Code of Conduct

The purpose of our code of conduct is threefold:

  1. To create a sense of oneness among all groups of people who are involved with our events, despite their individual differences.
  2. To create a common vision for ethical behaviour.
  3. To help guide people in their interactions and to offer a standard for people to follow.


All players agree to:

  • Treat everyone equally and sensitively regardless of age, disability, gender, race, ethnic origin, cultural background, sexual orientation, religious beliefs or political affiliation;
  • Treat your opponents, team-mates, umpires and event organisers with respect and consideration at all times – treat them as you would like to be treated;
  • Never use foul, sexist, abusive, racist or any prejudicial language or offensive gestures – or tolerate it from others;
  • Know and abide by the rules;
  • Be honest and respect the spirit of fair play and sportsmanship in short mat bowls, whilst demonstrating good etiquette (see below);
  • Show patience and understanding towards those who may be learning the game;
  • Accept the decisions of the umpires and event organisers without question or complaint;
  • Not consume excessive amounts of alcohol or attempt to improve individual performance with the use of illegal substances;
  • Conduct themselves in a manner that takes all reasonable measures to protect their own safety and the safety of others;
  • Conduct themselves in a manner that takes all reasonable measures to protect their own property and the property of others;
  • Give maximum effort and strive for the best possible performance through the whole game, even if it is considered already over;
  • Learn to accept victory and defeat with humility and dignity and without excessive emotional displays;

Players are also encouraged to applaud all good performance, whether by your team or by your opponent.

In addition to adhering to all relevant aspects of the players’ code (above), the event organisers and officials agree to:

  • Encourage all players to play within the ‘Rules’ and the spirit of the game;
  • Be honest, consistent, objective, impartial and courteous when applying the ‘Rules’ of the game and making decisions which affect the events;
  • Help create and maintain a safe environment free of fear and harassment where all players, including children and vulnerable adults, have an equal opportunity to participate.

Good Etiquette

  • Show respect for your opponent(s) by being on your allocated mat ready to commence play at the scheduled start time. Group games often run ahead of schedule. Please make your way to the mat once the earlier game has finished.
  • Introduce yourself and shake hands with your opponent(s) and the marker (if applicable) before play commences. After the game shake hands and thank them.
  • During the game do not move around the head when your opponent is about to deliver their 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.
  • After delivering a bowl, a player should either retire behind the fender or advance to the head. He should not take up a position in between.
  • If you are at the same end as the player delivering a bowl you must stand behind the fender thus staying out of the player’s line of vision.
  • Please be mindful that any movement on the mat by the head could cause the head to change in such a way that is puts your opponent at a disadvantage.
  • During the game commend good shots and learn to accept that flukes are a part of the game. Sometimes they go for you, sometimes against. Please refrain from the excessive celebration of your own fortune or your opponent’s misfortune.
  • Non-players in and around the playing area who are in a player’s line of vision should also keep still while bowls are being delivered and they should not distract players during games.
  • Please refrain from using mobile phones on and around the mats.
Official Sponsors
Bowls Trader
Nordic Caravan
Crowne Plaza Belfast
Bowls is Bowls
Techniheat Plant Services