15 Things I Learned About Bowling From My Bowling Friends

15 Things I Learned About Bowling From My Friends Who Are Actually GOOD At Bowling

If you are as clueless as I was, this list will be utterly jaw dropping.


Personally, I cannot think of anything I would want to do less than go bowling. I think it's ridiculous and one of the worst past times ever, but that is an unpopular opinion and my friends made sure to tell me so. Here is a list of the things I learned while my roommates talked about their past lives as high school bowlers.

1. All the chants

According to my roommates, chants are a huge thing in bowling. There are chants for everything. Need encouraging? Chant. Did something good? Chant! Royally screwed up? Just chant. No matter what the action is, there is probably a chant for it. Imagine High School Cheerleaders, but wearing skorts and rolling a ball at some pins.

2. New skin

To make sure their fingers fit in the holes of the bowling ball, bowlers use tape. If they have a blister or a cut on their hands, they apply something called "new skin" which basically forms a second layer of skin so you can keep on bowling, which is crazy! I also found out that bandages do not exist in bowling because they are too thick to wrap comfortably around a finger stuffed in a bowling ball hole.

3. Sacred shoes


Shoes are absolutely cherished and no dirt may touch them unless it comes from the bowling lane itself. There are even special covers, like hair nets for your shoes, to keep them clean, dry, and unscathed. You can even have shoes with different types of felt soles based off of the kind of lane you bowl on. Who would have known? Definitely not me.

4. Scented bowling balls

You can have bowling balls that smell! My roommate has one that smells like chocolate orange and one that smells like apple cider. This may be one of the most insane things in this list specifically because who the heck thought that scented bowling balls were not only a thing you could make, but a thing people would buy? There is also scented hand powder in bowling, an obscurity that is further down this list.

5. Extra finger holes


In the event that one of your finger holes comes out of your bowling ball as it rolls down the lane, don't worry, because if you're an experienced bowler you probably have a bag of extra finger holes for moments exactly like this! Never would I ever have thought that the finger holes could come out of a bowling ball but it happens all the time and my roommates made sure to tell me that this was a normal thing that everyone comes prepared for.

6. The science of finger measuring

Every ball is unique to you, and to make it that way bowlers go to special places with special people who have special equipment that measures your fingers to make the ball personalized to your hands. This is insane. Listening to my friends tell me about sticking their phalanges into a finger stretching machine sounds horrifying, to say the least, and I can not imagine making small talk with the man cranking my hand wider as I wait.

7. Powdery hands

Bowlers carry around tiny bags or balls filled with powder (which as I mentioned before can also have a scent because for some reason everything in bowling smells like food) that they throw back and forth to remove the oils from their hands. These powdery hacky sacks are called grip balls and everyone has one. They are essential to the proper throwing of the ball and the grip you need because evidently bowling is more similar to gymnastics than I ever would have assumed.

8. Lane etiquette


Do not under any circumstances throw off the groove of the person bowling. Just like Kuzco, bowlers will show you their wrath if you so much as step on the lane while they have a ball in their hand.

9. Baking balls

You can BAKE bowling balls? You can put bowling balls in the oven to make them stop sweating oil? Who figured this out? I really have nothing more to say because I don't know what is going on here.

10. Balls vary based on everything


Not only is every bowling ball unique, every bowling ball is used for a different thing. There are balls for strikes, spares, and splits. There are balls for synthetic lanes and for wooden lanes, and balls for the different ways that bowling alleys put oil on the floor. There are bowling balls for everything.

11. Practice makes perfect


Practicing your skills does not always mean throwing a ball. Sometimes it means standing in front of a mirror holding a soup can and pretending to get a strike. Sometimes it means kneeling and throwing a Styrofoam football across the room. Sometimes it means sliding across the kitchen floor in socks. Whatever floats your boat, practicing can come in some incredibly ridiculous forms.

12. The Wii Bowling thing


That thing you do in Wii bowling where you throw the ball back into the crowd really does happen. My friends also made sure to tell me that the bowling ball can also find its way to the ceiling, the lane next to you, and into the lap of an innocent mother watching her child bowl. The ball can also hold strong to your fingers and drag you down the lane after it... absolutely terrifying.

13. Every inch matters


When trying to get the perfect strike, bowlers measure the floorboards to make sure the ball goes exactly where it is intended. My one roommate told me she often had her coach tell her "move one board to the left" which is so crazy and incredibly specific and I do not understand how people are so good at this sport.

14. Cosmic Bowling


Everyone who bowls for sport hates cosmic bowing. The lights are distracting, the kids are crazy, and the main focus is not the act of getting a strike. Glow Bowling? Forget it, that's even worse. Anything that happens under a blacklight is a bad idea.

15. Periscope parents

This may be the most insane thing on this list because I can not imagine anybody watching their child bowl with a periscope. It does happen though and parents will even go as far as to stand on ladders, use binoculars and spy glasses, and do everything in their power to glue their eyeballs on their child sliding a ball down the lane. According to my roommate, parents who get really into bowling also often provide orange slices to their children in order to keep spirits up, how wholesome.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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