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Seven Things You Need to Know About Bowling

Essential Facts and Tips Every Bowler Should Know


Many bowling aspects are taken for granted as common knowledge. In reality, certain things should be common knowledge, but you have to learn them first. Here are seven of the most essential aspects of bowling every bowler needs to know in order to bowl well, get better and have fun.

1. How to Choose a Bowling Ball

Man holding ball at bowling center
Patti McConville/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images

Most recreational bowlers never need to worry about which ball to use, figuring the bowling alley has a slew of them available at any given moment. That's true. However, if you want to get more serious about bowling, you'll want your own bowling ball. How do you know which ball is the best for you? Determine the ideal weight, cover stock and drilling pattern to instantly help improve your game.

2. How to Hold a Bowling Ball

A conventional bowling grip.
Photo by Jef Goodger

Throwing (and even holding) a bowling ball with an improper grip can cause injury, not to mention hinder your bowling abilities. These objects are heavy and should be held the right way to keep yourself healthy and improve your game. Once you find a ball of the best weight for you, learning how to hold it properly is the next step. There are a number of different ways to grip the ball, but it all starts with this general overview.

3. Bowling Ball Cover Stocks

Different bowling balls have different cover stocks (the outer surface of the ball). Each cover stock is designed for a different purpose. Many bowlers build an arsenal of bowling balls to keep them prepared for any shot they need to make. This article explores reactive-resin, urethane and plastic cover stocks and the benefits and drawbacks of each.

4. How to Score a Game of Bowling

A manual bowling score sheet.
Photo by Jef Goodger

In most bowling alleys these days, machines will keep score for you. That doesn't mean you shouldn't know how to do it. Being able to keep score will help you figure out what you need to do in order to achieve certain scores, defeat your opponents or merely impress your friends with a scoring system that can be extremely confusing at first. After a brief tutorial, the confusion goes away and bowling scoring becomes second nature.

5. Why You Need to Wear Bowling Shoes

A rack of bowling shoes.
Photo by Thinkstock/Getty Images

What's the point of bowling shoes? Is it a scam by bowling-alley owners looking to make an extra couple dollars from everyone? Some worldwide scheme developed by house-shoe makers trying to grab as much money as possible? No - bowling shoes are crucial to the maintenance of the lanes and the safety of all bowlers.

6. The Bowling Pin Rack (Numbering the Pins)

Bowling pins
Photo by Jef Goodger

The bowling pins are numbered, 1 through 10, and stand in a triangle. What are the dimensions of the pin rack, and how are the pins numbered? Since splits and leaves are referred to by numbers (for example, a 7-10 split), it's important to know all about the pin rack. This article explores the dimensions of the pin rack and will give you a better understanding of the goal of bowling: knocking down pins.

7. The Life of a Bowling Pin

How long do bowling pins last? What materials make up a bowling pin? Bowling pins are created to be abused repeatedly by heavy blunt objects (yes, bowling balls), but how long can that continue? Learn everything you want to know about a bowling pin. How many sets of pins do most bowling alleys keep on hand, and how often do they change pin sets? What happens to pins past their prime?

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