POLLOCK PINES — Bowling is considered by some people as a leisure sport.
The game seems simple. Roll a bowling ball toward 10 pins located at the end of the lane, hoping to knock all down for a strike while avoiding the gutter. A bowler gets two chances to level the pins. Most times, 10 games are played and the person with the highest score wins.
The recent bowling at Knotty Pine Lanes was competitive among siblings Kendall, 13, Samual, 11, and Catelyn Eddings, 7, who signed up for the eight-week Bowling Sports Camp conducted by Ed Dayton. The City of Placerville Parks and Recreation sponsored the event for kids between the ages of 6 to 14.
“The kids learn the basic delivery of the ball,” explained Dayton, one of the co-owners at the bowling alley. “Learning how to follow through, learning their footwork. They learn to bowl with other bowlers.”
One of the lessons young bowlers learn is to stay focused at their lane.
“They are not suppose to be running all over place,” Dayton said. “Bowling etiquette is the main thing.”
Dayton notes part of the lessons for the kids is to learn, but to have fun.
“We don’t try to over teach them,” Dayton said. “We encourage them, and encourage everything that they do.”
The Eddings, also from Pollock Pines, competed for family bragging rights at one of the lessons. Catelyn was the leading scorer in their games, Kendall was a close second and Samuel, third.
Catelyn used a 5-pound ball, which Dayton noted is usually the right size for a kid under the age of 10. Then they switch to the 7-pound, and move up to the heaviest at 16-pounds.
“As they get a little older, they start bowling in a regular way (like adults),” Dayton said. “Some of them have their own ball already. It depends on what they can handle. You never want them to throw a ball too light for them, or too heavy. You have to figure out their strength.”
If a bowler throws a ball that’s too light, the ball could go into the gutter lane, or sometimes into another bowler’s lane. If a bowler complains that their arm is sore, then the ball they could be using is too heavy.
“You want to make sure that they can keep their arms straight,” Dayton said. “Be comfortable with the ball.”
Once young bowlers become pre-teens and young adults, bowlers are taught to use their muscles in their arms and legs.
“Then they do quite well,” Dayton said. “Some of them are extremely good.”
Some of the young bowlers, like the Eddings clan, watched older bowlers at the alley, and have picked up good habits that Dayton feels will make them better bowlers if they stay with the game. But the best learning method is practice.
“You can teach by example,” Dayton said.
Knotty Pine Lanes offers various leagues to join. One of the top bowlers at the alley is Dustin Pearson, a senior at El Dorado High who rolled a perfect 300 game in the men’s 49er League toward the end of last year.
Pearson began bowling when his grandparents, Ed and Judy Dayton, purchased the bowling establishment seven years ago. He was part of the Junior Bowling League at that time. Now Pearson competes in the Men’s League games at the alley.
Earlier this year, the Sierra Gold Association hosted its annual men’s championship tournament at Knotty Pine Lanes. First place went to Pearson, who had scores of 224-203-298-257. Casey Goodman rolled to 100 pins over his average, taking second place with scores of 232-167-171-169. Pearson and Goodman, along with Rodney Jacobson, who rolled his first 300 perfect game with a series of 197-300-211-277, completed against other bowlers from El Dorado and Amador counties.
For more information about bowling lessons, contact Dayton at the alley at 530-644-5414, or visit knottypinebowl.com.
Contact Mike Bush at 530-344-5079 or [email protected] Follow @MBushMtDemo on Twitter.