Bowling safety for kids
Bowling is a classic social game that can be enjoyed by enthusiasts of any age. From birthday parties to professional leagues, bowling alleys provide a great place to enjoy time with friends and family alike. But the fun can lead to disappointment and even injury if rules about safety and etiquette go ignored. Fortunately for any fan of bowling, keeping safe is as easy as the game itself. Those who follow the rules and keep safe will enjoy the game for years to come.
Each bowling alley you enter may have a different set of rules for play and safety. It's important that you abide by these rules. There is general etiquette that is expected for all bowling alleys, however and keeping these rules in mind will help make your bowling experience all the more enjoyable.
Knowing your immediate surroundings
Being a safe bowler begins when you enter the building. Knowing your surroundings is important no matter where you are, and bowling is no exception. Be sure to look for exits in all directions in the rare instance of a fire or other emergency requiring evacuation of the premises. Also, be sure to know who to talk to (manager, employee, or an authority figure in your group) in other types of emergencies.
It's also important to know the area where you're going to be bowling. Keep in mind that you might have others bowling in the lanes immediately to your right or left; do not move into their lanes at any time, and unless invited, stay away from their tables off of the lanes as well. It is impolite to barge in on their social gathering, and walking into the area near their lanes may interfere with their game.
You should respect the area where the ball returns after being bowled. A conveyer belt returns the ball back to the bowlers in your lane. Do not place your hand anywhere near this device or inside the hole where your ball returns! Doing so could cause a painful injury to any limb you place inside, and could require a trip to the hospital as a result. Keep your hands away until the ball has completely stopped. Pick up your ball with both hands to avoid dropping it.
Bowling shoes: not worn just for style!
The next step is to find the right bowling shoe for you that is a good fit. A lot of people might wonder: why the need for bowling shoes at all? The bowling alley, in fact, isn't trying to just make another buck -- there's a real reason (or two) why you need them.
Bowling shoes glide better on the surface of the alley. If they didn't, you'd stick to the floor and risk injury while tossing the ball down the lane. Additionally, while each customer that enters the alley may have a different shoe type, bowling shoes are consistently clean, allowing the alley to remain scuff-, dirt- and gum-free. Using bowling shoes helps ensure the lanes stay cleaner longer, a benefit that both owners and customers can enjoy.
Picking the right ball
The best bowling ball for you is going to be the heaviest ball that you can control while bowling. The key here is the aspect of control. If you can't handle a bowling ball because it's too heavy, then you need a different ball weight. A good rule of thumb is to pick a ball that's about one-tenth of your weight. So, if you weigh 100 pounds, you should pick a ball that's close to 10 pounds, so long as you think you can control it.
You also want a ball that will be a good fit for your fingers. If you pick a ball that's too tight for your fingers, you risk hurting yourself and doing possible damage to the joints in your hand. Holes that are too close or too far apart on the bowling ball are also worth avoiding -- you don't want to strain your hand or make it uncomfortable.
Basic etiquette for bowling
Having good etiquette and being safe for bowling go hand-in-hand with one another. A boisterous or obnoxious bowler tends to create commotion on the lanes, which can lead to confusion for other bowlers in the immediate vicinity. Don't roughhouse, run around, or otherwise make too many distracting motions while you're near the lanes. Remember, you aren't the only person bowling -- the people in your group, as well as the people bowling in other lanes, will appreciate a fellow bowler who doesn't make a scene!
When approaching the lane, it's best to allow those next to you to go first if they've already stepped up. If you and another person step up at the same time, it's customary that the bowler to the right goes first. For example, if you and another bowler in the lane to your right step up to bowl at the same time, you should allow them the courtesy of going first.
Wait until they remove themselves from the lane to retrieve their ball or otherwise motion that their turn is done before you make your approach. Be sure not to spend too much time on the lane yourself -- after you bowl, step away from the lane as soon as possible.
Do not distract others while they are bowling. Making loud noises, purposefully trying to draw the attention of bowlers away from their roll, or otherwise interfering with their concentration is bad sportsmanship.
Bowling is about having fun -- safely and responsibly!
Common sense dictates a lot of what is expected in bowling alleys today. An easy way to think of it is, if you wouldn't do it at the dinner table, you shouldn't do it in public. The same applies for bowling: what you wouldn't do in public you shouldn't do in a bowling alley.
Keeping safe is also important -- if your behavior is unsafe, you shouldn't be bowling as doing so will likely cause injury to yourself or others around you. Taking turns, making sure that you're not too distracting to other bowlers, and overall politeness and safety make for a good bowling experience.