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Beginner Bowler Safety, Originally Posted: 4/3/2013; Updated: 5/11/2023

If you are a new bowler, someone just beginning in the game, there are a few tips on safety which can be useful and avoid potential injury. All things are not obvious to everyone. This is certainly the case in bowling.

Warming up properly will help you avoid the chance of pulling muscles or injuring your back. It is recommended to use simple stretching exercises approved by your physician or by your physical trainer. Stretching your legs, shoulders, back, and arms slowly for a couple of minutes can help you loosen up your body before attempting to deliver a heavy bowling ball toward the pins.

Once you have warmed up, take three or four practice slides at the foul line area on the approach without your bowling ball. By taking practice slides, you avoid potentially sticking or slipping when you are actually in the act of delivering your bowling ball.

Approaches often have sticky spots or slippery spots near the sliding area from three feet before the foul line to the foul line itself. Make sure you test your bowling shoes for a smooth sliding capability on all portions of the sliding area, including the corner areas of the approach.

Check your bowling shoes to make sure the sliding soles and heel are free of debris such as gum, liquid moisture, or other substances which will prevent a smooth and normal slide on the approaches.

Once you are confident your bowling shoes are ready to slide smoothly, you must learn to pick your bowling ball off of the ball return unit in such a way as to avoid getting your fingers smashed between bowling balls.

The trick is to pick up your bowling ball using both hands on the sides of the ball which do not come into contact with other bowling balls at rest on the ball return unit.

Avoid sticking your fingers into the gripping holes and trying to elevate the ball straight off of the ball return. If you accidentally drop the ball by not supporting the full weight of the ball with both hands, you run a risk of dropping the ball on your foot as you are moving to gain control in holding and properly gripping the ball.

 Accidents happen. There are countless times new bowlers have gotten their fingers wedged between two bowling balls on the ball return unit by not using two hands to safely pick up the ball. There have been many times when bowlers will try and hoist a 14 or 15 pound ball straight up off of the ball return by using only their gripping fingers and thumb partially placed into the gripping holes of the ball.

Eliminate any chance of accidents by doing a few simple stretching exercises before you bowl, test the bowling approaches for smooth sliding capabilities, and make sure you pick up your ball off of the ball return by using both hands on the sides of the ball not exposed to contact with other bowling balls.

Avoid running up to the foul line to deliver your ball without a balanced, athletic posture when delivering your bowling ball. If you have questions about how to bowl, it is highly recommended to schedule at least one bowling lesson with an experienced bowling instructor to you learn important fundamentals of the bowling approach. Avoid taking tips on how to bowl by novices or others claiming they know what to communicate.

 Common sense goes a long way when safety is concerned. Everyone wants to enjoy their time bowling socially or in friendly competition, so take time to ensure you avoid injury by following these simple guidelines to safety on the lanes.
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