• Shivani Rao

Bowled Over

When we imagine bowling, our mind often fills with musings of fun nights-out with friends, relieving after-hours with our co-workers, or even those birthday parties in our childhood. But the best part about bowling? There is no limit on who can bowl! Bowling being an easy to learn, low-impact sport, is suitable for the young as well the old. In fact, some bowling alleys even have special lanes for physically challenged and visually impaired. Bowling is amazingly accessible too! As everyone can play it throughout the year, unless you’ve outdoor tracks, which one will have to admit, must be awesome. Bowling is easy to learn too. These aspects and many more - make bowling a truly revolutionary, yet simple sport since everyone on this planet can play it.

You know which sport dates way before the Roman Empire, or even the first Olympics ever held in 776 BCE? Bowling! Bowling actually has existed from way before than what you can imagine. According to archaeologists from around the world, bowling has existed in various similar primitive forms like pin bowling and target bowling. According to anthropologists, the similar sports that really resemble modern bowling, have existed for over 5000 years. Bowling holds importance in history of multiple cultures right from the Roman to The British and the American to the Indian. In fact, the 50s were known as the decade of bowling.

But we all love bowling not because of its mind-blowing history, but because of the fun and the health benefits. In fact, many Indians across the nation do bowling as an anaerobic exercise for the physical fitness, just like walking with free weights. Bowling stretches the body muscles that are not usually exercised. It helps release the stress of our joints and improve flexibility, have a better hand-eye coordination and relieves stress. But more than its physical benefits, Bowling is a mental rejuvenation too. Bowling can help us have a better social life, to interact better with our colleagues, friends and family and to bond over a game of bowling. And most importantly - that amazing thrill of hitting the perfect strike is just as good as anything in this world can make you feel - and you can do it 12 times a game!

Warm ups are important before a round of bowling as you exert a lot on your body joints and arm muscles. It is important to focus on the pin and to roll the ball along the alley instead of throwing it. Sufficient practise and good focus is all it takes to master this amazing sport of bowling.

Apart from the social and health benefits, there is so much more you can get out of this sport. Bowling arenas are now present in almost all shopping malls and recreation parks and is a relatively cheap hobby to pursue.

Here are a few tips to help you ace your bowling game :

  1. Warm up, always. You don’t want to twist your ankle and watch your friends become masters as you sit in a corner, wishing you were doing it too.

  2. Roll. Always make sure you are rolling the ball and not throwing it as if its a stone. Rolling should be along the lane, and always roll smoothly from the start. A typical clonk sound is heard when amateurs bowl, and it’s this sound you’re aiming to eliminate.

  3. Focus on the in - Always make sure you eyes are on the pin and not on the ball.

  4. Practise - If you want to pursue bowling as a serious hobby, you need to practise enough, at least once a week. However, bowling is also great as an occasional recreation.

  5. Use the right accessories - One should pay attention to the shoes and make sure they are cleaned, especially the sole, to ensure no sliding.