Ten-Pin Bowling Rules You Must Know

As with any sport, there are rules and guidelines that you must play by when bowling. Not only are there rules of the game, but the bowling alley also has rules and regulations that you must follow.

The first rule in most any bowling alley across the country is the fact that only leather-soled shoes are allowed in the approach area.

The bowling alley rents shoes for the convenience of the players. Most alleys have sales shops in which you can purchase shoes if you are an avid player.

The second main rule is that while most alleys sell food and beverages, these things are never permitted in the approach area.

This is for the safety of the players as well as a reduction in possible damage to the floor. Wet spills could cost someone a fall resulting in injury, which would leave the owners responsible. So always leave your food and drink in the appropriate areas.

Once you are on the bowling floor, there are rules of the game that you should follow and keep in mind at all times.

There are boundaries that you should contain not only the bowling ball too, but also your person. In the approach area there are many other players, so you should be cautious and stay in your lane as not to interrupt their play or have a collision.

As far as the ball is concerned the boundaries are the gutters and the foul line. The gutter is the area that is run along the length of the lane on either side. The foul line is located where the approach area stops and the lane begins.

Safety as well as playing rules prohibits the crossing of the foul line.

First, the lane is oily and can cause a slippery surface. Secondly, it is considered a foul if you cross the foul line - no points will be given for any pins knocked down on this roll. If the foul occurs on the first ball of a frame, the bowler is allowed to bowl a full set of pins for the second ball.

Observing the above rules will go a long way to making everyone's game a lot more enjoyable.

For those who are past the novice stage of bowling and are ready for the more intricate aspects of bowling, you will want to make sure to observe the rules set forth by the various governing bodies that oversee the game (e.g. United States Bowling Congress, which always updates their rules).

Some of the most commonly cited rules at bowling alleys are the mode of ball delivery and when a ball is considered "dead".

The mode of ball delivery applies to those who have drilled additional holes into their bowling balls so as to affect the trajectory the ball will take once it is released.

If you have a ball that has additional holes, you must cover these holes with your palm before releasing the ball. Failure to do so might result in your delivery being declared illegal, and you will loose any advantage you may have gained during that roll.

Some rules are more controversial, and even though these rules stand, several leagues have taken to modify them, simply to add a bit more fun to the game. This refers to the rule when a ball is declared "dead". Obviously, a gutter ball is always considered out of bounds, and you will not receive any credit for the roll.

Yet what should happen if the ball somehow rebounds and leaves the gutter lane only to knock down several pins?

The official rules state that this ball is still considered "dead" and that you will not receive credit for the pins that were knocked down. However, some groups have taken to modifying that latter portion of the rule, so as to give either partial or complete credit for the roll.

Also, what should happen if a bowler steps on or over the foul line but he hasn't released the ball yet? There is a rule that states that the bowler is allowed to re-throw the shot with no penalty as long as the ball was not released.

It is probably your best bet to inquire about the rules before play begins, just to make sure that everyone is on the same page before the game starts.