SPORTS – Everything you should know about bowling and bowlers


February 14, 2019


Bowling is a fun game and sport that does not require special skills, especially for a beginner who has no clue about how it is played. Most people just play during a night out or on a fun day. Solving the complexity of the game is part of having fun. Some key tips are not apparent to newbies and are overlooked by professionals. You will learn the lingo used by bowlers as well as essential bowling strategies to wow your friends and family.

Is bowling really exciting?

The most satisfying part is when you see the pins fall over and the sound made as the ball hits the pins. You feel rewarded immediately. The same feeling of achievement you get when you shoot a clay pigeon or throw a water balloon.

According to a sports psychologist for Team USA bowling, Dr. Dean Hinitz, the four factors that allows someone to enjoy bowling are self-sufficiency, determination, mastering knowledge, and connection with others, which you feel as the ball rolls down the lane and topples the pins.

How do I learn?

To learn the basics at a fast pace, you can ask a friend to coach you or get a local online teacher. Lessons are also available for free on YouTube. This will help you to learn the form used by the professionals and craft your own style. Read more here.

Which ball is right for me?

You need to choose a ball that is heavy that can be easily thrown toward the pins. If you feel sore after playing, it means it isn’t the right ball for you. Your fingers should glide out of the finger holes as you release the ball.

Which items do I need?

  • A tote or backpack to carry the bowling ball
  • A band to support your wrists (optional)
  • Comfortable shoes
  • A microfiber towel to clean the ball
  • New-Skin plasters to protect fingers
  • Gripping powder (rosin) for sticky palms

Five common terms used by bowlers

  1. 7–10 Split

Otherwise known as bedposts, where the remaining pins are on the far left and the far right of the back row. Only one ball should knock down the 2 pins to get a spare. It is classified as a difficult split.

  • Spare

The entire ten pins are knocked over with two sequential balls.  When you play next, you have ten pins and the full pins obtained with the second ball.

  • Anchor

Someone who plays last in league matches. This person is often the finest bowler on the team and can handle pressure.

  • Strike

One ball knocks down all the ten pins. For other two deliveries, you will get ten pins in addition to the overall pins recorded.

  • A Turkey

Happens when you bowl three strikes in a row.

Meaning of marks on the lane

The markings will allow you to get a flawless style, posture, and throw. The name of the markings and the functions are listed below:

A known as Boards

Boards have a width of 1 inch and 39 are present on a single lane. They show the position to put your feet and aim your ball. There are three dotted rows as the ball advances down the lane.

B known as Foul Line:

It divides the surface for playing and the approach. The surface is usually oiled.

C known as Dots and Arrows:

“C” serves as a guide for your ball as it rolls towards the target pins or into the pocket. For a better aim, at fifteen feet after the foul line, there are 7 arrows indicating the route of the ball. There are also dots afore and after the foul line to help you track the ball’s movement.

D known as Breakpoint:

The lane section where the ball starts to move toward the pocket and will indicate the target results that you choose on the lane. It is essential to fine-tune your target, ball, alignment, or speed of throwing if you consistently fail to make the shot that you want.

How long will it take to master it?

There’s a guide at made for beginners. It is easy to feel overwhelmed when professionals are getting strikes in a row, while you struggle to get one. Relax and remember that they started out just like you. If you only play a small number of games per year, it will take longer before you notice any progress. An expert bowler, Jason Belmonte once said, “There is ample amount of instruction on YouTube. Revise it. Then training as much as you can on the lanes. Be persistent. Provide sufficient time for yourself to comprehend the mechanism of bowling.”

Hook and score are the 2 ways to track your improvement and they are related. Ball hooking let you control the angle and how the ball rolls toward the pins, so that you can cause more of an impact. To do this:

Place your elbow by your side and grasp the ball at the approximate height of your waist. Support the ball with the spare non-bowling hand at the bottom. Prior to commencing your move, select a target, regulate your movement, and proceed with careful steps.

Move your arm in a way similar to a pendulum, stay straight, and don’t place your arm around your back. As you let go of the ball, your thumb will be the first one out, then the rest will slide too.

When you throw the ball, keep the wrist straight and trail the throw with your hand. Some bowlers do this when they stay behind on the lane and swing their hands, even though they aren’t holding the ball anymore.

Bowling welcomes all and players are diverse. It is a game for all age groups with any ability. Be prepared to be worse than some people and better than others. Join a league by doing some research online or inquire at any desired alley. You can sign up alone and the alley will fit you into a team, or you might be required to form a team yourself with colleagues, friends or family.


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