Bowls Etiquette

Railway Union Bowling Club: Bowls Etiquette (adapted from the Irish Bowling Association Yearbook)

  • Bowls should be played in a spirit of good sportsmanship and with good manners.

  • Players should make every effort to win, but should treat their opponents with courtesy.

  • As soon as a player's bowl has come to rest, possession of the rink shall be transferred to the other person/team.

  • By the time a player's bowl comes to rest he/she should be behind the mat or behind the head - not between the two.

  • Player's from each team not in the act of playing or controlling play shall stand well behind the head or a yard behind the mat.

  • A player on the mat should not be interfered with, annoyed or have his/her attention distracted in any way by an opponent.

  • Players at or behind the head should not move while another player is on the mat.

  • Players behind the mat should not talk while another player in on the mat.

  • Skips or thirds decide the number of shots - leads or seconds should not interfere.

  • No bowls whatsoever should be disturbed or kicked away without the agreement of both thirds or skips.

  • Do not waste time by dwelling too long on the mat or in protracted conferences with other players.

  • Do not follow bowls to the head unnecessarily.

  • All bowlers should have a working knowledge of the WBB (World Bowling Body) laws of the game and the bye-laws of the BLI (Bowling League of Ireland) and LBLI (Ladies Bowling League of Ireland).

  • Players must not make comments about an opposition bowl before it comes to rest e.g. 'go into the ditch' or 'hit my bowl'.