What Is The Best Age To Start Bowling?
Bowling involves rolling heavy balls across a slick wooden lane in an attempt to knock over ten pins. Bowlers get two attempts per frame (or round) to knock down all the pins. The player with the most points after ten frames wins the game. Bowling is a great activity for all ages. Though younger children may not be able to participate fully, they can still have fun with the help of bowling ramps.
Before getting your child into bowling, you must set appropriate expectations and goals. Wanting your child to have a fun pastime is much different from directing them to becoming the greatest professional bowler ever. By helping your child have their own vision for what they want to accomplish, you can know how best to provide for them. Bowling allows children to exercise, socialize, have fun, and learn discipline. Figuring out what you want your child to get out of bowling can help you to define appropriate goals.
At ages 3-5, children probably do not have the strength necessary to roll the bowling ball and knock over many pins. Bowling balls are heavy, with the average bowler wielding a ball anywhere from six pounds to 16 pounds. Though your child may be unable to bowl with these heavy balls, many bowling alleys have ramps from which children can aim, set, and push their balls.
Additionally, the bowling alley you attend may not have bowling shoes in your child’s size (depending on how small their feet are). Most bowling alleys require bowlers to wear special shoes. If your child has small feet, you must check with the bowling alley to ensure they have the right shoe sizes. If they do not, you may have to get shoes from online retailers.
Children ages 6-11 most likely have the strength to start bowling without the help of a ramp. Teach them how to hold the bowling ball properly with their middle and ring fingers in the smaller holes and their thumb in the big hole. Then, show them how to take steps toward the lane, wind up, and roll the ball at the pins.
Older children may still need the help of a bowling ramp, especially if they struggle to aim their shots. If your child throws the ball inaccurately, you can always put up the lane’s bumpers so that your child will not get discouraged with their ball going into the gutter.
Ages 12 and Up
Teenagers should be able to bowl proficiently. Give them plenty of opportunities to practice. If they are just starting, teach them to hold and throw the bowling ball. Help them get accustomed to the ball weight that maximizes their throwing efficiency.
Bowling allows children to get out and have fun with friends. Casual games with family and friends can help them get exercise and socialize. If your child wants to get into competitive bowling, it is important to start them young. Get them hooked up with a bowling league or team in your community. Leagues can provide them with coaching and experience that most parents cannot.
For Future College Bowlers
Collegiate bowling is extremely competitive. Your child must commit hours of practice to the sport to participate in competitive college bowling. Take a look at collegebowling.bowl.com or NCAA’s website to get an idea of what collegiate bowling is like. Furthermore, these sites have news articles about bowling and have schedules for collegiate activities, tournaments, and competitions.
If your child wants to play in college but wants to dedicate less time and effort, they can join or start a bowling club. Clubs are usually more relaxed and do not require prior bowling experience.
For Future Professional Bowlers
Professional bowling is even more competitive than collegiate bowling and requires that much more training. Professional bowlers are expected to regularly record scores ranging from 230-250 per game out of 300 total points. This means they make strikes on 60 percent of the frames in a game, which is about seven strikes per game.
To help prepare your teenagers for the world of professional bowling, check out the Professional Bowling Association’s website. They have bowling news, tournament information, scholarships, rewards, and videos. If your younger children wish to become professional bowlers, start them young. Enroll them in a bowling league or help them join a bowling team. Connect them with a coach as soon as possible to start training their skills.
Though bowling does not present many dangers, there are a few things to be aware of.
- Make sure your child is hydrated and fed. Bowling on an empty stomach can cause excessive tiredness, which could lead to fainting.
- The bowling lanes are very slick. Ensure your child wears proper bowling shoes and stays focused while throwing the ball.
- Once a ball hits the pins, it returns through a machine that runs underground. Do not let your child stick their hands in the machine as the balls come out, or their hands could get damaged.
- Do not let your children run on the bowling lanes or in front of a bowler. Bowling balls are heavy. Getting hit by them would hurt.
How do I get my kid started with bowling?
Get your child started bowling by teaching them the basics. Then, take them to a bowling alley and see if they like it. Next, help them rent bowling shoes and pick a bowling ball that fits them best. If they are enjoying bowling casually, you can sign them up for a local team or league to help them keep learning the sport.
How old should my child be to play bowling?
Children can technically start bowling at any age. Even toddlers can push a bowling ball off a bowling ramp and watch as the ball rolls and knocks over pins. When bowling with younger children, it may be wise to use the bumpers so they do not go in the gutter every time.
Can I teach my child bowling?
Yes, you can teach your child bowling. Bowling is easy to pick up. Watch videos on YouTube to teach yourself, and then show your children what you have learned. If you want your child to become a college or professional bowler, signing them up with a bowling coach or team is best for them to become proficient.
How do I pick a bowling coach for my child?
Look up bowling coaches in my area to see what is available in your community. If you have no luck with that, try the National Bowling Academy or bowl.com/coaching. Before choosing a coach, ensure you meet them and are comfortable with them teaching your children. Agencies and well-known coaches are the safest.