Here we are! First week of fall bowling leagues are done! And it all sucked!
It wasn’t the lane conditions or the system the leagues are running this year, in the year of pandemic. They seem to be running as usual. The league is bunched onto the same sets, i.e 40 teams across 40 lanes, two teams per pair, switching lanes during play. Scoring was there. Personally, I bowled really well a couple of games each league, the third was completely on me, didn’t adjust correctly of couldn’t get the ball where it needed to be to make a quality shot, but all-in-all, pretty good. The problem was the center’s policy on masks, or more accurately the states policy on masks that they have threatened business in to following with fines and other penalties, that’s what made it suck.
Now let’s break those policies down just a bit.
As much as many people don’t believe or want to accept, bowling is a physical…we’ll say activity, as to not start the argument over, “Whether or not it is a sport?” as it relates to bowling. Suffice it to say, hurling a 14,15, or 16 lbs. spherical object down a 60-foot plank of wood, takes a bit of aerobic and physical effort.
That being said; The forced wearing of the masks during play really affects ability of the player and their concentration. Bowling is a routine, every competitive bowler has one, whether they know it consciously or not. For some bowlers it’s very simple; step up, grab the ball, look down lane, set, approach, throw. For MANY others, who take the game a little more seriously, the routine involves not just all of that, but also specific pattern of breathing, helping to focus and increasing concentration and a considerable level of comfort, both of which are disrupted by a “facial covering.” Now to be fair, bowlers do not have to wear the mask while on the approach, the constant, removal and replacement of the mask, however, takes you out of a routine that, for many, have been developed over several years, or perhaps decades. Then there is comfort, if chosen not to completely remove the mask and just pull it down, from the face, irrespective of the type of mask, it makes you sweat (worse as is the case with me) and becomes saturated with moisture. Hence, comfort and routine are now disrupted.
Now, I can understand, as much as I don’t like it, the policy being enforced while not bowling, walking to the lounge, café, counter or restroom, but to enforce this ridiculous, draconian state mandated regulation for bowlers while exercising our passion and relaxation and pastime, is affecting the sport of so many levels.
And to all those “Karens” out there, who call and report business “not adhering to mandated regulations…” F**KING STOP!