Bowling Movie Marathon!

Unfortunately, Laurel Lanes is not open 24 hours a day, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get your bowling fix while waiting for our doors to unlock in the morning. Thanks to some pretty great bowling movies you can enjoy bowling from the comfort of your own home. Let’s take a look at some movies that feature bowling as their focal point.

Kingpin (1996)

Kingpin is a movie for all those who like a comeback story! This movie starts off following a young bowler Roy Munson, played by Woody Harrelson, on his journey to becoming a professional bowler. While on a bowling tour he wins against a pro named Ernie McCracken, played by Bill Murray. McCracken seeks revenge after being embarrassed because he was defeated by Roy. This ultimately results in Roy’s downfall as a professional bowler, when McCracken convinces Roy to con some amateur bowlers.  The amateurs get upset and force Roy’s hand into a ball return, resulting in him losing his bowling hand. Years later Roy is an alcoholic struggling to pay rent when he comes across a young-Amish bowler who he sees potential in. He convinces Ishmael Boorg, played by Randy Quaid, to tighten up his skills and compete to win $1 million in Reno.

The Big Lebowski (1998)

If you are into a unique kind of humor The Big Lebowski is for you! Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski, played by Jeff Bridges, is a lazy middle-aged bowler. He is mistaken for a millionaire who shares the same name and beaten up. The two henchman claim he owes them money until they realize they have the wrong Jeff Lebowski and one pees on his rug (yep, you read that right). Lebowski is furious and explains to his bowling pals that he wants compensation for his ruined rug. The trio confront the other Lebowski in hopes that he would pay for the destroyed rug. They end up taking the other Lebowski’s rug causing the rest of the movie to be a journey they were not expecting.

Blackball (2003)

This movie takes place in England and shows us a different kind of bowling called Lawn Bowls. The main character, Cliff Starkey played by Paul Kaye, is a rebellious punk with grungy clothes. This look is frowned upon in the world of his local bowls club. Because of Starkey’s lack of rule following he gets banned for fifteen years by the local lawn bowls association. An American sports agent, Rick Schwartz, played by Vince Vaughn, picks up Starkey and brands him as the “bad boy of bowls.” Starkey’s transforms the way people see the sport turning it into a competitive sport with his trick shots. He might meet a pretty lady along the way too.

Well, that sums up some blowing movies. We hope these come in handy in your spare time away from our lanes! See you when our doors open!

Monster Factory Fun!

Calling all Frankensteins!

Halloween is just around the corner! Don’t let the spooky fun stop at home.

Laurel Lanes offers many exciting bowling games to use during your time with us. An all-time favorite among our young bowlers is Monster Factory. This is one of our 5 ball mini games, which means this is a great way for kids to practice for a full game. Let the kids discover what it was like to be Dr. Frankenstein as they create a monster as they bowl. Watch as their unique monster takes shape with each ball they roll down the lane. The more pins they knock down the cooler the body part gets!

Alright kids, let’s learn how Monster Factory works!

The first bowl will determine the body shape you will start with. Wow! Look you knocked down 5 pins so you get a blue-furry body and your brother knocked down 6 pins so he gets a robotic body!

Okay, now you’re ready to bowl for your monster’s legs. Will they be big, little or even have claws? Go ahead bowl to find out! Woah, those are some big-purple feet. I’m not sure if Laurel Lanes has big enough bowling shoes for your monster.

On to the next body part! A monster isn’t a monster without its big-scary arms, right?! You have to bowl to see just how creepy they will be. You knocked down 8 pins, great job! Oh my, look at those hairy things.

Now for the creepiest, scariest, goofiest body part of all…ITS HEAD! This is an important bowl. This determines if your monster will have multiple eyes, big teeth or maybe even horns! Way to go you knocked down 3 pins! Uh oh, that is a lot of teeth!

Your monster is almost complete. A monster is always in need of a sidekick minion. It’s time to determine which tiny monster will be by your monster’s side! So cool! Your monster’s minion only has one eye! They are quite the mysterious pair.

You did it; you built your original monster from scratch! Now for the best part of all! You get to take your creation home with you. All you have to do is ask one of our customer service team members for a print out. Now you can keep your brother out of your room by hanging your monster on your bedroom door!


Bowling Lingo

Laurel Lanes LogoEver walk past a couple of seasoned bowlers chatting it up?

Hear some wicked bowling lingo you didn’t even know existed?  For a game that’s relatively simple, you might be surprised at some of the terminology.  Here, I’ll paint the picture.

Rick:  How you been shootin’, Joe?

Joe: My first game I shot 5 over but I kept leaving 10 pins and baby splits.

Rick: Those splits are nothing, at least you shot a deuce!  I almost had a 6 pack but then I left a Greek Church and chopped it.


To the untrained ear, you might think someone swung an axe at a Greek Church.  But to the experienced bowler, it’s just a way of explaining the pins left behind after the first ball was thrown. Lots of these terms sound silly, but they have very specific meanings.


For example, from the sample conversation:

Greek Church – 1. A split leave of five pins similar to the 4-6-7-9-10 so called because it reminds people of an old cathedral type church with spires, etc.
2.  Any split on which there are three pins on one side of the lane and two on the other.

Six Pack – 6 strikes in a row

Deuce – A game of 200 or more

Baby Split – Either the 2-7 or 3-10 Split.  Much easier to pick up compared to a regular split.

Leave – The pins remaining after the first ball was rolled

Chop – To knock down one pin of a spare leave, while the pin next to or behind it remains standing.



That’s just the tip of the iceberg though, there are lots of terms for everything from the formation of pins left behind to the fundamentals of bowling.  Here are some basic bowling terms.

Address – The bowler’s stance before the approach

Approach – 1. The space extending back from the foul line used to make the steps and delivery.
2. How the bowler gets to the foul line

Arrows – The triangles embedded on the lane used in aiming the throw.

Board – A lane consists of 39 strips of wood, each called boards; they are usually numbered by the player and used as targeting terms; i.e., I was throwing the 5th board; in synthetic lanes there are no boards as such, but usually the synthetic overlay has a pattern that resembles natural wood lanes.

Foul Line – 1. The line that separates the approach area from the beginning of the playing surface.

Foul – Crossing or touching the foul line at delivery. It’s penalized by a count of zero pins. If the foul occurs on the first ball of a frame, the bowler gets a second shot at a new rack.

Pocket – The desirable location for the ball to hit the pins to maximize strike potential. Generally the area between the 1-3 pins (right-hand player) or the 1-2 pins (left-hand player). This is the target for the first ball in a frame.

Pushaway – The pushing out (forward) of the ball to begin the swing (coincides with first step of four-step approach.)



Now, of course, from the other end of the lingo spectrum, here are some of the more obscure terms:

Beak – The nose; the center of the head pin.

Bed Posts – 7-10 split

Belly the Ball – Describes the type of shot where a player stands inside and tosses it to the outside in the hopes it returns to the pocket for a strike.

Boomer – A big hooking ball; a person that throws a big hooking ball.

Dressing – The lane conditioner; the act of applying lane conditioner.

Dutch 200 – A game of exactly 200 made by alternating strikes and spares throughout the entire game.

Fast Eight – Describes an apparent good pocket hit that gets just eight (8) pins; typically the right-handed players will leave the 4-7 spare and the left-handed players the 6-10; usually

the ball is a tad high when this happens.

Full Roller – A ball that rolls over its full circumference. The track of the ball cuts between the thumb and finger holes. Although once very popular, it is now rarely used because it lacks the carrying power of a semi-rolled ball due to the fact that it generally cannot create the increased entry angles that are helpful to carrying your strikes, particularly the off-hits.

Half Ten – The description of a 10-pin that was left by a ball in the pocket and the 6-pin laying down in front of the 10-pin in a half hearted manner; same as “weak 10”.

Jersey/Brooklyn Side(or hit) – A ball that hits on the opposite side of the player’s normal pocket; i.e, a Jersey for a right handed player would hit on the 1-2 pocket; usually refers to getting a strike in the “wrong” pocket. Called a “Brooklyn” in most locations of the country.

Kegler – German word for bowler.

Lily – The 5-7-10 split; also known as the “sour apple”.

Loft – The distance the ball travels between the time of release and the time it hits the lane.

Long Oil – Condition in which the lane conditioner is applied from the foul line farther than normal. There is no magic standard, but 35-40 feet or more of application was considered long oil. It can be a more difficult condition in that there will be less back end to generate pocket entry angle. Long Oil in today’s environment would be considered anything longer than 40 feet of oil. 35 is now considered short oil.

Mass Bias – Mass bias in a bowling ball occurs when the weight block or portion of weight block is more dominant in one direction inside of a bowling ball.

Messenger – The name given to the pin that rolls across the pindeck into a pin or pins to either get a strike or break up a split.

Picket Fence – The 1-2-4-7 or 1-3-6-10 spares.

Range Finders – Markers in the lane that help the bowler determine the target line. There are two sets of such markers: 10 dots located seven feet past the foul line and seven arrows arranged in a triangle beginning 16 feet beyond the foul line. There are also range finders at 35 and 40 feet down the lane per USBC rules.

Turkey – 3 strikes in a row.

Washout – A “split” with the head pin standing; symbolized as “W”; not making the spare is considered a blow or error, not a split. For example, the 1-2-4-10 or 1-2-10 for right-handed bowlers, or the 1-3-6-7 or 1-3-7 for left-handers is considered a “washout.”


Congratulations, you now have the vocabulary of a bowling veteran.  Have fun with your new lingo, whether your chopping sour apples or shooting turkeys