Youth tenpin bowling is under way on Saturday mornings at all Brunswick bowling centers.
With divisions that fit all age groups from pee wees, who can be as young as 4 or 5 years old, through the varsity for ages 15 to 21, there's fun, excitement and instruction available for the asking.
Billy Little, 14, lives in Columbia and has been bowling since he was 3 years old. A junior varsity division bowler at Brunswick Columbia, Billy is a ninth-grader at Howard High. Last year, he carried a 155 average with his 16-pound Columbia Yellow Dot ball.
"This year, so far my average is 176," Little said. "I'm off to a pretty good start."
On Sept. 12, he fired games of 201, 210 and 163 for a 574 series. That's 109 pins over his average. He has a career-high game of 259.
Steve Dolecki, 16, is a varsity division bowler at Columbia and lives in Ellicott City.
"I bowl at Columbia because a lot of friends bowl there," Dolecki said.
Dolecki's average last year was 155. It will be considerably higher this year if he continues to bowl as he did on the third week of the season.
On Sept. 12, Dolecki had games of 179, 176 and 201 for a 556 series, 91 pins over his average. His career-high series is 650 and his high game is 256.
The 11th-grader at Centennial High uses a 16-pound Phantom for the strike ball and a Hammer for spares.
It's going to be a little difficult for Dolecki to find time to work on his bowling, however, because he's just started working at a local fast-food establishment. But he'll try. "I'll bowl any time that I get a chance," he said.
Seniors can win vacations
For the senior citizen, Brunswick is bringing back the Club 55 Vacation Classic.
This season-ending tournament for Brunswick senior league bowlers awards vacation trips for up to 15 winners nationally and is based on pins over average, so any Club 55 bowler can become a winner.
Club 55 offers those 55 and over many benefits, including reduced bowling rates, an awards program, expert instruction, lightweight bowling balls and special events.
Bernie King, secretary of Club 55 at Brunswick Normandy, is fielding a league with 26 teams this year. She said, "We'll find room for any senior bowler that wants to bowl on Thursday morning in the Club 55."
King, a Lisbon resident, has been secretary of the Club 55 league at Normandy for five years and keeps the league moving.
Born and raised in Baltimore, King is a pretty fair bowler. The retired federal government worker finds time each week to bowl in four leagues and her average is 151, with a high game of 224 and a high set of 540.
Do it better at Brunswick
Brunswick Columbia lanes has a new league called "Do It Better." For $8 per week for 15 weeks, professional instruction is available. The league starts Tuesday at 9:30 a.m.
This is a chance to improve your average quickly, and Brunswick Columbia will give you a bowling ball.