10 Tips for Better Bowling Etiquette

Bowling is a fun hobby, whether you’re a professional league bowler or someone who likes to knock down some pins on the weekend. Either way you spin it, there is basic bowling etiquette that everyone should know before stepping into a bowling center.

1. Be ready to bowl when the pins are set, but wait until the pin setting machine has completed its cycle and the sweet bar is raised to make your delivery.


The sweet bar is the white bar that clears your pins and disappears for the next set. Throwing a ball before the machine is ready may damage the ball or equipment – and no one wants that!

2. Always defer to the bowler on your right if you are ready to bowl at the same time.

Like driving, you’re occasionally going to run into situations where two people reach the approach line at the same time. In this instance, the person on the right has the “right of way”, so to speak. Be courteous and let them go first.

3. Stay off the approach while you wait. Taking too long to aim or get set up when you are on the approach delays the game.

Prepare yourself behind the line – and save yourself some time! Nobody likes waiting ten minutes for the person in front of them to bowl!

4. Respect your lane’s boundaries and don’t cross into other bowler’s approach areas.

It’s easy to get a little carried away and move all around the approach when you’re delivering the ball. But we promise, the ball is more likely to go in the direction you please if you stay within the approach area.


5. Step off the approach once you have delivered the ball.

Once you’ve delivered your ball, it’s time to step off the approach and let your friends have a turn. Staying by the approach while your team members bowl is distracting and dangerous.

6. Good bowling requires concentration.

Bowling is supposed to be fun. When you think bowling centers, most people envision loud music, food, beer and fancy lights. But when it’s your turn to bowl, try and tune all that out for just a minute. After all, you have to impress your friends! Have fun, but keep in mind excessive movement or noise could be distracting when others are up to bowl.

7. Get permission to use another persons’ ball.


Just like anything else that isn’t yours, you must ask for permission to use someone else’s ball. Sometimes, it’s easy to get confused which ball you were using when they come through the ball return. If you want to try another ball – just ask!

8. Play the game to win, but be a gracious loser.

It’s okay to want to win. No one wants to look like a rookie – but hey, everyone starts somewhere! Go into the game wanting to win, but laugh it off even if you don’t. With deals like Dollarmania and Pizza Bowl, you can brush up on your skills and practice as much as you want. Nobody wants to go bowling with someone who can’t accept defeat – and that’s inevitable sometimes! Get excited about going bowling but don’t let it be the end of the world for you if you don’t win. After all, it’s just a game!

9. Keep food and drinks away from the approach.

We know our food and drinks are delicious, but there comes a time when you just need to put them down in order to bowl.  To prevent spills and keep our lanes in tip-top shape, keep the food and drink off the approach.

10. Always wear proper shoes on the approach.

This isn’t a hard thing to remember, especially because Pin Chasers offers free shoes to all guests. Wearing incorrect footwear inside of the approach area can seriously damage the floors. Don’t worry if you forget your socks – we’ll hand you a fresh (free) pair.

Ready to hit the lanes?