Bowling is a favorite activity among Americans. Bowling alleys are often filled with a diverse mix of groups, including families with children, groups of teenagers, coworkers, couples, competitive teams, friends celebrating a birthday, and more. While bowling can be a fun way to spend a couple of hours, there are many inherent risks to bowling that many people may not consider.
As a sport that involves tossing a heavy ball down a slippery surface at a high speed, there are many things that could go wrong while bowling, including:
- Slipping on the bowling lane and falling
- Getting your hand, hair, or other part of the body caught in the ball retriever
- Fingers getting stuck in the bowling ball holes, possibly causing dislocation or a sprain
- Being hit by a ball when the bowler loses his or her grip or incorrectly bowls
- Dropping a ball on your foot
- Hurting your back from trying to play with too heavy of a ball
Many of these risks can be minimized if the rules of the game are followed and safety precautions are taken. Anyone who decides to go bowling should consider the following safety tips:
- Always wear proper bowling shoes to avoid slipping and to help protect your toes. Check to make sure that you have the right size and that they are properly tightened before you begin. Never bowl barefoot.
- Tie back hair and keep all parts of the body away from the moving parts of the ball retriever. Never stick your head or hand into the ball retriever.
- Before starting a game, find a proper sized bowling ball that fits you and that you can lift with ease. Always use this ball while playing to avoid finger, wrist, arm, or back injury.
- Stand back when others are bowling. Never stand directly behind a bowler.
- Never cross the foul line or step onto the bowling lane. Not only is it against the rules, it is also extremely slippery and could result in a slip and fall injury.
- Never run in a bowling alley, especially near lanes or on tile where it may be slippery.
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