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.