This is the first in a series of posts titled "The Rules of Bowling," in which I examine the rules of tenpin bowling as spelled out by the USBC in its publication The 2008-2009 USBS Playing Rules and Commonly Asked Questions. The rules of bowling do not come close to the complexity and detail of the rules of golf, baseball, or even basketball, but there are a few gems in there. For the first post in this series, I discuss the rule concerning the use of both hands in delivery in a tournament.
Does anyone else find this rule strange? In essence, it says that people who can bowl with both hands are not permitted to do so. If I had to guess, the intent of Rule 328 is to eliminate unfair advantages. For example, if I was ambidextrous I might go after the 7 pin righty and the 10 pin lefty. Would this give me an advantage not available to others? Yes, but there are plenty of examples of this in bowling already. There is guy in our league who is about 6'6" and 250 pounds. He can whip a 16 lbs ball 24 mph. I can't do this. Does he have an unfair advantage? He certainly has an advantage that I don't, but I wouldn't call it unfair. I would call it lucky that he was born a beastly sized human, at least from the perspective of bowling, but we do not penalize him for it. Then, why is the use of both hands in a tournament grounds for disqualification? I can think of two reasons. Once upon a time, some rule making bureaucrat got his ass kicked by some dude using both hands. The other possible reason is that the USBC hates ambidexterity.
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