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Thread: Differences between California and Iowa

  1. #1
    Bowling God Aslan's Avatar
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    Post Differences between California and Iowa

    Just as a sidenote....atropos of nothing...another thread got me thinking about this:

    The biggest differences between bowling in California and Iowa:

    1: Seasons
    California isn't like most Midwestern states where there is a long bowling season and a short "summer off". Because there are no "seasons" in California...in most leagues you essentially bowl two 26-week seasons: Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer.

    2: Sweeps
    Because California is so close to Vegas (I'd "say" 3.5 hour drive...but you'll NEVER make it there in 3.5 hours...unless you drive in the middle of the night on a Tuesday or something)...almost all the leagues tend to "sweep" in Vegas. So, the last week of bowling...you go to Vegas and compete for prize money. It makes league bowling a little more expensive...especially if you tend to blow money when you go to Vegas...but it's a lot of fun and you can win serious money. I took home over $1,400 once...most money I ever won in athletic competition and more money than I've ever won playing poker. In the Midwest, virtually no leagues "sweep" because the cost would be too high. You'd have to cover airfare...so the weekly prize pool would be that much more.

    3: Population
    It's not hard finding a league....because there are SOOOO many people. Interesting fact...more people voted for Trump in California than in Texas in 2020. Yet, he lost in a landslide in California. And...there are a TON of peolple in Texas...most of whom voted Trump! The population of California is just insane...so every center has leagues pretty much every night...leagues of almost every level...it's not like Iowa where I have to struggle to find a center that has a sanctioned league or a league with an opening, etc...

    4: Size of Centers
    In Des Moines, most centers are 12 lanes. One is 20, one is 24. The largest is 36...and it seems ENORMOUS when you're used to 12-lane centers. In California, the largest center I bowled in was where I got monthly lessons and it had 60 lanes. The two centers I bowled leagues in both had 40 lanes. I think the other center I bowled league in had 36. If you went in a center that only had 24...it felt tiny.

    5: # of Centers
    In Des Moines, there are 8. Actually 7...because the one inside the Bass Pro Shop doesn't count in my book. There used to be another one, but it burnt down. In California...the issue wasn't "how many"...it was "how far of a drive". I think at one point I had 25 centers within 25 miles of me in California. The "issue" was...how long would it take me to drive to those centers to get to leagues? Traffic in California is absurdly nonsensical. There was a center in Chino Hills that was closer to me than Fullerton...but I'd never be able to get to it driving East in rush hour in the evening in under 2.5 hours...but I could get to Fullerton in 30-45 minutes. Same thing with Anaheim. It was easier going South than East. There's other people that live near bigger cities, like class granny, that probably have similar issues.
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    Smokey this is not 'Nam', this is bowling. There are rules. Proud two-time winner of a bowlingboards.com weekly ball give-away!

  2. #2

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    You have my sincere condolences!

  3. #3
    Cranker classygranny's Avatar
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    Not sure if your condolences were for Aslan living in no man's land or myself for living in the hot desert of Phoenix. There are many reasons for living in a smaller area, but yes bowling alleys do suffer. But you may have more choices than us in the big cities due to the reasons you listed. It works both ways.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aslan View Post
    5: # of Centers
    In Des Moines, there are 8. Actually 7...because the one inside the Bass Pro Shop doesn't count in my book. There used to be another one, but it burnt down. In California...the issue wasn't "how many"...it was "how far of a drive". I think at one point I had 25 centers within 25 miles of me in California. The "issue" was...how long would it take me to drive to those centers to get to leagues? Traffic in California is absurdly nonsensical. There was a center in Chino Hills that was closer to me than Fullerton...but I'd never be able to get to it driving East in rush hour in the evening in under 2.5 hours...but I could get to Fullerton in 30-45 minutes. Same thing with Anaheim. It was easier going South than East. There's other people that live near bigger cities, like class granny, that probably have similar issues.
    That is an issue around here due to traffic - and roadwork all over. I bowl two morning leagues that are farther away from me, but I like the lanes, and the people in the league. It takes me about 40 minutes one way at 8 am. The other league is evening so we bowl about 10-15 minute drive away. Problem is the seating is horrible and we don't finish until 9:30pm typically.

    The real problem in the Phoenix area is that almost ALL of the lanes are corporate owned Bowlero centers...some run better than others.
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    I will say that there is a HUGE misconception about California. We're closer to three or four states than just one. Really common misconception - honestly similar one to Texas. We're so big and varied.

    Aslan's generalizations really fit for the urban areas - but his generalizations of Iowa really fit for the rural areas. My stepson lives in Sonora, which is in the foothills quite SE of Sacramento - maybe 120 miles. He has one center anywhere near him, at a casino. COMPLETELY different from Sac-town. We live in Riverside (Inland Empire) - and we're much more like the urban generalization.

  5. #5
    Bowling God Aslan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobLV1 View Post
    You have my sincere condolences!
    I don't know why.

    If I could live anywhere (for bowling)...it would probably be Vegas.

    Granted...most of the centers are in hotels...and I admit there are big downsides to that.

    BUT...there are also huge upsides.

    1) There are ALWAYS bowlers in Vegas. Bowling tournaments, bowling coaches, etc... I have a magazine cover that I want to get signed by Tommy Jones and Chris Barnes...if I lived in Vegas...it woulda been signed in less than a year.

    2) The USBC holds the Open and Masters here what??? 2 out of 3 years?? While ever other schmuck has to fly to Vegas to participate...those in Vegas just have to take a leisurely drive.

    3) Covered parking. No more dragging my equipment through snow banks or rain. Drive in the hotel parking ramp...you're inside the air conditioned casino...

    4) Pro Shops. Gotta have em if the tournaments are gonna be there. And ya gotta have guys staffing them that at least 'sort of' know what they're doing.

    5) Clinics. Wanna go to the ITRC...cheap flights to Vegas or you can drive. Wanna go to Camp Bakes? They hold it in Vegas. Almost all the ball manufacturers hold at least one event/clinic in Vegas.

    Vegas is like...the center of the bowling universe...no matter how much Rob complains about it.

    Now, downsides...yeah...

    Casinos make money off gambling...so bowling is an afterthought.

    You have to be able to resist becoming a gambling addict and/or alcoholic in Sin City...not easy if you're prone to vices.

    Not to mention it's about 120 degrees there most of the time...and that "dry heat" thing kinda wears on ya once it hits about 108. Once it's over 108....heat is heat.

    And...you have to trip over tourists everyday...who could give two spits about bowling...most don't even know Vegas has a bowling alley. So, they're annoying.
    In Bag: (: .) DV8 Grudge Hybrid; (: .) Storm Optimus Solid; (: .) Pyramid Force Pearl; (: .) Brunswick Fortera Exile; (: .) Ebonite Maxim
    USBC#: 8259-59071; USBC Sanctioned Average = 179; Lifetime Average = 171;
    Ball Speed: 15.54mph; Rev. Rate: 240rpm || High Game (sanc.) = 300 (268); High Series (sanc.) = 725 (689); Clean Games: 170

    Smokey this is not 'Nam', this is bowling. There are rules. Proud two-time winner of a bowlingboards.com weekly ball give-away!

  6. #6
    Bowling God Aslan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boomer View Post
    I will say that there is a HUGE misconception about California. We're closer to three or four states than just one. Really common misconception - honestly similar one to Texas. We're so big and varied.

    Aslan's generalizations really fit for the urban areas - but his generalizations of Iowa really fit for the rural areas. My stepson lives in Sonora, which is in the foothills quite SE of Sacramento - maybe 120 miles. He has one center anywhere near him, at a casino. COMPLETELY different from Sac-town. We live in Riverside (Inland Empire) - and we're much more like the urban generalization.
    This is true.

    People don't realize that California has some very rural and remote areas. But, the bulk of the population is going to be in the population centers.

    Even if you're in Temecula...which was the site of one of the famous Aslan vs. Mike White Invitationals...it had a longer acronym that I can't remember...there were a decent number of bowling centers within "range" to choose from...despite Temecula being a fairly remote city. For those that don't know, Temecula is kind've a city in the center of the desert...between San Diego and northern Orange County. When I was putting that together...I think there were about 6-7 centers...all with 32-40 lanes...and I narrowed it down to 4 choices.

    Well, to put that in perspective; Des Moines has double the population of Temecula...is NOT in the center of the desert...is in the largest USBC association in Iowa (versus Temecula which is in one of the marginal USBCs of California)...and we only have 7 centers TOTAL...and only ONE has more than 24 lanes! The biggest city in Iowa and you have two centers with 20-24 lanes and one center with 36...the rest have 10-12.

    It's too bad I suck at shuffling cards. I need to live in Vegas!
    In Bag: (: .) DV8 Grudge Hybrid; (: .) Storm Optimus Solid; (: .) Pyramid Force Pearl; (: .) Brunswick Fortera Exile; (: .) Ebonite Maxim
    USBC#: 8259-59071; USBC Sanctioned Average = 179; Lifetime Average = 171;
    Ball Speed: 15.54mph; Rev. Rate: 240rpm || High Game (sanc.) = 300 (268); High Series (sanc.) = 725 (689); Clean Games: 170

    Smokey this is not 'Nam', this is bowling. There are rules. Proud two-time winner of a bowlingboards.com weekly ball give-away!

  7. #7

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    Aslan:

    Please note that I do not complain about bowling in Vegas. I complain about bowling in general, specifically the USBC and their refusal to advance the sport side of bowling. You are right in that Vegas is the center of bowling. It's one of the reasons that I chose to move here.

  8. #8
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    Here in PA, there are plenty of bowling centers "around" with very ample league availability. Easily 12+ centers. 24-lanes is the average center size. My "home" center is 48 lanes which is very nice and a fortunate circumstance.

    However, if my "home" center (6 miles from home) were to close the odds are very high that I am quitting bowling year 'round. The next closest center would be 13 miles away, and then the next closest after that 17 miles. As much as I love bowling, and it is my primary outside of work activity, there is no way I am driving that far to bowl. Summer leagues? Maybe. Occasional tournaments, no problem. When I retire and can bowl morning leagues? Absolutely. Fall/winter when it gets darker earlier, colder, and snowy? No way at all.

    Not to mention on bowling nights I have to go directly from work to bowling. I drive 25 miles to work, then currently drive 25 miles from work to bowling, then 6 miles home. The 13 mile away center is actually 24 miles from work, so that day it would be 25 to work, then 24 to bowling, then 13 miles home. The center that is 17 miles from home is 33 miles from work, so that day I would be doing 25 to work, 33 to bowling, then 17 back home. That's simply too much to deal with.

  9. #9
    Bowling God Aslan's Avatar
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    I still struggle sometimes when someone calls from California about a job...because there were parts about living there that I LOVED!

    It only rained 7 days a year...and I literally lived next door to a bowling alley...1.5 minute walk.

    The problem is...I could fill a notebook on the "Con list" for moving back to California. I just find myself always ending the internal argument with, "Why don't you just find a job in a different state and move next door to a bowling alley in THAT state!?"

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aslan View Post
    I still struggle sometimes when someone calls from California about a job...because there were parts about living there that I LOVED!

    It only rained 7 days a year...and I literally lived next door to a bowling alley...1.5 minute walk.

    The problem is...I could fill a notebook on the "Con list" for moving back to California. I just find myself always ending the internal argument with, "Why don't you just find a job in a different state and move next door to a bowling alley in THAT state!?"
    With your luck you would move and a month later the bowling alley would be sold and turned into a big box store.
    John

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