15 Things I Learned About Bowling From My Bowling Friends

15 Things I Learned About Bowling From My Friends Who Are Actually GOOD At Bowling

If you are as clueless as I was, this list will be utterly jaw dropping.

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Personally, I cannot think of anything I would want to do less than go bowling. I think it's ridiculous and one of the worst past times ever, but that is an unpopular opinion and my friends made sure to tell me so. Here is a list of the things I learned while my roommates talked about their past lives as high school bowlers.

1. All the chants

According to my roommates, chants are a huge thing in bowling. There are chants for everything. Need encouraging? Chant. Did something good? Chant! Royally screwed up? Just chant. No matter what the action is, there is probably a chant for it. Imagine High School Cheerleaders, but wearing skorts and rolling a ball at some pins.

2. New skin

To make sure their fingers fit in the holes of the bowling ball, bowlers use tape. If they have a blister or a cut on their hands, they apply something called "new skin" which basically forms a second layer of skin so you can keep on bowling, which is crazy! I also found out that bandages do not exist in bowling because they are too thick to wrap comfortably around a finger stuffed in a bowling ball hole.

3. Sacred shoes

Flickr

Shoes are absolutely cherished and no dirt may touch them unless it comes from the bowling lane itself. There are even special covers, like hair nets for your shoes, to keep them clean, dry, and unscathed. You can even have shoes with different types of felt soles based off of the kind of lane you bowl on. Who would have known? Definitely not me.

4. Scented bowling balls

You can have bowling balls that smell! My roommate has one that smells like chocolate orange and one that smells like apple cider. This may be one of the most insane things in this list specifically because who the heck thought that scented bowling balls were not only a thing you could make, but a thing people would buy? There is also scented hand powder in bowling, an obscurity that is further down this list.

5. Extra finger holes

Flickr

In the event that one of your finger holes comes out of your bowling ball as it rolls down the lane, don't worry, because if you're an experienced bowler you probably have a bag of extra finger holes for moments exactly like this! Never would I ever have thought that the finger holes could come out of a bowling ball but it happens all the time and my roommates made sure to tell me that this was a normal thing that everyone comes prepared for.

6. The science of finger measuring

Every ball is unique to you, and to make it that way bowlers go to special places with special people who have special equipment that measures your fingers to make the ball personalized to your hands. This is insane. Listening to my friends tell me about sticking their phalanges into a finger stretching machine sounds horrifying, to say the least, and I can not imagine making small talk with the man cranking my hand wider as I wait.

7. Powdery hands

Bowlers carry around tiny bags or balls filled with powder (which as I mentioned before can also have a scent because for some reason everything in bowling smells like food) that they throw back and forth to remove the oils from their hands. These powdery hacky sacks are called grip balls and everyone has one. They are essential to the proper throwing of the ball and the grip you need because evidently bowling is more similar to gymnastics than I ever would have assumed.

8. Lane etiquette

Giphy

Do not under any circumstances throw off the groove of the person bowling. Just like Kuzco, bowlers will show you their wrath if you so much as step on the lane while they have a ball in their hand.

9. Baking balls

You can BAKE bowling balls? You can put bowling balls in the oven to make them stop sweating oil? Who figured this out? I really have nothing more to say because I don't know what is going on here.

10. Balls vary based on everything

Flickr

Not only is every bowling ball unique, every bowling ball is used for a different thing. There are balls for strikes, spares, and splits. There are balls for synthetic lanes and for wooden lanes, and balls for the different ways that bowling alleys put oil on the floor. There are bowling balls for everything.

11. Practice makes perfect

Flickr

Practicing your skills does not always mean throwing a ball. Sometimes it means standing in front of a mirror holding a soup can and pretending to get a strike. Sometimes it means kneeling and throwing a Styrofoam football across the room. Sometimes it means sliding across the kitchen floor in socks. Whatever floats your boat, practicing can come in some incredibly ridiculous forms.

12. The Wii Bowling thing

Giphy

That thing you do in Wii bowling where you throw the ball back into the crowd really does happen. My friends also made sure to tell me that the bowling ball can also find its way to the ceiling, the lane next to you, and into the lap of an innocent mother watching her child bowl. The ball can also hold strong to your fingers and drag you down the lane after it... absolutely terrifying.

13. Every inch matters

Flickr

When trying to get the perfect strike, bowlers measure the floorboards to make sure the ball goes exactly where it is intended. My one roommate told me she often had her coach tell her "move one board to the left" which is so crazy and incredibly specific and I do not understand how people are so good at this sport.

14. Cosmic Bowling

Flickr

Everyone who bowls for sport hates cosmic bowing. The lights are distracting, the kids are crazy, and the main focus is not the act of getting a strike. Glow Bowling? Forget it, that's even worse. Anything that happens under a blacklight is a bad idea.

15. Periscope parents

This may be the most insane thing on this list because I can not imagine anybody watching their child bowl with a periscope. It does happen though and parents will even go as far as to stand on ladders, use binoculars and spy glasses, and do everything in their power to glue their eyeballs on their child sliding a ball down the lane. According to my roommate, parents who get really into bowling also often provide orange slices to their children in order to keep spirits up, how wholesome.

1. All the chants

According to my roommates, chants are a huge thing in bowling. There are chants for everything. Need encouraging? Chant. Did something good? Chant! Royally screwed up? Just chant. No matter what the action is, there is probably a chant for it. Imagine High School Cheerleaders, but wearing skorts and rolling a ball at some pins.

2. New skin

To make sure their fingers fit in the holes of the bowling ball, bowlers use tape. If they have a blister or a cut on their hands, they apply something called "new skin" which basically forms a second layer of skin so you can keep on bowling, which is crazy! I also found out that bandages do not exist in bowling because they are too thick to wrap comfortably around a finger stuffed in a bowling ball hole.

3. Sacred shoes

Flickr

Shoes are absolutely cherished and no dirt may touch them unless it comes from the bowling lane itself. There are even special covers, like hair nets for your shoes, to keep them clean, dry, and unscathed. You can even have shoes with different types of felt soles based off of the kind of lane you bowl on. Who would have known? Definitely not me.

4. Scented bowling balls

You can have bowling balls that smell! My roommate has one that smells like chocolate orange and one that smells like apple cider. This may be one of the most insane things in this list specifically because who the heck thought that scented bowling balls were not only a thing you could make, but a thing people would buy? There is also scented hand powder in bowling, an obscurity that is further down this list.

5. Extra finger holes

Flickr

In the event that one of your finger holes comes out of your bowling ball as it rolls down the lane, don't worry, because if you're an experienced bowler you probably have a bag of extra finger holes for moments exactly like this! Never would I ever have thought that the finger holes could come out of a bowling ball but it happens all the time and my roommates made sure to tell me that this was a normal thing that everyone comes prepared for.

6. The science of finger measuring

Every ball is unique to you, and to make it that way bowlers go to special places with special people who have special equipment that measures your fingers to make the ball personalized to your hands. This is insane. Listening to my friends tell me about sticking their phalanges into a finger stretching machine sounds horrifying, to say the least, and I can not imagine making small talk with the man cranking my hand wider as I wait.

7. Powdery hands

Bowlers carry around tiny bags or balls filled with powder (which as I mentioned before can also have a scent because for some reason everything in bowling smells like food) that they throw back and forth to remove the oils from their hands. These powdery hacky sacks are called grip balls and everyone has one. They are essential to the proper throwing of the ball and the grip you need because evidently bowling is more similar to gymnastics than I ever would have assumed.

8. Lane etiquette

Giphy

Do not under any circumstances throw off the groove of the person bowling. Just like Kuzco, bowlers will show you their wrath if you so much as step on the lane while they have a ball in their hand.

9. Baking balls

You can BAKE bowling balls? You can put bowling balls in the oven to make them stop sweating oil? Who figured this out? I really have nothing more to say because I don't know what is going on here.

10. Balls vary based on everything

Flickr

Not only is every bowling ball unique, every bowling ball is used for a different thing. There are balls for strikes, spares, and splits. There are balls for synthetic lanes and for wooden lanes, and balls for the different ways that bowling alleys put oil on the floor. There are bowling balls for everything.

11. Practice makes perfect

Flickr

Practicing your skills does not always mean throwing a ball. Sometimes it means standing in front of a mirror holding a soup can and pretending to get a strike. Sometimes it means kneeling and throwing a Styrofoam football across the room. Sometimes it means sliding across the kitchen floor in socks. Whatever floats your boat, practicing can come in some incredibly ridiculous forms.

12. The Wii Bowling thing

Giphy

That thing you do in Wii bowling where you throw the ball back into the crowd really does happen. My friends also made sure to tell me that the bowling ball can also find its way to the ceiling, the lane next to you, and into the lap of an innocent mother watching her child bowl. The ball can also hold strong to your fingers and drag you down the lane after it... absolutely terrifying.

13. Every inch matters

Flickr

When trying to get the perfect strike, bowlers measure the floorboards to make sure the ball goes exactly where it is intended. My one roommate told me she often had her coach tell her "move one board to the left" which is so crazy and incredibly specific and I do not understand how people are so good at this sport.

14. Cosmic Bowling

Flickr

Everyone who bowls for sport hates cosmic bowing. The lights are distracting, the kids are crazy, and the main focus is not the act of getting a strike. Glow Bowling? Forget it, that's even worse. Anything that happens under a blacklight is a bad idea.

15. Periscope parents

This may be the most insane thing on this list because I can not imagine anybody watching their child bowl with a periscope. It does happen though and parents will even go as far as to stand on ladders, use binoculars and spy glasses, and do everything in their power to glue their eyeballs on their child sliding a ball down the lane. According to my roommate, parents who get really into bowling also often provide orange slices to their children in order to keep spirits up, how wholesome.

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A Thank You Letter To The Best Teammate I've Ever Had

There's no "I" in team.
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We all have those amazing memories when it comes to sports. Sometimes it is from winning tough games, but most of the amazing memories that we have come from the teammates that we shared those wins with. Teammates are the people who you spend so much time with that you eventually become a family. Teammates do more than help just win a game; they can be there through everything. There's always that one teammate that stands out from the rest, and this letter is for you.

Thank you for being selfless.

Looking back, I remember a lot of teammates. Some were great and some were not that great. I've had teammates who have only cared about their playing time. I've had teammates that have only cared about if they score more goals or more points than anyone else. You did not care about that. If the coach told you to play a position that you did not want to play, you still played it without a complaint. If I was tired at a certain position and wanted to switch you, you did it. You never complained about where you were playing or how many goals you had; you just wanted the team to win.

Thank you for having my back.

The best kinds of teammates are the ones that support you no matter what you do. I got a red card? That referee is stupid. I got into a fist fight during a game? You were the first one next to me swinging. Some girl makes fun of me on social media for messing up in a game? You were roasting her in her mentions. Even if I was right or wrong, you always supported me no matter what I did.

Thank you for seeing me at my worst and building me back up.

There are always times in an athlete's life where we run to the point to where we need to throw up. There are times where we go through games and miss too many shots. There are times where we get a little too mad at our coaches and feel as if we cannot deal with it anymore. You were the one that got me through it. When I was in the middle of a run and my lungs were burning, you stayed right next to me and reminded me that there wasn't much longer to go, even if there was. You always reminded me how capable I was by yelling at me and telling me to go score. You've seen me tired, sweaty, crying, screaming and throwing up. After all that, you still went out of your way to build me back up and I cannot thank you enough for that.

Thank you for making me love the game.

Without people like you, I would have had a very rough ride through my sports career. I have had teammates that have made me go home crying because they were so mean and rude. I have had teammates who have only cared about themselves. Without you, I would've forgotten what a good teammate is. Looking back, all I remember is the celebrations, the screaming random songs in cars and us hating each other's exes automatically... Then talking about all these things at practice. Thanks for being a leader with me. Without you and the rest of the team, I would not have loved the sport that I played.

Cover Image Credit: Cheap Seats Photography

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This Year's Stanley Cup Playoffs Have Been An Enigma — And It's Great

Safe to say everyone's bracket has been busted at this point going into conference finals.

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Well for starters all the top conference teams got beat out by some of the lowest seeds and wild cards like the number-one team in the NHL, Tampa Bay, who got swept 0-4 by Columbus. Carolina somehow got past Washington (no one really knows how), Colorado beat Calgary, and the New York Islanders beat Pittsburgh? Well, it was interesting, to say the least, but that was only the first round. What's great is that we have some new faces chasing after the Stanley Cup and some great hockey to be played.

I guess having all the top teams out of the playoffs is a nice change. For once we don't have Pittsburgh or any top conference team for that matter who people would normally be betting on like Tampa this year, and look where that got them. This year is different. We have a bunch of teams who are basically underdogs in this pool and in turn have a chance to watch some great hockey. I mean, who didn't like watching St. Louis and Dallas in game seven and seeing the Sharks lead a historical comeback against Las Vegas and play another series to game seven against Colorado? Yeah, everyone's brackets are busted but who cares? This is hockey.

The crazy thing is that Boston and Carolina are the only teams left that have won the Stanley Cup before. Boston in 2010 and Carolina in 2006. Neither San Jose or St. Louis have ever one it before and since both are in the Western Conference Finals together, the series is expected to go the distance as both teams are yearning for a chance to win the Cup for the first time (personally... go Sharks because that's my team).

Whether or not you're team is still in the playoffs, definitely continue to watch. In playoff hockey, sometimes it only takes half a second for a team's history to take a new direction.

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