Parents/Children At The Bowling Alley (Again)
So last Friday my team for my recreational league (consisting of me, my mother, and my youngest sister) went for preliminary bowling to establish our handicaps and such for week one. I of course got no handicap because of my 200+ average (and in fact bowled my best series to date of 844, with a painful 299 third game – SO CLOSE!!!), but that’s beside the point. We were put on a lane next to a mother and her two young kids who were bowling together as a team, and the entire night was hellish.
As is typical of little kids, they just ran up and fired when we were on our approach and in full concentration. A lot of people don’t realize just how distracting that really is! When I’m on the approach I’m in full concentration mode, my focus is entirely on my target spot on the lane and getting the right ball speed and rev rate for the lane conditions. Even so, there’s still something called peripheral vision and when you see someone walking up on the neighboring approach from your peripheral vision it’s distracting as all hell. This is why common bowling etiquette says to wait until the person on the neighboring lane finishes his/her shot before you begin your approach.
Of course, the mother of the two kids did NOTHING to stop them from doing this very distracting behavior. I was getting more and more irritated at the situation and I finally took things into my own hands and stared them down and said very sternly the Spanish equivalent of “DON’T GO WHEN I’M GOING!!!!”
The mother uncorked on me for correcting her kids, but she wasn’t doing a damn thing about it so of course I was going to take matters into my own hands. As a hardcore bowler I take bowling etiquette very seriously. I won’t even take my place on the approach until my neighbors are done, much less start my shot. Of course, it could be that I just take the game way too seriously for an amateur (but trying to go professional) bowler. Who knows.
Alas, I love my PBA experience league (yes, I bowl in two different leagues) because there’s not a kid in sight at that one and everyone observes proper etiquette because it’s actually enforced by league officials. I’d still like to see adult-only bowling centers, though I think those are a bit of a stretch. I understand the appeal of bowling as a family activity and strongly support it as such, but please teach your kids proper bowling etiquette. It’ll make the game more enjoyable for all of us. Thank you.