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Thread: Any of you still find bowling exciting?

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    High Roller Phonetek's Avatar
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    Default Any of you still find bowling exciting?

    Do you look forward to getting on the lanes anymore or is it more of just something to do? I don't know what it is, maybe being at this center and really being in the thick of things, constantly learning new stuff, my son doing well, getting physically better and being around all these enthusiastic kids in these college tournaments?

    I look forward to hitting the lanes, I look forward to going to work and even when I'm home I love taking about bowling. Obviously I'm on here and I'm all over the web reading everything I can get my hands on. Am I the only one who pretty much surrounds every aspect of my life and this?

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    For the first 30 years that I bowled it was more social. I bowled with my dad and generally it was just the three games each week and no practice games in between. No doubt there were moments of excitement in a close game or match, or if the team was near the top of the standings going into the stretch but I was there mostly to hang out with Dad and the rest of the team.
    I started to work on my game about 12 years ago. Started bowling in more leagues and got into coaching in the youth program. There is still a big part thatís social, but there is definitely more excitement, whether coaching a U-12 team in a USA Bowling regional tournament or testing my skills in the local sport league against some of the best bowlers in the state.
    John

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    Bowling is my primary hobby. I do not have the same verve for it that I did 26 years ago. I would classify it as a "something to do once-a-week" kind of thing now. There was a time where I couldn't wait to get to the bowling center to either practice or bowl in leagues (at one point that was a few times a week.) I still love to watch the college tournaments, PBA, and PWBA on TV and online. I listen to bowling podcasts. I keep up with the new ball and equipment releases. I check the Lanetalk App every night to see how people at my bowling center are bowling in their leagues.

    I used to love getting new bowling balls. Now I dread it and only buy new stuff if I can get it really cheap on eBay or on closeout. The bowing ball industry is a giant scam.

    I am not always excited to go bowling on my league night. There are nights where I could be perfectly happy not going. This attitude became more prevalent after our center was acquired by Bowlero. The family atmosphere went away. Bowlero wants leagues in, done, and then out as soon as possible. There are only a few of the legacy employees remaining, otherwise it is all new faces. The legacy employees are stressed beyond belief and just not themselves these days. The equipment is not being maintained so there are constant lane breakdowns. The facility has a fresh coat of paint and new furniture, but it is not being kept clean simply because they cannot find enough people to hire.

    I went in an practiced for the first time in a very long time yesterday morning right when they opened at 11am. There were already 40-50 customers in the center. Lanes 1-33 were in the dark for glow bowling. Lanes 34-48 were fully lit up for the serious practice bowlers and pre-bowlers. I finally checked in, paid for my games, and went to my assigned lane. The carpeting hadn't been vacuumed from the night before and was covered in crumbs, food, etc. The vinyl chairs were covered in greasy/dirty hand prints, so they aren't wiping down the chairs. There was no soap in the soap dispenser in the bathroom (who knows how the kitchen staff is washing their hands properly!) The lanes had been oiled, but it was a totally different condition than league night and was absolutely flooded. The person bowling next to me, who happens to bowl on my league, made a comment that they frequently practice on Sunday mornings and the lanes are always flooded. On the weekends they oil heavily once in the morning and that is it for the entire day. This experience reinforced why I do not come in and practice as much as I used to. In fact, I probably will not be going in to practice again any time soon. I don't mind a challenge, but I also don't want to have to maintain a league arsenal and a practice/open bowling arsenal.

    My entire family bowls and we talk about it frequently. But it just doesn't hold the same space in our hearts that it used to.

  4. #4

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    I look forward to the two leagues I bowl more now than ever before. Despite this, I rarely go to practice like I used to. I think that the reason for this is that the bowling center has totally changed it's focus. There used to be leagues every night, most of which filled the entire 60 lane center. Now they have eliminated all of the night leagues in favor of open-play glow bowling at $7 per game. There are still morning and noon leagues, some of them very large, but I wouldn't be surprised if they too are eliminated in the next couple of years. Open bowling for league bowlers has gone up to $4 per game. When I'm not bowling league, I am playing golf if the weather is nice, or playing my guitar. I do miss bowling seriously like I used to, but the state of the game is just too depressing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobLV1 View Post
    ...Now they have eliminated all of the night leagues in favor of open-play glow bowling at $7 per game. There are still morning and noon leagues, some of them very large, but I wouldn't be surprised if they too are eliminated in the next couple of years. Open bowling for league bowlers has gone up to $4 per game... but the state of the game is just too depressing.
    This is the direction I see our center going over the next couple of years as well. While I think it is a little presumptuous to assume that you can fill all of your lanes on a weeknight with open bowlers paying $6-$8 per game, I understand the lure of the potential profit in such a plan. Why have 100 bowlers in the center paying $16 for lineage for 3 games and 3 hours of bowling, when you can potentially have 100 bowlers in there paying $7 per game plus $5 for shoe rental, bowl for 1-1.5 hours, then immediately turn the lane to another open bowler also paying that amount? Open bowling for league members is $2.75 per game here. but I expect that to increase as well.

    The state of the game is kind of depressing. It is definitely heading in a recreation/arcade game type of direction. It is starting to remind me of miniature golf. Dedicated facilities for it, but more of an entertainment endeavor than a serious sport. League scoring around here on house shots is off the charts. Our center sees several 300 games each week. I remember the days where there would be maybe 1 or 2 per week. Now when someone gets one, it isn't a big deal other than someone grabbing their phone and recording the last 3 shots to send to the bowler so they can post it on social media.

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    High Roller Phonetek's Avatar
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    I find it kinda sad guys. I do love the use of the word "Verve" Ryster. You don't hear it much anymore. It's sad because it seems to be getting more common for people to feel like you guys do than how I feel.

    The worst part about it is that the industry itself seems to be causing it more than the actual sport. I was discussing this with my boss yesterday. It seems that in the 70's the average pro bowlers average was 190 then 210 in the 80's. 300ís were rare and the got pomp and circumstance that was deserved. Today it's old hat and anyone with modicum of dedication can average 210 or shoot 300. It's no big deal.

    I can see why people question themselves on what they are doing it for since even honor scores have lost the "Joie de vivre" they once had. This sounds like it could have been a great article for Rob to have written about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phonetek View Post
    I find it kinda sad guys. I do love the use of the word "Verve" Ryster. You don't hear it much anymore. It's sad because it seems to be getting more common for people to feel like you guys do than how I feel.

    The worst part about it is that the industry itself seems to be causing it more than the actual sport. I was discussing this with my boss yesterday. It seems that in the 70's the average pro bowlers average was 190 then 210 in the 80's. 300ís were rare and the got pomp and circumstance that was deserved. Today it's old hat and anyone with modicum of dedication can average 210 or shoot 300. It's no big deal.

    I can see why people question themselves on what they are doing it for since even honor scores have lost the "Joie de vivre" they once had. This sounds like it could have been a great article for Rob to have written about.
    I was just talking about this to a guy the other day. When I quit back in 2002 I was bowling on wooden lanes with a Brunswick Cobalt Rhino and averaging 193. I was in a smaller league but high average was 205 and I was about 5th highest average in our league. Back then I rarely missed spares...lol. Now today we have about 4 guys over 220 and me at 195 am maybe 25th highest out of about 80 bowlers. In 2002 if you averaged 200 you were a rockstar. Today you are just a decent league bowler (ala Dick Allen...lol)
    Arsenal "15# Roto Grip Idol Helios-90 x 2.25 x 45" "15# 900 Global Altered Reality-50x3.625x30" "15# Brunswick Uppercut-80x3.625x35" "15# Brunswick Igniter-70x5.5x35" "15# Raw Hammer Pearl 45x5.75x40" "15# Radical Squatch Pearl 75x5.5x30" "15# Radical Conspiracy-55x4.625x35" "15# Brunswick Kingpin-60x3.875x35" " "15# Brunswick T-Zone"
    Rev Rate about 300 @ about 16 MPH at the pins* High Game: 279 - High Series: 725. PAP: 5 1/8"x1" up; tilt 20*, rotation 75*
    Oh, and LEFTY!!!

  8. #8

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    I still look forward to my 2 league nights. I enjoy the challenge even though I know house shots give you help. It is still a challenge as I don't have the ball speed or rev rate I had when I was younger. I see if I can figure out how to get the ball to go through the pins and increase my carry and try to go 30 clean. Steve
    Current arsenal...Roto Grip Nuclear Cell, Hustle PBR, Roto Grip Gem, Idle Helios and Own It Spare. 300 rev rate, 16 mph off hand, 13.3 tilt,61 degrees rotation pap 4 9/16 over 1 1/8 up.

  9. #9
    Pin Crusher Timmyb's Avatar
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    It's the one day of the week I absolutely look forward to. After the rest of the week spent "adulting", I think I deserve a night off!
    Old guy with power (15.5-16; 325). Current arsenal--RotoGrip Idol Helios, Storm Phaze III, Storm SureLock, Storm IQ Tour Nano and Motiv Rebel tank (spare/dry). High sanctioned game - 300 (2). High sanctioned series - 856. A.V. 300-s - 8. Longest string - 25.
    2021/2022 YTD highs--High game; 300 (2)--High series; 856

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    Oil pattern is everything these days. I bowl with someone who, if bowling on our typical house pattern, will shoot a guaranteed 700+. If there is just a slight difference in the pattern their series will always without fail drop to 600-630...and complain about it all night.

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