Wednesday night was the first night I’ve ever participated in a bowling league.  I joined a team with friends who are people I would certainly call my friends but I rarely hang out with them directly.  Bowling is an activity that brings people together.


An old picture. The new setup has TV’s and more score boxes.

I brought the Black Beauty which is JC’s 16lb bowling ball.  I had never used it before.  The league takes place at Hi Spot Lanes.  Hi Spot is in Manayunk and even though I lived there for 4 years, I had never been.  It is an 8 lane alley and from people talking about it, I was expecting a dump.  It far and away exceeded my expectations.  Their website gallery needs work although it’s evident they have built an online business selling bowling bowls.

The lanes are in good condition and even though the scoring software is from the 80’s, it works well enough.  There were a few lane malfunctions but were fixed quickly and worked at about 90%.  It’s BYOB which is nice as well.


Big Ern getting accustomed to his rose ball.

I rolled a warm up game with a 14 lb house ball because I was scared of the Black Beauty.  I rolled a 151 and saw that the lanes had a decent bite at the finish.  This is good.  My worse scores come when my hook dies at the close.

The first game got underway and we had a 54 pin handicap.  Our team name is “the Cosby’s” so we all were characters from the TV show.  I settled on Claire.  Watkins is still not pleased with Vanessa.

The Black Beauty

The Black Beauty

Since I didn’t play last week, my average starts at 130.  My first Black Beauty scored an X and I was off.  The only impression I can give after finishing the first game is that a 16lb ball is a bit more forgiving than a 14.  I hit the Jersey side on about 4 strikes and rolled about 4 other perfect ones.  With the game not out of reach on my final ball and their 4th bowler yet to finish, I rolled another strike to cinch it.  Our 5 person team won by 12 pins and I finished with a 238, my 2nd high game ever.

The next two games did not go as well as we lost them both and didn’t really have meaningful balls in the 10th.  A few team descriptions that are pretty funny.

  • Watkins is Mr Volatility moving from a 91 to a 164 in a single game.  The potential is there but consistency is lacking on his first ball which puts him in bad spots on his second shot.
  • Mario throws a mean hook that’s almost too mean.  He kept missing jersey side and was hitting the 2 pin first which if it just moved over a touch could be potential strikes.
  • Baby-PowderTim should be known as Talcum or baby powder because I’ve never witnessed anyone use this much baby powder.  The finger holes on his ball are too tight and they were getting stuck and the ball was launching.  An off night for the creator of the Cosby Shuffle.
  • Dan is good bowler who controls his straight ball on spare pick ups pretty well.  He was mistakenly advised to purchase a finger tip ball which is not what you want to do when you roll a straight ball.  Lacking a solid strike ball that I’ve seen in the past, he did very well under those conditions.
  • I petered off with a 148, 138 which I was disappointed in but it was the first time trying to pick up spares with a heavier ball.  My control was off as I missed a single 5 pin which is just about the easiest shot in bowling.

All in all I’m happy to join a league and get out of the house and meet new people on a Wednesday night.  Plus it’s an activity I like to do.