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Lee Owen: Bowling safety when beating the heat

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Summertime heat can often send people indoors for some fun out of the sun.

Bowling centers with good air conditioning will be the first stop for most.

While taking part in America’s No. 1 participator sport, there are a few things to remember to ensure that you and your family have a safe and fun experience.

The first, and most important, thing to remember is the black “foul” line is there for a reason.

Beyond the foul line is a thin layer of oil that goes down the lane toward the pins. This oil is on the lanes to protect it from the ball friction, but it is very slippery.

If you step on the lane past this line, it is almost a guarantee that you will end up on your backside.

In addition to the oil being slick on the lane, it has the exact opposite on the approach, causing a person to stick and fall when attempting to slide during the delivery.

If you accidentally get oil on your shoes, don’t hesitate to return your shoes to the counter for a new pair.

Another problem we see on a regular basis is people using a ball too heavy for them.

It is important to get a ball that fits you properly and is not too heavy to ensure that you do not release the ball in the wrong direction, resulting in a game of catch with a 12-pound ball.

While I do not suggest a six-pound ball for an adult, do not be ashamed to throw a 10-pound ball if you are a grown man.

It can take conditioning to get to the point where you can throw a heavier ball.

Courtesy bowling is the final thing to make for a great day on the lanes. This is usually reserved for league bowling, but can also make your trip safer.

Courtesy bowling is when you wait for the people on either side of you to bowl before going up to bowl yourself.

While this is a polite thing to do to prevent distractions, it can also prevent you or someone else from being hit with a flying ball or struck by a ball swinging backward.

Also, make sure that smaller kids keep their hands off of the rack because there is nothing that hurts worse than a finger being smashed between two balls. Just ask my wife.

More importantly than all of this is to remember to have fun.

While we want you to be safe, we want you to have fun at the same time.

If you have a good story from your summer bowling trip, let me know at and I would love to mention it in a future column.