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The many benefits of league bowling

For those of you out there who have never bowled in an organized bowling league, you may have won-dered what it would be like to do so. You may have questions about what a league really is and how you would benefit from the experience if you joined one. The simple answer is that league bowling is a group of people getting together to bowl on a competitive basis. League bowlers consist of people of all age groups, all walks of life, and all levels of athletic skills.

Leagues are organized with various numbers of teams consisting of all men, all women, or a combination. These leagues meet on a regularly scheduled basis, normally once a week, and bowlers compete against each other as teams. Some compete for prize money, some for trophies, but all of them compete for the fun of bowling.

More often than not, league bowling is an equal form of competition because of its handicap system. A less talented or inexperienced bowler can compete with a bowler of more experience and skill and still have a chance to win. League bowling is an inexpensive night out, giving you a chance to make new friends, compete on an equal basis and be assured that you will have lanes to bowl on each week at a time that is suitable to your own personal schedule.

To put it simply, in relationship to any other competitive athletic event, league bowling is the best buy in town and you don't have to worry about getting rained out.

Bowling's popularity

According the United States Bowling Congress, bowling is the No. 1 participatory sport in America with over 66 million people bowling at least once in leagues or open bowling every year. It is one of the most popular sports in the world. Bowling's popularity is evident in Prince William County with every bowling center hosting league play every night of the week and some hosting leagues in the daytime.

One of the reasons for bowling's popularity is its adaptability. Children and adults of nearly every ability level can participate, and it can be enjoyed as leisure, recreational and social activity or as a com-petitive opportunity.

Almost anyone can bowl. That is why no other sport can match the diversity of participants in this sport. Some of the benefits of bowling include its easy accessibility to facilities, equipment and instruction. You can practice anytime or bowl in a league for competition.

Bowling is a lifetime fitness sport which contributes to balance, coordination and motor skills. The game is able to fill the needs of so many people because above all, it is simple to play. The rules are not complex and the basics of how to roll the ball are quickly learned. How well you do and how high you can score is another matter.

Gil Sanchez is a freelance bowling writer for the News & Messenger. He is a member of the Bowling Writers Association of America and the United States Bowling Congress Advisory Council. Reach him at 703-587-6792 or at