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First Time Bowler, Originally Posted: 5/7/2014; Updated: 11/11/2023

As a first time bowler, there are a few things to know when you arrive at the bowling center.
Getting started is easy and simple if you know what to expect when you arrive at the center.
When you choose to bowl a game or two, you will be engaging in what is commonly referred to as “open bowling.”
Open bowling refers to bowling non-league or non-organized event games (such as tournaments, fundraisers, etc.).
Open bowling is simply bowling for practice by yourself, for fun with friends, or in friendly competition where your scores are not recorded for averages or for competitive standings.
When first arriving at the bowling center, check-in at the central control desk, usually located near the front entrance of the center.
The desk personnel will help guide you in preparing to bowl by assigning you a lane. Information about prices and lane availability can be addressed at the control desk.
Once you are assigned a lane, you will need rental House Shoes as the center management does not allow use of street shoes on the bowling approaches.
House Shoes typically run about one-half size larger than street shoes but be ready to try them on to ensure a comfortable fit.
Next, you need to select a House Ball from the available inventory of publicly used bowling balls. Usually one will find the House Balls located near the lanes on special racks.
Choosing a good weight ball is key in getting started bowling. House Balls range from 6 lbs to 16 lbs. maximum allowed weight.
As a rule of thumb, adults will use from 12 lbs to 16 lbs in weight while the kids will choose lighter weight House Balls close in weight to matching their age.
House Balls are drilled with finger and thumb holes, normally three total holes, with the largest hole intended for use of the thumb.
The holes are not custom fit for any bowler in particular. Please do not expect a good fitting bowling ball. It is recommended to purchase your own bowling ball in order to get a custom fit bowling ball.

Having a bowling ball custom fit to your hand will reduce the likelihood of hand discomfort or possible injury caused by use of bowling balls drilled randomly for the general public.
Control desk personnel can arrange assistance for you to enter your name or names of all bowlers in your party into the automatic scorers.
The bowling center personnel are always happy to show you how to use the scorers in setting-up to bowl and will help if there is a scoring error or other such problem during your session on the lanes.
It is very easy to prepare to bowl. Bowling is a great recreational activity and can be a fun competition if you decide at some future time to join a league.
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