Who Wants Adult-Only Bowling Alleys? I DO!!!
You know, as much as I love bowling, I always hate it when I get assigned to a lane right beside a huge family. You know, with a couple of breeders that bring all their little brats with them and they just terrorize the hell out of the alley because they don’t know how to behave? Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about.
I know these people aren’t probably as serious of bowlers as I am. I take the game quite seriously (more seriously than I probably should, seeing as how I’m not a professional-caliber bowler; I’m a 150s to 170s bowler typically), and I also take bowling etiquette very seriously as well. Kids, on the other hand, don’t really know much about bowling etiquette, and I think it’s because their parents don’t teach them a damn thing about it.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on approach and had to abort my shot because a little kid started screaming and/or crying in the middle of my approach (if I would have shot, it would have been a definite channel ball due to the distraction). I’ve also had kids run up and fire away when I was on approach on the adjacent lane, which is a BIG no-no (if someone on an adjacent lane is on their approach, you’re supposed to wait until after they’ve shot to begin your approach).
Now, bowling is definitely a game that people of all ages can enjoy. It’s moderately strenuous, fast-paced, and very entertaining, and there are modifications you can make for the kids who haven’t developed the most accurate shots so that they can blast some pins too (namely bumper bowling). Part of me really likes seeing families out at bowling alleys; it’s a fun activity for everyone that can bond over. However, on the other hand, I really think bowling etiquette should be enforced, and often times kids just do not get it.
I suppose for just casual bowlers it’s probably not that big of a deal. People who really don’t care about how well they bowl, and if that’s their goal then by all means I’m not saying they shouldn’t bowl. If they enjoy throwing tons of channel balls, that’s fine by me. If they’re out there having fun, then I’m glad they’re there. However, for more serious bowlers like me, I’d really like to have a distraction-free bowling experience. That’s why I usually go bowling during less crowded times (mid-day or late at night). Children are rarely seen during these times.
Now, this is not to say that all kid bowlers are like this, because that’s not true. There are some who do know bowling etiquette and are very respectful. I have no problem getting assigned to a lane beside a kid like that. In fact, I went bowling yesterday afternoon and a kid no more than 6 was assigned to it with his family. The kid is going to be the next Norm Duke, I swear to God. He bowled a 128 without the bumpers! Quite a feat for someone of that age. I can also tell he was taught proper bowling etiquette, which I appreciated. Kids like that aren’t a problem. It’s the kids that aren’t taught proper etiquette that bother me.
I still wish there were some adult-only bowling alleys though, where I know for sure I could go and not have to deal with that. Alas there are not, however there are some of the more upscale bowling alleys that are staying open later and have a “no kids after xxx time” policy. Those are the bowling alleys I’d frequent the most, if I had some in my locality. These would offer, I think, the best bowling experience, especially for serious bowlers like me.