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Drunk Bowling Rules: The Ultimate Guide for a Hilarious Night Out

  • Reading time:9 mins read

Bowling is a classic sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels. But let’s be honest, it’s even more fun when you add a little alcohol into the mix.

There’s nothing quite like the laughter and camaraderie that comes with a night of drunk bowling with friends. However, as the drinks start flowing, it’s important to have some ground rules in place to keep things safe, avoid conflicts, and ensure everyone has a great time.

That’s why we’ve put together this ultimate guide to drunk bowling rules – so you can let loose on the lanes without going overboard.

Drunk Bowling Etiquette

Before we dive into the specific rules, let’s cover some general etiquette for drunk bowling nights. First and foremost, be respectful of others at the bowling alley – both fellow bowlers and staff.

While it’s perfectly fine to be a little rowdy with your friends, try to keep the noise and distractions to a minimum out of courtesy for those around you. You don’t want to be “those drunk bowlers” that everyone dreads seeing walk through the doors.

It’s also important to handle any drinks or food you bring carefully. Spills on the lanes and ball returns can create slippery, dangerous conditions. Be mindful of where you set down open containers. If an accident does happen, alert the staff immediately so they can clean it up properly.

Basic Drunk Bowling Rules

Even when drinking is involved, the standard rules of bowling still apply. You’ll take turns rolling the ball down the lane, counting the number of pins knocked down each frame.

Scoring works the same as any other bowling game. However, there are a few adjustments and additions to account for the fact that alcohol is in the mix:

  • Lane Courtesy – With drinking impairing coordination and focus, drunk bowlers tend to be a bit more erratic on the lanes. To avoid collisions or the dreaded “bowling over the line”, give extra buffer space in front of you before stepping up to bowl. Communicate loudly when you’re up to roll so your friends know to hang back.
  • Slow the Pace Down – Drunk bowling games tend to move at a more relaxed pace than normal. Don’t feel rushed between frames – take your time between rolls to grab a drink, snack or just catch your breath. Making sure everyone is aware of whose turn is next will help keep things organized.
  • Limited Profanity/Lewd Behavior – Look, a few choice outbursts or silly celebrations are to be expected when drunk bowling. But try to keep things relatively family-friendly. Aggressive cursing or overly lewd behavior puts a damper on the mood and could get you kicked out.

Drinking Rules and Limits

Speaking of alcohol, it’s important to be aware of the bowling alley’s policies on drinking. Most places that allow bringing your own drinks have reasonable limits and rules – no hard liquor, only beer and wine allowed, etc. Make sure you know what’s permitted before showing up.

It’s also a good idea to pace yourself throughout the night. Bowling can be surprisingly tiring and active, especially as you get drunker. Have a glass of water between every couple of alcoholic drinks, and switch to just water or soft drinks after a certain point to let the alcohol start wearing off.

If the alley serves food, take advantage of that as well. Eating can help slow the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream, leaving you in better shape for later frames. Just use some common sense in moderation – you don’t want to be “that person” who gets sick all over the lanes.

Hilarious Made-Up Drunk Bowling Games

Of course, half the fun of drunk bowling is making up your own crazy games with special rules. Here are a few examples that are sure to keep the laughs rolling:

  1. Dizzy Bowler – Before each turn, the bowler has to spin around in a circle 5-10 times to get dizzy before stumbling their way up to roll. Bonus points for funny dance moves incorporated into the dizziness.
  2. Flip Cup Bowling – Set up the classic drinking game “flip cup” on a table near the bowlers area. Every time you knock down a certain number of pins (say 5 or 7), the whole team has to successfully flip their cup before the next bowler can go.
  3. Bouncing Ball – Bowling When it’s your turn, you can opt to “go bouncy” and roll the bowling ball while it’s still on the ground in front of you, letting it bounce wildly down the lane. If it stays in the gutter the whole way, that’s an automatic gutter ball.

Get creative and feel free to implement other fun twists like requiring silly poses before bowling, adding bonus points for certain pin formations, or having to chug a drink after rolling a gutter ball. The possibilities are endless when drunk bowling!

Safety First

While the name of the game is all about cutting loose and having a good time, it’s crucial to keep safety top of mind when drunk bowling. Here are some tips to ensure everyone makes it home safe:

  • Buddies and Accountability – Use the buddy system, especially if you’ll be having more than just a couple of drinks. Look out for your friends, and have a plan for how you’ll get home if driving yourself is no longer an option.
  • Know Your Limits – Be self-aware and recognize the signs that you may have had one too many. If you start feeling ill, overly impaired, or making poor decisions – take a break from drinking and focus on hydrating for a while. There’s no shame in tapping out early to get home safely.
  • Rideshare or Public Transit – If you plan on drinking more than just a bit, don’t even chance driving yourself. Use a rideshare app like Uber or Lyft to line up a ride home, or look into public transit options available near the bowling alley. You can always pick up your car the next day.

Drunk Bowling Stories and Memories

Now that we’ve covered all the bases on bowling alley rules and safety, let’s get to the real fun – sharing drunk bowling stories and memories! We all have those classic nights that will stick in our memories forever, filled with embarrassing moments, inexplicable lucky strikes, or just non-stop laughter with friends.

Those are the kinds of nights that really make drunk bowling such a blast. Sure, the competitiveness of racking up strikes is fun. But honestly, the real joy comes from cutting loose with your friends and making new inside jokes and memories together.

So feel free to share your own best drunk bowling stories and experiences in the comments! What are some of the funniest or most cringe-worthy moments you’ve had on the lanes while under the influence? Let’s get a good thread of laughs going.


Bowling is already an entertaining night out with friends or family. But adding some drinks to the mix can turn it into an even more hilarious and memorable experience. As long as you keep some basic rules and safety guidelines in mind, drunk bowling makes for an awesome time.

Remember – be respectful of the staff and other patrons at the bowling alley. Follow any posted rules about outside alcoholic beverages, noise levels, etc. Pace yourself with waters and food to avoid getting too sloppy. And most importantly, always have a plan to get home safely at the end of the night if drinking is involved.

Other than that, feel free to cut loose and get as silly and competitive as you’d like! Make up wacky new games, challenge your friends, and expect the unexpected when mixing bowling and booze. Just be prepared to make some unforgettable memories on the lanes.

So next time you’ve got a free night, round up some friends and get ready for some drunk bowling. As long as you exercise some common sense and have each other’s backs, it’s guaranteed to be a strike of a good time.