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Case 193 - Bowling alley refused to switch off "foul line" detection due to health and safety

Issue

At a children's ten pin bowling birthday party the enquirer asked if the "foul line" detection could be switched off as the young children couldn't really appreciate the fact that if they strayed slightly over the line (or more likely, inadvertently allowed the end of the bowling chute rack to stray a little too far) then they would get zero points for that turn. It is possible to de-activate this detector, however the staff on duty refused to do so, saying that it was a matter of Health and Safety.

Panel decision

There is a good reason for having a foul line detector as it warns players who are getting close to bowling lanes which are oiled and are very slippery. The bowling hall say it is possible to take another turn if the detector is accidentally set-off but doing this every time for a children's birthday party event would be unmanageable. Depending on the circumstances, the detector can be switched off and the safe use of a lane managed by other means, for example closer supervision. The bowling hall agreed it would have been helpful if the staff member had explained things more fully and staff at the venue will be briefed to provide better explanations.

2013-07-10