We are a non-sanctioned league, and we play short seasons. So each season will run anywhere from 10 to 12 weeks, depending on the timing.
We play Sunday nights, and start at 6:15pm (practice x15 min) with competitive play starting no later than 6:30.
We play at AMF Durham lanes located on Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd.
They track team scores, player averages, league averages, and team standings. Each week team and player standings are distributed to the teams.
We are generally finished by 9pm each week.
Usual cost for each season works out to about $10 per week. We pay for the entire season in advance.
The only money you'll need to bring is for shoe rental or beer.
Who's In Charge
Keely Godwin is your cruise director, league manager, and bowling buddy. She does it all.
- If you are interested in chipping in on some of the administrative work of the league, let her know!
To contact her, email:
Pindependent Durham Bowling is a group of friends who, when our previous league pulled out of our market, decided to build our own. There are no national managers, no one looking to make money off of the league, just a bunch of friends who like to get together and compete for fun. We are currently not a USBC sanctioned league, only a social local league.
Who can play:
We are a 21 and over league. All are welcome, from new bowlers to old pros.
If you have never played in a league, or if you're afraid you're not a good enough bowler to play in a league, don't worry! The scoring system we use makes it easy and fun for players at any level of play. We play 3 competition games per week, and average score is determined on the first week of bowling. After week 1, players are given a handicap based on the league average, which will automatically be added to your score as you play.
How this thing works:
We will have 10 to 15 minutes of practice before we start bowling. Our official start time is 6:30pm, practice starts at 6:15. Please be on time and ready to bowl by 6:15. I get it that sometimes we run late, but please do not make a habit of it. Late players can bowl in as long as they arrive before the end of the first game. However, this is very disruptive to the flow of the game. Just be a champ, and show up on time, especially for week 1.
What To Expect The First Week:
The first week of each season, we ask bowlers to arrive about 15 minutes earlier than usual (5:45). Check in at the front desk, tell them you are with Pindependent Bowling and ask them to direct you to our assigned lanes. Try to find Keely. She'll help you get sorted if you need it.
Teams will fill out paperwork for their team contact information and name, and will have to enter player names into the computers. If you're a free agent, you'll meet your team at that time, and teams will meet their opponents for that week.
We play league style on the lanes. If you've never played in a league, this means that players alternate lanes each turn. For example, if your team is on lane 1, then you take your first turn on lane 1, your second turn on lane 2, then back to lane 1, and so on. If you're not sure which lane you should be bowling on, just check the screens above the lanes: the current bowler will be displayed over the lane. Each week, ideally, your team will face off against another team. Depending on the league size and season length, you may play another team more than once, but our goal is to let every team play one another at least once.
Your team will match up for 3 games against another team each week.
- Team scoring means your collective scores together will compete against the other team's collective score.
- You have an opportunity to get 4 points every week. One point for each game you win and then another point for winning the series of 3 games collectively with all pins (or points).
What To Expect The Rest Of The Season:
When you arrive, look for your team's name on the screens above our assigned league lanes. On the tables at your lanes, you should find a score sheet (for you to enter the score from that night's games), and a standings sheet. This will give you the current standings for the league, including individual averages, team scores, and weekly achievements. See above about practice starting at 6:15 and competitive play at 6:30.
After your 3 matches, record your scores, captains sign the score sheets and turn your score sheet in to Keely.
The last few weeks of the season are the playoff/championship weeks. We will likely do a single elimination tournament with as many teams as possible, with the points totals determining the seeding. The final week is our championship game and pizza party. Yes. There will be trophies.
If your team is not in the playoffs, never fear, you still get to bowl those last 2 weeks for fun, and potentially to compete for individual awards (we're adding new ones this year!).
What If You Have To Miss A Week:
This league does allow pre-bowling. What this means is that if you know you will miss a week of bowling, you can pre-bowl any time before Sunday's games. There will be no post-bowling.
Check in at the desk, and tell them that you are there to pre-bowl for the next week's league. You will sign in and be given a lane, and a score card. Write your league name, team name and each bowler's name on the card, along with the score for your 3 games.
A few quick points about pre-bowling:
-AMF will not allow pre-bowling or free practice games after 7pm on Friday or Saturday nights. AMF will, however, try to keep lanes 1 through 8 available for league bowlers (with the overhead lights on) until 6pm Monday through Thursday. You can bowl later, but it will be in the dark and lanes are available on a first come, first served basis.
-If you pre-bowl, you MAY NOT bowl on the following Sunday. The league has to pay for your 3 competition games, so if you double bowl (pre-bowl and then show up on Sunday), you will be charged for those 3 games.
-If you arrange to have a substitute bowl for you on Sunday, then you may not pre-bowl. However, if you want to pre-bowl and you have a friend who wants to come bowl Sunday night with your team, they may do so for $12.
-If your team is in the playoffs or championship, pre-bowling scores will not be used.
If an entire team cannot attend playoffs or championships, they will forfeit and the next highest team will compete in their stead.
As of week 2, every player entered into the AMF league system will receive a league card that is used for discounts on snacks and soft drinks at the snack bar. If you bowled in our previous seasons and if you're using the same email address, your card should be active at the start of each season.
I believe (don't quote me on this as a promise) that it also can be used for discounts on games during the week.
Each week, league players are entitled to 2 free practice games. Just check in at the desk, tell them you're in a league and you're there for your practice games.
It is important to let the bowling alley staff know if you are using your 2 free practice games or if you are pre-bowling. If you accidentally pre-bowl instead of practice, the league (and you) will be charged for those games.
Always wear appropriate bowling attire. Street shoes and sneakers can damage the approach.
Be careful outside of the bowling areas in your bowling shoes. Wet shoes will make you fall. Trust me. I've done it. It hurts both your butt and your pride.
Be ready to bowl when the pins are set, but wait until the bar is up before making your delivery. This seems obvious, but you never know.
Always defer to the bowler on your right if you're ready at the same time.
Stay off the approach while you wait to avoid distracting other players on their delivery.
Respect your lane's boundaries and don't cross into the approach areas of other bowlers.
Step off of the approach once you've delivered the ball. Sure, you can do that little dance or victory pose for your strike, but be quick about it, and clear the approach quickly.
Remember that good bowling requires concentration, so try to allow your league-mates a little bit less distraction.
Always ask permission before using someone else's ball. While it's probably not a big deal if you use the house ball that someone else picked up, it's kind of a big deal when you decide to use someone else's personal ball. Please make sure to ask before you bowl with a ball that you didn't bring to the lane yourself.
Be careful with food and drink. Never have food or drink on the approach. Spills aren't only messy, they can lead to wet shoes, which can lead to falls and be dangerous. Ideally drinks without lids and pitchers should stay on the tall tables behind the booths.
Clean up after yourself when you're done. Return house balls to the racks near the main entrance, turn in your shoes, gather up any paper cups, plates, and napkins, and throw them in the trash. Yeah, I know AMF pays people to tidy up after us, but we want to be the awesome league that classes up the joint, not the terrible league that trashes it.
Bowling in the era of COVID-19
All bowlers must be vaccinated and show proof of vaccination before week 1 begins. This means you must be 2 weeks out from your last vaccine dose. I strongly recommend getting your 3rd dose/booster dose if it's been 6 mos since your Pfizer/Moderna vaccine or 2 mos since your J&J vaccine.
All bowlers must wear masks during play. This includes while you are on the lanes. Your mask goes over your nose, too.
If you are sick or have symptoms, or if you have been in close contact with a person with confirmed COVID-19, do NOT come and bowl until you have had a negative test (PCR test, not a rapid antigen test) and you have been isolated for the recommended period of time.
Remember, we're here to have fun! Winning is great, of course, but be gracious about it. Losing sucks, but again, be gracious about it. Be kind to one another, if you have an issue with a bowler, be a champ about it and address it head on and directly.
If you ever have any problems with another bowler (whether in our league or otherwise) that you can't address head on, come to me, and we'll work it out.