Many sports have been adapted for wheelchair users and bowling is a popular one. The American Wheelchair Bowling Association has more than 500 members and growing. Many bowlers enjoy the sport without the use of any special equipment. They are able to roll up to the foul line lock their brakes and throw the ball. However, in some cases a person’s disability may not make it that simple. In these situations, additional equipment may be needed. Luckily, there are is a wide range of adaptive bowling equipment created specifically to assist wheelchair bowlers, such as ball ramps, ball grip handles, and ball pushers.
Adaptive Equipment for Bowling in a Wheelchair
The first piece of equipment that wheelchair bowlers can use is a ball ramp. Ball ramps are perfect for bowlers who have limited range of motion because they allow the user to easily control the ball’s release from their lap. These ramps are usually made of lightweight aluminum and work by allowing the user to simply place the top end of the ball ramp over their lap and the bottom end at the foul line; the bowler then places the ball at the top of the ramp and then releases it down the lane.
Other popular bowling ball ramps works by allowing the user to press a large button/switch with light pressure from their hand or foot to activate the ball release for a guided roll down the lane.
An additional tool is the grip handle bowling ball. For wheelchair users, the grip handle allows for better power and easier control by allowing them to use a grip handle rather than finger holes. There are two parts to this special ball—a spring-loaded handle, and the bowling ball. Once the handle is released, it retracts into the ball, allowing it to roll smoothly down the lane.
Finally, there are bowling ball pushers. These super simple tools give the bowler control over the force and the angle of their roll. Ball-pushers have an easy grip handle at one end and forked prong at the other. Simply use the stick to push and angle the ball down the lane. These are so simple in fact, you could DIY-it, if you so desired.
Using this knowledge and equipment can help make bowling a more competitive and fun sport for wheelchair users. Also, check with your local bowling alley, they may have special lanes or even hold regular wheelchair events.
By Dustin Via The Bowling Universe who’s mission is to help bowlers, of all skill levels, find great products that improve their game.