Did you know that bowling is one of the few sports in which equipment needed for the sport is provided?

Think about other sports which provide equipment to participate.

Golf: most golf course offer clubs and bags for rent. But the ones I’m familiar with do not have shoe rental. But hey, who needs golf shoes when you can rent a golf cart? What a way to go.

Of course, mini golf does provide both the ball and the club and a short little yellow pencil to keep score on a little sheet of paper, which often blows away while you are walking the course. And with most mini-golf courses, the animated and colorful obstacles on each hole keep the game interesting.

Baseball, football, softball and basketball leagues usually provide balls, but the bats, the shoes and other needed equipment are the individual player’s responsibility.

While watching the bowlers on Monday night, I glanced around and noticed a few of the bowlers were wearing “house” shoes — these are shoes provided by the bowling center for a minimal rental fee.

Actually, for many years, I, too, wore house shoes. The two main reasons for wearing house shoes were:

1. They were comfortable. Most were well broken in.

2. Leather bowling shoes were quite expensive, and I really couldn’t justify buying a pair of shoes when I wasn’t that consistent with my game.

In addition, the “house” bowling center also provides bowling balls. And many bowlers use house balls as well.

The problem with using house balls while bowling in the league is finding the ball used from the week before, which seemed to work so well. That special weapon may be in use by another person and not available.

I had a little trick, and it helped to work for the bowling center. My trick was to rent a pair of shoes and find a ball that worked best for me and put them in a locker for use the next week in the event. I arrived too late to find my ball of choice. Trust me, this is not recommended, as it keeps needed equipment unavailable for other patrons.

The problem with using house balls is finding a ball that best suits your hand with a weight suited for you. Think about how many times you’ve found that perfect-fitting ball, only to learn it was too heavy or too light and rarely just right.

Or find the ball that seems to be just the right weight with finger holes for a giant or child.

With a game of such precision and skill, trusting your luck to house balls is not the best way to go. Now I’m not promoting the pro-shop, per se, but I am saying having a ball professionally drilled and fitted will make a world of difference in your bowling scores.

That said, I have both a professionally drilled and fitted bowling ball (which smells like blueberries) and beautiful shoes gifted to me last year. But my scores still have not improved. I am the exception to that rule. However, I sure look classy with those pretty shoes and that blueberry-smelling bowling ball. Like my dear old Dad used to say, “I buy you books and send you to school, and you still don’t learn.”

Bowlers, do not get disheartened. Bowling is often an oxymoron — it is both fun and frustrating.

Practice and the right equipment do help. And being with a great team who accepts you for who you are and encourages you to do your best is great.

Have a great week, everyone.

———o———

Monday Night Mixers

(Week 65 of 36)

1 Snap On 16

2 The Bowling Stones 16

3 Split Decision 15

4 Splitz & Giggles 15

5 B&S Construction 14

6 Misfits 14

7 Rob’s ProShop 13

8 NAPA 13

9 Gutter Done 13

10 KaCee Bar 13

11 Native Strikers 11

12 Tatum Trucking 11

13 Strike-A-Lacka 8

14 The Gutter Gang 8

15 The Replacements 7

16 Spare Me 5

Top Scores

Scratch game team: Misfits – 743, Native Strikers – 718, Rob’s ProShop – 706.

Scratch series team: Misfits – 2049, Rob’s ProShop – 2027, Native Strikers – 1998.

Men’s scratch game: Robbin George – 257, Brandon Hardin – 237, Cody Iverson — 231.

Men’s scratch series: Robbin George – 642, Bryan Beauchamp – 602, Cody Iverson — 588.

Women’s scratch game: Lisa John – 177, Derrek Thompson – 173, Janet Lowery – 161.

Women’s scratch series: Derrek Thompson – 467, Lisa John – 465, Tonya George - 427.

Tuesday Night Mixers

(Week 6 of 36)

1 Ben’s TV 16

2 Rob’s ProShop 16

3 R2D2 and C 16

4 Bronson’s Body Shop 12

5 Pin Pals 12

6 D’JAVu 10

7 Misfits 9

8 Ghost Team 0

Top Scores

Scratch game team: Bronson’s Body Shop – 746, Rob’s ProShop – 707,

D’JAVu – 632.

Scratch series team: Bronson’s Body Shop – 2175, Rob’s ProShop – 1997, Ben’s TV – 1871.

Men’s scratch game: Robbin George – 266, Ken Hoyle - 244, Jim Rice – 223.

Men’s scratch series: Ken Hoyle – 663, Robbin George – 650, Nick Cheper – 522.

Women’s scratch game: Teeoti Jimenez – 187, Hannah Rose – 180, Gloria Pryor - 177.

Women’s scratch series: Rebecca Williams – 509, Teeoti Jomenez – 496, Hannah Rose — 484.

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