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Classic Bowling Center Terms

If bowling strikes you as an American past time, you may be surprised to learn that more than 100 million people in over 90 countries practice the sport. And did you know that bowling is ancient? Children’s graves of Egypt, dating back to 3200 BC, contain primitive bowling equipment. Before visiting a bowling center, brush up on these terms.

  • Approach – The approach is the stretch of lane from ball return area to foul line, usually 16 feet long. “Approach” can also mean the bowler’s beginning motion before the ball is swung forward.
  • Bowling Attire – Though mainly worn during professional tournaments, serious bowlers also like to wear bowling attire during open play. Satin jackets, striped short-sleeved collar shirts, grip gloves, nylon or leather ball bags, and of course bowling shoes fall into this category.
  • Cosmic Bowling – With cosmic bowling, the alley dims the lights, turns on smoke machines and black lights, and plays dance club music or rock ‘n’ roll classics. Sometimes, the alley will even hire a DJ. Cosmic bowling is a classic place to have a kid’s birthday party or a fun date.
  • Gutter – The gutter is the channel at either side of the lane that the ball falls into if it goes off course. A gutter ball yields no points.
  • Open Bowling – Non-tournament, non-league play is referred to as open bowling.
  • Perfect Game – A perfect game means that the bowler hit twelve strikes in a row, and the bowler receives a score of 300.
  • Spare – The next best thing to a strike, a spare is achieved when the bowler strikes down all ten pins with two balls.
  • Strike – A strike occurs when a bowler knocks down all ten pins with the first ball, often by angling the ball to hit at the center of the pins.
    The Bowling Center.com
    Have a fun and affordable night out with family and friends at our local Massachusetts area bowling centers! With the lowest prices on shoe rentals and a great snack bar, get active and have fun with us today!
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    Ficco's Bowladrome
    300 E Central St, Franklin, MA 02038
    Face's Bowl-A-Dome - we have candlepin bowling, bumper, parties, leagues (youth, adult, seniors), glow bowling - fun for the whole family on East Central Street in Franklin, Massachusetts.
    (508) 528-1142
    Palace Bowling Alleys
    78 Daniels St, Fitchburg, MA 01420
    (1) Review Write a review
    (978) 345-0731
    User Review: "I was spending the spring break with my 7 grand kids in mass. I came from ga, 3 came from md and 4 from oh. We went to..." - Hubert (GA)
    Shelburne Falls Bowling Alley
    522 Hoosac Rd, Conway, MA 01341
    Candlepin Bowling Alley has a full bar. Providing space and fun for birthday parties, private parties, and corporate parties. We welcome leagues, tournaments, and special events.
    (413) 625-6179
    Alley Kat Lanes Candlepin Bowling Center
    7 Tarkiln Rd, Kingston, MA 02364
    (781) 585-2191
    Westgate Lanes
    65 Westgate Dr, Brockton, MA 02301
    (508) 583-1297
    Central Park Lanes
    10 Saratoga St, Boston, MA 02128
    (617) 567-7073
    Brian's Bowlaway
    123 Main St, Gardner, MA 01440
    (978) 632-9710
    Wonder Bowl
    66 Hathaway Rd, New Bedford, MA 02746
    (508) 993-1746
    Bowl-O-Mat Inc
    100 River St, Beverly, MA 01915
    (978) 922-1140
    Georgetown Candlepin Bowling Lanes
    5 Park St, Georgetown, MA 01833
    (978) 352-9895
    All Saints Bowling Center
    26 Broadway, Methuen, MA 01844
    (978) 374-0083
    Holyoke Turn Verein
    624 S Bridge St, Holyoke, MA 01040
    (413) 539-9412
    Strike FX PRO Shops
    231 Riverside Ave, Somerset, MA 02725
    (508) 679-9712
    Kingston Ten Pin
    7 Tarkiln Rd, Kingston, MA 02364
    (781) 585-5151
    South Boston Candelpin
    543 E Broadway, Boston, MA 02127
    (617) 464-4858

    Bowling is a favorite past time for adults and children alike. Forms of the game date back centuries. Historically, the game of bowling was very popular, so much so that the game was outlawed to keep troops focused on archery practice. Today, the object of bowling in modern times is to roll a ball down a wooden alley or lane with the goal of knocking down a triangular group of ten pins. A ten pin knock down is referred to as a strike. Strikes and spares contribute to an excellent score. The bowling alley or center is host to a variety of events. For example families can take their children for a weekly game. Many bowling centers offer free bowling games for the kids. Cosmic bowling is also fun for a kid’s birthday party. Parents may want their children to use lighter weight balls so they don't get a gutter ball. Professional bowlers and bowling leagues frequent this establishment to participate in tournaments. Equipment associated with bowling includes bowling bags and shirts, shoes and jackets that can be monogrammed with a team name. Individuals can join bowling leagues with colleagues from social groups. The Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) gives information on locations and dates and times of invitationals. They also offer information for playoff and championship games all over the country. If you’re bowling just for fun, visit your local bowling center, choose a lane and get rolling. However you choose to enjoy the game of knocking down ten pins, there are hours of fun and competition for all to enjoy.
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