A Glimpse of Bowling
10-pin bowling defined and described through a beginner’s view point. The simplest way to explain the game 10-pin bowling.
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I work in a Company which promotes sports and camaraderie among its employees. In our case, this is achieved through an annual bowling tournament sponsored by the Company for its employees. Just recently, there was an intercompany competition and I proudly congratulate my office mates who won the MEN and WOMEN and bagged the silver and bronze medals, respectively. Now that’s something I really admire. As for me, I’ve finally decided that my bowling career ends from last year’s company tournament. Just like all the other sports I’ve tried, this one’s definitely not for me, either.
I did have my moments with bowling. Actually, my first experience was very memorable to me. Not only because that was my first time ever but because I’ve gained friends. Up to now, a co-employee addresses me with “teammate” even though we had separated teams just last year. I guess I was just fortunate enough to have been teamed up with great players and the best part? We won the game, as in champions. The credits go to them of course, not to mention one of our members used to chant mantras to purportedly control the opponent’s ball. Of course that was just for fun. Due to my strong personal conviction, I do not in any way promote the using of mantras in any competition for that matter. Anyway, we celebrated our team efforts by eating out during one of our lunch times.
Although I realized at an early stage that I really wasn’t for bowling, I was a bit sad when my first tournament experience was over. To express my appreciation towards my team mates who bore with me in all patience despite my downs and downs (hehe) I gave them each a hallmark magnetic card deco.
My second tournament was okay but my performance did not improve at all. It was so disheartening to always see my name at the bottom of the list. And so bowling and I made a mutual understanding: we do not like each other. Looking back, I’m really sorry now for my team mates because the best contribution I could give was my handicap score which is inversely proportionate to one’s actual performance. Meaning, the less great you are in scoring, the higher your handicap gets. So imagine how high mine was always! Well, I did try my best. At first, I was using a 6-lbs ball until I reached 8 towards the end of the game. But my control is really weak so whatever weight I used, the ball ends up in either the right or left gutter.
I’d like to be an optimist though, so even if I failed to get the most out of this experience, I’d like to at least share what I learned about bowling, 10-pin in particular.
The player should be equipped with appropriate bowling shoes and socks. The bowling centers usually provide the shoes for rent. The socks however should be purchased. A pair of bowling gloves could also help but is just optional.
There are 10 frames in every game and in every frame, a player gets to roll the ball twice. If in 1 roll, the player hits all 10 pins, it’s called a strike. However, if there are pins left, the player may roll the ball again. If the remaining pins are all hit, it’s called a spare. If the player hits a strike at the 10th frame, another 2 rolls will be given. If spare, the player gets to roll the ball once more.
The ball has 3 holes fit for the thumb, middle and ring fingers. The weight varies from 6 to 16lbs. Usually, choosing for the right weight considers the player’s experience and weight as well. Beginners, like me, usually opt for lighter balls because it is easier to control but the disadvantage is that they have less impact on the pins. Heavier balls tend to create great impact on the front pins causing them to hit the other pins at the back like a domino effect.
The lane is the long narrow portion where the ball is rolled. At the end of the lane are the pins arranged in triangular shape with the tip pointing towards the player. At the sides are channels or gutters. Right in front where the player releases the ball are dots which help them estimate where to drop the ball. The lane is greased with oil so that the balls could roll easily. Players are not allowed to step on the lane for safety reasons too maybe. It is actually very slippery because of the grease.
Each pin hit scores 1. However, if the player gets a strike, 10 plus the number of pins hit on the next 2 frames are added. If the player gets spare, only the pins hit on the next frame is added. This explains why a player gets 2 more rolls on the 10th frame if he strikes all 10 pins and 1 more roll for spare.
Overall, bowling could be a nice activity for friends. Plus it does have its health benefits too such as working out those biceps and other muscles. At the end of the day, it’s just another great opportunity for me to hang out with dear friends and make first experiences and great memories.