Etiquette and Lingo


There are some unwritten rules that your league mates will expect you to know. Follow these and you won't make any rookie mistakes.

  • Street shoes are not allowed
  • First one on the approach goes first and, when in doubt, the person to the right goes first
  • Keep your post-shot celebration (or anger) to your own lane
  • Be ready when it's your turn to bowl
  • Do not eat or drink in the bowling area
  • Do not linger on the approach
  • Have fun with your team, but be respectful of your opponents


Every sport has its own language and bowling is no different. Learn the lingo and you'll be ready to join the conversation.

  • 180: When the pin sweep gets stuck in the back position
  • 7-10 split: Typically referred to as the toughest split
  • Arrows: The triangles on the lane used to aid in aiming
  • Baby Split: The 2-7 or 3-10
  • Big Four: The 4-6-7-10
  • Blind score: The score assigned to a bowler who is absent
  • Brooklyn: Getting a strike hitting the other pocket
  • Deadwood: A pin that is not able to be swept into the back
  • Foul line: The line that separates the approach and the lane
  • Greek Church: The 4-6-7-8-10 or 4-6-7-9-10
  • Handicap: The number of pins received to equalize the competition
  • Pocket: Between the 1-3 for right handers and 1-2 for left handers
  • Scratch: The score before any handicap is applied
  • Turkey: Three strikes in a row