When you are on a bowling league and know AHEAD of time that you can't make it to the lanes on a certain date, you have the option to either let your team take your average (minus the 10 pins penalty depending on your leagues' rules), OR you may tell your team Captain that you wish to "PRE-BOWL". You will need to pre-bowl a few days before your league will meet for the next session so they have time to get your scores.
On the day you want to pre-bowl, go to the bowling center where your league meets and tell the person at the front desk that you are "Pre-bowling" for your league and let them know the day and time of your league. You will be given two lanes to bowl on and you will get some practice time, just like in the league. You'll type your name into the computer and after you bowl your 3 games, go to the front desk and the person will print out a copy of your games for you to keep and will also give a copy to your league Secretary so your team can have your scores to enter into the computer on the day you will be absent.
The big question for you is "Should I Pre-Bowl or Not"? There are several pros and cons to this question:
1. You may be able to concentrate better since you are bowling alone and there won't be anyone to chat with or for you to get distracted by, as long as you can get there on a week day when the kids are in school, or early in the morning when there aren't many people around.
2. You can stop, take a break, or even have time to review your bowling notes in private if any problems should arise because you won't have anyone waiting for you to bowl like in the league. You'll be bowling at your own pace.
3. You may have more energy because it may be earlier in the day than your regular league.
4. Some bowling centers oil the lanes early in the morning and if there are no day leagues, the oil won't come off the lane as quickly because you'll be the only bowler on that pair of lanes as compared to the 6,8, or 10 in the normal league.You can play the same line without having as many adjustments to make.
5. If you're on a string of strikes, you can keep that momentum going by not having to wait for others to bowl.
1. You may not be able to get to the lanes until the afternoon when there will be a lot more inexperienced people bowling. If you're set up on the lane, they won't know the etiquette and could throw you off, causing you to possibly have a poor shot.
2. Because there are no other bowlers with you so you may bowl too quickly and tire out by the third game.
3. Some centers do not oil the lanes until the evening leagues. If there's no oil, your hook may be too large for you to control well unless you have a plastic ball that you can use to throw a straight shot instead.
In my own experience, when I was a beginner, I preferred NOT to pre-bowl and just let my team take my average. My average was a “SURE” thing, and I didn’t know how the lanes would be if I wanted to pre-bowl and whether or not I’d bowl well. Now that I'm a more experienced bowler, I do like to pre-bowl at times. I have more confidence that I'll be able to focus and do very well.
Try pre-bowling and if you do very well and the lanes have been conditioned, then you may want to keep doing it whenever you know you’re going to be absent. If you don’t do as well, then just let your team take your average for that night.
Leagues usually have SUBSTITUTE bowlers and if you can’t bowl and don't not want to pre-bowl, let your team captain know ahead of time and the league can arrange for a sub for your team. Subs are bowlers that don't want to bowl every week and just fill in when needed. Their averages range from low to high.
Your average will not change if you are absent, and the sub will be responsible to pay for the three games and you’ll only have to pay for the difference of what your league costs each week.
Also some bowling centers may give out a coupon for three free games when you’re absent if you can't get a sub because you still have to pay for those games.
It's really up to you and how experienced and confident you are whether you want to pre-bowl or not. Every situation may be different so ask your team if they prefer you to pre-bowl or just take your average if you are unsure.
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Good Luck and High Scoring!!
Hello!! My name is Joanie. Although I'm not a professional bowler, I have loved the sport for more than 45 years, averaged over 200 for several seasons, and learned quite a bit with research and experience.