Patroller’s Persistence Pays Off

By Tenpin Bowling Australia
May 20, 2021

Alannah is a proud and determined Bowl Patroller who loves bowling! Meet Alannah, from ZONE BOWLING Morley in Western Australia.

Alannah has always enjoyed Tenpin Bowling but only ever participated with bumpers. Joining Bowl Patrol in Term 4 2020, Alannah accepted the challenge to develop skills to bowl without the assistance of bumpers. The experience has paid off and provided Alannah with increased confidence on and off the lanes.

Bowl Patrol is Tenpin Bowling Australia’s national junior ‘Learn to Bowl’ program that teaches and develops the fundamentals of the sport. Instead of using bumpers, Patrollers are taken closer to the pins with the assistance of laid carpets on the lanes, allowing a focus on bowling fundamentals at a shorter range.

Diagnosed with Autism spectrum disorder and Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, eleven year old Alannah found it difficult to adjust to the new way to bowl. Bowling without the assistance of bumpers initially providing disappointment for Alannah and her parents who were accustomed to the results bumpers would allow.

With encouragement from her parents, Lane Rangers (coaches) and the other patrollers, Alannah took a step back and focused on the back of lane activities. These drills see participants using targets, beanbags and tennis balls which provide opportunities for success and helping with the mind-muscle connection. Alannah would also practice during the week and attempt some different techniques – like two-handed bowling.

After putting in the hard work, Alannah began to grow in confidence and enjoy an improved result on the lanes. Starting at 9 metres in front of the foul line and progressing further away from the pins, Alannah achieved her White, Yellow, Orange and Green bands before the end of her first term of Bowl Patrol. Halfway through the first term of Bowl Patrol, Alannah was confident enough to bowl without bumpers when bowling with her Dad – she hasn’t looked back since!

The colour bands that participants collect indicate progress and reaching certain milestones made in the program. Determined to collect all the bands, Alannah has joined up for another term of Bowl Patrol. The blue and black bands are harder to achieve as the Patrollers bowl on full lanes with no bumpers and a challenging target score to reach.

Equipped with newfound confidence and skills, Alannah and her Dad went bowling every day of the summer and Easter holidays at ZONE BOWLING Morley. Alannah and her Dad make excellent use of ZONE BOWLING’s discounts for companion cardholders and people with a disability. ZONE BOWLING offers every-day discounted bowling to all people with a disability and a FREE game of bowling to an accompanying Carer with a Companion Card. Alannah and her Dad receive tremendous value and usually bowl five games every time they are in the centre.

Motivated to continue her bowling journey, Alannah is now considering joining the centres Junior League after already joining up for another term of Bowl Patrol. Alannah is determined to become a striking machine!!

Alannah’s support worker and learning coach accompanies her to sessions and is amazed at Alannah’s progress. Not only has improvement transpired in her bowling, but social skills have seen a boost. The ability to listen to instructions, take turns, and wait patiently between shots are just some of the skills that have formed. Alannah has also shown improvements in concentration and focus whilst performing the back of Lane activities which help support the muscle memory and balance required to produce consistent good shots with the heavy ball.

In her final session of term 1, Alannah was joined by Dad in the much anticipated ‘Bring a Buddy’ session. The session encourages Patrollers to invite friends or family members to the lanes to show off their newfound knowledge and skill. The acquired knowledge and skills developed throughout the program is then shared with their ‘Buddies’ as Patrollers become the teacher on the lanes.

Bowl Patrol has provided joy and a sense of achievement to Alannah. As she embarks on the next phase of her bowling journey, she will be doing so with Dad. The opportunity to partake in an activity together simultaneously continues to be one of the sports unique features it possesses.

Do you know someone who would like to learn to bowl? For more information about Bowl Patrol, please visit or get in touch by emailing [email protected] .


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