Bowling needs to be more of a recognized sport

Resources, coaching would allow bowling team to become reality


Andrew Leonard

John Fischer is curving the ball into pocket. The sport of bowling dates back to Ancient Egypt.

Andrew Leonard, Staff Reporter

The dark days of bowling are over. Those smoky, poorly lit buildings. And for young kids, it was a time where their dad would go off and drink with some friends. But to some, it’s more than just taking a ball and throwing it down a lane, to some people, it’s the challenge of trying to figure out what the hidden oil pattern is, or maybe what ball to use since there is more than just picking a bowling ball that fits your hands. What makes a sport? What makes a Rockwood high school sport? Is it hitting another student as hard as they can? Is it who is the fastest kid in the school?  To me, a high school sport is something that someone can practice, just something that takes physical involvement and knowledge. 

You could make the argument that kids our age don’t bowl. That’s because kids don’t know that there’s so much to bowling. Nowadays there’s so much more than there was, there are bowling balls made from urethane, reactive and plastic.  I bet you don’t know what any of that means, but that’s what makes the sport of bowling fun and more than just a game of throwing the ball at the pins.  I bet that you didn’t know that there are different styles of bowling. I’ll also go as far as to say I bet that you didn’t know that there’s math involved. Counting boards is a big aspect of the sport. Each dot on the ground represents five boards. The math is you need to count how many boards you throw to where you are standing. 

For students, it’s hard to find the right league. Some leagues require you to meet certain age, some require a handicap. There are only seven bowling alleys with a league that kids can join, but that’s for children of any age. And not a single one of them is competitive bowling. People like myself want that competitive aspect of bowling. Somewhere that I can really show my skills and knowledge. There’s no prize, there’s no money and there’s definitely no titles that you can earn in youth clubs. What’s the point? Youth bowlers want competition, just like other sports players. We want something where we can learn and compete, along with coaching. Kids want to learn, kids want to represent and we want to go places with bowling. We can with the right resources too. But the best way to do that is coaching.   

To elaborate why it should be a high school sport is because some kids can’t run like other sports require. There aren’t a lot of sports that don’t require conditioning, especially high school sports. Bowling doesn’t require you to be in the best physical condition. You might be thinking, “well that doesn’t apply to me.” It does to other people and that might be stopping them from playing their desired sport. Bowling is literally for anyone.  I know students that play nothing but bowling. That’s the only thing that they can do, that’s the only sport that is left for them. Those students dream of bowling for a team. Those same students want to go far with bowling and they want to start now. 

The other great thing about bowling is there’s no “bench.” Handicap is the great thing about bowling, your average could be 100 while your friend could be 200. But as long as you bowl over 100 you are “over handicap” which means you are gaining pins. Technically, any skill level can join.

So I ask Rockwood, why don’t you start a bowling team for all of your high schools? Why don’t you provide a sport for everyone that anyone can join? Provide us with the resources that take us to the next level. Create teams for the hidden community of youth competitive bowlers.

Antony Lair is bowling the ball down the lane. The standard for modern-day bowling was established in 1895 by the United States Bowling  Congress. The rules established then are still in effect today. (Andrew Leonard )