Adaptive Sports

Adaptive Bowling

Bowling is a sport that able-bodied and physically disabled can enjoy together.  Lots of adaptive bowling equipment is available to make the sport accessible to most.  There are three main categories of adaptations for disabled bowling are related to wheelchairs, balls and rolling.

Wheelchair Adaptations
Special bowling wheelchairs have wheels set under the chair, so they don’t get in the way of the ball as well as a wide footplate that allows users to rock when they follow through with a bowling swing.  Ramps can be attached to wheelchairs to help guide and release the bowling ball.  A quick release button allows users to just push a button to send the ball down the ramp.  Or, users can move the chair forward to create momentum to roll the ball forward.

Bowling Ball Adaptions
Individuals who have trouble using the three-finger grip on bowling balls can use balls with retractable handles.  Using a spring-loaded system, the handles retract when the ball is released.

Bowing Ball Rolling Adaptations

A bowling ball pusher, similar to a shuffleboard stick, can be used standing or from a wheelchair.  These can be pushed using the arm or there is a model that has spring release mechanism to push the ball forward.

Tutorial Video on Adaptive Bowling (30:00)

By Steven Padilla, Director of Coaching for the United States Bowling Congress


Additional Resources
American Wheelchair Bowling Association
The AWBA is a non-profit organization for wheelchair bowlers dedicated to encouraging, developing, and regulating wheelchair bowling and wheelchair bowling leagues.  Find information about wheelchair bowling tournaments and events.

Learn about para sports events to get an idea about what’s out there and to find some ways to participate.

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