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Ten-Pin Bowling

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25 Reviews

Sports: Bowling

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    25 Reviews
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      12.11.2011 08:49
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      Great sport for all

      Ten Pin Bowling

      I have been bowling now for a couple of years, unfortunately not as nearly as often as I would like. But still from initially struggling to hit 110 every game to now hitting 160's+ regularly I think I have improved a little bit. Don't get me wrong I have bad days where I hit 90's.

      Bowling contrary to belief is a sport, when you think about it you're a throwing 12+ pound balls down a 62ft lane over and over again. And if you bowl in leagues and tournament imagine doing that over 11 games + a day, very tiring.

      But the sport is not as easy as you think, bowling the ball at the pins and getting a strike every single time is very very difficult. The legendary Chris Barnes (arguably the greatest bowler of all time) at my last check has hit 40 competitive perfect games. That is 12 strikes in a row, and if Mr Barnes himself is not doing it in every game that just shows how hard it really is.

      As an avid bowler I can tell you that there is no better feeling than hitting a strike, and then another building your score really testing yourself. I like I said am a beginner and am learning how to hook my ball (make it curve on the lane) and sometimes it works others end up in the gutter but the ones that do gives you this feeling that you can't explain. It seems bizarre but believe me it does.

      I strongly urge everyone to go down the there local alley get on some shoes and have a bowl with your friend and family or even on your own. Although an expensive sport it can bring it financial rewards if you develop your game and enter leagues.

      I recommend Bowplex centre and Tenpin centre. There are some good Hollywood Bowl centres unfortunately they don't seem to have the best customer service training, by that I mean the management staff not the floor staff.

      I will warn you though after 2½ years I can assure you that there will be frustrations. But just ignore them; it is a fun game to play, with hours of entertainment and constant challenges. There is a never ending desire to improve your skills.

      Good luck and good bowling.

      Bowling prices vary depending on centres

      £3 - £5.75 a game. But others are usually available you just need to ask at the reception or look online.

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      06.04.2010 14:22
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      A sport for everyone

      Being a very dedicated bowler (two leagues a week, plus at least six games practice in addition to that, plus tournaments) who has bowled internationally, I feel that I am more than qualified to review bowling. Anyone who disagrees with me? See you on the lanes.

      Bowling is, in theory, quite a simple sport, when players roll balls down a lane in order to knock down ten pins. Each game consists of ten frames. Each frame is made up of two shots, unless you get a strike, with the exception of the final frame, where you get an extra shot if you spare, or two shots if you strike.

      The scoring is slightly more complicated, but it is very simple once you get the hang of it. The maximum score in a game of bowling is 300. Unfortunately, I am still trying, having had multiple 299 games. Oh, how that hurts.

      Basically, in bowling a strike is worth ten plus the total of your next two shots. So, if you bowl a strike and then bowl two more strikes, your first strike is worth 30. A spare is also worth ten, plus the total of your next one shot. So, if you spare and then strike, the spare is worth 20. Simple, right?

      One of the very best things about bowling in my opinion is the fact that it is so inclusive and everyone can do it. Male, female, skinny, obese - anyone can do it and the pins don't know who or what has thrown a ball at them. I started playing at the age of 8 and my sister started at age 6, so you can start from an early age. Disabled people can also take part as most centres have a ramp for wheelchair bowlers and children and believe it or not, many blind bowlers compete, which is fascinating to watch!

      There is a common misconception that this is a sport for unfit people. Yes, you do get many beer-chugging, fag smoking, pot bellied old men playing who play to a decent level, but at the top level, many bowlers will work out at a gym, work out with weights and watch their diets because bowling 12+ games in a competition is surprisingly hard work - especially when you think that we are all throwing weights of 14lb+ at 16+ miles an hour, over and over again.

      My only gripe with bowling is the fact that it is not recognised as a sport by many people and a lot of people only play recreationally due to the cost. And at a cost of £5+ a game, I can't say I blame them.

      That said, if you enjoy bowling and would like to play more often, I recommend joining a league. Leagues are usually in the region of £10-12 a week for beginner leagues, where you play 3 games a week and often get prize money and trophies at the end of the season. A lot of fun and the best way to improve. You don't have to kit yourself out with equipment, but a basic ball, drilled to fit your hand and shoes can often be purchased in the region of £60 and it really does make all the difference.

      Particular bowling centres I recommend are the Airport Bowl at Heathrow, Madison Heights in Essex, Number Ten Norwich and any of the Bowlplex centres. These are all friendly, high quality centres and good for some fun.

      Do the world a favour and get skittling - it's the best form of anger management, watching the pins go CRASH!

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        30.03.2010 16:05
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        Strike!

        Having just been bowling for the first time in ages last night, I thought a review was in order.

        Bowling is something I really enjoy, but first I will deal with the downside, which is the reason we haven't been for ages: it can be expensive. Now I know this doesn't matter to everyone, and it is worth it for a good fun family night out, but it definitely makes it a once-in-a-while event for us. The bowling nearest us is the Tenpin company. The standard price for one game for a family of four on a Saturday is £20. That may not seem like much, but one game doesn't last that long (2 is much better), and you might also want to grab something to eat.

        However, for an ordinary, watching-the-pennies family like us, the cost is not prohibitive, just means it's a rare treat. And there are ways to reduce the cost - eat at home before you go, and just take your own drinks and snacks with you if you want; go on a week night or even during the day if work/school is not an issue; book online for reductions; look out for fabulous savings, like the recent free games promotion.

        Anyway, onto the game itself (a lot of my reviews have a bit of a money element because this is a big issue for us at the moment - sorry if it's irrelevant to you - and lucky you!). Bowling is really good fun, and is suitable for all ages. You all know how is works - chuck a heavy ball down a smooth alley and try and knock over all the pins.

        For adults, this can be seriously competitive (not likely in our family) or very funny (much more likely), and it is actually very enjoyable. Sometimes surprising too - I beat hubby in one game last night!

        For the kids, it is great, they just have so much fun hitting those skittles. You can opt to have the bumpers up at the side of the lane, which means that the ball can't veer off into the gutter and miss the pins completely. This is really good for the younger players (OK, yes, and for some of us grown-ups), as it can be disheartening to go for the gutter all the time. Also, there is a ramp that can be used by very little ones (well, by anyone...) - just line up the ramp with where you want to aim, and push the ball off the top. Very satisfying. Apparently, according to my 3-year-old, this can be done either with the hands or with the head - hmmm.

        It can be a little tricky for children who are too old to want to use the ramp, but not say teenagers yet, as the balls are heavy for them to swing and so, even if lining up well to start with, the aim is often a bit awry. Our 9-year-old is in this sort of position. However, a bit of encouragement, crossed fingers that they'll get at least one strike, and focussing on family team scores rather than individual points seems to help.

        All in all, bowling is an activity that we really love as a family. All ages genuinely do enjoy it, and we always find ourselves laughing. If you're watching every penny, it's obviously a non-essential expense, and lots of other fun can be had for free, but do watch out for deals and make the most of them when they are available.

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          31.10.2009 21:02
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          I have held parties here myself because its convenient and easy, I do begrudge paying the high price

          Tenpin Bowling, we have one in Exeter near my house.

          Its a place where kids often ask to go to and they enjoy having birthday parties there.

          I have been quite a few times over the years for children's parties etc, I have to say that the experience seems to be pretty much the same every time in the way that you have 2 purchase to games for a party and kids get bored and lose interest during the second game and I do feel that the second games is a bit of a waste especially for the the price. As I recall it was £10.50 per child and a minimum of 10 children require, so not a cheap party by any means. They provide very basic burger and chips, nuggets and chips sausage and chips meals within this price and provide you with jugs of squash. Children's parties are help ad specific times if you want the strobe lights on the alleys too.

          It's easy to set the computer up for the game just type in the names of up to 6 players for each lane. You have the choice of having the side bumpers up or not (this stops the ball from going in the gully and gives the children a fair chance). Al the alleys seem to have the bowling trolleys for those that find it difficult to bowl then can push the bowl off the trolley which is great for the younger players.

          Also on site is a bar and amusement arcade area. I find the arcade area a nuisance really as between goes the children run off to that area and it can at times be hard to get them back over to the game again.

          so for the £10.50 you get 2 games, food, party bags, that are poor quality, shoe hire and jugs of juice, sometimes they don't have face painters available and balloon sculpture but that's not always the case.

          You do have to provide your own cake.

          There is way of getting it cheaper as a friend of mine did at a recent party I'm honestly not sure how much cheaper it was but she had to make each child going a member. So that is something to think about if you book a party.

          I have held parties here myself because its convenient and easy, I do begrudge paying the high price for the party package.

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          31.05.2009 18:00
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          Bowling is fun always and for 1p, its even better.

          I love bowling although I don't follow some of the rules and pointing system. All isee is the end results and who scored the highest- I'm not any kind of professional- I'm in it just for fun.

          Since it has been quite sunny from a couple of weeks, I have been looking at the web contancntly to see for some entertainment for my kid. I just bumped into the Hollywood bowling website which had bowling for just 1p during term holidays- what a bargain! What do you get for a penny these days? So I thought I'll take my son to it the next morning.

          Terms and conditions for 1p bowling-
          * This promotional rate is available for online bookings starting between 9am and 9.30am on qualifying dates Monday to Sunday during the May 2009 Half Term holidays.
          * Bowling must commence between 9am and 9.30am on qualifying dates.
          * This offer is valid for a maximum party size of 12 people, of whom no more than 2 may be adults, to ONE game of bowling for 1p per game.
          * This offer is limited to ONE game per person per day
          * The offer is valid for ONLINE bookings only and is subject to lane availability.
          * Customers wishing to play 2 games can bowl for 1p per game for the first game and a second game at the normal tariff price.
          Waking up my son and getting him ready before 9 is not that easy but since he loved it the first time and was all ready on time, I booked another one for next day. He absolutely loved it- I saw a lot of kids around- I'm sure it's a very cheap way of keeping the kids entertained. What's more, they even had some breakfast offers- some 99p deals with bowling- hot drinks, bacon or sausage sandwiches and for kids- Slush Puppie or Robinson's Fruit Shoot or half hot dog. So basically for a pound, you can keep your kid happy for an hour.
          I heard that if you decide not to go then its better to cancel it online because failure to do so will incur a £10 no-show fee per booked lane. While booking online they do need your credit card details to confirm the booking. One of them told me that if your are going to be a few minutes late, its better to inform them over the phone to avoid these cancellation/ booking charges. So its better to keep your local bowling's phone number handy.
          They did say that these offers had been on earlier during Easter, Christmas as well. I am disappointed that I missed this before but will keep my eye open from now on. Bowling is always fun and for 1p it's even better.

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          30.04.2009 12:54
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          Great if you have a few hours to spare and are looking for a fun, cheap activity

          It always surprises me when I hear someone say they've never been ten pin bowling - to me it seems like one of those cheap options for a leisure activity to enjoy with your friends just like the cinema, but hey I suppose I've never tried skiing!

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          The Rules

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          The rules are fairly straightforward - a game is divided into 10 frames. Each player will get two goes per frame to lob a bowling ball down an alley in an attempt to knock ten pins over.

          There is a line from which the ball must be bowled behind and if you step over this line you will hear an angry buzzing sound, that go won't count and the pins will be reset. This is known as a foul ball and is best to be avoided if you have designs on winning the game!

          There are gutters either side of the alley and if your aim is...to put it tactfully...less than straight your ball will fall into either said gutter and roll harmlessly past the pins.

          If you knock the pins down on your first go this is a strike. If you manage to knock them all over by your second go this is a spare.

          The scoring works by converting the number of pins you have knocked over into points, so if you knocked over 8 pins in each of your ten frames you would end up with a score of 80.

          The fun starts when you start getting strikes and spares.

          If you get a spare then your next roll of the ball will be worth double, e.g. if you get a 6 the first roll after a spare you will get 12 points added to your score.

          If you get a strike then the next two rolls of the ball will count double, e.g. if you rolled a 6 then a 2 you would get 16 points added to your score rather than 14 if you had previously only hit a spare.

          A perfect game would be to get a strike in all 10 frames and in the 10th frame you will then get two bonus rolls (a strike always gives double points for the next two rolls) and if you get a strike for both of these you will end up with a score of 300.

          Wahoo!

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          The Equipment

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          You can take in your own equipment (all that is required are some bowling shoes and bowling balls) but bowling alleys will provide the equipment for you at no extra cost (or at worse a deposit so you don't run away with their highly fashionable shoes).

          The shoes will normally be of a fairly high standard and smell pine fresh from the deodorisers used to try to mask the smell of so many different human feet, but if the though of this makes you uncomfortable then feel free to bring your own bowling shoes - but remember ordinary ones will not do as slipping will lead to serious health and safety issues and companies generally don't like to be sued.

          The bowling balls will range in heaviness and finger sizes.

          The weight will start as low as 6 pounds (normally for children) and then move up in 2's as far as 16 pounds (for giants). The finger sizes will range from extra small, small, medium, large and extra large to allow for all possible variations so you should be able to find that perfect weight and fit.

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          Playing with friends

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          Whilst it is perfectly acceptable to take this game very seriously by joining a league and spending hours alone practicing to get that perfect curve ball I personally find the best way to play ten pin bowling is with friends.

          You can either play against each other individually or in teams whereby the combined total of each team member's score makes up the final total.

          There is a handicap system available for those slightly less skilled bowlers by way of barriers which can rise for allocated players allowing the ball to bounce off them rather than falling into the gutter. Also, ramps are available for, perhaps, the slightly less stronger players which allows that player to push the ball down the ramp rather than having to swing their arm.

          It is important to remember your etiquette whilst playing the game:

          * Never bowl your ball at the same time as the person on any lanes either side of you as this can be very distracting for them.
          * Try to avoid bowling your ball so badly off line that it ends up on a neighbouring lane and knocks some of their pins over - this can be very embarrassing and lead to potential physical danger at the hands of angry semi-professionals.
          * Never try to put off your opponents by shouting out derogatory remarks just as they are about to deliver their ball - this is rude and can once again lead to the threat of physical violence or being banned from the bowling alley for the foreseeable future.
          * Do not sneakily grease your opponent's balls up when they are not looking as this can lead to potentially very dangerous situations - especially when the ball ends up rolling backwards towards yourself.

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          Pricing

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          Pricing will be at the discretion of each individual bowling alley but should not vary too much from this kind of pricing structure:

          Adult
          Peak: £4.20
          Off Peak: £3.00

          Junior (Under 16's)
          Peak: £3.20
          Off Peak: £2.25

          Concession (over 55/Student)
          Off Peak: £2.25

          Family Ticket (1 Game)
          Peak: £13.60
          Off Peak: £9.60

          Family Ticket (2 Games)
          Peak: £22.00
          Off Peak: £14.00

          More often than not there could be special off peak deals, for example 6 games for £6 which I spotted at my local bowling alley just the other day.

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          Overall Rating

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          I would rate ten pin bowling as a very fun and fairly cheap activity for all age ranges.

          It is a great activity for kids as the family ticket affords huge savings so you can bring a whole tribe down, and the ramps and barriers will make sure reasonable scores are achieved by those with slightly lesser abilities so there shouldn't be any tears on the way home. Plus at certain times many bowling alleys will run 'Glow Bowling' where the lights go out and the pins and balls turn fluorescent under special lighting.

          It is great fun for teenagers and adults as well - since when wasn't is fun to compete against and thoroughly demolish your friends in a fun social activity, plus the ramps and barriers will make sure reasonable scores are achieved by those with slightly lesser abilities so there shouldn't be any tears on the way home.

          In conclusion I would thoroughly recommend ten pin bowling if you have a few hours to spare and are looking for a cheap, fun activity.

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            21.05.2002 20:34
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            I am like the biggest bowler on Earth right now. And it just ain't from watching that movie kingpin. But I feel it is the best family recreation available, it is fun, easy to learn to play badly, exciting, and it is one of the few sports where you can hire all your equipment and certainly the only sport that has ashtrays and beer bottle holders properly fitted to the tables. How did I become a big time bowler in the past month? Actually it is a pretty far fetched tale. It started when I switched from the Engineers labour union to the Conductors/Shunters labour union (the BLE to the UTU) in ordere to save a few bob each month. But since the BLE had given me a nice ballcap (paid for by some barristers that specialise in suing teh railway) a certain miscretant put out a bounty on my nice BLE hat. So now all my co-workers were trying to take my hat and flush it down the toilet if I fell asleep at work. It just sucked and caused a lot of stress on the job. And then I was shoving two light units around a turning triangle and I had my head out the window and my hat blew off and a yard conductor (for those of you that know me it was Donnie Baican) grabbed my hat and set it on fire. So I needed a vacation away from this type of nonesense. So I went down to Myrtle Beach where my sister, SouthernBelle lives. She needed some help installing some fixtures in her new furniture store and I am a brawny lad. So I never saw MBSC in sobriety and I was amazed since there is like 130 golf courses there plus excellent mini-golf courses. And like everyone tries to take you golfing. I wish I knew how to golf. I could make all sorts of money as an American in Russia giving golf lessons. But all these people ask you to go golfing and you have too. Except I am like a loser. Like my sport is football Leverkusen Leverkusen Rah Rah rah and Savate and sambo. I have managed to incorporate the latter two with the former to be considered one hell of
            a midfielder. And I don't have any idea of which golf stick to use when and I just try to hit the ball with all my might and stuff. But I never realized with what passion people play golf. These guys pay $189 for greens fees after flying to Scottsdale Arizona. They collect score cards from the courses they see on TV, they play a famous course and then they buy a videogame of it and rehash their game on the PC for months. They endlessly fidget with new gear, a new wedge or driver and they cut inches off or get new grips. It is amazing how this sillie game possesses these blokes. I was minding my liter cocktail and looking at a golf magazine and someguy asked me if I golf much and I said yes and then he asked me what my handicap was and I knocked out six of his teeth becuase I thought he was making fun of me. My point was I wanted the same passion that a golfer has in my own life. I want those ups and downs of a good game and bad game, I want the weather to matter I want an obsession. But first off I waste all my money and there is no money in the budget for fancy pants and a set of clubs let alone cart and greens fees. Plus I am a family guy. If I have time away from work it is spent with Stalina and Octoberina. That is just who I am, a man belongs with his mate and young. I am sure the hell not going to spend money to learn them how to golf. I take them putt-putting and stuff and there is no way Stalina would want to deal with boring pasture after putting through windmoellen and Dinosaurs mouths. So what sport is left? Kite Flying? not is our clime. Karate? No thank you I have guns. Hunting? No thank you my guns are for guys who know karate not rabbits. The answer is obvious. Bowling. Bowling can be done year round, from early morning to late at night. There can be a hurrican out there and the lanes are fine and waxed. How many times to skiers end up at a slope doing nothing when the snowmaking maschine is broke? Th
            ink we are slowed down when the floor waxing zamboni is broken? marginally. Bowling is so easy to learn. It is simple and now the computer usually keeps score. You got 10 pins and you got to knock them down. You don't get any points but breaking the pins is nice. If you get all ten with your first shot it is a strike. And then you get the points from your next two balls along with it. If you take two tries to knock down all ten of them that is a spare and you get the proceeds from the next ball with them. If you don't get many (like Stalina) its just straight up points. So to feel good about myself I went out and got some cool bowling shirts. Unlike golf where the players are all posers and wear someone elses logo as if Gary Palmer is a god who can transfer power to the worshippers who wear his shirts, in bowling you get a shirt with your own name on it. That is better. Then I got my own shoes. The thing is with bowling alleys the shoes are really cool that you rent since they gots to look funky to deter (or in my case promote) theft. You can tell a real bowler from a recreational alley hog (any person that uses an alley for fun rather than the pursuit of bowling glory is a "alleyhog" in my world) because the real bowler has normal looking shoes taht aren't four colors with a big "12" on the back. The only other stuff you need is a couple monogrammed towels and a ball and bag. I take the game up a notch and use two balls, one for general purpose and one for tough splits. They are excatly the same, just like how I can never tell by touch which of my hoes is in my bed, I could never tell you what bowling ball I was holding in the dark. So now my life is driving to all the great bwling alleys in America and playing a few games and then getting a scorecard and t-shirt for a souvenier. I take lots of pictures and force people to look at them, I am like "look at the pitch of this alley" or "Yo
            u don't see this tight of a veneer outside of Kenosha" and I just act about bowling like the guys at work act about golf. Believe me if I had the money and discipline to be a golf fanatic I would but I have to live for bowling.

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              07.12.2001 22:50
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              This mornign me and my friend went to a ten pin bowling alley and it was the first time that I had ever been to play bowling My friend has been lots before but my mum would never let me go before in case I was to lose my shoes The rules of the game is to use the ball to knock over the pins and then you get points onto the computer I thought that they were called skittles but my friend said quentin you sticky little man they are called pins and where you throw the ball that is called a lane and it is very slippy and that is why you have to wear a special kind of shoe that is red and blue When you walk in you wear your own shoes and then you pay 4£ to hire a lane and then you go to the shoe seller and you give him your shoes and then he gives you the special shoes in your size Then you go to the lane and type your name in to the computer that will do the scores for you my friend did the typing because he is a computer wizz and then my friend bowled the ball and knocked over some pins and then he had another go because you are supposed to have 2 tries to knock them down and then it was my go There is a good selection of coloured bowling balls and I chose to use a green one first but it was to heavy so I used an orange one for the rest of the game And we had chips and some cola while we were playing We had 2 games and they were really good my friend got the scores 112 and 142 and I got the scores 215 and 232 and it was really good fun as well it is difficult to bowl with gloves on

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                07.12.2001 17:30
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                Many of you know that I live in the wilds of rural Cornwall, so the opening of a Harlequins Ten-Pin Bowling Alley at Bude, (less than 10 miles from my home) was a really exciting event. Not only was it something for the tourists to do in the rain (other than drifting around the town in their shorts and plastic Macs looking miserable), but, once they had all headed homewards at the end of the season, it was great fun for us locals too. I used to be good at bowling. I mean, not just good, but really good. So, here was a rare chance to shine over my husband who has an irritating habit of being a natural at every sport he attempts. (I can swim better than he can but that's all.) Except, on visiting Harlequins for the first time, I found to my dismay that all of their house balls had finger holes that were too small to accommodate my thick,stubby fingers. Ten-pin bowling is, as the name suggests, the art of bowling a ball down a highly polished (and very slippery) wooden lane, with the aim of knocking down as many of the ten pins as possible. Each player gets two attempts for their turn. If all ten pins are knocked down on the first attempt, then that player has scored a "Strike". This ends their turn, but the combined score of their next two balls is added to their score for that frame - there being ten frames per game. If all ten pins are knocked down over the two attempts, then the player has scored a "Spare". The score for that players' next ball is added to the frame. (A perfect score is 300 points per game). There is no real need to worry about scoring though, since most bowling alleys have electronic scoreboards that score for you as you're playing. Older establishments may require you to enter your names into the scoreboards at the start of your game, but more modern ones are entered by the reception staff. Some of the newest scoreboards have added computerised graphics - cartoon figures who leap about e
                cstatically to celebrate a Strike (X) or a Spare (/) or droop in consternation at a "Gutter Ball" or a "Split". (A gutter ball is one that rolls ineffectively down the gutters at either side of the lane while a split occurs when the bowler manages to knock down the middle pins leaving two or more standing at either side - both are to be avoided if at all possible.) Younger or less experienced players can opt to eliminate the gutters by having rails erected at either side of the lane. Thus any wayward ball careens off the rails and is deflected back towards the target, rather than simply dribbling down the gutter. In addition, there is the option of choosing to bowl with a guide, allowing the ball to be placed on a metal tower and rolled towards the pins. The only other thing you have to worry about when bowling is crossing the "foul line". One toe across the line at the start of the lane nullifies your score for that ball. The cost of ten-pin bowling varies across the country, but, in our locality, costs around £3 per game per person. Generally, the more games you play per session, the cheaper the cost. So, for us, the first game costs £4, the second and third £3 each and the fourth £2. Booking a lane is not always essential but is always advisable. When telephoning to book, you will normally be asked how many people are playing, for how many games and at what time. You can expect to be asked for your telephone number and you can also expect to be billed if you don't turn up! Arrive a few minutes before your game is due to start. You will be asked to surrender your shoes in return for freshly disinfected bowling shoes, so it's a good idea to make sure you have no holes in your socks. Then, before bowling, you will need to choose your ball. Bowling balls (house balls, if they belong to the establishment) come in various weights with varying sized finger holes. When bowling, you use yo
                u thumb and the first two fingers of your dominant hand. Bearing in mind that your fingers will swell slightly as you play, the ball should feel comfortable in your hand and fit loosely to the first knuckles. If, like me, you have odd sized fingers, then you may need to have your own ball. My red, glittery ball (weight 10lbs.) cost £49.99 and has been custom-drilled to suit my grip. If you do opt to buy your own, then you will need to present yourself (and your fingers) at any large bowling establishment that has its own pro shop. (It is a good idea to telephone first and make an appointment.) Most pro shops ask you to bowl a game before measuring you for your ball, particularly in cold weather to allow for the natural swelling of your fingers. And most are happy to make fine adjustments to your ball after you have used it for the first time to ensure that is the perfect fit for your hand. A tip when choosing is to have something distinctive, so that your ball stands out from the house balls at your usual bowling alley - some professionals will even engrave your name onto your ball at no extra charge. Prices do vary enormously, though. Anyone who ever watches ten-pin bowling on television will have noticed the wild and wonderful variety of bowling balls on offer - my personal favourite is a clear one containing a replica of a human skull, used by a member of the American team! (I just know I could bowl so much better if I had that ball.) You should also buy a bag to carry your ball (around £15) since using a supermarket carrier bag is not recommended. If they don't split and send your ball crashing to the car park, they stretch and trail along six feet behind you. Most bowling alleys have bars and cafes for drinks and many have restaurants too, along with all sorts of video games and fruit machines. Ours in Bude is shortly opening an indoor adventure playground for children with climbing frames, nets, slides and tunnels - I can't
                wait to have a go myself. Many also feature special effects like ultra violet bowling and special promotions. For example, sometimes red pins are randomly allocated to lanes with prizes for anyone bowling a Strike with a red pin. Most bowling establishments will also organise childrens parties too. Ten-pin bowling is truly a sport that almost everyone can enjoy, irrespective of age or level of fitness. For those who haven't guessed, Mr nikkisly is, as expected, a natural, while I seem to have totally lost the knack, somehow gaining the bad habit of sending the ball down the lane like a veteran of 633 Squadron - they of the famous bouncing bombs. Since most bowling establishments offer tuition, I am tempted to have a few lessons on the quiet. Then, if I ever do regain my long lost skills, I can play in some of the leagues and competitions organised - or perhaps even beat Mr nikkisly! Sadly, my scores this year have been nothing to be proud of. However, I AM proud to have written a whole opinion on "balls" without a single double entendre.

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                  02.10.2001 00:50
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                  Well before I start this here opinion, I think I better put things in perspective. This is an opinion about bowling, not a description of the sport, so here we go! Here’s why I like bowling: · Great atmosphere – With your mates there nothing better than going down to the alley, well except the pub on Friday night, but that another story. · Competitiveness – If you don’t beat your mate, you will never live it down! However if you do – you can brag your little heart out until the next showdown. · Cheapness – Well maybe not for every one, but I have a league card and get it for £1 a game, so nah nah! Here why I do not like bowling: · The shoes! – Enough said! Well, maybe not, they are simply awful because they look like clown shoes, and have had probably 100’s of people’s smelly feet in them, before you came along! Not nice, not nice at all. · Losing – I just hate losing at everything, I am a self confessed bad loser! · Smoke – not just smoke but body odour. Combination of these two resulting a harsh environment for bowling, and more so pulling! Well that’s my thoughts on bowling; I am always up for a game! Cheers Sorry, PM viewing was a hoax!

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                    28.09.2001 02:44
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                    Let me first start out by saying that I love bowling, it has to be one of my favourite pastimes. The noise, the excitement, the skill and anticipation. Ten-pin Bowling involves having to knock ten pins down with a bowling ball which is very surprising considering the name. The balls are rolled down an alley with two gutters along the side. You have two bowls per time and 10 times to bowl per match. Simple really. Ten-Pin bowling is not so much a sport as an enjoyable activity to be taken part by friends or family. The atmosphere in Ten-Pin Bowling places is often loud due to the arcades normally placed nearby as well as the bar. This general buzz of the place adds excitement to playing, its almost as if you are in a stadium, ok a stadium of drunken yobs or crying babies but a stadium none the less. The object is to hit as many pins down as possible and avoid getting your ball in the gutter as this yields precisely zero points. There are many different ways to bowl ranging from the rank beginners lob and hope to the smooth pro who spins the ball delicately by the gutter till it swerves into the middle right at the last second. However you play and however good you are bowling can be enjoyed so long as it is not taken seriously. I myself am a fair bowler and enjoy the sport immensely. The sport requires skill and practice to become proficient although bumper gutters are available for beginners, go on swallow your pride or take along a young kid and pretend its for him. As well as the feeling of pride when getting a strike or spare and the friendly competition that a game of bowling creates the sport is amazingly acoustic. Let me explain. The noises are almost as satisfying as winning or watching the pins go flying. The sweet rumble as the ball thunders straight down the alley followed by the boom of impacts and the scattering of pins across the wooden alley. Bowling is great fun to do with your f
                    riends and can be immensely satisfying if you want to take it further and join a team.

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                      05.09.2001 23:59
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                      Let me first start out by saying that I love bowling, it has to be one of my favourite pastimes. The noise, the excitement, the skill and anticipation. Ten-pin Bowling involves having to knock ten pins down with a bowling ball which is very surprising considering the name. The balls are rolled down an alley with two gutters along the side. You have two bowls per time and 10 times to bowl per match. Simple really. Ten-Pin bowling is not so much a sport as an enjoyable activity to be taken part by friends or family. The atmosphere in Ten-Pin Bowling places is often loud due to the arcades normally placed nearby as well as the bar. This general buzz of the place adds excitement to playing, its almost as if you are in a stadium, ok a stadium of drunken yobs or crying babies but a stadium none the less. The object is to hit as many pins down as possible and avoid getting your ball in the gutter as this yields precisely zero points. There are many different ways to bowl ranging from the rank beginners lob and hope to the smooth pro who spins the ball delicately by the gutter till it swerves into the middle right at the last second. However you play and however good you are bowling can be enjoyed so long as it is not taken seriously. I myself am a fair bowler and enjoy the sport immensely. The sport requires skill and practice to become proficient although bumper gutters are available for beginners, go on swallow your pride or take along a young kid and pretend its for him. As well as the feeling of pride when getting a strike or spare and the friendly competition that a game of bowling creates the sport is amazingly acoustic. Let me explain. The noises are almost as satisfying as winning or watching the pins go flying. The sweet rumble as the ball thunders straight down the alley followed by the boom of impacts and the scattering of pins across the wooden alley. Bowling is great fun to do with your f
                      riends and can be immensely satisfying if you want to take it further and join a team.

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                        05.09.2001 23:27
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                        We recently had some friends visit us for a few days, one evening we were discussing what to do the next day. Eventually we decided to go Ten-pin bowling, it's always good for a laugh we thought, so off we went. Actually, before I get right into this opinion I'll tell you a little story (are you all sitting comfortably?) I've been bowling quite a few times myself, one day I took my then girlfriend (now fiance) to the local bowling alley - she was a newcomer to all this and didn't really have much of a clue what to do. Anyway, I took first go to try and give her an idea about what to do. When it was her go, I pointed out the little markers on the actual lane. 'Try to run the ball in a straight line over the middle marker' I remarked, 'it should help you get a decent hit!'. Unfortunately she thought I meant that you should walk right up to the marker, which resulted in her falling over and ending up crashing on the floor. I kid you not, the whole bowling alley came to a stop to see her sat in the middle of the lane flat out! Anyway, back to the op! Like a lot of towns/cities nowadays Edinburgh has quite a few 'out of town retail parks'. We went to one called Kinnaird Park, which as well as a bowling alley also has a large cinema and numerous restaurants (Pizza hut etc. that sort of thing). The bowling alley here is operated as part of a chain (MegaBowl) and many of their alleys are of a similar nature. The one we went to features the alley (obviously) a bar and a Wimpy's (who I thought vanished years ago)and a bit with arcade games and a few pool tables. The only thing I would point out is that the pool games were a bit pricey at a pound a game (20p in my local!) Places like these are very easy to spend money in! Onto the bowling then. When we went they had a special deal - £6.50 bought you three games per person. Normal prices were £3.50 for one game, so we t
                        ook the offer up, this price also included the hiring of the shoes you need to wear when playing. The shoes I received were a bit battered looking and obviously had a detremental effect on my game (thats my excuse and I'm sticking to it!) Quite a novel feature for me was the 'glow in the dark' bowling we played. All the pins and alley and bowling balls had a glow in the dark effect, which was kind of funky and certainly made the little kids in the next lane laugh a lot. When first starting to play, we needed to set up a computer monitor display with the names of the players etc. on it. This was very easy and clear to do with good step-by-step instructions that novices could easily follow. From this console we could also order refreshments such as drinks and snack if we wished - a nice touch I thought. Bowling is very much a game for a laugh I think, you don't need to be brilliant to have a fun time and everyone has a dodgy shot now and again (the amount of time I missed everything was unbeleivable!) and for the time we were playing (about 1½ hours) we certainly got our moneys worth. Little kids can join in the fun too with smaller and lighter bowling balls for them to use. You can also adjust the lane so that the ball can't fall into the gutter down the side of the lane, there's even a little ramp to roll the ball down if it's too heavy for you) After each turn you get some advice about where to try to aim for next to get maximum points, and I needed all the help I could get. Like I say, it's a game for fun, with people of all ages having a go when we were there. I noticed at the desk that you could also reserve lanes in advance for parties etc, a good idea for parents stuck for ideas for a kids birthday party perhaps. Those who really get involved can also opt to sign up for a team and play regularly in a leage against teams from other areas. But I wasn't that good, so
                        I won't be bothering with that! I think that Ten-pin bowling is something that everyone can enjoy, you don't need any equipment of your own to take part and people of all ages can enjoy it. Above all, you can have a great night out at decent value for money in my opinion - so why not give it a go?

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                          06.08.2001 17:33
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                          So you've been out for the night, had one or two too many to drink and somebody comes up with the idea of having a laugh and to go bowling? Sound familiar, yep, been there done that. But there is more to the drunken stupor of trying not to throw the ball over on to the strangers next door lane (done that too). There are leagues, and before anybody goes "yeah but you have to be good to do that", that is rubbish. Another fallacy is that its only men that bowl and they all have beer bellies. How wrong! When I started out I had a crap average of about 80, see bet you've done better than that already, or you know somebody who has done. I soon got my own ball for about £50 (they can go to in access of £200), plus some shoes for about £25. Soon after that I joined a league, I was crap but after a time you see how the good bowlers go about their sport and just copy what they do. At first I just threw the ball straight down the middle like you would imagine is the best way. Wrong. Computer simulations have show if you arc the ball into the first two pins (the 1 & 3 pins) on the right side (left side for left handed bowlers - 1 & 2 pins) then you get more of a chance to score a strike (x). Ok, I started to do this, and way hey my average went shooting up, I was on a 140 average before long. Purchasing a ball more of my weight and style resulted in another 20 pins. To cut a long story short after about 15 years of bowling I now have an average of about 190 and my best game is a 268. But why league play over normal play? a) It is actually cheaper. The games that you play are at a lower rate then normal play. At my local it is £3.50 a game, plus shore hire. In league play it is between £9 and £10 for three games. Some of that league money also goes to the end of season do and trophies. b) End of season do's. These are basically just parties where the tr
                          ophies are given out. I've been to Catford Dogs, a nightclub and a sit down meal. Each league is different. c) Trophies. Ever wanted to show off you best score? League winners trophy? You do get the chance in league play. d) Socialising. You are obviously going to meet new people. Make new friends. I met my best friend at bowling, and another very good friend. One of my other friends is enquiring about joining a league too. e) The equipment. Some of the bowling balls have just got to be seen to believed, some have skulls, golf balls and footballs sculpted in them. You can even personalise your own equipment to a degree. No more sad looking bowling shoes too, most today look like trainers. f) The fun. It took me ages to get to a good level, but I enjoyed almost every moment of it. g) Not too much time. You can decide how much you want to do it. If you only want to bowl once a week or a fortnight then join a team that rotates its bowlers. I now only bowl in two leagues which is enough for me. That's it. Bowling in leagues is fun, if you like bowling normally and can spare a couple of hours a week then get your name down for a league. You don't even have to bowl every week to join. Go on you know you want too...

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                            29.07.2001 18:57
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                            Ten Pin Bowling is really more of pastime in this country as opposed to a serious sport, whereas in the good old USA they take their games a lot more seriously, and it even gets on TV!! Most of us here will have experienced Ten Pin Bowling as a social event, with friends, in one the big bowling places such as Mega Bowl or Hollywood Bowl that inhabit just about shopping centre in the country. The nearest one to me is the Metro Centre, so when you go with your friends you normally do some shopping, eat some food and go bowling. The large bowling places are really rather good too. The one I go to has a bar, a fast food restaurant, loads of arcade machines and a large pool hall. There so much entertainment under one roof, and you really can spend hours (and lots of money) in one of these places. As far as the bowling goes it isn't too expensive but it isn't too cheap either. Depending on what time of the day you go and what kind of offers they are running at the moment it can cost from around £3 per game per person, but it could be more like £5 at peak times. You have to remember that you will need to hire some shoes, but these are normally less than £1. However, at busy times these places can be rather full, so there is a better option! It is possible to book a bowling lane for a specific time, at the cost of about £20 per hour. This may sound like a lot, but if there are a few of you playing, and you fit in a couple of games, it soon works out a much cheaper option! So, getting down to the actual bowling - there may be the odd person who doesn't know what it is so I'll explain...... Ten pin bowling takes place on a long wooden alley. At one end ten pins are placed in a triangular arrangement, and from the other side you throw a ball bown the alley to try to knock those pins over. The balls come in various weights depending upon your personal preferences. Each player plays 10 frames, with
                            each frame consisting of two 'bowls' of the ball. The pins you knock down on your first attempt remain down on the second attempt, and you get a score equal to the number of pins to knock down. There are two special cases, the spare and the strike. A spare is denoted by a / on the scoreboard, and occurs when you knock down all 10 pins using two throws. This scores you 10 points A strike on the other hand is when you knock all 10 pins down on your first shot, and is denoted by an X on the scoreboard. A strike is extra good though, because it scores you a few more points. I don't claim to fully understand the scoring system, but here's what I make of it! A strike scores you ten points for that frame, plus the score you get in the next frame. So say if in the first frame you got a strike, then in the second frame you scored 8, you would score 18 for the first frame as well as the 8 for the second frame. By getting strikes in a row one after the other you can build up large scores, with the highest being (but don't hold me to this ) 300. The reason I don't know the scoring system inside out is because at all the large bowling centres they have clever computers that do it all for you. You type in everyone?s name at the start of the game and then the computer scores, automatically counting the pins remaining and adding them to the scoreboard. It's nice to see you're losing!! Of course, this is only the fun, recreational side of bowling. You can see 10 pin bowling championships on TV!! Now don't laugh, lots of people take this sport seriously. Yes, it may rank along side darts as one of the most enthralling TV sports, but in America bowling is a pretty big thing! It seems that for these professional bowlers not getting a strike is a mistake, and the scores they rack up are way beyond anything I can manage! If you want to see some, check out Sky Sports! For most people here in the UK bowling i
                            s a fun thing to do, akin to going to the cinema. But it is fun, which is why it's so popular, so if you haven't tried it then why not?

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                            Ten-pin bowling is a competitive sport and recreation in which a player (the bowler) rolls a bowling ball down a wooden or synthetic (polyurethane) lane with the objective of scoring points by knocking down as many pins as possible. The 41.5 inch (105 cm) wide, 60 foot (18 m) lane is bordered along its length by gutters - semicircular channels designed to collect errant balls which also pose an obstacle to advanced bowlers, because a straight ball cannot be rolled on a regulation lane at the angle required to consistently carry (knock down) all ten pins for a strike. Most skilful bowlers will roll a more difficult-to-control hook ball to overcome this. There is a foul line at the end of the lane nearest to the bowler: if any part of a bowler's body touches the lane side of this line after the ball is delivered (rolled), it is called a foul and no pins knocked over by that delivery are scored (The bowler is allowed a shot at a new rack of ten pins if he fouled on the first roll of a frame.). Behind the foul line is an approach approximately 15 feet (5 m) long used to gain speed and leverage on the ball before delivering it. 60 inches (152 cm) from the foul line, where the lane terminates, it is joined to a roughly 24 foot (7 m), 41.5 inch (105 cm) wide surface of durable and impact-resistant material called the pin deck where each rack of pins is set.