Rules of the Game and Bowls Etiquette

For the Official laws of the game, please refer to the world bowls Website

Here are some points to remember:

Respect for others:

Turn up on time and be ready to play at the agreed start time

Dress appropriately usually Whites or club shirts, for matches

Shake hands with your opponents and introduce yourselves at the start of the game

Shake hands at the end of a game

Do not distract any player in the process of delivering the bowl (on your rink or any other)

Stand at least one metre behind the head or behind the mat when it is not your turn to play

When walking between mat and head keep well within your own rink

Give due acknowledgement of your opponents skill

Respect for the rink:

Wear appropriate ( flat -soled) footwear


Do not take food or drink onto the green

Delivery of the Bowl:

Be ready as soon as the proceeding bowler has relinquished the mat

Do not deliver your wood before the previous bowl has come to rest

Before delivering, check whether your skip is indicating any particular shot

At the point of delivery, one foot must be on, or directly above the mat

After delivery, wait to see your skips signal about length


A toucher must be marked ( or Nominated ) before the next bowl has come to rest .If not marked in time, it ceases to be considered to be a toucher

When marking a toucher ,take care not to distract the next to bowl. Either mark the bowl immediately (before the next player takes the mat ), or wait until the next bowl has been delivered


The rink must be between 4.3 and 5.8 metres wide

The green must be between 31 and 40 metres long

The front edge of the mat must be at least 2.00 metres from the rear ditch

And at least 25 metres from the front ditch

The delivery of the Jack must be at least 23 metres from the front edge of the mat and at least 2 metres from the front ditch.

It is for each home player to offer hospitality to their respective opposite number after the match