Why do bowlers use two lanes?


Mike Hawkins Bowling Columnist


By Mike Hawkins

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Have you ever asked why a bowling match takes place on a pair of lanes instead of each competitor having his or her own lane to compete? If you haven’t, I bet you are now, and lucky for you, you’re about to know why.

The reason we alternate lanes in bowling is similar to the same reason basketball teams switch goals at halftime and football teams switch end zones at the end of each quarter. It’s all about maintaining a competitive balance between the two teams.

In football, teams take into account the wind direction to help their kicker or punter, as well as the end of the field where the rowdier fans might be sitting. Basketball considers the fact that maybe one goal is a little tighter or forgiving than the other, maybe there are circumstances such as better lighting on one end, or even a better view of a scoreboard

Lots of other sports change ends of their court or field; hockey, soccer, and tennis come to mind.

Bowlers alternate lanes during league or tournament play for the same reason, competitive balance.

Even when lanes are oiled in the same manner, there can and probably are, differences between lanes on the same pair. One lane might hook a little more or less than its neighbor, maybe there’s a slight difference in the pins on each lane, or maybe there’s even a difference in the way the approach from one lane feels to the other.

Alternating lanes each frame, gives everyone on the pair the same conditions throughout a three game session.

If you ever attend a Professional Bowlers’ Association event, you would not only see bowlers change pairs of lanes after each game, but you would see them skip multiple pairs after each game. This again, is an attempt to give every bowler a fair opportunity to compete with everyone else.

In local action, Wednesday night’s Albemarle Rollers’ ladies league nearly witnessed a Century Award being earned when Rhonda Hilderbrand entered with a 122 average and bagged an amazing 221 game, falling just a single pin short of topping her average by 100 pins! She finished the night with a 467 series and 300-704 handicap numbers.

Patsy Sanders’ 180-479 earned the top series last Wednesday, to go along with 176-476 from Sylvia Holley.

During Fellowship League, Chris Farrell beat the devil out of the pins for an evil 666 series, including games of 257, 202, and 207. Troy Brickhouse was equally impressive with his 257-233-642. Paul Lacher (247), Ronnie Barefoot (220), Brian Puhl (219), and Rafael Riddick (210) added nice games last Tuesday night.

Kaytee Simpson’s 212-581 topped the trio including Bobbi Jo Tarkington (212-545) and Brittney Gaumond (187-493) during Fellowship.

Rondell Christian continued his hot bowling last Monday night tossing a smooth 269 opening game, then cruising to a league leading 628 series. John Turner and Paul Lacher followed closely with scores of 254-619 and 259-614 respectively.

Debbie Winslow topped the Monday night ladies with a nice 202-575, while Stephanie Winslow trailed only her mom with a 213-557. Sheri Norwood’s 472 series and Linda Barrett’s 175 game closed out the ladies’ side of the leaderboard.

John Bradley claimed the only 600 plus series during MLK with his 231-606, while John Turner just missed the 600 mark, tossing a 222-597. Rondell Christian closed out the top three with a 224-586. Our local Senior Games Ambassadors, Fred Hill and Marve Goff got in on the fun bagging high games of 222 and 214 respectively.

The ladies of MLK were topped by Debbie Winslow’s 183-521, Patsy Sanders’ 161-450, Leonora Vactor’s 180 game and Jackie Bradley’s 166 game.

Ocie Manos got hot during the All American Ladies to claim a 202-551 with Stella Miller finishing second on the high series board with a 164-461. Mary Beasley tossed a nice 179 game to join the Thursday morning attack on the pins.

The Bumper and Youth Leagues held their St. Patrick’s Day tournament Saturday morning. For the Bumper bowlers, Cheyanne Hardison took first place with her 398 handicap series, followed by Patrick Morgan’s 377 and Jason Nistler’s 362.

The youth league was topped by Matt Cooper’s 697 total, followed by Elizabeth Scaff’s 599 and Emily Brewer’s 598. Congratulations to these young bowlers!

Until next week, good luck and good bowling.