Bowling Etiquette 101

Proper Bowling EtiquetteEveryone wants to enjoy their bowling experience and to help ensure it's enjoyable you'll need to understand proper etiquette. Bowling etiquette should be observed by everyone regardless if you're a new bowler or you've been bowling for years. I put this web page together to help educate people like you on bowling etiquette and to help improve the experience of bowling for everyone. Some of the things mentioned below are unwritten rules, while others might be actual rules to protect the safety of you and other bowlers.


Basic Bowling Etiquette

  • You must wear bowling shoes when out on the lanes. Street shoes will scuff up the lanes, ruining bowling approaches and make the lanes unsafe for you and other bowlers.

  • Foul language and angry outburst are never appreciated out on the lanes. Remember, bowling is a game played by people of all ages, including children. No one wants to hear you swearing or ranting.

  • Food and drinks should be kept away from the lane. Spilling stuff on the lane can make it unsafe and damage other bowler's equipment. Always keep your food and drinks in the area designated for them.


Bowling Etiquette on Your Lane

  • No one wants to wait for someone while they are in the bathroom, getting food or smoking. Be ready to bowl your frame when your turn is up or risk getting a 0 for that frame.

  • Avoid stepping over the foul when you're bowling. It's against bowling rules, will result in your getting a 0 for that frame and can result in you getting lane oil all over the place.

  • Avoid using another bowler's ball unless they say it's OK. Be courteous when using other people's equipment.

  • It's rude to make loud noises or try to distract someone when they are up to bowl. This is bad sportsmanship and isn't a good example for other bowlers, especially young ones.

  • Never bowl at the same time as another bowler; this can mess up their approach and their concentration.

  • Keep your comments, suggestions and opinions to yourself. Unless someone engages you on how they can improve their approach or bowling game.


Bowling Etiquette for Bowlers Next to Your Lane

  • If you get up to bowl at the same times as another bowler and they are on your right you should yield to them, let them bowl first, then take your turn. Remember, the bowler on the right hand lane always has the right of way.

  • Avoid standing on the lane when the other bowler is taking their turn. Stay out of their line of sight so you don't mess up their approach or concentration.

  • Avoid intruding on the lanes next to yours, no one wants you throwing your bowling ball down their lane or have you in the way when it's their time to bowl.

  • Avoid making comments about bowlers around you. Not everyone is a professional PBA bowler and some people are just out having fun.

As you can see there isn't any rocket science involved in bowling etiquette. By playing the game by the rules everyone can have fun out on the lanes. In fact, you'll find it easier to make friends with other bowlers and have a great time! If you think I should add something else to this please contact me.