New bowlers needed

The Delhi News-Record - - OPINION - MIKE JIGGENS Mike Jiggens is a Delhi res­i­dent

We’re look­ing for a few good men. Well, about six, ac­tu­ally, or maybe seven.

That’s the call of the Wednesday evening men’s bowl­ing league at the Delhi Dis­trict Ger­man Home. The once six-team league is down to five. With six lanes avail­able, it’s best to fully uti­lize the fa­cil­i­ties, and sched­ul­ing for an even num­ber of teams is much sim­pler than mak­ing ar­range­ments for an odd num­ber.

Once upon a time 12 teams com­peted in the league, re­quir­ing two dif­fer­ent start­ing times to ac­com­mo­date ev­ery­body. Back then bowl­ing was the thing to do, and the Ger­man Hall wasn’t the only fa­cil­ity in town with a bowl­ing al­ley. For some in­ex­pli­ca­ble rea­son, in­ter­est in bowl­ing be­gan to wane, bowl­ing al­leys closed and league sizes be­gan to shrink.

Bowl­ing – like golf – is one of those games an in­di­vid­ual can play well into his twi­light years. It doesn’t re­quire a god-like physique, su­per­nat­u­ral strength or any great en­durance. Ba­si­cally, as long as you’re able to stand up, take a few steps, hold onto a round ob­ject weigh­ing only a few pounds and roll it a dis­tance of 60 feet, you can bowl.

With apolo­gies to those who bowl Wednesday in the men’s league, many of those still on the ros­ter are get­ting a lit­tle long in the tooth. When a 58-year-old is among the younger half of the bowlers in the league, it speaks vol­umes for the need for new blood.

The game it­self is fun, is in­ex­pen­sive to play and re­quires no spe­cial equip­ment other than proper footwear that is avail­able at the bowl­ing al­ley. The league is not su­per-com­pet­i­tive, and per­sonal av­er­ages tend to range from just north of 100 to plus-200 with ev­ery­thing in be­tween. The num­ber of elite bowlers whose av­er­ages are 200 or higher can be counted on one hand. You don’t have to throw strike after strike to fit in.

The em­pha­sis is on fun and an en­joy­able so­cial at­mos­phere. We cheer one an­other’s suc­cesses and laugh at our own mis­takes. No one is about to be booted from the league if he throws a gut­ter ball or two.

Al­though the cur­rent sea­son gets un­der­way this week, a sixth team can still be added. Any­one in­ter­ested can join by him­self, with two or three oth­ers or as a full team. The scores of five team mem­bers are counted each night, but a sixth or sev­enth bowler can be al­ter­nated in oc­ca­sion­ally or stand by as a spare when­ever one of the start­ing five might be un­avail­able.

Bowl­ing re­mains pop­u­lar, it would seem, in some or the larger com­mu­ni­ties with Youth Bowl­ing Coun­cil (YBC) pro­grams to feed the adult leagues. We don’t have that lux­ury here, and per­haps that’s why the sport ap­pears to be dy­ing off. None of the leagues in Delhi, though, de­mands YBC train­ing as a pre­req­ui­site.

So, any men over the age of about 18 in­ter­ested in pur­su­ing a fun night out for a cou­ple of hours each Wednesday evening should con­tact the Ger­man Hall. A league of­fi­cial will then be in touch.

Let’s make bowl­ing great again.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.