Bowling Etiquette

Bowling Etiquette

To be a true sportsman, you ought to know the basic etiquette of the game, along with the strategies to be applied. What then is the basic etiquette of a bowler and why is it necessary to be aware of them? Let's find out for ourselves, shall we?
"Etiquette is the science of living. It embraces everything. It is ethics. It is honor."
― Emily Post


Every sport has its set of rules and regulations as well as field manners to follow. To be a true sportsperson, one needs to have a basic understanding of the terms and conditions laid down before him. For this, one needs to pay special attention to the etiquette or manners to be followed both on the field and off it. Bowling, like other sports, has its own set of rules and regulations which a bowler is supposed to be well equipped with; besides rules and regulations are a must to up the fun quotient of the game.
The Twelve Commandments of Bowling
When we talk of commandments, it gives us the impression of being set in stone. It invariably refers to some rules and measures that cannot be ignored for varied reasons. Etiquette, for that matter, are equivalent to commandments, for breaking any of them would result in severe losses both to you and your teammates. Ensure that you remember these commandments (as I call them) diligently, and in turn, enjoy the game with your comrades.
1. Thou Shalt Not Trespass the Foul Line
For obvious reasons, it is not a good option to cross the foul line. Stepping on the foul line would result in a penalty, thus making your team score lesser than your opponent. You wouldn't want to end up with a foul result for a silly mistake, would you?
2. Thou Shalt Not Two-ball a Pin boy
To make it understandable, do not bowl in quick succession or release one bowl after another, as it will result in disqualification. It could probably result in you shelling out charges to pay for the damages to the pin boy/pinsetter.
3. Thou Shalt Not Blemish the Alley
Wearing the wrong shoes can result in etching and scratching of the alley, which will, in turn, hamper the movements of the other players. Utmost care should be taken to make sure you do not have any sharp edges jutting out to cause unwanted scratches.
4. Thou Shalt Await Thy Turn
Patience is the only key word here. Remember to wait for your turn, eventually you will get it but in between shots, it would be better if you wait in silence. It is iniquitous to stand in the way of others; hence, it is courteous to take your seat when it isn't your turn.
5. Thou Shalt Give Way for the Player on the Right
Give the player on your right, the right to play first. I am definitely not playing with words here, just giving out the basic mannerism. The player on the right has an advantage over you, all you can do is let him/her have a go before you get a shot at the pinballs.
6. Thou Shalt Not Discommode Your Neighbors
You don't like being disturbed during shots and it is but natural that the same is expected from you too. Avoid indulging in hooting and calling out names in an attempt to distract the opponent as it might result in your elimination.
7. Thou Shalt Not Delay the Ongoing Game
Leave alone distracting others with hoots and calls, you are obliged to concentrate on your game and play as quickly as possible. Do not indulge in unnecessary movements that will distract the other players.
8. Thou Shalt Not Covet Your Opponents Victory
In simpler terms, you should be a good loser and avoid indulging in visibly bad behavior. Take your defeat well, and remember to control your temper and your mouth at all times.
9. Thou Shalt Not Mill Around the Alley
As soon as your ball hits the pins, it is obligatory that you return to the benches and not linger around the bowling line. This applies for the scorecard area as well. Do not pester the scorekeeper unnecessarily.
10. Thou Shalt Not Nip Off Another's Property
Do not walk away with another's ball or shoes. It is highly inappropriate behavior to walk back with another's property. Remember to return bowling shoes and balls back to its rightful owner/rack.
11. Thou Shalt Not Make Merry Near the Alley
Eating and drinking near the alley is a strict no-no. Spilling of water or oil anywhere near the alley can spell disaster. You never know, you could be the victim of your own folly.
12. Thou Shalt Mind Thy Manners
As a rule, do not indulge in abusing or insulting other players and the management. Any foul behavior can result in your game being terminated. Avoid unnecessary confrontations with other players. Maintain peace no matter what is hurled your way.


As a bowler, you are expected to be responsible for your behavior at all times. Finally, be a good sport and be prepared to deal with failure, if you happen to lose. Along with the etiquette mentioned above, you should concentrate on your game strategies to improve your bowling. Following these rules won't enable you to win, but at least you will be leaving the field by making a good impression on others. Finally to conclude, have a "Yabba-Dabba-Doo" time folks!