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Fursuit bowling is a common furmeet activity involving fursuiters and bowling. It also occurs with small groups at conventions. Oftentimes these bowling events are organized by specific groups of furries and members that sign up, like The Furst State, LAFF, and BC Furries. Other times these events are privately organized for a select group of people, as was the case in Furries Vs. Klingons.
Bowling would normally be more difficult while wearing a fursuit. The reason for this is because of the paws. Oftentimes, the paws are so big that one would not be capable of using the holes in the ball. Thus, the method of bowling in a fursuit is different than bowling without.
This difference of technique may frustrate more experienced bowlers, mainly because they've already established their effective bowling methods and have to change it because of the fursuit they're wearing. This puts them at a competitive disadvantage, resulting in lower scores. However, some furries may argue that this makes the game more fair. Oftentimes, bowlers in fursuits either use both hands to carry the ball and release it. Others will "cradle" the ball with one hand, pushing it up against their wrist until finally releasing it. The one-handed approach is better for experienced bowlers, since it will result in more spin that results in a hook.
Sometimes fursuit bowlers may revert to more amateur methods. One of these is the "Granny shot," which is similar to the method used in basketball except that the ball remains on the ground and is pushed. Another amateur method that is used is crouching down and pushing the ball from the ground. One method that is frowned upon is pushing the ball away from your chest, as this can cause damage to the ball and the lane.
No matter what method is used, what is clear is that bowling like a normal person is very difficult, if not impossible, in a fursuit. Even if you could put your hand in the ball, it could easily slip right out. Also, if the body in the fursuit is fully covered, wearing bowling shoes can feel uncomfortable. Most often what happens is that the feet of the fursuit are taken off so that the shoes can be worn. Other times, fursuiters will simply not wear bowling shoes and keep the feet on, in the rare case that is allowed at the bowling center. Either way, there is little difference in slide.
Bumpers or No Bumpers?
One thing that fursuiters will argue about for the contest is whether or not to use the bumpers. More experienced bowlers would prefer not to have the bumpers because they are used to bowling without them. What's also true is that in a real bowling contest, the bumpers would not be allowed as per the rules set by the USBC. Also, if the Furries are competing with another group of bowlers, as in Furries Vs. Klingons, or with another group of furries for a prize, the bumpers simply have to be removed if the contest is to be official.
However, during casual meet where the score is not taken seriously, bumpers are allowed. Whether or not they are used can be a heated discussion. More experienced bowlers will get an advantage without them, since they are used to bowling that way. Keeping them down will also result in lower scores for the inexperienced bowlers, which is true in all types of bowling, not just fursuit. Also, the bowling experience would feel more authentic, and the scores would be real. On the other hand, if bumpers were put up, it would result in higher scores for all the bowlers.
Amateur bowlers might also have an advantage and would be better able to compete with experienced bowlers. Regardless, people who rarely bowl will prefer to have the bumpers set up. If the group bowling consists of mostly amateurs, oftentimes the experienced bowler(s) are more willing to compromise. However, if there are only one or a few amateurs and most of the group bowls more frequently, it is more likely that the bumpers will stay down, and the amateur(s) will be the ones that have to compromise.
A quick solution to the bumper dispute is to bowl on separate lanes. In some centers this will cost more money, but it can be well worth it. However, if there are only a few bowlers that are for or against bumpers, and the group bowling on the other lane is much larger, then there really is no point in doing this. Another compromise is that, in centers that do not have automatic scoring, if the ball hits the bumper the score can be counted as a miss. Most bowling centers have adopted automatic scoring, and in most cases doing this isn't possible.
Although exceptionally rare, in a few bowling alleys you will find systems that can put the bumpers up and down automatically In most cases, though, a group must decide whether or not they want bumpers.
Some furry bowling meets have been treated as official contests. In some cases, furry bowling is treated as a sport with a winner and even a prize. These contests are often taken seriously. However, in order for the contesty to be official, bumpers are not allowed.
There have been "bowl-offs" between furries and a different group of people. A notable example of this is Furries Vs. Klingons. This bowling contest got the attention of G4 and many others after being leaked. The game took a duration of one frame. The Klingons were victorious during the first event, but there was a rematch.
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