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Bowling Body English

As a newcomer to the game who bowls socially with family or friends or as someone intending to bowl for the first time in a bowling league, there are a few things to think about pertaining to your bowling “body english.”

Everyone can easily get excited when having fun, when competing and winning, or when dealing with pressure situations. When excited, it is certainly natural to express emotion by using “body english.”

There are, however, extremes that must be avoided to demonstrate courtesy to others bowling near your lanes.

Jumping around the settee area or on the approach when excited can be a distraction to other bowlers on your lanes or next to your lanes if overdone and prolonged.

Hollering loudly and making excessive body gyrations after getting a strike, for example, before leaving the foul line area on your lane is another way bowlers on adjacent lanes can be bothered or annoyed.

Remaining on the approach too long after you have delivered your bowling ball and not stepping completely off the approach and back into the settee area so others bowling next to you can take their turn is discourteous to these other bowlers.

When excited, simply avoid excessive jumping, screeching, or moving around on the approach out of your lane area and into adjacent lane approaches. Clowning around and getting in the way of others trying to bowl is poor bowling etiquette and should not occur.


Bowling proprietors want all customers to have fun and enjoy the game of bowling. Following proper lane courtesy makes the game enjoyable for everyone and keeps the pace of play flowing nicely.

Normal reactions to getting strikes using a reasonable amount of “body english” and/or uttering vocal sounds signifying a direct reaction to the results of your shot is acceptable etiquette and is expected by other bowlers near your lanes. It is OK to express your pleasure and show emotions, but it is also important to respect the common courtesies asked of all bowlers.

So next time to get a strike and wish to express emotion, go ahead and show off your personal “body english.” Have fun but follow the simple bowling etiquette expected of all bowlers and you will find the game enjoyable for yourself and for everyone.