Recreational Bowling Tips
Bowling is a sport despite what others may call it – "recreational sport," "recreational past-time," or "entertainment." It is a sport in spite of the fact that it is not listed under the "Sports" category of many of the news pages on the internet. In any event, here's my "Choc-List" for the recreational bowler who wants to enjoy their time with their family and/or friends throwing a few bowling balls down the lane::
1) Never assume you can just walk into a bowling center at any time and get a lane to bowl on. Make a call to the bowling center to check on availability of lanes. The majority of establishments have regular leagues, tournaments, and special events going on throughout the day so "Open Bowling" could be restricted at the time you want to go. Reservations may or may not be taken. This one phone call could save you from making a long drive for nothing and also, disappointment to the group as a whole.
2) Individual game and shoe rental costs vary depending on the time of day. Prices are cheaper earlier in the day and more expensive in the evenings and on the weekends. The game price is per-person, per-game and the rental shoes are a one-time charge. Be sure to ask about specials because bowling alleys always have them but, may forget to mention them to you.
3) Always look for the control desk when you enter the bowling center. In a large percentage of houses, they are directly visible as you enter the front doors. If not, they are easy to recognize since they have a long counter with a visible microphone and of course, a counter-person behind it. If you can't spot the counter easily, ask someone to point it out to you. Like the front desk of a hotel/motel, this is where you will check-in, check-out, and be the central point for reporting any problems or if you have any questions.
4) Always be safety-conscious in the bowling center. You are using specially soled shoes that you have to slide with so make sure you check them regularly and that nothing (like water) gets on them – if you stick, you may find yourself spread-eagled on the lanes. You are moving yourself forward and taking steps (called an "approach"), in order to propel a hard-surfaced ball down a 60-foot lane – do not "horse around" with the bowling ball nor interrupt your friend when they are in the middle of their approach. Many injuries, both minor and major, occur in recreational bowling because of "horse-play."
There is a lot of literature at the bowling center to help you learn about all aspects of bowling. Also ask your control desk person about any rules, etiquette, and other courtesies which will help you enjoy bowling better.