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New Year, New Bowling Season!

Updated: Feb 19, 2023

Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF): This is the longest email of the season, so you should keep it because it'll answer a lot of questions you'll have later in the season. If you ask a question that was answered in this email, I will probably kick you in the shins. Show up Sunday, the 8th at 6ish, bring your bowling shoes, brush up on etiquette and this email has instructions on how to pre-bowl and get your free practice games.

Welcome to Pindependent Durham Bowling's Winter 2023 season! We have a few new bowlers to our league, welcome! If you have questions or concerns, don't be afraid to ask a veteran bowler! What to expect on Week 1:

  • We start this coming Sunday, January 8th! (Yes I know for some of our folks who signed up early in the registration there were some confusing messages from the website, but it's this Sunday.)

  • Please show up at AMF Durham Lanes AKA Bowlero around 6pm. This way, we can fill out paperwork, make sure everyone is on the right lanes and that teams are assigned correctly. Also, if you have a team name in mind, bring it along. Have a backup in case yours is taken. And yes, Livin' on a Spare has been claimed.

  • I will likely have some free agent spots available, so if you have last minute folks who want to join, there's still time to register.

  • Look for me on arrival at the lanes, I'll help you get set up on your lane/with your team. We play on the end near the main entrance (lanes 22-32-ish). Or check at the desk and let them know you're with Pindependent.

  • This is the week we establish our average for handicaps and the points will not count. Don't worry if you're a bit rusty, we're all a bit rusty.

  • This season we will be playing with 4 player teams so if you have 3 on your team, you'll probably have a free agent assigned to you. Be nice to them.

  • SHOES ARE NOT INCLUDED IN LEAGUE COST. If you don't have your own shoes, be sure to rent them when you arrive. I recommend picking up a pair for around $30 or so, either from the pro shop or online.

  • If you have a league card from previous seasons, it should be good after this week. No need for a new one.

How scoring works:

  • Your team will play 3 competitive games each week against another league team (or a “blank team” if needed). Each win counts as a point. Total pins (raw + handicap) will count as a 4th point.

  • Handicaps are based on a league average and some weird math I'm not in charge of, and will be established after your first week of bowling. Handicaps do adjust up or down based on subsequent weeks' play.

  • Season total points will be used to set the seeding for the playoffs at the end of the season, which are played as a single elimination tournament.

What to expect this season:

  • We bowl Sunday nights at 6:15pm: Each lane gets 10 minutes of practice before scoring begins. Please do not start practice before 6:20 if all of the players are not present on both lanes (it starts the timer for everyone). If everyone is there, start your practice when you're ready. If they're not there by 6:20, they're late and you can get rolling.

  • You may pre-bowl if you're going to miss a week: I try to avoid post-bowling, primarily to reduce the confusion. Post-bowling scores will only be accepted if arranged with me (in the case of emergency, etc.) see below re: pre-bowling.

  • We will not bowl on Superb Owl Sunday, the 12th of February. Eat chips and guacamole or something.

  • Our league is a little bigger this season, so it should make for some fun competition. I will send an email later on to outline our playoff/championship process.

  • Masking: There is currently no mask mandate for Durham/Orange Counties, but masks are generally recommended. If you do wear a mask, please remember, the damn thing goes over your nose. If you are sick, stay home.

  • I will send my usual weekly updates, generally on Saturdays. So please register with an email that you can access/will check on the weekends (work emails aren't ideal). Note, I probably won't send an update every week once we get rolling, just for weeks that need updates and reminders (like if we're having a party or not bowling that week).

Pre-bowling and Free Practice Games:

  • Every league bowler will have 2 free practice games per week. These games can be played Monday through Friday until 6pm or any time on Sundays. Check in at the desk and let them know that you are here for practice games, not pre-bowling. You should NOT be given a score card for practice games, and you only get 2. Note: I am trying to see about Saturday bowling during the day, but last season, AMF has cut us off on Saturday using our free games.

  • If you are going to miss a week, you can pre-bowl prior to Sunday night's start. If you prebowl, please let me know!! Again, you can pre-bowl until 7pm M-Sa or any time on Sundays. Make sure you let the staff at AMF know that you are PREBOWLING (not practicing) so that they have you sign in and give you a score card. Take a picture of the completed score card and send it to me. Make sure the score card has your name, your league/team name and the date you are pre-bowling for. If there is no date on the card, it cannot be used, so DATE YOUR SCORECARD.

  • I'm going to say this again if you didn't read that: Let me know if you're going to pre-bowl and send me your scores. Date your scorecard.


I mentioned this for our bowlers in previous seasons, but there is a great app that you can download for free called Lane Talk. This app will actually track your games as you play them and give you data about your game. You can use it to sync up with the lane's software and you can even follow fellow bowlers to compare and contrast. It's a great way to track your average across the season and also to record and save your pre-bowling scores (if you happen to need them). The app is available in the app store for Apple and the Google Play store for android and

is free to download and use, and generally ad free (other than promoting bowling stuff). I highly recommend. Bowling etiquette (yes you should read this part too):

  • Be ready to bowl when it's your turn. I know the snack bar lines can be slow, but try to be aware of your turn to bowl and be ready.

  • Be aware of other bowlers: if 2 bowlers make the approach side by side, the bowler on the right has the right of way. LOOK AROUND. Make sure that when it's your turn, you're not bowling at the same time as the bowlers in the lanes next to you.

  • Once your turn is done, finish up and get out of the way. Again, we're trying to keep things moving, so once your roll is complete, do your happy dance and let the next bowler approach.

  • Wear bowling shoes. This should go without saying, but street shoes can damage the approach and lead to falls. Shoes are NOT included in the price of your season, so make sure to rent your shoes when you arrive if you need to.

  • Keep an eye on food and drink: don't spill near the approach, wet shoes cause falls (trust me on this one). If you're a sloppy eater, then eat at the table behind the benches on the lanes.

  • Show up on time! We start competitive play no later than 6:30 with practice at 6:15. If you're late, let your teammates or me know. We try to be done around 9 every week.

    • If you are going to miss a week, let your either me or your teammates know! I can't tell you the number of times we've had to guess if someone is going to show up or not, just be a champ and let us know.

  • Don't be a jerk. No, seriously. We're all here to have fun. Don't be a jerk.

Phew, you made it to the end, well done. Questions? Comments? Send them my way! I will post each week's updates on the website blog as well, so if you miss the emails, check there. That should be most of the information you'll need to know for week 1. Again, please keep this email handy if you need information regarding pre-bowling or practice. It'll come in handy. Or you can check the blog site. -k-

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