Since I wrote this bowling blog post in January, I’ve been bowling an average of once a week. I’m hooked (get it?).
When I bowl, my mind will usually tune out most of the things happening around me. I am too busy thinking about:
- how my body is moving
- how I can fix mistakes I made in the last shot
- how to get the ball in the pocket
- how to get a spare
But sometimes, there are just some things that disrupt my concentration.
First let me just say that I understand how bowling can be a social event. It’s perfectly fine to have fun and a good time.
There are some unwritten rules and courtesies that should be practiced by everyone.
Courtesy #1: Give Way
If a bowler on the next lane has already stepped on the approach, please let that person complete their throw before stepping on the approach for your delivery.
I can’t believe how often bowlers on my left and right will totally disregard this courtesy and just “cut queue”. This is my pet peeve.
This can really disrupt the focus of a bowler, not to mention it can be dangerous to have two heavy swinging bowling balls in close proximity.
What if you trip or lose your balance, and you fall on to my lane just as my bowling ball is swinging down with full force? Don’t blame me for any missing teeth.
A related courtesy is: If both bowlers step on the approach at the same time, the bowler on the right should be allowed to go first.
Courtesy #2: Get Off the Approach
After you make your delivery, it’s okay to stay a while to evaluate the result of your throw. It’s even okay to celebrate and do a little dance. But please get off the approach in a timely manner once the pins have dropped.
One time I had a kid sitting down at the end of the approach while his sister was bowling. I had to wait until he finished his little bit of mischief before I could resume bowling.
Other times there would be people standing in my way to take photographs of their friends, without even checking with me.
Courtesy #3: Bowling Ball
Please don’t touch my bowling ball.
I’ve had people in the next lane use the ball I was using, and I had to wait for the ball to come back before I could use it.
Put back the bowling balls after you’ve used them. Sometimes I arrive at a lane where there are ten bowling balls left there by irresponsible people.
Please don’t kick the bowling ball.
Please don’t throw the bowling ball from the approach. You will damage the approach (because it is un-oiled). A damaged approach makes it hard for other bowlers to deliver the ball.
Courtesy #4: Don’t Scream Unnecessarily
I understand how ecstatic it could be for one of your team mates to get a strike. I experience the same thrill and excitement. There is always a good reason to celebrate a strike.
But screaming and celebrating when you get a 7-10 split is not cool.
Remember that focus and concentration is really vital for a bowler. Any excessive noise (for no good reason) is distracting.
It’s fine if you make mistakes (like dropping the ball) when you bowl. Nobody will laugh or look down at you because everyone has made the same mistakes before.
It’s when you start being inconsiderate and disrespectful, other bowlers will really think badly of you.
Sometimes I wish I had a skull bowling ball to get others to keep a distance from me.
Please consider these common courtesies the next time you go bowling, so everyone can have a good game.
I hope I didn’t scare anyone away from going bowling with me. And I hope I didn’t come across as too demanding.
My ‘bowling time’ is really precious to me. I really get upset when it is ruined by others. I try not to let it get to me but sometimes it’s hard.