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Basic Bowling Etiquette

AKA, How Not to be That Jerk at the Bowling Alley

This is not an extensive list of bowling rules and regulations, just a list of the highlights that make you a better citizen of the bowling alley. By the way, Citizens of the Bowling Alley is the name of my Loverboy cover band. 

  • Always wear appropriate bowling attire. Street shoes and sneakers can damage the approach.

    •  Be careful outside of the bowling areas in your bowling shoes. Wet shoes will make you fall. Trust me. I've done it.  It hurts both your butt and your pride. 

  • Be ready to bowl when the pins are set, but wait until the bar is up before making your delivery. This seems obvious, but you never know.

  • Always defer to the bowler on your right if you're ready at the same time.

  • Stay off the approach while you wait to avoid distracting other players on their delivery.

  • Respect your lane's boundaries and don't cross into the approach areas of other bowlers.

  • Step off of the approach once you've delivered the ball. Sure, you can do that little dance or victory pose for your strike, but be quick about it, and clear the approach quickly.

    • Remember that good bowling requires concentration, so try to allow your league-mates a little bit less distraction.

  • Always ask permission before using someone else's ball. While it's probably not a big deal if you use the house ball that someone else picked up, it's kind of a big deal when you decide to use someone else's personal ball. Please make sure to ask before you bowl with a ball that you didn't bring to the lane yourself.

  • Be careful with food and drink. Never have food or drink on the approach. Spills aren't only messy, they can lead to wet shoes, which can lead to falls and be dangerous. Ideally drinks without lids and pitchers should stay on the tall tables behind the booths.

  • Clean up after yourself when you're done. Return house balls to the racks near the main entrance, turn in your shoes, gather up any paper cups, plates, and napkins, and throw them in the trash. Yeah, I know AMF pays people to tidy up after us, but we want to be the awesome league that classes up the joint, not the terrible league that trashes it. 

  • Be a champ. Look, we're here to have fun. Dance. Sing. Tell jokes and laugh. A lot. But do it all while being mindful that we're not the only bowlers in the alley. 

    Remember, we're here to have fun! Winning is great, of course, but be gracious about it. Losing sucks, but again, be gracious about it. Be kind to one another, if you have an issue with a bowler, be awesome about it and address it head on and directly. Most of the time, if a bowler is encroaching on your lane or not waiting their turn, they don't realize it. A kind word is generally enough to set most of us straight. 

     If you ever have any problems with another bowler (whether in our league or otherwise) that you can't address head on, come to me, and we'll work it out. 

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