Lawn Bowls Association of Hong Kong, China

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Dubbed the “Gentlemen’s Game”, Etiquette plays a major part in lawn bowls and has done so since the beginning.  Today, lawn bowls remains one of the few sports where common courtesy and etiquette is still prevalent.  While we should be proud of this, bowlers need to be warned of the potential   diminishing of this act of courtesy and to make the game as enjoyable as possible.

Etiquette is those little acts that help to make our game such a wonderful creator of sociability and friendship.  It may not be the duties of the various players in the team, but much of them are common sense.  There is Etiquette to be observed towards the opponents, the Markers and Umpires; as well as to your own players and spectators.

It is a code of behaviour that bowlers should adhere to, both on and off the green.

Bowls Etiquette

Bowls Etiquette

Lead Opposing leads, at the commencement of each end, DO place each other’s first bowl next to the mat.
Second Seconds DO introduce your team members, the order is your Skip, the Third, the Lead and then yourself.
Seconds DO record the score at the completion of each end after checking with the opposition.
Third The Third of the losing side DO hand the jack to the winning side.

Thirds DO NOT give instructions on how to bowl to the lead and the second.  This is the job of the skip.

When each end finishes, the losing side DO  take out the agreed shot bowl(s) and undertake the disputed measures.

Thirds DO clearly inform the Skip the result of that end (lost or won) after confirmed with the opponent.

If your skip is the next bowler, DO put his/her bowl beside the mat before walking to the other end.

Skip Skips DO remove the mat for your opposing skip when the last bowl of the end has been bowled,
Before the game
Communication DO pay attention to your skip's instructions. DO NOT show doubt on your skip's instructions.  Ask for clarification if not sure. All team members should work out your systems of communication with each other well before the competition.
Punctual Be punctual. If you are late, DO apologize to all your and the opposing team members on your rink.
Trial ends DO respect all players and bid all “Good Bowling’” at the game commencement.
During Competition
Bowler When a bowler steps on the mat, prepares and starts to bowl, other bowlers DO keep quiet and DO not move.

DO NOT dump bowls on to the mat/green as a protest to perceived head disturbance when you are about to bowl.

Others During the competition, avoid/minimise talking with other team’s members, and spectators.

For Umpire measurements deciding the result of that end, all bowlers DO leave the measurement area.

DO respect your opponent, show your enthusiasm, friendship and patience during the whole competition.

When a bowler steps on the mat and starts to bowl, Players at the mat-end of the rink who are not delivering the bowl should stand at least 1M behind the mat. DO pay attention to the other bowlers when they are bowling, and watch carefully the position of their bowls.

Criticisms During the course of the competition, DO NOT hold discussions with your team members on their performance.  (Discuss after the game has finished).

DO NOT complain about your captain’s/skip’s method and strategy of playing bowls.

DO NOT boast about your past successes to your team or opponents. DO NOT recount only your good bowls and others bad bowls.

DO NOT show signs of wishing your opponent's bowl through or to knock out their own bowls.

Skips, when your team members play well,  DO indicate appreciation and encouragement.

Also, appreciate opposing players’ good bowls.

DO NOT praise your team members’ lucky shots. DO reflect this  to your opponent. DO NOT show your disappointment with your unlucky shots and opponent’s lucky shots

If your team members are not bowling well, DO NOT expresses your dissatisfaction by facial expression, action or body language, instead be patient and indicate your support by encouragement such as 'Hard Luck' or 'Good Try'.

Dead bowls DO remove your own team’s dead bowls.
Bowls on other rinks

DO NOT move the bowls of other rinks to let the bowls of your team to pass through, it is the job of the bowlers of the next rink's members.

Possession of Rink DO remember the possession of rink law. When a bowl stops running and is stationary in its position, you must be behind the mat or behind the head.  DO NOT follow the opposition up to the head or move in for a closer look when you do not have possession of the rink.

DO NOT moves or start bowling or skips give instructions, if your opponent’s bowl is still running.

End DO NOT throw the bowls from the bank to the green.
Completed Game DO respect all players and bid all 'Good Bowling' at the game commencement and 'Well Bowled/Thank You' at the conclusion of the game.