How you can Discover (and Be a part of) a Bowling League
Bowlers who casually play the game successfully – be it at a corporate event or an outing, or just playing open bowling with friends in the evening – are often curious to take the next step in their game. Joining a bowling league is a great way to add competition to the sport and take it more seriously.
Or if you share the sentiment of the ever-wise Homer Simpson who said, “I'm sick of being a would-be bowler. I want to be a league bowler! ”Look no further than this article where we break down everything you need to know.
Types of bowling leagues
In general, most bowling leagues work similarly, but there are a few key differences to be aware of.
In most bowling leagues, your team competes against a different team in a series of three games each week. Variables include the number of players, the level of competition, and whether the league is a handicap or a scratch league (the former is far more common).
The number of bowlers on a team usually varies from 3-5. In some leagues, a team may have more bowlers on its roster, but switch them on and off for each game. (The non-bowlers often cheer their teammates on while they enjoy a drink of their choice.) You can think of a bowling league as an all-male affair, but that's far from true these days as there are all of the female leagues around as well mixed leagues with men and women.
in the Handicap bowling leagues, each bowler's average is used to calculate their handicap or a score is added to balance competition between teams with different skills. How exactly it works can vary, but there is usually a team handicap, which is the difference between the average of all the players on each team. (And sometimes that number is multiplied by a percentage like 90%.)
When it comes to the level of competitions, the bowling leagues are really widespread. You can find some filled with novice bowlers or competitors who are more interested in having a good time with their friends (and maybe having a few beers) than in winning. But in other cases the leagues can be highly competitive.
In conclusion, while there are almost myriad varieties of bowling leagues when you factor in all of these characteristics, those that matter to you will be limited to what the lanes near you actually offer. That brings us to the next section of this article: How to Find and Join a Bowling League.
Where can I find a local bowling league?
If you are looking for a league affiliated with any of the major bowling alley companies (AMF, Bowlero, Bowlmor) they have a handy league finder on their website. There is also a bowling league search tool on the league secretary's website that includes independent lanes.
But there's another easy way to find all of the options in case they're not on these lists: just look up all the alleys near you and ask about their league deals. You are unlikely to find a bowling center that doesn't offer leagues. it's an important part of their business.
You might actually want to pick up the phone and call someone down the alley if you have any questions, or depending on the level of detail on the website, this may be a great way to get the information you need. Once you've found a league you like, it's time to get started.
How to join a league
You may find yourself in a situation where you have a group of bowling attendants. Hence, the easiest thing to do is to sign up your entire team for an upcoming league of your choice. It's also a good idea to have some alternates on the list in case your main members have conflicts or obligations from week to week.
But what if you don't have a whole team? If you're a single bowler hoping to get into a league, you still have options. You can get in touch with the league manager at your bowling center and he or she may be able to connect you to a team at an appropriate level that has a seat for a player.
So what do you need to start league bowling after signing up? Having your own accessories like your own bowling ball and bowling shoes is a good idea if you are playing more competitively. Many teams choose to design and purchase their own matching bowling shirts, but this is not a requirement.
You should make sure you have enough cash to pay for league fees each week. Also, find out if your league has additional options for a strike pool or other jackpots where you can wager a few dollars to win a big payout. Also, take into account any food or drink you might want to have during or after the game (the leagues sometimes have special offers).
Finally, make sure your entire team is enrolled in the USBC that sanctions league play (the league secretary can help with this) and have the opportunity to review all of the league's rules and regulations.
Once you've found a league and cleared up all the details, the next thing you need to do is show up and go bowling! We wish you the best of luck on your league bowling journey.