Sunday, November 10, 2013

Bowling Area Etiquette

National Bowling Center, Reno, Nevada
My July 20, 2010 blog discussed my annoyance with bowlers (most of them recreational and inexperienced) who fail to observe lane courtesy. In short, if there's a bowler on either side of you on the lane ready to bowl, step off the approach and let the bowler bowl.

What experienced bowlers also know is that beyond the area behind the approach, there's an etiquette observed there too. This area is where bowlers sit or stand when they're not bowling.

They keep the area behind the approach free of debris and liquids. Failure to do so can make bowlers slip, stick and/or fall on their next turn.

Last Sunday at practice and this past Wednesday in league, a few bowlers and I experienced some footing problems because bowlers before us didn't keep the area clean.

My sliding shoe got stuck near the foul line after I threw my ball. Fortunately, I didn't fall and my ball only missed the mark by a few boards. But a senior male bowler several lanes over from us did fall. He got up after a minute or so. I was relieved to see he was OK. House maintenance came by later with scouring pads and towels to both pairs of lanes and cleaned the up the sticky areas.

It's scary for anyone to lose his/her balance and fall while throwing/rolling a very hard 10 to 16 pound ball on a hardwood (or laminate wood) floor. In some cases, a fall can result in a twisted ankle, dislocated shoulder, bruised hip or broken wrist. I have fallen before and it's not fun. The game's focus ends up on not to fall rather than hit your mark.

So, for those of you casual/recreational bowlers that plan your next group outing, please confine food and drink to the counters or tables where the house balls are kept, usually behind the sitting area. I cringe whenever I see someone grab pizza or fries in one hand, ball in the other hand, walks to the lane approach, and then goes to bowl.

What I find worse are clueless league bowlers that use powder to get their shoes to slide. I don't object to use of the powder (it's not enforced but is illegal in my Monday league), I object to the bowler who leaves the excess without regard to other bowlers who may slip on it.

I'm done. Rant over.

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