Syllabi & Levels of Coaching


The purpose of this document is to outline the steps you will need to take to become a coach in the English Bowls Coaches Society.


Trainer’s Manual (effective from 1 January 2013)

A Trainer’s manual has been developed to supplement the Blue Manual (Level 1 and 2) and Green Manual (Level 3).

It is expected that this will be a ‘living’ document and will be regularly updated.

The document can be found under ‘For Coaches’ and ‘Download of Forms’.



Coaching Level

Go to downloads of:


 Level 1 Syllabus – see under For Coaches Download of forms or below Assessment Form – see under For Coaches Download of enhancement forms are available to download


Level 2  Syllabus – see under For Coaches Download of forms or below Assessment Form – see under For Coaches Download of enhancement forms are available to download


Level 3 Syllabus – see under For Coaches Download of forms or below Assessment Form – see under For Coaches Download of enhancement forms are available to download


Advanced Syllabus – see under For Coaches Download of forms or below Assessment Form – see under For Coaches Download of forms or below

Each Coaching Level Section can be downloaded, just follow the appropriate links.


Section 1

Becoming a Level One Coach

In order to become a Level One Coach you will be required to:


  • Have played bowls for at least 3 years and be put forward by your club.
  • Have a basic knowledge of the Sport of Bowls
  • Demonstrate the ability to Coach a Beginner using correct questioning techniques
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the coach’s responsibility to Safeguarding children and vulnerable adults.
  • Have completed trial assessments with your Trainer on basic purposeful and personal practices.

Level One Syllabus


The course is in the Blue coaching manual obtainable from your tutor. You will also be offered the Guide for Beginners manual.

With your coach you will:-

1.    Study the code of Ethics which all coaches should follow

2.    Understand the guidance you are given at level one for the protection of vulnerable people and children

3.    be aware of the laws of the sport and the etiquette involved as it will affect new bowlers.

4.    .Understand the need for coaching and what makes an effective coach

5      Understand and learn about Housekeeping and health and safety on the green


1.    Show that you can communicate using words, tone of voice and body language and use open questions.

2.     Instruct a beginner according to the manual until he/she understands and can have success at line and length.

3.    Introduce the beginner to bowling terms as they arise and a simple measure.

You will be tested on these elements either written or oral at your examination.

N.B. This is the only level where the trainer can be the assessor

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Section 2

Becoming a Level Two Coach

At this Level you are required to go deeper into both theory and practical so that you can coach more experienced players in your club.

Syllabus for Level Two 

You will be required to

1.    To have a good knowledge of the rules of the sport

2.     Be prepared to teach etiquette on and off the green.

3.    Prepare exercises that are both purposeful and personal to an individual player.

  1. Prepare exercises that are both purposeful and personal to a small group of players.
  2. Demonstrate the Coaching of a Beginner using good questioning technique.
  3. Diagnose and correct common delivery faults at an improvers’ clinic.
  4. Demonstrate an awareness of the  importance of safeguarding  vulnerable adults and children
  5. Show that you can teach principles of Singles, Pairs, Triples and Fours play.
  6. Complete some elements as continuous assessment with your Trainer which will be recorded on their Record Card.


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Section 3


Becoming a Level 3 Coach

To successfully achieve Level Three a coach will be required to fulfill the following.

  1. To demonstrate a full and comprehensive knowledge of the Sport of Bowls.
  2. To have participated at other clubs in support of County Coach/ Coordinator.
  3. To have coached regularly at your local club/s (e.g. weekly).
  4. To have had experience of planning a coaching event at a club.
  5. To have the required First Aid certificate.
  6. To complete the following elements as continuous assessment with the Trainer:
  • Demonstrate to another coach how to Coach a Beginner
  • Personal & Purposeful Practices
  • Physical preparation including Nutrition
  • Goal setting
  • Phantom Four

To complete the following as practical and oral assessment:

  • Diagnostic clinic using a camera
  • Freezing the Head
  • Off-green questions

Questions for Level Three

These questions are only some that you could be asked. The Assessor should try to give the candidate a fair range of topics from them.

1. What exercise could you use to help a pupil develop line?
2. What would you look for in a good delivery?
3. What main factors determine weight?
4. How would you correct a wobble?
5. In overcoming anxiety what does the trigger word WASP represent?
6. If, when you measure, you move the jack what happens?
7. Describe what ‘possession of the rink’ means?.
8. What is the rule about feet on the mat when you deliver?
9. How important is general fitness in the game of bowls? Why?
10. What effect does dehydration have on performance?
11. Why would you recommend a bowler to exercise before beginning a game?
12. Can you comment on the time-tabling of meals and their contents?
13. What in your opinion is the best advice in the section on Nutrition?
14. Why set goals?
15. When setting goals what important aspects need to be considered?
16. What are your goals? What do you hope to achieve?
17. What are you comments on SMACT?
18. What is your approach to Level 1 and 2 training.
19. What attributes would you look for to promote in a potential coach.
20. If you are successful in this exam, have you an area of bowling that particularly interest you and which you would want to pursue?


Assessments will be carried out by Advanced coaches or Level Three Coaches with experience of examining, from outside your own County.

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Section 4

Becoming an Advanced Coach

In order to be considered for your Advanced Coaching Course you will be expected to fulfill the following criteria:

1. To have a full and comprehensive knowledge of the sport.
2. To be able to coach the whole range, from introducing a beginner to the game to coaching a National Champion on a one-to-one basis.
3. To have had experience of planning, organising, administrating and staffing a coaching event at county level.
4. To be able to offer themselves as part of a team for squad training/coaching at international standard and be available at national coaching events.
5. To demonstrate the ability to conduct courses for the preparation of instructors and coaches.
6. To be able to work with Children and Disabled/Wheelchair bowlers.

To meet the above requirements he/she will need to have mastered the following general principles of Bowls Coaching.

1. To have regard and knowledge of the motivational needs of different players.
2. To be aware of the process involved in learning at all levels.
3. To have knowledge of the increasing application of psychology in sport.
4. To understand the need for constantly updating his/her knowledge of coaching by whatever means available, including the study of coaching principles in other sports.
5. Be a good communicator with either individuals or groups.

If you feel you meet these requirements contact your County Coach. If he agrees he will contact the Regional Coach who in turn will notify the National Coaching Co-coordinator. Where possible, candidates will be coached together by Advanced Coaches or National Team members.

Syllabus for Advanced Coaching


1. Present a day’s programme to Assess/Train and Develop a team of players. These players are high achievers, County, U25s, Johns Trophy, Liberty Trophy, Middleton Cup etc.
2. Produce a log of your Coaching activities. Include any reading on coaching principles and disciplines, any course you may have attended. These will supplement your green work with coaching knowledge.
3. Prepare a paper on a topic of your choice (e.g. Goal Setting, Analysing Performance, Improving Performance, Preparation for Competition, Coping with Stress and Improving Concentration).
4. Prepare a presentation for a group of coaches or high achieving players.
5. Answer the questions overleaf.

These papers, without your log book, should be sent to the examiners before the practical assessment


1. Instructing a complete beginner.
2. Conduct a Freeze the Head exercise with a group (4) of experienced players.
3. Have the ability to run a Phantom Bowler Exercise.
4. Prepare and present purposeful exercises of your own design for experienced 1’s, 2’s, 3’s, 4’s  to  demonstrate when required in the exam. There must be an extension to the exercise making it more difficult when the first has been successful.
5. Undertake a Clinic with video and be prepared to offer personal practice to overcome the faults.
6. Off-green discussion when your papers will be discussed with any other topic that arises.

These activities will be carried out by the National Coaching Co-ordinator or National Team Members (not of your County). They will be looking for a coach who is able to hold control of all players of whatever standard and be able to cope with challenges.

Advanced Coach Questions

1. Have you done any reading directly concerned with coaching disciplines and principles?
2. Do you see any value in such reading and why?
3. Which area of bowls coaching research would you undertake and why?
4. Is bowls unique? Do you believe we can learn from other sports? If yes, then how?
5. On a personal level, what do you believe you have to offer the EBCS?
6. If asked for advice to set up a bowls course for young people, what elements would you stress regarding the general organisation and content of the course?
7. If you were asked to help a good player to improve his/her performance, how would you do it?
8. If you were asked to help a player who freezes when playing in front of spectators, what advice would you give?
9. If asked to be an assessor for accreditation to coach in another area of the region would you go?
10. If asked to train/assess a coach to become an advanced coach would you take this on?
11. Do you specialise in any area of the Coaching Activities?
12. If asked to be part of a team for squad training, what level would you be comfortable with: Internationals, Senior Men/Ladies, U25’s, Men’s/Ladies?
13. Why do you want to become an Advanced Coach?
14. What attributes does an Advanced Coach have that are different from a Senior Coach?


Additional Information

Most of your time will be spent training and some time in assessing coaches and advanced coaches. You could, at some time, be asked to work with very good players who are high achievers. They will expect more from you than just work on the green, hence the additional knowledge you are being asked to acquire.

You are not expected or required to have an in-depth knowledge of any topic, just to have a working base of information.

Transference of ideas

Transference of ideas is a broad concept which can include:

1. Talking to coaches from your own or other sports.
2. Reading coaching manuals from other sports.
3. Generally making yourself aware of other similarly related concepts.

Libraries do have many books on sport psychology.

Our EBCS manuals are an excellent source of information.

Other reading material includes,

In Pursuit of Excellence by Terry Orlick,

Books by Gwyn John, David Bryant and Tony Allcock.

Several of the Sports Coach UK books are worth reading.  These include:

The Successful Coach.

A Guide to Mentoring Sports Coaches.

How to Coach Children in Sport.

Equity in your Coaching.

Courses and the Internet

Courses are available on some of the topics. There will be variations in the amount of useful information you will obtain from them.

There are many online articles available to you within the Bowls Australia website.

Extract what you can from any course you attend and/or any reading you do. Add this to your logbook for reference.

We wish you to be successful at your assessment, so please ensure you prepare fully and be able to answer questions similar to those attached.

If you require any further information please ask your Area Coach.

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