Bowling Bumpers

Bowling Bumpers: What Is It and How It Work?

Bowling Bumpers can be a great addition to your bowling league. Anybody can use them, and they are affordable. This post will highlight everything that you need to know about bowling bumpers.

You’re at the bowling alley, about to take your first shot. You walk up to the lane, put your ball down and then realize you forgot to put the bumper up. Or maybe you did put the bumper up, but it’s not doing its job correctly, and your ball goes into the gutter anyway. Keep reading as we explore everything you need to know about bowling bumpers, from how they work to when you should use them.

What Is Bumper Bowling?

Bumper Bowling

Bumper bowling is where the gutters are raised so the ball cannot fall into them. Bumpers are often done for young children or beginners, as it makes the game more forgiving. Bumper bowling can also be used by people with disabilities who have trouble controlling their balls.

Who Invented Bumper Bowling?

Bumper bowling was invented in early 1982 by bowling alley owner Philip Kinzer. He was looking for a way to make the game more family-friendly and accessible to those with young children. The addition of bumpers allows bowlers of all ages and skill levels to enjoy the game and increase their chances of getting a strike.

What Is Bumper Bowling Used For?

Bumper bowling is a great way to introduce kids to bowling. It can also be used as a tool to help improve a child's bowling skills. Bumper bowling is also an excellent option for people who want to bowl with friends but do not want the competitive nature of traditional bowling.

What Is the Difference between Bumper Bowling and Traditional Bowling?

Bumper bowling is a type of bowling in which the gutters have been raised so that the ball is less likely to fall into them. It makes it ideal for young children or beginners, giving them a better chance of scoring. On the other hand, traditional bowling does not have bumpers, so the gutters are lower. It makes it more challenging but also more exciting for experienced bowlers.

Traditional bowling involves rolling a heavy ball down a narrow lane toward ten pins. The object is to knock down the pins with as few bowls as possible. Bumper bowling generally uses lighter balls and is less challenging than traditional bowling, making it more suitable for younger players or those with physical limitations.

How to Play Bumper Bowling

If you're new to bumper bowling or have never tried it, you may wonder how it works. Bumper bowling is a great way to bowl for everyone in the family – young and old, experienced and inexperienced. It's a great way to score some points and have some fun.

Here's a quick guide on how to play bumper bowling:

  • The Basics: Bumper bowling is just like regular bowling, but with one big difference – the gutters are covered. That means that even if your ball goes into the gutter, it will still come back onto the lane and stay in play.
  • Set Up: To set up for bumper bowling, put the bumpers at the edge of the gutters on both sides of the lane. You can find pre-cut vinyl strips or soft foam pads specifically designed for this purpose at most bowling equipment stores.
  • Bowling: Now you're ready to bowl. Just throw your ball down the lane, aiming for the pins at the end. Remember, since there are no gutters in play, you don't have to worry about your ball going into them – so go ahead and aim for those strikes.
  • Scoring: Scoring is simple in bumper bowling – count the number of pins knocked down on each throw, just like in regular bowling.

Is There An Age Limit For Bumper Bowling?

Is There An Age Limit For Bumper Bowling

Most bowling alleys will have bumpers in the gutter for children and the disabled. Bumpers are also excellent for people looking to improve their game or work on their spare shooting.

Most bowling alleys will have a mix of regular lanes and bumper lanes. Bumper lanes are typically labelled, so you can quickly identify them. While there is no definitive answer, most bumper lanes are meant for bowlers who are 12 years old or younger. The balls on these lanes are usually lighter, and the pins are closer.

That being said, many experienced bowlers enjoy using bumper lanes as well. They can focus on their form without worrying about knocking down all the pins. Bumper bowling is also a great way to practice your spare shooting.

Pros and Cons of Bowling with Bumpers

Bowling with bumpers can be a great way to improve your game or have fun. But, like anything, there are pros and cons to consider before you bowl with bumpers.

  • Bumpers can help improve your score by keeping your ball in the lane and preventing gutter balls.
  • They can also make the game more fun for kids and beginners who are still learning the ropes.
  • Bumpers can give you a competitive edge if you're bowling against friends or family members who don't use them.
  • Bumpers can make the game too easy, taking away the challenge for more experienced bowlers.
  • They can also take away from the feeling of accomplishment when you finally nail that perfect strike without help.
  • If everyone in your group uses bumpers, it might not be as fun or exciting for spectators.

Are Bumpers allowed in Bowling Tournaments?

Are Bumpers allowed in Bowling Tournaments

Bumpers are allowed in most bowling tournaments, but not all. Some tournaments will have specific rules about whether or not players can use bumpers.

Using bumpers can be a great way to level the playing field in a tournament setting, especially if there are bowlers of varying skill levels competing. Bumpers can also help prevent gutter balls, saving time and keeping the game moving along at a good pace.

Should You Use Bumpers?

Bumpers are an essential part of bowling and can significantly help beginners and those who struggle with their aim. They provide a physical barrier between the pins and prevent gutter balls and other wayward shots from ruining your game.

There are a few things to consider before deciding whether or not to use bumpers:

1. Your skill level: If you're a beginner or have difficulty controlling your shots, bumpers can help. They'll allow you to focus on your form and technique without worrying about hitting the pins.

2. The type of lane: If you're bowling on a synthetic lane, you may not need bumpers. These lanes tend to be more forgiving, and the ball will bounce off the pins more reliably. However, if you're bowling on an older wooden lane, bumpers can be beneficial in preventing errant shots from going into the gutter.

3. Your bowling style: If you have a straight-arm delivery, you may not need bumpers. Bowling bumper is less likely to result in wayward shots than other styles (such as hooking or scooping). However, if your style is more erratic, or if you tend to lose control of your shots occasionally, bumpers can help keep your ball on the alley.

You should use bumpers if you're a beginner or have difficulty controlling your shots. They can be a great help in improving.


As you can see, there are many benefits to using bowling bumpers. They can help improve your game and score and provide a safe environment for your children to play in. With so many benefits, it's no wonder that more and more people are using them. So if you're looking to improve your game or provide a safe environment for your children to play in, consider bowling bumpers.

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