Bumper Bowling

Bumper bowling is another type of bowling where traditional bowling is changed a little bit for a purpose. In this article, I will dive into bumper bowling in-depth and will tell you everything you need to know about Bumper bowling.

What Is Bumper Bowling?

bumper bowling

In Bumper bowling, the gutters of the bowling lane are covered so that the bowling ball stays on the lane all the time. This way, the ball doesn’t fall in the gutter, hence the chances of hitting the pins increase. It is designed for young children and disabled adults.

Many times, people get disappointed and feel frustrated when they are unable to hit the pins because their ball always falls in the gutters, it happens with many newbies, and thus covering the gutters with bumpers is the best solution to it, to make these people feel confident and increase their love towards bowling.

Nowadays, most bowling alleys have the technology to turn the bumpers on, so you can directly go to the reception desk and tell them of your lane you want to get bumpers. You may also ask them to turn bumpers on for a specific person, so you may get bumpers on for kids and get bumpers off for you or for other adults in your group.

But, some old bowling alleys might not have this feature.

Who Is Bumper Bowling For?

child bowling

Bumper bowling is specially designed for kids and the disabled, as they don’t have the ability to bowl properly, they are given some advantage of bumpers so that they can still enjoy bowling and not get frustrated because of their balls going into gutter all the time.

The bowling balls used in Bumper bowling do not weigh too much, the maximum weight a ball in bumper bowling may have is 6 pounds only.

Some kids bowl at a very young age so it becomes extremely difficult for them to lift 12 pounds ball and throw with power, even if they are able to do so, in most cases, because the ball doesn’t have enough power, the ball will fall in the gutter, that’s why bumper bowling is best for children where there are no gutters and the ball also does not weight too much.

Bumper bowling gives children and disabled adults to still have fun with bowling despite their disability to bowling properly. This is the best solution for people who are frustrated because of their balls going in the gutter all the time.

Bumper bowling removed the age limitation it had earlier where only people who can lift those heavy bowls and throw them with speed can have fun bowling.

Difference Between Bumper Bowling and Traditional Bowling

In traditional bowling, there are gutters at the sides of the bowling lane so whenever the bowling ball is not thrown straight it falls in the gutter without hitting any of the pins, In Bumper bowling, these gutters are covered to increase the chance of the ball hitting the pins. Balls of Bumper bowling are also lighter than traditional bowling balls.

Bumper bowling is specially designed for kids and disabled adults so that they can have some fun with bowling despite their disability to bowl, while Traditional Bowling can be played by anyone but is played comfortably by adults or teenagers because they have the power to throw the ball without making it fall in the gutter.

How Is Bumper Bowling Played

Bumper bowling is played just like traditional bowling, you have to throw the bowling ball and try to hit all the 10 pins. The only difference is that there are no gutters in bumper bowling so you get a higher chance to hit at least 1 pin. Also, the balls of bumper bowling are lighter than the traditional balls.

However, in bumper bowling, the chances of hitting a strike (hitting all 10 pins) do not increase as you have to throw the bowling ball straight (or curve the ball) which is the same thing in traditional bowling as well as bumper bowling.

In Bumper bowling, you just prevent the chances of getting completely eliminated.

How Old Do You Have to Be For Bumper Bowling

Although, Bumper bowling is designed for kids and disabled adults there is no age limit for bumper bowling. You can even do bumper bowling if you are an adult, it is even recommended by some bowlers to do bumper bowling when you are just starting out.

Who Invented Bumper Bowling?

Bumper Bowling was invented by Philip Kinzer in 1982 in his Bowling center in Dallas. He basically wanted to make bowling fun and amusing for everyone despite their abilities. He pointed out doing bumper bowling is similar to playing baseball without the fear of striking out (It would be awesome).

It changed the game so much that now there is no fear of scoring zero, no matter how you throw the ball, you’ll still hit at least some pins.

Philip really did a great job and gave us an amazing and enjoyable bowling style (for those who are unable to bowl properly).

When Did Bumper Bowling Start?

Bumper bowling was first started in 1982 at Jupiter Lanes Bowling Center in Dallas. Gradually, bumper bowling spread in many parts of the United States.

What Does Bumper Mean In Bowling?

Bumpers are the barriers covering the gutters to prevent the ball from falling in the gutters.

Are Bumpers Allowed In Bowling Tournaments?

Bumpers are not allowed in any bowling tournaments until and unless the tournament is of Bumper bowling specifically for children or the disabled. This is because these tournaments are official, many people compete in them, and the bowler should know how to throw the ball straight to actually win.

How Bumper Bowling Has Changed the Bowling Industry

Bumper bowling allowed more people to get into bowling and have fun with their families without making them feel frustrated because of their poor shots. It played a big role in increasing the revenue of bowling.

It took the bowling game to the next level as now any person can enjoy bowling completely.

The Controversy

Although bumper bowling has increased the exposure of bowling by making it playable and enjoyable at any age, many people think that it is not a good thing. They believe it takes away the purity of the traditional game.

But think of those people who aren’t even able to hit a single pin, if bumpers are helping these people to enjoy this sport and hit the pins, then what’s the problem. Also, the person doing bumper bowling will eventually learn striking and will be able to bowl without bumpers as well.

If he was bowling in a traditional lane, he would have thrown the maximum of his balls in the gutter which would’ve made him feel demotivated, and eventually, he would leave bowling.

Thus bumper bowling is increasing the fan base of bowling and yet there are no disadvantages, an adult who bowls on bumpers will gradually learn to throw balls straight and learn the basics of bowling which would make him shift to the traditional bowling style.

Well, this was completely on the basis of my opinion and technically it is right, but still, as it is a controversial topic do let me know in the comments what do you think of it – Is Bumper Bowling a right thing or not?

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