Understanding Lane Courtesy | USBC Bowling Academy

bowlingball.com - 20 Years Online - Free Shipping Every Item Every Day

Lane courtesy is another bowling rule that can be difficult to understand and may differ between leagues and tournaments. Many bowlers have questions on proper lane courtesy when it comes to a tournament setting. USBC Hall of Famer Carolyn Dorin-Ballard and Team USA Assistant Head Coach Kim Terrell-Kearney discuss lane courtesy.

For more of our bowling videos, visit

Bowling.com - Your One Stop Pro Shop!

About Bestbowlingtipsforbeginners59

View all posts by Bestbowlingtipsforbeginners59 →

33 Comments on “Understanding Lane Courtesy | USBC Bowling Academy”

  1. I go to a house that has support columns between a few of the lanes, which take up a lane’s width of space. Essentially it’s like having an empty lane next to you. However, if I happen to be on a lane that has a support column, the bowler on the lane after the column will wait for me, which makes me think they expect me to wait for them.

    Even though the lanes are consecutively numbered, should lane courtesy still apply?

    1. Hi Makoto.  The courteous decision would be to consider the next lane with a bowler on it as the active lane and approach it accordingly. Unless you are told otherwise or it’s affecting the pace of play offer the lane courtesy to the active lanes around you.The interpretation is ultimately up to the league and should be clarified accordingly. Perhaps have them make an announcement during league so everyone’s on the same page.Thanks for continuing with the Bowling Academy.

    2. Is ‘2-lane’ courtesy same as ‘1-pair’ or not? E.g., 1- – 4 would be 2-lane, but only 1- – – 5 would be 1-pair? How is ‘double-jump’ different from either?

    3. @howard Wu
      No cause lanes 1 & 4 are on adjacent pairs of lanes while lanes 1 & 5 aren’t on adjacent pairs of lanes
      i.e. two lane courtesy skips every third pair of lanes and 1 pair courtesy skips every second pair of lanes.

    4. Grant Boldero Sorry but I am not sure what exactly skipping means. Can you illustrate with lane numbers? Many thanks.

    5. @howard Wu
      If someone on lane 5 is bowling then somebody on lane 1 or 2 can bowl at the same time in one pair couetesy but two lane courtesy is any two lanes (i.e. if somebody on lane 1 is bowling then the person on lane 4 can bowl, but not 5 & 6).

  2. I once was bowling for fun at a local bowling alley and I got yelled at for a failure of 1 pair courtesy. There should just be walls. Problem solved.

    1. The common courtesy is that when a bowler is on the approach next to you on either side, wait until that person starts his approach to the foul line before stepping onto the approach yourself. Small children should especially be taught that because they are the most likely to ignore bowling courtesy.

    1. Blue Gamer Boy Yeah, Two lane courtesy encourages the hot shots who like to stroll across another pair of lanes to watch their strike ball.

  3. If a person 2 lanes away starts their approach far forward, I wait, otherwise it impedes my vision. Otherwise, it’s one lane. An exception is when someone strings up the first 10, in our league, everyone will stop bowling and you can hear a pin drop until their ball is on the lane.

  4. Screw that. I go to tournaments and bowl on league if someone walks up on me fine! My focus should be on the lane not people.

    1. Martin Khoe Just to show honesty it still is daunting and horrific when it happens. You would think it would be common sense anyway to let someone else take their turn. Lol

    2. +The Casual Gamer LOL.. but some ppl don’t have common sense.. they make it as if they own the alley.. and probably they just don’t understand how tough it is for the more serious bowlers to concentrate on all the techniques and knowledge etc (it’s tough even without anybody distracting.. what more with common bowler who just think of having fun)

    3. Martin Khoe Yup. Trust me; I live in a small bumpkin town and most are just barely a step above from spitting tobacco out on the lane.

  5. I bowl in tournaments all the time, and two lane courtesy isn’t very common it’s acc kinda dumb. When someone is bowling next to you, then you should wait because that is obviously distracting (like if you feel this at discount bowling night) but if someone is howling two lanes away from u it doesn’t matter

  6. 2 lane courtesy is confusing. I’m 12 so that probably explains it, but my bowling league only does 1 lane courtesy because we have younger kids and I guess they wouldn’t understand🎳😂😂

  7. 2 lane courtesy is lame. What’s worse are the chit chatters. You know, the people that get up there, they got their ball in their hands, they are waiting to throw, they turn around and start chit chatting.

    1. The PBA and the PWBA use the one pair lane courtesy rule because they felt that the one lane courtesy would affect their own scores. They don’t particularly want to see a fellow bowler inadvertently distracting them from making a crucial shot that could determine their own place. Other than that, just about every league uses a one lane etiquette.

  8. …what the??? hugh??? I’m still as confused as I was from the beginning, LMAO!!! I hope this stuff isn’t included in the 470.00 private 1/2 day lessons.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.