Bowling is a recreational activity that all ages can enjoy. It's an excellent way for you and your friends to unwind after a long day at work or school. However, during such relaxing moments, things can quickly go south if you don't follow proper bowling etiquette.
To have a seamless experience at the bowling alley, here are some bowling etiquette tips for beginners:
1: Pay Attention to the Game
Bowling is a game of skill and mental concentration. You need to pay attention to your lane, your pins, and other players on the lanes around you. Avoid staring at your phone or chatting with your friends in between turns.
Bowling with a partner or friends who are not paying attention to the game can kill the spirit of the game, and ruin its fun and everyone else's bowling experience. You don't want to be the one ruining the night of fun!
So, pay attention to every aspect of your game, especially when playing against someone else.
2: Always Be Ready to Bowl
Always be ready to take your turn- avoid unnecessary delays! Ensure you're prepared to go again as soon as you finish your last ball. If you're not ready and other players have their balls in the lane, let them bowl first. Also, remember not to step on anyone else's toes while waiting your turn!
To be ready to bowl;
- Have your bowling gear ready
- Don't wait until it's your turn to play for you to visit the restroom. If possible, visit the room before you start bowling.
- If you must wipe the ball, do it before it's your turn to bowl.
3: Be Cautious with the Ball
The bowling ball is not a toy! Many beginners pick up the ball with its finger holes instead of gripping it by the middle with both hands. This can cause injury to both you and others in your lane. Avoid this mistake by always gripping the ball with both hands when picking it up from either the approach or the return area.
If you aren’t careful with the ball, you might drop it on your toes, a colleague, or even on the ground and cause some cracks. Are you ready to be responsible for repairing a damaged lane or floor?
4: Be Respectful to Other Bowlers
Whether playing with your agemates, teammates, or strangers, you must treat everyone respectfully. Don't be rude to someone trying to help you understand the game better. Remember that bowling is a sport that requires you to exemplify sportsmanship at all times!
Being respectful includes not throwing your ball down the lane, not throwing your shoes on the floor (or anywhere else), and not being loud while others are trying to play.
5: Don't Make Fun of People's Bowling Skills or Form
Different people have different bowling styles. Some people may be able to bowl well without even trying, while others may need to practice before they can get the hang of it. If they're having fun and aren't being disruptive, don't make fun of their bowling skills or form.
If you're a beginner, you may not be able to throw a strike on your first try. Don't let that bother you! Keep practicing, and you'll get better!
6: Follow the Bowling Alley Rules and Guidelines
The most important rule in bowling is to follow the rules of the bowling alley. Before you enter the lane, ensure you have read all the instructions given on signs, posters, or even video screens in the alley.
The set rules and regulations might include the following;
- Restriction on carrying food and beverages from outside
- How many players can play on each lane at a go
- Kinds of shoes are allowed (e.g., sneakers only)
- Time limits during which games must be finished
- Player's age or weight restrictions
If you have any questions about the rules at your local alley, don't hesitate to seek clarification from the staff.
7: Don’t Wear Risqué Clothing
Bowling is an activity for all ages and all types of people, so it’s best to wear clothing appropriate for a family-friendly environment. Avoid wearing clothing that might be considered inappropriate in public places.
After all, no one wants to see your underwear or cleavage when you’re preparing to bowl!
8: Don’t Use Another Person’s Bowling Ball Without Their Permission
If you aren't playing with your friend or family, it's safe to assume they won't want you using their ball without permission. Bowlers highly value their bowling balls, and to some, the balls hold sentimental value. So, unless you have been asked to use it, don't!
9: Stay In Your Lane
Bowling is a game of discipline! Avoid straying into other players' lanes. You don't want to make your fellow bowlers mad by accidentally bumping into them or taking their space.
Straying into other people's lanes is inconsiderate. After all, they've paid to bowl in their lane and don't want to be distracted by someone else's game. Staying in your lane will save you from disagreements with other bowlers.
10: Know Who Goes First: The Bowler on the Right
If you approach a lane concurrently as the person on your immediate right, he or she should go first. This general rule eliminates the need to discuss with other players who should go first when both of you approach the lane simultaneously.
Bowling Safety Tips for Beginners
Besides the bowling etiquette tips for beginners above, there are various bowling safety tips that you should familiarize yourself with. They include;
- Don't use a bowling ball that is too heavy for you: Bowling with a heavier ball doesn't improve your chances of hitting a strike; instead, it can lead to severe injuries. The rule of thumb is to use a ball that weighs 10% of your body weight.
- Don't bend your back, bend your knees: When lining up to take your shot, don’t bend over too far; this might lead you to strain your back; instead, bend your knees.
- Avoid throwing the ball overhand: Throwing the ball overhand doesn’t give you more power. Rather, it strains your elbow and shoulder. Such stress might result in pain or injuries. Use the proper technique to roll the ball!
- Feeling pain? Take a break: If you start experiencing pain while bowling, it’s a sign that something is not okay! You might be using the wrong technique or the wrong equipment. To avoid severe injuries, take a break when you start feeling pain.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced bowler, every bowling alley has some rules and regulations that you must follow. Have a thrilling and safe bowling session by following the bowling etiquette tips for beginners and safety tips above!