It's gained a reputation of being a game for the those without class and manners, but the truth is bowling is a an ancient sport that carries with it quite a few rules about proper behavior. These rules are taken very seriously by those who frequent the alleys, so it's a very good idea for beginners to learn a bit about the sport and its expected bowling lane etiquette.
Bowling itself dates back thousands of years into the history of man. It is believed that bowling pre-dates written history. As the years marched forward, so did the game and along with it the rules of the road. From ancient man and the courts of English kings to local alleys in cities all over the world, bowling alley etiquette has evolved into what players of today expect.
Learning how to behave on the lanes is as much an important part of the game as figuring out how to score correctly. There are some major dos and don'ts when it comes to bowling lane etiquette. They include:
- Get the proper gear. It is considered a major breach of bowling lane etiquette to wear street shoes on the lanes. Make sure to have on the proper shoes. Get rentals if you don't have your own. Street shoes can damage the lanes and disrupt the oil pattern on them (not to mention the fact many are not designed to handle the slick surface).
- Observe right of way. This is perhaps the number one rule of bowling lane etiquette. The general rule of play is to allow the bowler to the right of your lane to go first if you both arrive at the same time. This helps ensure that concentration isn't interrupted by two people trying to bowl simultaneously.
- Use common courtesy. Bowling is a game that many people take very seriously. Keep common courtesy and politeness in the front of your mind.
- Interrupt bowlers. It is considered a serious breach of bowling lane etiquette to talk to bowlers when they are trying to make a shot. Let the person who has the lane concentrate.
- Heckle. While it might be fun to pick on a friend who has bowled a bad frame, it is considered very rude to do so, especially in league play. Remember common courtesy and this bowling lane rule will make perfect sense.
- Cheat. This is a serious breach of bowling lane etiquette and something that just shouldn't be done. Keep the game clean and fun and let the pins and the score fall where they may. While it is nearly impossible to cheat with computerized scoring, some manual set ups still exist.
- Talk too loud or yell. Rowdy groups on the lanes can cause problems for everyone in the vicinity. Have fun, but try to keep the ruckus to a minimum.
Bowling is an ancient sport that has evolved through the years. From ancient man and stone objects to modern man and computerized scoring, the game might have changed a bit, but the basic rules of the road remain. The game is meant to be fun and it does carry with it a need for good sporting conduct.