Laws of the Game:
Lawn Bowls is currently governed by the Sport of Bowls – Crystal Mark Third Edition. These laws should be read in conjunction with domestic regulations for Bowls New Zealand. It is the responsibility of all players to make themselves aware of the laws.
Remember that no laws governing a sport can cope with every situation and lawn bowls laws are no exception. They have been drawn up in the spirit of true sportsmanship so if a situation arises that is not covered by the laws, common sense and a spirit of fair play should be used to decide on an appropriate course of action.
One of the greatest attributes of lawn bowls is the opportunity it gives to foster sociability and camaraderie among fellow bowlers. And, as part of this, it is important that some conventional courtesies and standards are observed on and off the green.
- Dress in accordance with the Club’s regulations.
- On tournament days, try to arrive early enough to assist with preparation of play (scrims, scoreboards, mats, jacks, green marking etc) and at the end of play assist with putting away the gear.
- Visiting players should not be left to their own devices – they are our guests and should be made to feel welcome.
- Introduce yourself to the opposition before start of a game and toss to determine who rolls the jack.
- Hand the jack to the opposing lead when he/she has placed the mat. This friendly gesture sets the tone for the game.
- All players should have their next bowl in their hand by the time the opposing players has delivered their bowl to avoid time wasting especially in a timed game.
- When ready to bowl, check the next rink to see if another player is about to bowl so you don’t both bowl at the same time and cause a collision.
- Check for instructions from your skip before bowling. He is on the head and can see where he wants a bowl to finish.
- Pick up any delivered bowl that comes to rest outside the rink boundary before the next bowl is delivered. Assess whether it is outside the rink by checking from the furthest end. Similarly, lift any bowl that goes into the ditch (unless it is a toucher) before the next bowl is delivered and place it on the bank.
- All players should stay stationary and quiet behind the player delivering the bowl so as not to affect their concentration. Keep general chatter to a minimum and don’t wander from rink to rink.
- When standing on the head make sure your shadow does not fall across the line your opponent wishes to take and also does not shade the jack.
- Do not walk up the rink in front of the player who has just delivered the last bowl to be played. Wait until they start walking and then keep to the confines of your rink.
- No bowls should be touched or moved before an opponent has a chance to determine the results and the end has been declared. Both teams should agree on the number of shots scored and by whom. Help clear the head after the result is determined.
- Warn players on adjoining rinks if a drive is about to be played and be ready to try and stop any bowls going into other rinks and disturbing their heads.
- Possession of the rink and mat passes to your opponent once your bowl comes to rest or becomes dead. If you are on the head, you can only make comments and see what position your bowls are in if you are in possession of the rink.
- It is unlawful and discourteous to encroach on adjoining rinks.
- It is a courtesy for the “Three” or middle player to place the bowl of the next player to bowl on the mat before joining the other players at change over.
- Negative or disparaging remarks at the opposing team or players is not good sportsmanship. Avoid unseemly language and behaviour and have consideration for your own players and opponents.
- Congratulate an opponent on a well-played bowl and don’t complain if they have a lucky shot. You will get your share of rubs and wicks and they generally balance out in a game.
- Do not forget that Bowls is first and foremost a sport and should be treated as such. Be gracious in defeat.
- Leads and twos should remain behind the head or mat when not in possession of the rink and should not crowd the head of offer advice when bowls in contention are being measured – this is the job of the “Three” or (middle player). All players should retire from the head when an umpire has been asked to measure.
- Pay attention to keeping the score as required. Scoreboards should be cleaned at the end of each game.
- The skip should set high standards by being scrupulously fair. They should not belittle team members who are performing indifferently, but instead offer encouragement. Rewarding players with a clap or friendly word of praise does wonders for team morale.