bowling balls

Did you know that National Bowling Day is every year on the second Saturday in August? This year, National Bowling Day falls on August 12, which is tomorrow! Bowling is a unique sport that you can comfortably play on hot summer days or chilly winter days since you play inside at a bowling alley. It provides a great environment to learn sportsmanship and etiquette. Bowling is also a fun way for children and adolescents to connect with their friends (and family!) after school and on the weekend.

The goal of bowling is to knock down the 10 pins at the end of the lane with your bowling ball in one turn (you get two tries per turn). One bowling round consists of one turn per player, and each game has 10 rounds. If you knock all your pins down in one try, it’s called a “strike” and the next player takes their turn. If you don’t knock all of your pins down in one try, you get a second try to do so. Knocking all of your pins down in two tries gives you a “spare.” Most bowling alleys have automatic electronic scorekeepers. Watch these videos to learn proper form and how to release the bowling ball.

It’s especially important for children to use the proper size bowling ball. Bowling balls come in different weights, with 6 pounds being the smallest. Preschoolers who can hold a 6 pound ball may be able to play if they can throw the ball safely down the lane. Allow them to throw the ball however they’re comfortable, which may be rolling it in between their legs. The alley can also raise the bumpers on the lane to make it easier for new or younger players by preventing the ball from going down the gutter. School-aged children and teens can learn the general rules and more advanced techniques when they’re ready.

Not only is bowling fun, but it can be great exercise! You can burn around 100 calories per hour while bowling. Bowling uses 134 muscles and can help build strong bones and muscles. It also improves hand-eye coordination and balance and can help relieve stress!

For younger children, you can make your own “bowling” game they can play at home! Try using a toy ball as the bowling ball and empty water bottles as the pins. Arrange the bottles and let your child try and knock them down with a ball. This can help prepare younger children by familiarizing them with the technique before they get old enough to bowl at an alley. Check out this tutorial to make your own colorful “pins”–your kids can even help you!

For more information on bowling and youth bowling, visit To find bowling alleys near you, visit You may even find some free games of bowling!

Share how your children enjoy their bowling experience!

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Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP)

North Carolina State University
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Cooperative Extension at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (CAES)

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