United the Bowling World will Beat COVID-19

On Tuesday, March 17, the bowling world changed, as many bowling centers throughout the United States shut down in response to the recommendation of health departments reacting to the outbreak of COVID-19, aka the coronavirus. 

If you would have told me a month ago that Tom Brady was going to leave the New England Patriots and sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, I might have laughed at you. But if you would have told me that just a few weeks later there would be no bowling, that Disneyland and Las Vegas would be completely shut down, I might have punched you in the face.

But then it happened, and the world has seemingly shut down. 

In some places (such as Germany) it is only permitted to have gatherings of two people or fewer. Locally the ruling is about 10, with a rule of social distancing of six feet away from person to person.


To borrow a line from my fifth grade teacher, we must “improvise, adapt, overcome.” 

I’ve seen friends on social media turn to the PBA Pro Bowling game (available on Android, iOS, Playstation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch). That game is a lot of fun! I have spent countless hours playing it on my Android device, slinging over 600 300 games and 17 900 series at last count.

What can I say? I really love bowling!

If this lasts long enough, I might challenge a friend or two to a pot game online. Brackets anybody? 

Another cool concept I saw on Facebook was the QuaranTeen Open, a Wii Sports Bowling tournament for kids at home who are missing their life on the lanes. I played that once upon a time too, shooting eight 300 games. In case you’re wondering I have one actual 300 in real life. It was about five years ago, and I feel like the centers need to open up soon so I could keep training hard in an effort to shoot another one. 

Last week I was talking to a friend of mine, and fellow Brunswick Invitational bowler, Tony Winn. I told him that we were going to wind up learning just how much we take bowling for granted. Our league was cancelled last Monday night, and will not floor tonight and possibly next week either, depending on what happens going forward. 

Then I can’t help but think about the bowlers who are elated that they’re bowling unopposed and get to go home early, or the ones who won’t get a sub for their absent bowlers to speed up the bowling process. Do you think they miss bowling? Of course they do! What will they have to complain about now? 

So life’s orders now state that many people cannot work, or go bowling, or to the gym, or to the movie theater, or even go out to eat! So what can we do? Can we go visit our friends? Heck, some people decided to violate the order that says you cannot, and wound up paying the price for it. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, just Google “Miami Spring Break 2020”. But what can we do? 

We can read.

How about going out for a walk and letting the air hit your face? Riding a bike sounds fun too. Go out for a jog. Stay loose. 

The centers will reopen before you know it. Like every bad nightmare the world has brought to us, this too shall pass. 

But please, stay safe, be smart and do everything in your power to quarantine yourself and your loved ones – especially those elderly members of your family. If you question anything at all, go get it checked out. 

YouTube is a lot of fun to watch. There might be a hidden talent you could learn that you didn’t know you were capable of doing. Maybe there’s a book you can read with some hidden knowledge that could boost your bowling game! 

The point is there are lots of ideas. It may seem like an eternity, but before we know it we will be finishing our winter leagues, readying up for summer leagues and laughing this off over some Coronas (they aren’t causing this, if you’re one to believe that) at the bowling center, striking the night away over a laugh or two with your bowling family. 

Share your favorite bowling memories on social media with your friends. Together we can get through anything! 

That’s a couple pieces of my mind as we fight through this. I’ll see you all soon. Be careful and God Bless! 

This story was originally published in the April 2, 2020 issue of The California Bowling News.

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