People with Disability

Tenpin Bowling leads the way in actively including all participants in play. Whether it’s the first time in a bowling centre, using portable lanes in school/community setting or representing your state at the National Disability Championships – we aim to support each individual’s opportunity to bowl.

For children of Primary-school age we recommend our national junior learn to bowl program Bowl Patrol. For teens and adults with a disability, check out Bowl Abilities. Start with Bowl @ Home videos to learn the basics, then head along to your local centre to join a program. Both programs utilise inclusive elements in addition to physical modifications (ramps, bumpers, pushers) we offer communication assistance (WordBoard, social story, visual schedule) and a pathway through to league and representative competitions.

We value our partners in the process of building truly inclusive tenpin bowling pathways and experiences;
Our centres, Special Olympics Australia, Inclusion Alliance, Disability Sport Australia, Reclink, Autism Spectrum Australia, Sport Inclusion Australia and others!


TBA acknowledge the role of tenpin bowling as a contributor to an active lifestyle as well as creating a network of community and social inclusion. We encourage participants to use the sport as an avenue for your Plan goals, for example:

  • improved health and wellbeing
  • improved relationships
  • increased social and community participation
  • finding and keeping a job (e.g. becoming a coach through completing a Lane Ranger or Level 1 online course)

Do you have an NDIS plan? Would you like to include Tenpin Bowling in your plan?
Here’s a guide from Disability Sport & Recreation. Contact your NDIS/NDIA Local Area Coordinator, local centre, inclusive sport agency like Deaf Sports Australia, Disability Sport Australia or Special Olympics Australia, your support agency or others to assist with your bowling experience.

How to Be More Inclusive

Tenpin Bowling Australia (TBA), is committed to creating environments and opportunities for all community members to participate in and enjoy the sport of Tenpin Bowling.  Regardless of the ability and experience in the sport, TBA provides opportunities for participation for everyone.
We also recognise the United Nation’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities each year. We regularly profile and include achievements of people with all abilities, if you’d like to share your story email [email protected].

Inclusion Tips
For Parents, Carers and Support Workers
For Bowlers and Coaches
For Modifications and Adaptions

In Centre

When visiting a centre be sure to take advantage of some (or all) of these facilities. Staff are on hand to help you, don’t hesitate to ask for assistance;

  • educated staff, training in communication, access and support
  • parking close to the entrance
  • ramps or smooth access to the venue, approach, lanes, cafe, etc
  • electronic doors
  • accessible facilities such as bathrooms, word board, clear signage, easy English
  • offer aids such as: lane bumpers, ball ramps, ball clamps, carpet lanes
  • carers or support worker’s resources (check out Lane Ranger training to support your client)
  • leagues and tournaments (with pathways to national representation)
  • TBA Sports Registration (with insurance, discounted games, milestone pins, Tenpin Results data, etc)
  • connection with people of different abilities, e.g. Special Olympics local club

Access for All Ability Play – How to be an Inclusive Club
ZONE Bowling Centres – People with a Disability
Welcoming Australia’s – Welcoming Clubs

Special Olympics

TBA and Special Olympics Australia enjoy a wonderful partnership benefiting from the support of an extensive support network with leagues, events and resources available to all. Find out more about SOA’s affiliation. It is separate to TBA’s registration.

We encourage our coaches, supporters, carers and staff to self-educate via online courses and resources;
Special O groups are also encouraged to road test a Bowl Patrol or Bowl Abilities inclusive program at their local centre. Learn how to bowl on modified carpet lanes taking participants up to 9 metres closer to the pins. Email [email protected] or [email protected] for support.

TBA and Scope have partnered to offer complimentary access to a range of e-learning resources, to better communicate with your customers, bowlers and broader community. Register to access in 2022:

  • Disability Awareness: giving you the confidence to understand the needs of your participants, how they communicate and how you can support
  • Communication Access: giving you the knowledge and tools you need to be accessible to participants with a communication of cognitive difficulty
  • Accessible Information: promoting use of resources that are in an easy-to-read format for your participants who may have lower literacy, a cognitive difficulty or are from a CALD community

We encourage our centre staff, coaches and broader community to utlise these, as a way to improve their own communication skills. Create a word board, learn basic sign language, appreciate different ways to communicate and how important clear signage and patience can be!
Scope and TBA

Vision Loss Awareness training videos that Blind Sports & Recreation Victoria produced, provide helpful strategies and techniques for effectively including people who are blind/vision impaired.

National Disability Championships


Find out more about the national championships for people with different abilities on the Events tab of our website; National Disability Championship

Discovering Disability

There are around 4 million Australians with a disability. This makes up just over 20% of the total population or 1 in 5. As the Australian community grows and becomes more diverse, there is an expectation by the community that sport and community groups will become more inclusive and welcoming of everyone regardless of their age, religion, gender or ability. It is not only important for sport to think of how to accommodate people with a disability, but also how to attract them. 

Communicating with People with a Hearing Impairment

Including someone who is deaf or has a hearing impairment as a bowler, administrator, or coach in your bowling centre is not difficult. Tenpin Bowling Australia with the assistance of Deaf Sports Australia (DSA), supports and actively encourages equal participation in all aspects of bowling by people with a hearing impairment. Ensuring effective communication is an important step toward making your centre more inclusive.

Inclusions Tips for Communicating with People with a Hearing Impairment or Scope Australia’s resources

Putting People First

Disability and Appropriate Language
Language reflects and shapes the way we view the world. The words we use can influence community attitudes in a positive or negative way and can impact on the lives of others.

How we write and speak about people with a disability can have a profound effect on the way they are viewed by the community. Some words can degrade and diminish a person while others perpetuate inaccurate stereotypes, entirely removing a person’s individuality and humanity.

Terminology Putting People First

Bowling in your state