Etiquette is about the customs and rules that govern social interaction within any specific environment. For bowlers it is about behaviour on the green and in and around the club,
A dictionary definition of etiquette is
"The unwritten or conventional laws of courtesy between players"
Some of the unwritten guidelines
Before the game
On tournament and club days, try to arrive early enough to assist with preparation of play (scrims, scoreboards, mats, jacks, etc)
Always be on time for the start of play and for the start of each game
Visitors are always made welcome
First names are used on the scoreboard, club names if playing a visiting team
Bowlers tend to start and finish a game with a handshake
During the game
Hand the jack to the opposing lead when he/she has placed the mat and have their first bowl ready to hand to them. This friendly gesture sets the tone for the game.
When ready to bowl check with the next rink to see if another player is ready to bowl, so that you don't bowl at the same time
All players should have their next bowl in their hand by the time the opposing player has delivered their bowl. Scrambling around searching for your bowl is not acceptable, especially in a time game
Make sure that the path of the bowl is clear to avoid hitting another bowl
Do not encroach on an adjoining rink when delivering your bowl
Do not talk when another player is about to deliver a bowl
Do not criticise bowls - either from your own team or the other
Remember that your opponent has possession of the rink as soon as your bowl comes to rest, do not linger on the head and thereby obstruct the skips first bowl
Take an interest in the game, follow how the head is building up so you do not have to ask other team members
Congratulate an opponent on a well- played bowl and don’t grizzle if they have a lucky shot
Do not walk around talking to bowlers participating in other games, allow them to concentrate on their own game
Do not pass or walk in front of the player who was last to play- they have the right to see how their bowl progresses
No bowls should be touched or moved until the end is declared and then help return the bowls to behind the mat
Help clear the head after the result has been determined
Warn players on adjoining rinks if a drive is about to be played and be ready to try and stop any bowls going into other rinks and disturbing their heads
Show a good spirit - win well and lose well
Leads and twos should remain behind the head or mat when not in possession of the rink and should not crowd the head or offer advice when bowls in contention are being measured – this is the job of the Three (or middle person).
It is a courtesy for the “Three” or middle player of the team who has won the previous end to place his skip’s bowl on the mat before joining the other players at change over
Walk quickly when changing ends and walk within the confines of the rink you are playing on.
And above all, enjoy and let play bowls!
Content courtesy of Coach Keith Burgess and sporty.com - put together by Maxe Janssen.