For our first edition of Coaching Corner, Tony Frankland, Coaching Convenor, discusses etiquette on the green and how it's more than just good manners.
With the business end of the season approaching and players becoming increasingly involved in outside tournaments and events, it seems an appropriate time to revisit some of those “unwritten” expectations. As part of the new players’ coaching programme, the coaches reinforce the niceties of being on a bowling green.
These are gladly and willingly adopted by new members because they want to be a part of the game and our club but it creates confusion when some more experienced players appear not to apply these etiquettes when playing. We must remember that new players will model their behaviour on what they see our more experienced members doing.
Our reputation as being a friendly club has been rightly earned but our reputation as being a competitive club is still being forged. It is therefore timely to remind ourselves of some common basics.
Stay on your own rink at all times. If you are following your bowl for a few paces, keep within your rink markers.
Only the director can be on the head. This is during the bowling as well as measuring. If a lead or two want to be involved they should discuss the head away from the bowls.
If you need to leave your game (for whatever reason), ask/tell your skip or director first. Also, be on time and ready to play.
Check for other bowlers before you approach the mat. If someone on another rink is preparing to bowl, stay off your mat.
Stand still on the green and stand directly behind the head.
Do not walk up the rink in front of the player who has just bowled.
Become familiar with the laws of the game. If in doubt about anything, ask the umpire.
Always be positive in your body language and comments. Try not to get into the habit or pattern of making comments about opposition bowls, bowlers, the format or the club.
The club is trying to bring a variety of game formats into regular use, so if you arrive at roll up and find you will be playing a format you are not used to (or even uncomfortable playing), grasp the opportunity to learn something new and be prepared to enjoy yourself. Please don’t moan or complain.
I hope these reminders will help make the second half of the season more enjoyable and less frustrating for you. Remember WE are the club and it is up to us to uphold the spirit of the club as well as the spirit of bowls.