Many bowling alleys, such as Red Rock, welcomes kids as young as three years old to play the game. Parents, especially those who are into bowling themselves, encourage their children to become active in it, too, for many reasons including its physical and mental benefits.
To get kids started on bowling on the right foot, here are a few tips to consider.
Adopt the Granny Style
Small kids obviously can’t lift the ball without exposing themselves to injuries. But that doesn’t mean that they can’t play and hit the pins!
Coaches and parents can teach small kids the granny style of bowling, the perfect compromise between letting kids play without increasing their risk of injuries.
- Let the child stand at the foul line with his legs spread about shoulder-width.
- Place the ball between his legs and let him hold it with both hands.
- Allow him to roll the ball between his legs and push it toward the lane.
Be sure to remind him or her to avoid crossing the foul line and let the ball roll down the lane toward the pins. Teach him or her, too, about putting equal pressure on the ball with both hands.
As the child grows older, he will become stronger and taller and, thus, he should be able to lift the ball with two hands and throw it down the lane, not push it toward the lane. As he develops his basic skills, he can also be taught about the finer techniques of bowling.
Use a Bowling Ramp
Most bowling centers allow children to use the handicap ramps although there will be rules and regulations about the matter. Ask the staff first so as to avoid misunderstandings especially as the ramps may be dedicated to the differently-abled only.
The handicap ramp is in the middle of the approach. It can be adjusted so that it lines up with the target for spare shots.
In both the granny style and bowling ramp methods, be sure to show the child about the proper ball placement. The ball should be positioned so that it between the thumb and fingers, a tip that applies most to the lightweight balls. At this position where the finger holes and thumb hole are on opposite sides of the ball will balance it.
And, of course, children should be taught about the basics of safety, especially when handling the balls. Adults should always supervise smaller kids when they’re in the bowling center, particularly when they are near the lanes since accidents can happen with such small limbs in the way.