Gelli Park Bowls 


(i.e. Good Manners for bowlers and spectators)

Dress Code

Dress appropriately and ensure that you know the dress code for each game or match in which you are participating. Do not show disrespect for your opponent(s) by arriving late, ensure that you leave enough time to change before the game. If you are representing the club on another green you should remember that you are an ambassador for Gelli Park Bowls Club. Behave appropriately.

Players should wear designated club top and  tailored trousers or recommended shorts of the appropriate colour i.e. white or grey. Socks are to be white or grey. 

Smoking on the green is not allowed. You may smoke on the banks.This includes all electronic cigarettes.

Bowling Green Etiquette.

Our aim is to achieve a playing environment which can be friendly, competitive, shared and enjoyed by all.

Lawn bowls remains one of the few sports where common courtesy and etiquette is still prevalent. We should be proud of this and in order to make the game as enjoyable as possible bowling green etiquette should be promoted to members old and new. Much of this is common sense but here are some of the main rules of etiquette! Bowling is a friendly game and all players should show courtesy and good sportsmanship.

  • Introduce yourself and shake hands with your opponent(s) both before play commences and after the game is complete.
  • Do not walk across rinks that other people are using and do not stand or sit on the bank / verges while waiting to play. Note that it is not the bank/verges that are the main problem. People sitting on the banks tend to place their feet on the edge of the green causing serious damage.
  • Bowls should not be dropped onto the Green
  • During the game do not move around the head when your opponent is about to deliver his 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 thus staying out of the player's line of vision. Here is what the rule says about this. "Players of each team not in the act of playing or controlling play shall stand behind the Jack and away from the head or 1m behind the mat.
  • After delivering a bowl, a player should either retire behind the mat or advance to the head; he/she should not take up a position in between.
  • Bear in mind that some people 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 be aware of your shadow, don’t let it mask the jack or allow it to fall in front of the mat when a player is about to bowl.
  • Encourage and praise the rest of the team, bowls is a team game and everyone should be working together.
  • Don’t applaud a team member who has outrageous luck and admit a fluke with grace.
  • Never criticise your opponents the green or your own team, if you cannot say something positive don’t say anything at all.
  • Compliment your opponent on a good shot.
  • Bowls should not be kicked in until the shot has  been decided.
  • Be gracious whether you win or lose.
  • Bowlers should not walk past (on the Green’s external surrounds) another rinks head when a bowler on that rink is about to bowl.
  • Mobile Phones are not to be used on the green.
  • Drinking or carrying drinks is not allowed on the green.
  • Matches, cigarette ends, etc., should be placed in the litter-baskets. and not in the ditches.
  • Foul and /or abusive language should not be spoken on the green.
  • Footwear - Only wear appropriate footwear on green at all times.
  • After the Game you should once again shake hands with your opponent(s) and congratulate / commiserate with them appropriately.
  • It is also customary to offer to buy them a drink  after the game.Where a marker has been involved in a singles game you should also offer them a drink.

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 Remember – Good etiquette and manners make for a pleasant game and cost nothing.

Etiquette for Markers of Bowling Matches

During the season, when we are heavily involved in singles ties, markers are required. Consider making yourself available as a marker whenever you can. We all know that there is nothing worse than playing an important tie without a marker. Traditionally, Gelli Park has been one of the clubs where markers were always available but recently ties without markers seem to be becoming more common.

It is not good etiquette to watch games from the side lines or from the clubhouse while there are people playing without markers. If you have the time please get out there and offer your services by marking the game.

  • If you are marking a tie for the first time the following rules should be observed.
  • When a player has delivered the jack, the marker should centre it then stand back and to one side, ensuring that all rink markers are visible to the players.
  • He or she should answer any specific question (from the player in possession of the rink) about the state of the head. He or she should not offer any additional information that has not been requested. When asked, he or she should tell or show the player in possession of the rink which bowl or bowls the marker considers to be shot.
  • If you are unsure of the situation, for example you cannot decide who is lying, don't guess. You can offer an opinion but make sure that the player who is asking the question is made aware of this.
  • The marker should mark all touchers immediately they come to rest and remove chalk marks from non-touchers. He should also remove all dead bowls from the rink with the players' agreement. He should also mark the position of touchers and or the Jack which are in the ditch.
  • The marker should not move any bowls until the end is complete, and the players have agreed the number of shots.
  • He shall measure disputed shots when required but once again he should not move the bowls until the players agree.