Lawn Bowling is a gentlemen and lady’s game and as such, there are a few rules of civility when playing. Some of these suggestions are taken from “The Etiquette and Courtesy of the Game of Bowls” by the South African Bowls Association.
Etiquette of Play
Lawn maintenance is difficult work and the Lawn condition should be respected. This includes wearing proper footwear, not dropping or tossing bowls on the green, and not spitting or pouring liquids (water, coffee, etc.) on the green.
Players and spectators at the head end should refrain from unnecessary movement and talking when a bowler is on the mat and about to bowl.
It is both a rule and etiquette that players at the head stand at a minimum distance of two meters behind the jack. Players should also stand two meters behind the mat.
After bowling each bowl, step off the mat to the right. As you approach the mat to bowl, do so from the rear left. This useful courtesy will help to avoid collisions.
Though you are allowed to follow your bowl down the lawn, you must arrive at the head before or as your bowl stops.
Entering neighboring rinks is not appropriate, particularly when walking from one end of your green to the other. Please be aware of others playing.
While standing at the head end waiting for the player on the mat to bowl, stand between the markers so the bowler can easily see them and use them to aim.
Avoid interfering with the head until the results of the end have been agreed upon by the vices.
Chalk and a measuring tape should be available when bowling so that bowls that touch the jack can be immediately marked and, if necessary at the finish of an end, measuring can be undertaken without delay.
The head should not be broke-up until both teams have agreed to the number of shots conceded.
Though the losers of an end are responsible for raking that end, bowlers not raking should assist by kicking the bowls into an approximate line, thus making raking easier and faster.
All bowlers should remember to clear the equipment from your rink after your game.
Bowlers should shake hands at the end of a game.
General Player Etiquette
Always show good sportsmanship by acknowledging a display of good skill by another bowler.
Avoid delaying play by leaving the rink without the knowledge of the other players.
Do not carry on a running commentary as each bowl makes its way to the head.
Do not grumble, keep quiet, if your opponent gets a good result from a fluke shot.
Keep in mind the better bowler usually has the better luck.
Do not say “thank you” if your opponent gives the shot away. If you must say anything say “bad luck.”
Don’t make excuses for bad play. Remember your opponent had the same conditions to contend with.
Avoid making adverse comments about a member of your team.
It’s a nice gesture to commend a good shot played by a teammate or opponent.