A Possible “Bowlers” New Year Resolution

Every time I log into Facebook lately — between negative posts and bickering arguments on bowling forums — I’m told just how awful bowling is. Literally every single time.

It really amazes me that so many people go out of their way to let others know how bad our sport is. If you’re so cynical about it, why are you still doing it?

If any of you have the answer, please, feel free to enlighten me.

But back to my point: I’m sick of it.

We talk so much crap about our own sport, but, then, when others — those who don’t bowl — belittle our sport, we’re offended? Again, explain this to me.

So in today’s article, we’re going to do the exact opposite: we’re going to talk about some of the positives of bowling, because I for one am sick and tired of all the negativity in the world.

Up first, the relationships:

I have met every single one of my best friends through bowling. Every. One. And this is true of many bowlers. This sport, as much as any other — or more — is very personable. I am still friends with virtually every bowler I competed with throughout my life — all the way back to youth bowling. And while I understand that other sports offer similar experiences, with team sports, you typically become friends with your own teammates, not your competitors.

Next, the challenge:

Listen, I get it: “bowling isn’t as hard as it used to be.” I know. You don’t have to tell me. But you still can’t tell me that there is no challenge in it. The challenge of getting better. The challenge of being your very best. The challenge of competition. The challenge of winning. No matter where you look in our sport, there are challenges. Are they as challenging as yesteryear? Maybe not. That isn’t for me to say. But they still exist. And I still find them every bit as fun and as exciting today as I did when I first started all those years ago.

The thrill of victory:

Winning is fun. It always has been, it always will be. And I dc if I’m bowling league, pot bowling, a PBA event, or playing Monopoly; I enjoy winning. I have seen and heard people say that “winning doesn’t mean as much anymore.” Excuse me? Please, explain this to me as well. Does winning not mean as much in the NFL anymore because the game has become higher scoring? Does winning not mean as much in basketball because they shoot more threes now and allow more travels? Does winning not matter in tennis because players hit it harder than ever? I think not. Winning is always fun. It never comes easy. And it never gets old. I don’t care how good you are or how old you get. Winning is winning.

And last but not least, the variety and individuality:

There’s no one way to bowl. There’s no right way to bowl. Sure, there are basics and fundamentals that most everyone has to get down. But everyone is so different and unique. Even the best in the world, though they share similarities, their styles all differ quite a bit. And you can get good at this game with a variety of styles and approaches. And I love that. There’s no cookie cutter style that you have to have in this sport to find success. And not only can styles vary, so too can body types. In bowling, you don’t have to be 6’5″+. You don’t have to be a super athlete. You don’t have to be able to run a 4.4 forty yard dash or have a 42″ vertical leap. Sure, it 100% helps to be athletic. Duh. But not to the degree it takes in other sports. In bowling, no one is shut out. No one body type is really at an advantage or disadvantage. Not majorly, anyways. And you have to appreciate that aspect of bowling.

Now, obviously, these aren’t the only positives of our sport. I could sit here all day and tell you everything that I love about bowling. But we’d be here all day, so instead, why don’t you comment below in the comments section and tell us what you love about our sport. Please, try to refrain from negativity; don’t be “that guy (or girl).”

3 thoughts on “A Possible “Bowlers” New Year Resolution

  1. Bob B says:

    Great article, it made me want to share my story as it relates to bowling. I am 68 yo and use to bowl as a younger man, unfortunately the last time I bowled was league in Rochester, N.Y. way back in 1987-88. Fast forward to 2017, started to see video’s of my son, who never showed interest in bowling when I was participating, but was now getting involved and showing some awesome form and ability. He has a friend who got him interested who is a good bowler, capable of throwing 300/800 games and series so I guess a good person to have around if you’re just starting. While watching these video’s on FB my interest started to peak motivate me and I got out my old ball and decided to get back in the game. Unfortunately my ball was too heavy (16#) and my hand no longer fit the layout. With encouragement from son (Heath) and his friend (Josh)I started researching new balls and what it would take to get back into bowling, although in the back of my mind was that question..why are you doing this at 68. What was fueling this question was the fact that I am just three years post from a Liver Transplant on 3/13/15 that drained me of energy and muscle but which I was determined to get back from and it is nice to say I have come a long way.

    With all that in mind I started to practice, using lighter house balls just to work on my technique and mechanics, slowly I am getting back all along enjoying every minute of it. People I have come in contact with, PSO’s, employees at the houses I am bowling at and fellow bowlers have all been friendly and encouraging. In fact just with only 2 games under my belt I was asked to join a Senior’s League getting to meet some of the league bowlers and making some nice contacts and friends, very inviting and accepting. Unfortunately I did not join the league as I did not feel comfortable with my game and physical conditioning to take on a regular regimen of league bowling, at least not right now.

    I am truly committed to becoming more active again and using bowling as a means of activity and keeping myself active. I can say that so far I have not experienced any of the complaining that has been referenced in this blog but assume it is out there so hopefully I can avoid and/or ignore it. The people I have contacted through this renewed interest in bowling so far have all been positive, encouraging, helpful and friendly.

    I enjoy following sites like this, Brunswick and Radical Bowling for information on how to improve and what I need to know in this vastly different sport, at least from what I knew years ago. The technology and equipment advances never cease to amaze me from what we had back in the 80’s. I will say I feel confident I will regain my ability from the passed and improve on it. My average 30 years ago with only 3 games per week was about 173, so far on my 5th game back with a house ball I have scored a high game of 145, not bad for an old geezer.

    Looking forward to better days and scores.

  2. willian desjardins says:

    i have been bowling for over 60 years. i started working as a pin setter in the early 1950 s . my father was a great bower and is in the hall of fame. i was a good bowler and also in the local hall o fame. i still bowl but my average has dropped because of age and bowling ball speed. i love the sport what ever my average is. my only complaint is that most bowling centers do not put out a bowling pattern for seniors. the house shot is for a young mans game. it you can t throw 16 to 17 miles per hour you can not score. the out side first ten boards are dry and all the oil is in the middle. i sound like i am complaining but shot 300 299 298 and 65 700 s. just like any other sport you wear out.

  3. DMS says:

    And it mixes the generations! I came back to bowling in my late forties, and in a few short years have vastly expanded the generational ‘reach’ of my personal relationships. It’s really been fun!

    I bowled as a youth in the 70’s, and it was harder then, for sure. That said, if everyone is playing on the same lanes with the same equipment available to them, then it’s certainly still fair. If you’re truly a higher quality (or ‘Class’, as Dick Weber would say) bowler, you’ll still have a better look than your competitors because the condition is easier for YOU, TOO.

    Same as it ever was… Whoever finds it first, and can keep it, wins. Sometimes it’s myself, sometimes it’s my wife, sometimes it’s a teenager, sometimes it’s a wizened old-timer! Never really know from day to day. Love that mystery and challenge!

    Thanks for the great piece… Nice to see someone else still enjoying this pursuit.

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