Green Etiquette

Green Etiquette


Dress with the correct colour clothing, and your clothes should be clean and tidy.

Your bowling shoes must be regulation and clean.

If steps are provided to get on and off the green, then use them.

Never drop your bowls onto the green.

Do not stand on the edge of the green and ditch.

If you are allowed to smoke always use the litter bins that are provided to discard your matches and cigarette ends and not in the Ditches.

Never kick in the bowls until ALL the shots have been decided.

After delivering your Bowl, a player should either retire behind the Mat or advance towards the head, making sure they are behind the head when the bowl comes to rest. NEVER take up a position in between.

Do not delay the game.

Don’t wander around or move about the head when a player is about to deliver a Bowl.

Bowling is a friendly game and all players should show courtesy and good sportsmanship.

All Bowlers should know the Rules as laid down by the World Bowls Ltd and the best way to learn them is to play the sport.

Mobile Phones should not be used on or around the green.

DO respect all players and bid all “Good Bowling’” at the game commencement and “Well Bowled/Thank You” at the conclusion of the game.

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

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.

Players at the mat-end of the rink who are not delivering the bowl, DO stand at least 1 metre behind the mat. DO pay attention to the other bowlers when they are bowling and watch carefully the position of their bowls.

DO pay attention to your skip’s instructions. DO NOT show doubt on your skip’s instructions. Ask for clarification if not sure.

SKIPS – DO give very clear instructions by voice or hand signals

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.

When stepping on the mat, DO take notice of the direction of the bowl coming or being made by the bowler from the next rink(s). You should give way to the one who steps onto the mat first.

DO NOT wave your hands to will your opponent’s bowl through or to knock out their own bowls

If your skip decides to drive at the head, the other team members DO take a triangular position to prevent the bowls being knocked
out and entering adjacent rinks.

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

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

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.

Skips DO discuss with your Third the shot and strategy during important periods of the game. This is a courtesy.

Skips DO remove the mat for your opposing skip when the last bowl of the end has been bowled

DO remove your own team’s dead bowls.

Bowlers DO walk briskly in the middle of the rink when changing over from one end to the other and reach well behind the head before the opposing Skip reaches the mat.

DO NOT use unsportsmanlike strategies to prolong the running of the game

DO NOT argue with your team members or the team members of the opposing side.

DO NOT reprimand your or opposing team members for their performance or behaviour

If your team members are not bowling well, DO NOT express 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’.

Bowlers DO NOT give up the game even though you are bound to lose in that game. Please remember that the loss of one game may not influence the result at the end of the season. However, the accumulation of the numbers of winning shots you score against the shots you lost during the season can affect your promotion or relegation status in the division.

DO treat all players with respect regardless of how you may regard them or perceive how they are treating you.

DO NOT complain about the provisions or arrangements made by your Association or Host Club.

DO NOT expect everything will be to your own personal satisfaction

DO be familiar with and strictly follow all the rules and regulations listed in the competition rules.

DO NOT boast about your past successes to your team or opponents.

In the clubhouse afterwards DO NOT recount just your good bowls and the others bad bowls.

DO NOT show your disappointment or find your own excuses for the loss of the game, the loss or success of the game is the business of the whole team and not one individual’s fault.

Lawn Bowling can introduce and help you to improve your friendships with others by showing your courtesy and kindness, open and broad-mindedness.


Lawn Bowling can not only improve your health, but enhance your integrity if you follow these etiquette guidelines