Is bowling the most dangerous sport in the world? Of course not, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take safety seriously when you play. You’d be surprised to know some of the conditions and injuries you could end up with otherwise.
Here’s an example. Bowling alleys tend to use oil on the lanes to help the ball roll smoothly. When you go over the foul line as you bowl, it doesn’t take much for you to slip and fall. That’s a perfect storm for different possible injuries depending on how you land.
How about avoiding dangerous situations altogether? If that sounds good to you, here are some useful bowling safety tips you want to keep in mind.
Are Warmup Exercises Necessary When Bowling?
In any sport, you’ll want to do warm up exercises before you start. This universal rule is meant to help you improve your performance and reduce the risk of injury. Sometimes, muscles end up pulled or torn because they weren’t given the chance to be prepared for the movements that use them.
The last thing you want is to end up on an operating table because you wanted to have some fun playing some bowling with friends, right?
What Makes a Bowling Ball Comfortable to Use?
Everyone knows you can’t bowl without a ball. Not as many people realize that using the right ball is just as important. There will usually be different balls for you to choose from, and you should pick up a few to feel things out.
If the ball is too heavy, you’re setting up yourself for disaster. The same goes for balls with small finger holes.
Even if throwing the ball feels comfortable, you may still need help picking it up. Be sure to ask a staff member for help if that’s the case.
Do You Need to Wear Bowling Shoes?
Some people want to avoid bowling shoes like the plague, and considering how goofy they can look, that’s understandable.
However, you need to think about what’s more important. Would you rather be safe and look goofy or would you rather injure yourself looking good?
The choice there should be obvious, so make sure you’re wearing the right shoes as you play. One of the biggest reasons is to avoid slipping on the approach.
Apart from putting on the right shoes, you also want to ensure the laces are tied and that the soles are moisture free.
Do You Need to Practice Your Approach?
If you’re a professional bowler, then you already have the technique down.
For everyone else, practice is a must. Most of the trips, slips, and falls in bowling happen during the approach. You read that right! They hadn’t even released the ball yet.
How about you do everything you can to prevent that from happening to you? Take the time to inspect the approach and do a few practice slides. You can usually tell when the floor is slippery or sticky. If so, ask an attendant to clean things up a bit before you continue.
What Is Proper Bowling Posture?
Bowling with bad posture is another thing to avoid. The question is, what does good posture even mean? Remember these three things:
- Your head should be up, and your back should be straight, which allows you to see over the top of the ball properly.
- Always keep your shoulders down and relax.
- When you’re moving a ball or picking one up, bend at the knees. Keep them bent during the bowling motion, so they can absorb some of the impact that comes with each strike.
What Should You Do When Bowling Balls Are Stuck?
Sometimes, bowling balls will either get stuck down by the pins or by the ball return. The problem solver in you may tell you to get it free by yourself, but that’s a bad idea. There’s mechanical equipment there, and it doesn’t play well with fingers.
Trapped fingers can lead to some serious injuries that come with steep medical bills. Therefore, it’s in your best interest not to use your hands to get the ball free.
Remember the staff members at the bowling alley are there to help you, so don’t be afraid to call on them for some assistance. They’d much rather help you free the ball properly than have to help you get to a hospital for an injury.
Is It Bad to Go Over the Foul Line?
Again, remember that bowling lanes are treated with oil. It’s the reason the ball moves so smoothly, allowing the game to work the way it does. While the ball does well with some extra oil, your feet don’t.
The foul line is there to prevent you from stepping too far and hurting yourself. Sure, it can seem like getting further forward is a good strategy to help your targeting but it is dangerous to do that.
Sometimes, it happens accidentally, and you really can’t help it. If that happens, then get a wet towel and wipe your shoes off as soon as possible before you even think about bowling again.
No one needs to tell you what bowling with a slick sole could mean for you.
What Does Proper Bowling Etiquette Look Like?
There isn’t a rule book per se that will cover all of what proper bowling etiquette is. For the most part, it boils down to being mindful of bowling rules, and people. Here are a few things that you can do:
- Though you’re at the bowling alley to have fun, pay attention to any regulations and follow them.
- Don’t roll your ball down the alley if the pins are not yet fully exposed or if you see someone working on the pin-setting machine.
- Swing practice is great, but you don’t want to hit anyone with your ball, so look around for others before you start.
The Bottom Line
Bowling is a non-contact sport, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get hurt or hurt others. It just takes a little effort to have fun at the alley in the safest way possible and prevent injury yourself. Just apply the bowling safety tips you got here, and you should have nothing to worry about!