Here’s an annual reminder of why we bowl in leagues. This examiner.com story originally ran Nov. 15, 2013.
1 – The Characters
About.com Bowling: League bowling brings out some of the most colorful, interesting, baffling personalities in the world. You have no idea these people are in your community until you join a bowling league. From unbelievably talented bowlers to inexplicably strange humans, you get a cross-section of society you didn’t realize existed.
Examiner.com: Because there are so many characters, there is absolutely no shortage of individuals to write about. You never know when you encounter a bowling league icon like Ken Borshell (shown in photo) among the mix of players. Borshell is someone who for the past 30 years has traveled round trip more than 200 miles once every week just so he can bowl in Los Angeles on the same team as his good friends. Borshell hit the road from Bakersfield for the first seven years and has been driving from Palm Desert for the past 23. And he’s 76 years old and has never bowled better.
2 – Camaraderie
About.com Bowling: Bowling leagues, especially with your friends (or strangers who will become your friends), are great ways to spend a few hours a week.
Examiner.com: A great way to make friends
3 – Fun
About.com Bowling: Whether league bowling or not, it’s fun to bowl.
Examiner.com: Not only is it fun, but it’s exciting. Recently, anchor man Greg Kolski prepared to bowl in the10th frame of his second league game knowing that the game was on the line. Kolski needed to mark to seal the victory for his team. Considering his average was a robust 186, Kolski’s teammates were feeling pretty confident. Then Kolski drilled a pocket shot that inexplicably left the imposing 6-7 split and it was apparent that the bowling gods had intervened to upset the norm. There were no groans from Kolski’s team. It was more like collective shock. Then Kolski threw his big hook for his second shot, and again it was another huge surprise. He clipped the 6 pin gently on the right side and the pin slid over and barreled into the 7 – an improbable shot that snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.
4 – Gambling
About.com Bowling: Small-time gambling is acceptable in most bowling leagues. Often, half your league fees go toward your bowling and the other half goes toward the prize fund. At the end of the season, you and your team will receive prize money based on where you finish. Individual prizes are usually up for grabs too. Other ways to win a pittance during league bowling involve card games and strike pots.
Examiner.com: It’s not usually a tremendous sum of money up for grabs, but bowlers are a competitive group – and even a little money means a lot.
5 – Fitness
About.com Bowling: Repeatedly hurling a heavy sphere requires strength and endurance, and you can burn a significant number of calories bowling.
Examiner.com: Bowling may not be the exercise program prescribed by your doctor, but even a little exercise is better than none.