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| Bowling

Mind your manners: do you know your bowling etiquette?

Tenpin bowling combines family friendly fun with just the right amount of competitive pressure, keeping the adrenaline – and laughs – flowing. It’s the perfect game for (almost) all ages, no matter their ability. At Zone Bowling we welcome all comers, whether they’re there for birthday parties, work functions, or just blowing off steam with mates.  

But sometimes, you get someone who thinks they’re the bee’s knees, the Head Turkey of the bowling lanes, going around ruining it for other bowlers. Don’t be that person.  

If you’re not sure how to behave yourself in a bowling alley, we have a few bowling etiquette tips that will guide you. After all, tenpin bowling is about everybody having fun. 

1. Don’t take too long, Keep it bowling 

It’s fine to stretch your fingers or take a moment to aim properly when you’re up to bowl. However, don’t take more time than necessary. We wouldn’t recommend you going through a set of yoga stretches to help you limber up, for example – that’s just weird.  

2. But don’t rush either 

On the other hand, bowling isn’t a race. Wait until the pinsetters have finished before you start your round, and make sure you’ve found your bowling ball. It’s okay to take a little bit of time to make sure you’re comfortable and ready to bowl a strike! 

3. Don’t distract the bowler on the approach 

Like golf, bowling demands concentration and focus for every shot. If it’s not your turn to bowl, always remain in the designated seating area out of the bowler’s sight and avoid making any noise or movement that could distract them. You wouldn’t want someone prancing around the approach and blocking you when it’s your turn, so don’t do it to others.  

4. Don’t use another bowler’s ball 

Most bowlers have a particular ball they use for the entire game – you probably do that, too. Respect your teammates’ choices, and make sure you’ve chosen your own ball, too. If you find your bowling ball isn’t working for you, don’t just randomly take another bowler’s ball: rather choose a new one from the rack. As a last resort, ask permission before using someone else’s ball. 

5. Give way 

Did you know there’s an official order in which multiple bowlers on the approach should throw their balls? The player on the lane to your right has the right of way – let them bowl first before making your move. It’s a little bit like a surfing line-up, to be honest! 

6. Don’t step past the foul line 

Why not, you ask? Well, you’re likely to land flat on your back – bowling lanes are covered in oil, which make bowling balls very happy, but won’t help your sense of balance. It’s no fun to stop a game of bowling because of cracked ribs or sprained ankles, so do yourself a favour and stay off the surface of the bowling lanes. 

 7. Always wear proper bowling shoes 

Wearing the wrong shoes while bowling can damage the approach area, so make sure you get a pair of funky bowling shoes from the Zone Bowling shoe counter – it’s why we have them! And don’t worry if you forgot your socks, we stock (fresh!) socks, too. 

8. Keep things clean 

And by ‘clean’, we mean: 

  • You’re probably going to snack on some of Zone Bowling’s yummy bowling food options – if you do, wash or wipe your hands thoroughly before you handle your bowling ball. It’ll not only improve your grip, but also keep the ball from getting greasy and giving the next bowler the ick. Also keep food and drinks away from the approach and the lanes, it’s slippery enough already! 
  • Remember that Zone Bowling offers tenpin bowling for all ages, so keep the heckling good-natured and family friendly, and turn down the volume. Your mates want to hear it – the young family in the lane next to you, don’t. 

9. Be a gracious loser 

Look, losing isn’t fun. But it’s not the end of the world, either, so if you’ve bowled more gutter balls than strikes, just laugh it off and try again. After all, it’s just a game! Nobody wants to go bowling with someone who can’t accept defeat.  

It’s not hard to follow these basic tips, and doing so will ensure that all guests enjoy their game of tenpin bowling. Ultimately, it’s all about the Golden Rule: treat others as you would want to be treated by them. So don’t be a party pooper – rather head to a Zone Bowling today and show off your exemplary bowling manners (and skilful strikes)! 

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