Bowling: It’s Not Just For Fun

Hailey Rutledge, Graphics Editor
February 27, 2012
Filed under Sports, Top Stories


You walk into a room with the smell of nachos wafting in from the snack bar and the crack of pins hitting a wood paneled lane.  You rent some shoes and you’re ready to go bowing, right? For fun, yes, but in a competition it could takes more than just renting a pair of shoes.

According to the US Bowling Congress the first high school league originated in the 1930’s; and the first officially recorded competition took place in 1937. High school bowling has grown since then. Last season 50,000 students in the US participated in the sport.

As for Springfield, Mo, the first high school bowling teams were put together in January of 2009 at Springfield’s Enterprise Lanes. The teams were made for the five Springfield high schools, and then later reached out to surrounding area schools.

Parkview has been bowling since that original team in January of 2009. The team has done very good in its first 3 years; finishing fifth at state in 2009 and third at state in 2010.

Senior Brandon Clay has been a member since it started his freshman year.

What Clay enjoys the most is the challenge and the team. “There’s a chance for me to get better at it and work to get a 300. And all my teammates cheering me on and everyone cheering each other on,” said Clay.

Clay prefers the Parkview team over the league he plays on during off season. “That’s how I started, I’m gonna miss it [the Parkview team.]”

Competitive bowling requires more than just a ball and a pair of rented shoes.  You may also needs things such as shoes with a slide foot in front, socks, rosin for gripping the ball, ultra slide rosin for feet, and the optional towel for wiping oil off the ball.

Bowling equipment can actually be quite extensive, depending on the level of difficulty you want to play at.

For example, Storm (a popular brand of bowling equipment) has recently released a new bowling ball called the Modern Marvel. This ball is not just for looks. The Modern Marvel has specifics about its traction, core shape, and overstock.

Storm has even come out with scented bowling balls. They have many scents to choose from including black cherry, blueberry, chocolate, and cinnamon.

But don’t fear, if you want to join Parkview’s team you don’t have to go to such lengths as buying a brand new top of the line ball.  Every student who joins the team will be provided a team shirt and bowling equipment free of charge. The only expense you are required to pay is a United States Bowling Congress (USBC) sanction card for $10. Because bowling is considered a club and not a sport for Parkview you don’t have to pay the $50 athletic fee.

“Don’t be afraid to join the team,” said Clay. “There’s always a chance to become a good, competitive bowler and we have fun. Just remember to practice; if you don’t practice you’ll never get better. You have to strive to be on the team.”

If you join and stick with the team it can be a rewarding experience.

“I would just like to thank my coaches [John Chace and Bob Elsberry] for helping and staying with me to become a better bowler and if it wasn’t for them, I don’t think I would be the bowler I am today,” said Clay.

If you want to join the team the season is January through May. You can talk to the school office or call Enterprise lanes for information on joining the team.


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