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Bowling For Kids

What Is Bowling?

Bowling is a very popular sport that is played by throwing a heavy ball down a lane to knock down as many pins as possible.  There are ten pins to knock down and you get two turns to accomplish the task.  This is a terrific game that can be played as an individual or on a team in a recreational or professional environment.   It  is reasonably priced, compared to other sports, and is a terrific family activity. 

The Art of Bowling...

Bowling is done at a Bowling Alley, where they have approximately 25 lanes for bowlers to use.  The bowling lane is 60 feet long and ends with a 3 foot triangle that holds the 10 pins.  An electronic mechanism resets the pins after a shot is taken and sends the ball back to the bowler.  The game consists of 10 frames for each bowler.  Each bowler gets up to two shots and the play rotates. 

The object is to knock all ten pins down at the beginning of each frame.  If this is accomplished it is called a strike and the frame is over.  If pins remain then the bowler gets a second try to knock down the remainder of the pins.  If the remaining pins are knocked down it is called a spare.  If the bowler does not knock down any pins in both shots it is called a scratch and it is worth 0 points.  A strike is worth 10 points plus a bonus of all the pins knocked down in the next two balls.  A spare is 10 points plus a bonus of the number of pins knocked with the next ball. 


Bowling for Kids...

Bowling is a terrific sport for kids and it is great to start them young so that they get the idea of how to properly throw the ball.  The lightest weight ball available is 6 pounds so it may be a little heavy for the pre-school age child but they will still have fun.  Many bowling alleys offer bumper bowling to assist beginners.  This is where they place bumpers in the gutters of the lanes to keep the ball straight by forcing it to bounce back toward the pins. The best age to teach the rules and perfect their play is elementary school age when they can comprehend what you are telling them. Scoring in most bowling alleys is computerized so they will need to learn how to use the scoreboard.


Equipment Needed...

The only thing that you need for bowling is a special ball and shoes.  Street shoes should not be worn and could be dangerous.  It is necessary to wear bowling shoes to get the proper slide necessary to bowl successfully.  When selecting a ball look for one where you can put your fingers in comfortably and it is not too heavy.  For beginners, you will find that  you can rent a ball and shoes and it is included in the fee.  If your child is getting serious about bowling then it may be time to purchase their equipment for them. 


Their own shoes will be more comfortable and will help them to perform better.  Bowling shoes will range in price from $20 to $150.  Keep in mind when purchasing that the will outgrow them quickly so look for something that is reasonably priced.  There are a large variety of bowling shoes available including those for left-handed bowlers.  Best advice is to shop around to find the right deal for your budget.

Bowling Balls

Manufactures produce a number of bowling balls for kids/beginners.  Bowling balls come in a variety of colors and styles.  Manufacturers produce youth balls at the following weights: 6 lb, 8lb,10lb, 12lb, 14lb, 15lb and 16 lbs.   Bowling balls range in price from $50 to $150.  The internet is a great source to see what is available to to price shop. 

Youth Bowling Leagues

Serious bowlers have the option to join an amateur or professional bowling league.  Youth leagues are available to children starting at the age of 5 and continuing until the age of 21.  There are a variety of different leagues for every skill level.  The national governing body for amateur bowlers in the United States is the USBC (United States Bowling Congress) and their website is  The National governing body for professional bowlers is PBA (Professional Bowelers Assoc) and their website is

Bowling in a youth league is a great experience and a terrific way to enjoy and learn the sport.   All leagues have coaches there to help you so you do not need to be an advanced bowler to join.  Leagues exist for beginner, intermediate and advanced levels for bumper and regular play.   Based on on the level, leagues can meet between one and four times a week.  Leagues last 10 -14 weeks and are often divided into several sessions that run all year long.  Many times you will find a fall, winter, spring and summer session.  Fees can run from $40 to $90 plus a membership fee.  Most of the time you have the opportunity to join at any time.  These leagues participate in local and state tournaments where participants can win scholarship money for college.

Bowling in High School and College

High School bowling teams are available in some locations but not in all schools in every state.  USBC offers annual scholarships based on academics, leadership skills and on-lanes performance.  There are colleges that have bowling teams that will participate in leagues, tournaments and competitions.

Bowling Manners and Safety

  • Do not let others wait for you  -- be ready when it is your turn.

  • The bowler on the right should always go first.

  • Stay behind the foul line

  • Never interfere with someone who is ready to bowl.

  • Respect the equipment.

  • Always be a good sport.

  • Follow rules regarding food/drink.

  • Never run wild in a bowling alley.

  • Keep the ball in a rack when not being used.

  • Always pick up the ball with two hands.

Click Here For Bowling Alley Locator
(Simply enter the word BOWLING and your city/state)