioned!
  14. Everyone to help clear the bowls with the losing lead to use the pusher if allowed. This frees the winning lead to concentrate on putting down the mat and delivering the jack thus enabling the game to proceed as seamlessly and enjoyably as possible. Losing lead can also put out the bowl for the winning lead – it’s a courtesy and again helps the game proceed. (Skips to fill in scorecards.)


On the green: behaviour…

  1. Inform your opponent if you need to leave the rink.
  2. Never criticise your opponents, the green or your own team. If you cannot say something positive, don’t say anything at all.
  3. Encourage and praise the rest of the team, including the skip. Bowls is a team game and is enjoyed best when everyone works together.
  4. But don’t applaud a team member who has outrageous luck!
  5. Always appear to be enjoying the game.
  6. Compliment your opponent on a good shot.
  7. Admit a fluke with grace.
  8. Be gracious whether you win or lose.
  9. At the end of play, shake hands, and congratulate and/or compliment your opposition.


… And when you’re off the green at the end of the match…

  1. Make sure you sit with your opponents – relax and socialise with them now that the game is done!.
  2. If it’s a Club game, the winners to offer their opponent a drink; the losers to reciprocate.
  3. If it’s ‘Home’ game against another club, or player from another club, offer your opponent a drink; if an ‘Away’, then it’s over to your opponent.
  4. If it’s a Ladies’ Game, you all get tea!
  5. …and in a Singles match, don’t dare forget the Marker!