"The Bowling Book"
"Bowling Alley","House","Bowling Center",
"The Bowl" are used interchangeably to describe the building
where bowling takes place. Bowling alleys are usually comprised of many
lanes (as many as 100 or more), but can be comprised of only a few lanes.
Some people have a lane in their home, while I wouldn't consider this
a bowling alley, per se; it is in the most literal sense one. A single lane
is sometimes referred to as a bowling alley. For the purposes of this
article, a bowling alley or house will refer to a place where there are
multiple lanes and games are purchased.
Where Are Bowling Alleys?
They are everywhere. Lately it seems that a lot more houses are closing due
to property and maintenance prices getting to expensive, or lack of use.
Looking in your local telephone book, you should be able to find quite a
few houses in your area. Bowling is a very popular sport and therefore
there are a lot of bowling alleys in most areas. If you can't find one
where you live, check the nearest city or big town, there's bound to be one
within driving distance of where you live.
Recently a large bowling stadium was constructed in Reno, NV (United States).
If you want to see a really large house, that is the place to go. If you
get a chance to bowl there it is really quite the thing! I have bowled
there on several occasions and have really enjoyed it. The PBA (Pro
Bowlers Association) has tournaments there as well as the USBC. A few of
the tournaments that I know of that bowl there are the PBA, USBC Nationals,
USBC Mixed, and the High Roller. This stadium was built expressly for the
purpose of handling large bowling tournaments, and is not allowed to have
leagues in it. It also has a very large Pro Shop (place to buy bowling
stuff), that even has a bowling lane in it so that you can see everything!
They will video tape your game and help you to figure out what you need to
improve. It is quite impressive.
Bowling Center Layout
Most bowling alleys will have a desk (where you buy games), a bar, game
room, at least one meeting room, a room to handle babysitting, and, of
course, lanes! A lot of houses have a pro shop also.
The desk is usually situated somewhere near the center of the house and the
bar is usually not far from it. For most bowlers that's all you need to
know about a bowling alley right there! Drinking and bowling go hand and
hand for a lot of bowlers (not me, though). It is no mistake that the bar
is usually centralized in the bowling alley. The game room is usually
centralized in the bowling alley also, and most of the time contains pool
tables, video games, and pinball machines.
Meeting rooms can be anywhere in the bowling alley, and will seat anywhere
from 25 - 100s of people. The meeting rooms are used for league meetings,
receptions, birthday parties, etc.... Most of the time, one of the rooms will
have toys and things in it for kids. This room is generally used for
babysitting the children of the bowlers. Most bowling alleys offer free
babysitting for children up to age 7 or 8 for league bowlers. This comes
in very handy when you are bowling.
Pro shops are very popular in bowling alleys. Inside of the pro shop you
can find just about anything that you need for bowling from balls and bags
to shoes, brushes, and powder or resin. You can even get advice from a
"pro". Most of the pro shops are either owned by a professional
bowler or have a pro on staff. Be careful though, not all of the people
working in the pro shop are pros, and not all of them necessarily have
your best interest at heart. There is a lot of stuff to be bought and if
you are getting equipment, be sure that you are speaking to somebody who
knows your game. Buying equipment for bowling is not as simple as getting
a ball, bag and shoes.
Who Do I Call?
The first person that you are likely to meet in the bowling alley is the
desk person. This is the person behind the desk that will take your money
and assign you a lane. This is also the person that is your main contact
at the bowling alley should anything happen. If you spill a drink, your
ball gets stuck in the return, or whateverÂ… you should contact the desk
person and let them know what you need.
League bowlers usually go through the league secretary to get things
accomplished in the house. The league secretary usually has a little more
clout than the individual bowler as he/she represents an entire league of
bowlers (and therefore a lot of revenue to the bowling center).
There are two other people that you may encounter at the bowling alley. The
Porter is the person cleaning up the lanes, getting dead balls, dead wood,
fixing scores and just about anything else that needs to be done on the
customer side of the lanes. The Mechanic is the other person that you may
encounter. You probably wonÂ’t come into direct contact with them; they are
the ones that work in the back of the alley, resetting pins, fixing the
machines, and making sure that things work right. They are usually the one
that oils the lanes also.