Basic Rules of Bowling Etiquette

Basic Rules of Bowling Etiquette

Sure, you can read a thick manual on how to be a great bowler, but it’s not all about putting up high scores. For most people around you, a great bowling experience is also about having everyone behave properly. That means you need to brush up on the rules of bowling etiquette.

Of course, it all starts with common courtesy and good manners. Be polite to everyone in the place, whether you’re in a high-end bowling alley like Bowlmor or in one of the more modest joints. Treat the staff, the other players, and your own friends here like you’d want to be treated.

Here are some other rules as well:

Wear the Shoes

Lots of newbies don’t really like this rule, especially when they’re required to wear shoes that’s been worn by other players before. But if the thought of renting bowling shoes turns you off, you should just buy your own shoes.

These shoes must be worn. The folks who run the bowling alley insist on it, because regular shoes can damage the finish on the bowling lanes. Besides, your regular shoes may cause you to slip and fall, and you just end up with injuries because of the wrong shoes.

Let the Bowler on Your Right Go First

The bowler on your right has the “right of way”, so to speak. Don’t just immediately go with your turn just because you’re ready. Check the bowler on your right first. If they’re ready to go, then let them go first.

Be Ready When the Time is Right

You should wait until the pins are properly set, the sweet bar is raised, and the pin-setting machine has completed its cycle. Don’t roll your ball when things up there are still moving, as you might hit and damage the setting equipment.

Don’t Take Too Long

Keep in mind that people are waiting for you to be done with your turn. That means the bowler on your left is waiting, and the people in your bowling group as well. Prepare yourself so you’re ready to bowl when the pins are set.

Stay Firmly Behind the Foul Line

The foul line is that line demarcating the actual bowling lane area. You’re not supposed to step on the bowling lane at all. That’s not just bad manners, but doing so means your ball doesn’t count and you get a zero for your effort.

Respect the Boundaries

It’s not just the foul line in front of you that you have to factor in. You also shouldn’t move all over the place when you bowl. Stay in your own approach area and don’t go over to another player’s approach area.

Once you’ve done your turn, step off the approach area right away and let others have their turn. 

Roll the Ball

When you release the ball, let it go on your forward swing when your arm is lowest to the ground. Do not even try releasing the ball on an upward swing, as if you’re pitching a softball. Of course, never even consider an overhand throw.

You’ll just damage the bowling lane if you release the ball improperly. That means you’re going to have to pay for the damage!

Don’t Make Too Much Noise

It’s sometimes hard to be quiet all the time when you’re bowling, especially if you’ve just got a strike. But others are bowling too, and your noise might break their concentration. So, keep it down as much as you can.

Keep Food and Drinks Away from the Approach Area

This prevents spills that might mess up the game for you and for other players. Have fun bowling! If everyone followed these etiquette rules, bowling will be even a lot more fun!

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