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How to Prepare for Open Bowling

If you wish to determine how to prepare for open bowling, give thought to these basic and important factors:

1. Check-in at the Control Desk
2. Rental House Shoes
3. Selecting a House Ball
4. Set-up of Automatic Scorers

As a relative newcomer to the game or as someone intending to bowl for the first time, there are a few things to know in learning how to prepare for open bowling. Getting started the right way will enable you to enjoy your time bowling and encourage you to return time and time again. Open bowling by definition is a commonly used term to refer to bowling non-league or non-organized event games (such as tournaments, fund raisers, etc.) but rather 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 are easily addressed at the control desk.

Once you are assigned a lane, you next need to request 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 so be ready to try them on to ensure a comfortable fit.

Next, in order to bowl, you need to select a House Ball from the available inventory provided by the bowling center. 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. As example, a child of 8 years can begin with an 8 lb. ball, a 10 year old can begin using a 10 lb. ball, and so on. Of course, there are exceptions if a child is particularly strong for his or her age then adding a pound or two in weight will work.

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 one in particular but rather drilled to fit bowlers of all hand sizes. Please do not expect a good fitting bowling ball necessarily. In fact, we recommend if you intend to become a regular bowler to get your own bowling ball, bowling bag, and bowling shoes. 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.

Finally, the 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.

All in all, it is easy to prepare to bowl, fun to spend recreational time with family and friends, and perhaps advance to joining a league and bowling regularly with your own teammates.

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