There are some unwritten elements of etiquette in bowling which are useful to know. These are not hard and fast rules, but mainly suggestions to make the game more enjoyable and reduce any tensions which may arise.
- Obviously, there is a dress code of “whites and greys” for all matches which everyone should observe.
- Before the match starts, always introduce yourself to your opponents by first name and shake hands with both the opposition and your own team members.
- Do not drop your bowls on to the green and try not to mark the green by bouncing your bowls on delivery.
- Stand still behind the mat when a player is in the process of bowling their woods. Any movement can be distracting.
- Refrain from talking, coughing, jingling loose change in your pocket etc. In other words, refrain from causing any form of distraction when someone is on the mat.
- Concentrate on what is happening on your rink and not elsewhere.
- Do not hold a ‘committee meeting’ in the middle of your rink when a player on the adjacent rink may be waiting patiently on the mat to bowl.
- Do not wander off on to the adjacent rink in order to see where the bowl you have just delivered finishes up.
- Stand back from the head when a player is delivering their bowl, particularly if they are firing or delivering a heavy shot. Shadows and a background of white shoes may make it difficult for the bowler to see where they are aiming.
- Encourage your own team players and applaud shots as appropriate. But don’t revel (outwardly at least) in any of your opponent’s misfortunes.
- Do not delay play, always play your bowl with minimum delay.
- Never deliver your bowl before the previous bowl has come to rest.
- Keep track of play, be ready to bowl when it comes to your turn.
- Always pay your skip the respect of waiting for their decision and instructions. If the skip does not give any instructions then indicate which way you intend to bowl.
- If you lose, be a good loser, don’t blame your loss on other people, the green, weather conditions etc.
- At the end of the match, always shake hands with your opponents and congratulate or commiserate with them appropriately. Also, don’t forget to do the same with your own team members as well.
Remember, none of us likes to lose, we all like to win, but whatever the result…
ENJOY the game, it’s supposed to be fun!