top of page

Bowling Etiquette, Rules and Team Roles - Revised May 2024

     Dress Code 

•    Ensure that you know the dress code. 
•    The club colours are bespoke tops from our nominated supplier, with collars, sleeves (long or short) including

     the club badge. Members may choose to include their name. 
•    Members must wear grey trousers or tailored shorts as appropriate. 
•    Club jackets, sweaters, waterproofs, or other team clothing items may either be in the club colours as

     provided through Zapkam, or white.
•    Lady members can wear regulation skirts or cropped tailored trousers. 
•    Shoes must be regulation approved with flat soles. 
•    Club Badges are not currently available as a separate item.
•    Club Shirts etc. can be purchased from Zapkam Ltd or visit our website for the 


     Match Day 

      Before the Start 
•    The Captain of the Day will be responsible for disconnecting the electric fence and opening the gates. 

     Please ensure you have read and understand the electric fence instructions, posted on notice boards and

     published on our web site. 
•    Arrive on time and be appropriately dressed 30 minutes before the start time. 
•    For home matches 3 playing members will be nominated as a service team responsible for putting out the

     equipment, banner and flag. Equipment must only be brought onto the green via the gates at each corner

     and NOT passed over the electric fence.  Score boards and pushers should be stored carefully to avoid any

     contact with the fence.  Visiting No.1s should be cordially asked to take care if using the pushers.

•    If on arrival, members are playing, wait until play has stopped before walking across rinks that other people

     are using.  
•    Introduce yourself and shake hands with your opponent(s) both before play commences and after the

     game is complete. 
•    Try to remember your opponent’s name and be polite and civil at all times, even if things are not going the

     way you would wish. 

     During the Game 
•    During the game do not move around the head when your opponent is about to deliver his/her bowl.  
•    Stand well back from the head, keep quiet and do not do anything that would distract your opponent.  
•    Wait until the bowl has been delivered before moving. 
•    If you are at the same end as the player delivering a bowl you must stand behind the mat and stay out of

     the player’s line of vision.  
•    Bear in mind that some bowlers like to see the rink boundary markers and the centre pin while playing so

     make sure that you are not obscuring them. 
•    On sunny days you must also ensure that your shadow does not fall on the jack.  
•    Please try not to drop your bowls onto the green and ensure that your delivery is not causing scuff marks or

     otherwise damaging the green. 
•    Observe the rules for possession of the rink - possession of the rink will belong to the player or team whose

     bowl is being played. As soon as each bowl comes to rest, possession of the rink will transfer to the opposing

     player or team after allowing time for marking a toucher as soon as it comes to rest. 
•    Once you have bowled your wood, stay on the mat so that you can learn from the path of the wood and

     receive feedback from the Skip. Please note that the Skip is not allowed to talk to you once you vacate the

•    Keep aware of the score on your own and other rinks. 

•    Unless you are the No.3, keep well back from the head to enable the No.3s to agree who has shot. 
•    Only when the shots scored have been agreed should the woods in the head be moved. The No.1s are

     expected to clear the head using the pusher, assisted by the other players. 
•    N.B. Extra care must be taking when storing the pusher or changing the score board to avoid contact with

     the electric fence.
•    During the game encourage your teammates, do not criticise them. Commend good shots and learn to

     accept that flukes are a part of the game. Sometimes they go for you, sometimes against. 
•    After the Game you should once again shake hands with your opponent(s) and congratulate/ commiserate

     with them appropriately. 
•    For home matches it is also customary to offer to buy your visiting opposite number a drink at the end of the

•    Where a marker has been involved in a singles game you should also offer the marker a drink. 
•    IMPORTANT: when removing equipment it MUST be via the nearest gate.  If you are playing on inner rinks and

     outer rinks are still occupied, you should either wait for an end to be completed before asking to cross the

     adjacent green without disturbing their match. 

     End of the Match 
•    In League matches leave the scoreboards on the rinks until all the rinks have finished playing. 
•    For home matches 3 playing members nominated as a service team are responsible for checking that

     everything is taken in and the equipment sheds are locked. 
•    Remember, all equipment must be removed via the gates and NOT over the fence.

     Knowledge of the above will make you a more respected bowler, keep things friendly and contribute                   towards the enjoyment of the game for everyone involved, both on and off the green. 
     Please note that smoking or vaping is only permitted in the designated area and not on the green. 
     The Players Roles in Team Games 

     The Skip 
•    Know your team and their woods and what they are able to do with them. 
•    Know whose starting jack. 
•    Generally, let the Lead dictate the jack length. 
•    Check that the jack has covered the minimum length or request a measure. 
•    Issue clear instructions to all players. Including rules and etiquette for moving and storing equipment
•    Decide all disputed points with the opposing skip, making sure that any decision reached is in line with the

     Laws of the Sport of Bowls. 
•    Be responsible for the score card while play is in progress, unless delegated to No.2. 
•    Enter the names of all players of both teams on the score card. 
•    Record, on the score card, all shots scored for and against the team as each end is completed, unless

•    Compare the score card with that of the opposing skip as each end is completed; and at the end of the

     game sign it. 
•    At any time, delegate their own powers and any of their own duties to any other members of the team as

     long as they tell the opposing skip immediately. 
     The No.3 
•    Arrive with chalk and measuring tape. 
•    Keep a close watch on the game. 
•    Bowl as instructed by the Skip. 
•    When at the head, give the Skip any information or advice requested. 
•    Decide with your opposite number the shots scored after each end. 
•    Measure any and all disputed shots. 
•    Tells the Skip the number of shots scored for or against at the completion of each end. 
     The No.2 
•    Be aware of the head status before playing. 
•    Try to play the shot requested by the Skip. 
•    Be prepared to keep the scorecard, if requested to do so by the Skip. 
•    For home games, maintain the scoreboard, taking care to avoid damage to the electric fence. 
     The Lead - No.1 
•    Be aware as to which side has the starting jack and for each end played. 
•    If your mat, play first in an end by placing the mat; and delivering the jack to your preferred length unless

     directed otherwise by the Skip. 
•    Make sure that the jack is centred before delivering the first bowl of the end. 
•    If your opponent’s win the end, fetch the pusher and clear the woods aided by other players. Store the     

     pusher carefully to avoid damage to the fence.
     In addition to the duties specified in the preceding clauses any player may undertake such duties as may           be assigned to him by the Skip. 


bottom of page