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Common Sense Bowling Rules

There are many rules that apply to the game of bowling itself. How to score a game, where to stand, how to deliver the bowling ball, etc.

But there are other rules as well, not written in any book that could have direct or in-direct effects on the lanes.

It’s hard to go bowling and not get something to eat. And we’re not talking health food here. You’ve got the burgers, the fries, the mozzarella sticks (just love that marinara sauce!). What do we associate these foods with? The same as John Travolta, grease!

That leads to one of our first rules: do not eat foods with your bowling hand. The grease gets on your fingers, then into the ball’s holes, the ball slips off your hand into the gutter and your friends laugh at you. It starts with hunger and could end in embarrassment, so be careful.

A second rule that everyone generally knows, but is always good to keep in mind, is lane courtesy. This means that if someone is already on the approach ready to bowl, then the bowler to the immediate right or left waits until she has delivered the ball. There is no need to wait if she is two lanes away.

An extension of this rule would be that as soon as the ball is rolled do not linger at the foul line, but begin to back up so the bowler to the left or right can go.

Bowling is not the only activity going on in the building. Pool tables, darts, and video games are all part of the bowling center package. However, when bowling with friends or in a league, an important rule is to be available to bowl when it’s your turn.

There’s nothing more annoying than seeing that it’s John’s turn but John is nowhere to be found. It’s one thing if he’s in the bathroom. But no, he’s on the phone with his girlfriend, glued to a television watching WWE wrestling, or playing another game of Galaga.

Going back to food, it’s best to order right after your turn is done so there is ample time before you have to be back. If there’s one thing worse than having friends laugh at you it’s having them annoyed at you.

Lastly, it is always wise to let the bowling center employees perform necessary tasks to things that need fixing. For example, if a pin has popped out beyond the guardrail and is lying in the gutter, do not try to run down to shove it back in. Go up to the desk or use the phone sometimes installed at the lane to call and report it. It’s usually taken care of swiftly.

And even though it makes sense, it is best not to roll a ball down the gutter to knock the pin in. The simple reason being that it could be the throw of the next person and he wouldn’t be too happy about having a dash (-) on his score sheet, especially after a spare.

There are many other unwritten rules like these that come up, but the most important is to have fun. After all, that’s why you’re going bowling in the first place. You should definitely check out Bowling advisor to learn more about the game of bowling. You can check out different bowling alleys nearby with their reviews and ratings.


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