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Commentary: Lots of adaptive options make 10 pin bowling accessible for all

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This was originally published on Quora on December 13 as Laura Hale’s answer to Does anyone make special 10 pin bowling equipment for the disabled?.

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The answer is yes, there is a tremendous amount of adaptive equipment available for people with disabilities who want to participate in 10 pin bowling.

I’m not familiar enough with arthritis to know specifically the type of adaptive equipment desired, and since the asker is in the United Kingdom I’d strongly recommend getting in touch with Sport and physical activity disabled people active for life to see if they can get you in touch with a local disability sport organization to assist.  They support bowls more in England, but you never know.

Most of the adaptive equipment specific to ten-pin bowling is for wheelchair users or the visually impaired.  One of the suggested equipment I’ve seen for arthritis is a snap handle bowling ball.  A company that makes these sells them online at Handle Ball.  I believe they ship internationally.


Video about snap handle bowling ball.

If arthritis is that bad, there are other options that include ramps where the ball is placed and then bowlers direct the motion of the ball using the ramp.  These ramps get to be a bit more expensive, as you’re looking in the €10 to €500 range.  It’s something I’d talk about with our local disability sport organization to see if you can fund raise to acquire for use by local bowlers, or talk to your local bowling alley about acquiring for all players with disabilities including severe arthritis, cerebral palsy and wheelchair users.  Some of these are post mounted, some are freestanding, and some can be affixed to wheelchairs.  It really depends on what your needs are and budget is.

Some models are cheaper and more portable, and people have shops on Amazon.com   where you can buy them. Amazon.com: Flaghouse Chrome Bowling Ball Ramp: Toys & Games is one example.  Before I’d invest in one of these though, I’d talk to your alley to find out their rules regarding being able to use them.


Video showing one type of ramp for ten-pin bowling.

Laura Hale
About Laura Hale (2521 Articles)
Laura Hale is a sport journalist, specializing in Paralympic and disability sport news. Prior to helping found ParaSport-News, she spent two and a half years working as a journalist on Wikinews, a citizen journalism site. As a journalist, she has covered the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, the 2013 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships in La Molina, the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi, and a number of other sporting events. She has additional experience with Paralympic sport having worked as a Wikipedian in Residence for the Australian and Spanish Paralympic Committees.

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