Wheelchair Bowling 101: Basics, Rules, Equipment

By Roll Rev

November 24, 2016

Topics: Wheelchair Sports

Wheelchair bowling refers to bowling from a wheelchair. Both power wheelchairs and self-propelled wheelchairs are acceptable for playing wheelchair bowling.


bowling in your wheelchair is possible with a few rule adaptations


Wheelchair bowling is similar to able-bodied bowling in that:

  • Both are played in standard bowling lanes
  • Both use a standard scoring system

Wheelchair bowling is different from able-bodied bowling in that:

  • Stick helpers are allowed. Stick helpers allow wheelchair bowling players to best position the ball. They must move away from the ball and not touch it after it’s been positioned, and also must wear regulation clothing.
  • The game is allowed to be delayed for personal emergencies if you are in a wheelchair. The person who missed will have thirty minutes to make up the time lost if they should have a delay in their game.
  • You are not allowed to use any device to steady your wheelchair. If you have a device that you feel is necessary for you to play the game, you can submit it to the Board of Directors attending the tournament you’re competing in.

What else do I need to know?

  • You are not allowed to propel yourself forward as you release the ball. You must release the ball from a fixed position.
  • While there are accessories you can purchase to make it easier to hold the ball, etc., you don’t need those in order to bowl. All you need is the ball and yourself.
  • Most bowling alleys are wheelchair accessible. However, some are still cumbersome, and it would be best to call ahead if you’re visiting a new facility.


United States Bowling Congress, Accessed 6/14/16.

American Wheelchair Bowling Association, Accessed 6/14/16.


Roll Rev

Roll Rev

The information within this post is not nor is intended to be medical advice. Invacare Corporation accepts no liability for any errors, omissions or representations.

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