Volume 1, Issue 7
By Angel Zobel-Rodriguez
With the Fourth of July over, and summer festivities in full swing, I'm thoroughly enjoying bowling. Wait, you say, the PBA Tour is over for awhile, and many parts of the country, people don't bowl at all during the summer. Here in Southern California, many leagues DO bowl summer. I'll admit I cut back to one league or so, but I pick up the slack with practice.
And when I'm not practicing, I'm watching the tournament and regional bowlers show me why I'm better off as a writer. The Western Women's Professional Bowlers will stop here soon, and the PBA passed through only two weeks ago. The PWBA tour picks up in a few weeks. Both men's and women's state tournaments have been in full swing. I keep hoping good bowling will rub off by osmosis, but when it doesn't, I head back to my local center and work on my game the old-fashioned way, practice.
I realize that for places that don't take the sun and warmth for granted, it's easy to stick those bowling balls in the hall closet and leave them there until September. But there are plenty of reasons not to take summer off completely. By waiting until September, you'll likely to lose ground. Today's game is a mixture of physical conditioning and understanding of the lane conditions. Summer lanes are often very different because of different usage, and you can try varying conditions without ever leaving "home." If you take off summer, your thumb will have decreased in size, and you'll be playing with gobs of tape come fall. It's also just plain fun to bowl when the entire season isn't dependent on your pinfall.
If you live in an area where folks usually don't bowl in the summer, I'll ask you to resconsider. If a week of rain has your loved ones crawling the walls, an afternoon bowling is a great diversion for them after you've exhausted videos, crayons, and any other entertainment. After all, how many times can you go to Chuck E. Cheese? You can just keep the muscles in tune, and they can have a great time. If you live where the heat and humidity have you thinking you live in Nature's sauna, a retreat into an air-conditioned bowling center to work up a sweat without getting heatstroke is welcome. Even if the weather is beautiful, wait until evening when the mosquitoes the size of small birds are out. Then bowling is a great alternative to those smelly candles and sticky bug spray.
I'll get hate mail for merely suggesting it, but many centers offer the glow bowling (Cosmic, Extreme) daily. My son was invited to go Cosmic Bowling by NONbowlers. These children had clearly never been bowling before being invited to a birthday party, and when it came time to "do something" they wanted to go back. My son was apparently "the bowler" in his second grade class, so they called him to go this time by association. No, it's not bowling like we know it, but the kids had a blast. And I'd be willing to bet on the next 110 degree day, I could get them to consider "regular bowling."
To appeal to the frugal, many houses will offer reduced prices for open bowling during the summer. It only takes a phone call to ask. Some offer free practice to league bowlers in the summer, others offer 99 cent games to anyone off the street. The once full-price Cosmic is offering coupons and specials too. Even if they bowl a couple of games, it's cheaper than a movie, and it's physical.
So just because you're not bowling league, it doesn't mean you shouldn't be thinking about bowling at all. Call a few teammates and have a bonding session, or grab your significant other and make it a date, but go bowling.