Is Bowling An Under Rated Sport ? Health Benefits & Safety Tips for Children
Created by Neetu Ralhan Updated on Apr 08, 2020
When I am brainstorming for ideas about what to do with my child on a weekend, bowling is the last thing my mommy instincts would allow. Why? Because bowling means going to a mall, paying up for a pastime which is located inconveniently close to a video gaming area full of money minting machines. I am a ‘thinking parent’ and I don’t take my child too often for such activities. Until recently!
Having a preteen at home has its advantages; they can enlighten you with information that you otherwise choose to avoid. So the last time I turned down a request to go bowling, I was informed that bowling is a sport with health benefits that I am completely oblivious of.
What is Bowling?
Bowling is a sport for the entire family. It is an excellent recreational activity that is fairly simple to understand and does not require much physical effort.
Ten-pin bowling is the most common form of this popular sport in which each player throws a ball aiming for a set of ten bowling pins placed at the other end of the bowling lane. Every player gets a total of 20 chances in a game of ten frames. Indoors, bowling is played on flat wooden floors and outdoors, it can be played on grass or concrete. Now it is also available as video games and mobile apps.
What Are The Health Benefits of Bowling for Children?
So long that any activity has the word ‘health’ associated with it, most mums are happy to comply. Many parents are unaware that there is more to bowling than being just a fun family outing.
- Bowling helps to build muscle mass and promotes physical strength and speed.
- It works a range of muscles that are not usually exercised and improves flexibility.
- Strengthens arm and leg muscles, bone tissue, joints and ligaments.
- Improves a child’s balance, hand-eye coordination and motor skills.
- Increases endurance and helps release stress.
- There is no age bar. A novel way for children to spend some quality time with their grandparents. The automatic scoring system means that even a first timer can play with ease.
- For mums looking to shed a few extra pounds, bowling helps burn fat. Each game can burn about 180-250 calories.
- A family sport where everyone can get together and enjoy, irrespective of gender, age, size or physical strength.
Safety Tips for Young Bowlers
Bowling alleys offer shoes that are to be compulsorily worn by each participant. For hygiene, it is advisable to carry a pair of socks to wear inside the shoes.
The right bowling ball
To avoid injury, the child should be given bowling balls which are of the right weight and size for his/her age. Most bowling balls have the weight mentioned in lbs or pounds. Children and new bowlers should use a bowl weighing 10 lbs or less. If you cannot figure out which ones to pick, ask the attendant. The thumb rule -1 lb. of weight per year of child's age. Hence an 8 year old should use an 8 lb ball, or close.
The Return Rack
Make sure that the child does not put fingers between bowling balls on the return rack. A ball on its way back can severely injure little fingers.
Picking & Throwing the Ball
The child must know the correct hand and wrist position to avoid wrist and back injury. Do not hesitate to ask the bowling attendant to teach your child how to pick and throw the ball correctly. When releasing the ball, ask the child to follow the arrow marks on the bowling lane.
The Approach Line
Children tend to collect near the approach line to get the best view when someone else is bowling. A child can get seriously hurt by a swinging ball. Also, children and even adults can drop a ball or release it backward accidentally. Ensure that your child stays off the rolling area when it’s not their turn.
Compiling all this information ended in the most wonderful way – An unusual birthday party for my child where we took 7 of his best buddies to the nearest bowling alley for a super fun filled (and healthy) birthday. The picture is a proof!