Bowling is Good for You!

Although bowling isn’t a full-contact physical sport, it still works muscle groups throughout your entire body. It’s a healthy
exercise for people of all ages. It’s important for seniors to maintain control of their motor skills, and it also helps children
work on their hand-eye coordination. We know that exercise can have very positive effects on your health, from lowering your risk chances of heart related incidents to increasing bone density, so why not get some exercise through bowling? Not to mention the fact that if you’re competitive, any adrenaline rush you may get increases your heart rate, which can also lead to better heart health. Oh yeah, and… it’s really fun!

You might not think of bowling as being good exercise, but you actually use quite a few muscle groups as you go through the
motions. When you break it down, you bend your knees during your approach, you keep your core tight, you use your legs to walk up to the lane, and you use your arm to throw the ball. There isn’t too much of your body that you’re not using when you’re bowling! It’s not an extreme cardio workout, or a heavy weight lifting routine, but it’s a well rounded combination of exercise that definitely helps burn calories.

At a later age, getting the proper amount of exercise can definitely become a challenge. Staying active is important because it’s
easy to lose it if you don’t use it. One of the good things about bowling is the bowler’s ability to choose and customize the ball
they use. It’s important not to use too heavy of a ball, especially at a later age, because you don’t want to put excess strain
on your body. Being able to have the right weight and fit makes it a lot easier to enjoy some light exercise. Most other sports
aren’t as adaptable, they don’t allow you to custom fit the game to yourself.

There aren’t too many sports that children, especially young children, can fully participate in. Light bowling balls and the
availability of ramps makes bowling a plausible activity for any age child. Although they might not be firing a 15 pound ball down the lane like an adult, they can still roll the ball (whether using a ramp or not) and experience what bowling is all about. It
also teaches kids about aim, and how to adjust where they’re aiming so that their next shot is more successful. These are all
healthy skills to learn, and the younger someone learns them they better off they are.

From the social aspect of bowling with a group of people to the concentration necessary to successfully knock pins down, bowling helps keep your mind active in many ways. It takes a lot of hand-eye coordination to bowl well. You can’t just run up to the lane and randomly throw the ball if you expect to see any kind of consistency in your bowling. A great amount of focus is required to be able to duplicate a good shot over and over again. You have to be alert and in the zone to know how to adjust and compensate for whatever bowling conditions you may be subject to.

No matter your age, bowling is good for your mind and body. Children can learn important developmental skills, and elders can
benefit from the exercise and mental stimulation. In a time where its increasingly challenging to stay active, bowling is a great
way to burn some calories and keep your mind sharp!

Fun for All Generations

Graphic of bowling ball and pins


Bowling is one of the few activities a whole family can do where every family member is able to participate. Trying to bring Grandpa out on the volleyball court or football field isn’t usually the best idea.. But the bowling center, that’s a whole different story! When done properly, bowling can be great fun for the whole family. It’s a great cross-generational activity for all ages!

A lot of parents feel like their families spend way too much time on their phones and other forms of technology. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a night where everyone set their phones down and spent time together? Having a family bowling night would be the perfect opportunity for everyone to step away from their devices and interact a little!

Out of all sports, bowling isn’t hard to learn. You can make relatively easy adjustments if you pay attention to where your ball is going, and where you want it to go. If you keep hitting the pins a little too far to the left, a simple adjustment to the right is most likely all you need. It’s great practice for hand-eye coordination. Bowling can also help a young person learn about cause and effect, and develop problem-solving skills. With our automated scoring system it’s easy to stay focused on bowling itself, without worrying about keeping score.

At Laurel Lanes we carry a ton of shoe sizes, everything from a kids 6 to a men’s 16!(Sorry Shaq, no size 22’s..) Just about anyone is able to come enjoy this fun sport! As well as owning enough shoes to practically open a shoe store, we also have a vast range of house balls. All of our balls are drilled to be able to fit as many size hands as possible, so there are no excuses! Our balls range in weight from a super light 6 pound ball, which would be appropriate for a child, to a 16 pound ball, which is the maximum weight allowed by the USBC. Will you be bowling with someone needs to use bumpers? Have no fear, they can be set to pop up automatically for anyone who needs them. If you have any issues with lifting and rolling a bowling ball, we have ramps available that will surely help.

It is not uncommon to see a Grandfather or Grandmother take their Grandchild bowling. It goes to show you that this sport truly knows no age. Many people start bowling as a child and continue on well through their senior years. It doesn’t matter how old you are, when you get a strike you can’t help but feel a sense of accomplishment! Some families come to bowl with 3 generations of family members, after all, the more the merrier!

Since anyone can bowl, it shouldn’t be hard to find someone to join you. Any age family member, neighbor, coworker, or friend can be a potential bowling buddy! While anyone can bowl, it’s important to pass healthy traditions and hobbies down to the next generation. It doesn’t take much to bring a kid bowling, so why not create a lasting memory and be the one to teach them how to bowl? The learning and bonding experiences are priceless, and you’ll see how great it is for two people relatively far apart in age to have fun doing the same activity at the same time!

First Date? Get the Ball Rolling with Bowling!


Have you ever thought about asking someone on a date but can’t stand the thought of another dinner filled with awkward silences?  Look no further than Laurel Lanes!  There are a lot of different aspects to a night out bowling that can help you quickly determine whether your date is a good match or not.

Forget going to the movies, where although you may be sitting next to someone for a considerable amount of time, it’ll most likely be without any conversation.  How about dinner?  It may be romantic, but when you’re with someone you really don’t know too well, it’s really easy to feel awkward and get caught up in those moments of silence..

Instead you could be in a fun, stress-free environment like Laurel Lanes!  There’s much more to do than just bowl here.  We have a large arcade with games for all ages, Splitz Bar & Grill (which has an extensive American Grill Menu), a second full-service bar right behind the lanes, and Tony Luke’s, the real taste of South Philly!  No movie theater or restaurant will provide you with options like that.  We even have a new scoring system with built in games and the ability to take pictures right at your lane’s table!  You can look up to your scoring monitor after every frame and see your faces cropped into animations doing random silly things.  Needless to mention, our two bars are well stocked and sure to keep anyone 21+ happy, which can certainly be a big plus on a first date!

You can learn a lot about someone’s personality while bowling on a first date.  Do they put their name in the computer as something funny, or are they straight forward and put in their real name?  There’s a big difference between typing in “Steve” vs typing in “Dr.PinCrusher”!  You can also see the way your date reacts to competition.  If they’re able to joke about themselves not doing too well, you may have found someone it’d be easy to spend some time with.  On the other hand, if they repeatedly slam their fist against the ball return because they got a gutter ball, you might have found someone you’ll see on the news in the near future. But hey, maybe that’s your thing.

Bowling also provides you the opportunity to show that you have good manners, showing respect as you step to the side while your date walks down toward the ball return, by picking up their ball and handing it to them, or even just getting refills on drinks.  If you’re pretty comfortable with your date and they’re still struggling with bowling, you might even take advantage of the opportunity to stand behind them and help guide them.  OoOoh how romantic!

Everyone knows a first date can be a little stressful, but you don’t have to let it be.  Choose bowling and make it a lot more comfortable and easy to enjoy your time together!  Just remember, even if worst comes to worst and you’re not crazy about each other, you can still enjoy your time bowling!

How Three Strikes became a “Turkey”


Graphic of bowling ball and pins

How Three Strikes became a Turkey – Have you ever heard someone use the word “turkey” when talking about bowling?  In bowling, a turkey means shooting three strikes in a row.  This silly name might sound like something someone came up with as a joke, but it actually has roots dating back hundreds of years ago!

During bowling tournaments way back in the 1800’s, some bowling centers gave food items out as prizes to anyone who could shoot three strikes in a row.  Around the time of Thanksgiving in the United States, some centers decided it would be appropriate to give a turkey to anyone who could achieve this feat.  When a player got three strikes in a row, their teammates would yell out “Turkey!” to let whoever was running the center know that someone had earned their prize.

In the 1930’s, the Great Depression left many families poor and hungry.  Bowling centers used this to their advantage and would offer turkeys as sweepstakes prizes during Thanksgiving and Christmas time.  When you hear about someone giving away a turkey, you might think of a frozen turkey that you buy for Thanksgiving.  But some of these centers actually gave out live turkeys!  Can you imagine if Laurel Lanes did that?  We’d need a turkey farm on the roof!

You might be thinking “Wow, I’ve hit three strikes in a row a lot of times, why haven’t I been rewarded?”  Keep in mind that back in those times bowling worked quite differently.  Automatic pinsetters hadn’t been invented yet, so all the pins were set by hand.  This often led to an uneven setup of the pins.  Some bowling centers would actually put weights in the bottom of some pins during tournaments to make it even more difficult to knock them down.  Back then, lanes were still cleaned and oiled by hand.  There was very little consistency from lane to lane, and you didn’t know how a ball was going to react.  To top it all off, bowling balls were made of a hard rubber, which made it even harder to throw accurately because they weren’t balanced too well.

It wasn’t easy at all to bowl back then, let alone get three strikes in a row.  Lucky for you, now we have a machine that
consistently cleans and oils all of our lanes.  You have a much better shot of bowling a turkey these days.  But when you do, all
you’re going to win are bragging rights!

The History of Bowling

There's no doubt bowling has been around for a very long time.


There’s no doubt bowling has been around for a very long time.  Just how long?  You might be surprised.

In 1895 while researching an ancient egyptian grave, British archeologist Flinders Petrie discovered a group of heavy stone balls.  If Petrie was correct that they were bowling balls, then bowling would date all the way back to 3200 BC.  In that grave a group of heavy stone balls were found as well as nine vase-shaped stones.  The vase-shaped stones were only flat on the bottom, which led Flinders to believe they were stood up, and the balls (which were heavy) were rolled at them.  Since the balls and vases were found separately, it’s hard to determine whether or not this was the first instance of bowling.  It could have just been coincidental that these objects were found together.

The first historical documentation of bowling according to the PBA (Professional Bowler’s Association) is back in 300 AD Germany.  It was said that bowling was used as part of a religious ceremony.  Whoever could knock down the pins was of good character, and those who missed had to confess their sins.  Can you imagine if we still had to do that?  I’d be in Church after every game.

A century later in England, bowling was something of an exclusive sport.  King Henry VIII and his advisors were known to be fans of lawn bowling.  They would go out into the royal gardens and throw “bowls” or balls around the large open lawns.  These were the same areas where jousting, wrestling, and tennis took place.  King Edward III was known to have outlawed bowling because his troops kept choosing to bowl instead of practicing their archery.  He also banned bowling for everyone except the upper class, because so many working men were neglecting their trades.

Throughout the colonial era, bowling kept growing in popularity.  In Connecticut in 1841, a law was passed prohibiting nine-pin bowling because of all the gambling and crime associated with it.  The people couldn’t stand it, so they decided to add a tenth pin to bypass the law.  This created the ten-pin format we all know and love today.  In 1895 the American Bowling Congress, a national organization was created to regulate rules and create national bowling competitions.

By 1945 ten-pin bowling became a billion-dollar industry in the United States alone.  The next year AMF (American Machine and Foundry) released the first fully automatic commercial pinsetter.  Before then, a person would stand by the pins and set them by hand.  The pinsetter, or pinspotter, had to clear fallen pins and return the balls.  So, when the automatic pinsetters came around it made the game a lot quicker and smoother.

Since then, bowling hasn’t stopped advancing, and neither has the technology surrounding it.  Now there are systems in place that automatically keep track of your score for you, and your ball returns to you soon after it hits the pins.  Thank god for modern technology!