Many of you know about such things, but if you’ve never bowled before or have bowled already but only for a short time, you may not have encountered some of the following mechanical problems. You should have an idea on what to do about them so they don’t become too much of a distraction and you can get back to focusing on your game:
1. Ball getting stuck in the gutter: This usually doesn’t happen much in the leagues because people bowl pretty well and don’t use the very lightweight bowling balls. But let’s say you are bowling with young children who use the very light weighted balls and the ball should get stuck in the gutter, if it is close enough to the foul line, you can try to retrieve it, but if you have to step onto the lane to be able to reach it, then go to the front desk and tell the person working there that the ball is stuck and give the lane number you are on. It’s better to have them retrieve it because, of the oil, you could slip and possibly fall and get injured.
2. Pin stuck in Gutter: Some people can bowl if there’s a pin stuck in the channel but it becomes quite a distraction to others, so if it is bothering you or other team members, then just go to the front desk and ask the person there to remove it. Some bowling center have intercoms you can press and talk to the person working the desk without leaving your lane.
3. Ball not returning: Once in awhile a pin can get stuck in the area that the ball passes through to be able come back to the ball return, so if a minute or so has passed and your ball hasn’t come back yet, then just inform the worker at the desk about the situation by the intercom or by just walking over to him and hopefully he will have it fixed within a few minutes.
4. Pins Fall Down from the Pinsetter OR all the pins aren’t Set up: Just try pressing the little button found near the ball return or hit the RESET button on the computer if that’s how it’s done at the center where you bowl. You need to do this two times so it will be on the FIRST BALL when you’re ready to bowl again. Doing this won’t interfere with your score. If you only hit it once and just bowl, it will be like you are going for a spare and the automatic score keeper will be messed up and have to be corrected. I am in the habit of taking a quick look at my pins before I bowl to make sure all ten are up there and you should too. If there are only 9 and you didn’t notice it and then you bowled, you have to accept what you get. If you notice it after you throw the ball, it’s too late. You MUST tell someone on your team and the other team that not all ten pins are up there and then you can get a RE-RACK.
5. Lane Break Down: If the pins keep falling down, the pinsetter isn’t setting up all ten pins and this keeps happening, you can go to the desk and ask for a different lane. This scenario does happen occasionally, even in a league. Were you ever on a roll and then something happened to the lanes and you had to move? It’s happened to me a few times over the years and is extremely frustrating. They are supposed to give you a few minutes to practice because they are a completely new set of lanes and are probably different than the ones you were bowling on. It can really throw you off if you don’t stop and think to yourself to not let it distract you. The better bowlers will take time to do this and you should also. Just really try to stay focused on executing a good shot!
6. Slippery or Sticky Lane: Sometimes there can be something on a lane which can make you slide too much or not slide at all. There are products you can buy in the pro shop to help correct these situations ( check out my Blog entry # 2) but if it’s happening to several people besides you, then you should go to the desk and tell the worker to have the maintenance guy come over and wipe down that spot that’s giving you trouble.
7. The Sweep accidentally knocks down your spare: Familiarize yourself with how the pins are numbered on the lane, then if you had the 4 pin up there for instance and the sweep accidentally knocks it down, you can go to the desk and ask the person there to have the 4 pin set up and just give them the lane number you are on. I like to ask someone on my team to do that so as soon as the pin is set up, I can finish my turn and not hold up anyone.
* There may be a few others that you have encountered during your bowling session, but I think I have covered most of them here for you. Remember, mechanical issues are just a quick and temporary setback, unless the lane actually breaks down, so don’t get all flustered and distracted. These things happen to the best of us!
*Have you reviewed your notes lately?? Some leagues will be ending soon and if you’re like me, the season is seeming a little long at this point. But don’t let up, keep focusing and try to keep up that momentum for a good strong finish!!
* Good luck and high scoring!!