Sports 4 The Blind

Chapter 5, Section G


     The guide utilized by visually handicapped bowlers is an additional piece of equipment that is peculiar to the visually handicapped and is used exclusively by this group. It is not intended as a supporting device. The guide rail should be used for positioning and guidance by the visually handicapped.

     Current ABBA regulations do not out exact specifications for the rail or the exact placement of the device for league and local tournament competition. The ABBA does utilize a 15 foot long rail for it's national competition,with an option of a 12 foot long rail if the individual or special group desires.

     The 15 foot rail begins at the foul line and extends back the appropriate distance on the approach. The 15 foot rail have a trombone like portion on each end attached to the supporting uprights. This leaves the front upright approximately 18 to 24 inches from the foul line with the same clearance at the rear.

     The 12 foot rail has the trombone at the rear portion, but ends at the forward upright with a curved end that is attached to the upright. A three foot extention can be purchased to extend the twelve foot rail to fifteen feet. At the present time there are no standard rails available for purchase although several styles are available from various sources. None that we know of meet the minimum standards so far established by ABBE. The ADDA currently has a group formed to study the problem of standardization and production, but as of this writing had not made any recommendation for adoption of a standard rail.

     The exact positioning of the rail on the approach has never been approved for league competition as several different styles and lengths of rails are in use throughout the ABBA The only item that has been standardized is the position in relation to the width of the lane. The preferred position is to place the rail on the first board outside the exact lane surface. It is positioned to run parallel with the lane and should provide a straight guideline down the approach for the visually handicapped bowler.

     the length of the rail used determines the placement from the foul line. Normally the forward upright is placed 18-24 inches back from the foul line, when the 15 foot rail is used, this should have the front trombone portion end exactly at the foul line. The 12 foot rail would end at the forward upright. The rail should be placed on the left hand side of the lane for right handed bowlers and on the right side of the lane for left handed bowlers. When both right and left handed bowlers are on the same team it would require the installation of two (2) rails on the same lane.

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