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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Walking it off

Get 'em while they're young, and you'll have 'em for life:

This is the third in a three-part series analyzing why Northwest Indiana league bowling is still thriving while the rest of the country watches its numbers drop. This week focuses on the influx of high school bowlers in recent years.

It's always been the foundation of bowling, at least in the last 20 years or so.

Get kids involved in the sport as soon as possible, maybe just after they can walk. Get them into a bumper bowling league, then into the pee-wees, bantams and so on.

Nurture them, teach them and coerce them into loving the sport and they'll stay in it until they're 14 or 15 years old, then come back for adult leagues after the active life of a teenager passes.

That's the way it was for several years, especially when I was growing up in the late 1980s.

The older divisions of youth leagues were barren compared to the bantams and preps, or whatever your center of preference calls those younger divisions.

Honestly, I did not know that league bowling was in a crisis situation, but I'm glad northwest Indiana seems to be bucking the trend. I was an enthusiastic bowler for a long time (starting in high school, in fact), but then sort of drifted away from it. Guess I have been part of the problem.

My last league was with Fort Wayne Newspapers several years ago. We couldn't bowl early because we needed Circulation employees -- our most ardent participants -- and they had to hang around the office after 5 to field late-delivery complaints. So we started bowling about 9 p.m. -- our league night was Mondays -- then closed the bar across the street. If you remember a couple of years in which your Tuesday papers were awful, that's why.

How could high school students pass up a chance to spend a lifetime in a sport like bowling? It's indoors, you have long stretches of sitting down with a beer, interrupted by brief, brisk walks . Then you get to go spend the rest of the evening at a bar -- just the sitting down without the walks.


Bob G.
Thu, 09/20/2007 - 9:29am

Sure beats that transcendental experience of "jogging"...on a TREADMILL...!