By Riley Hendersen
The bowling alley is a popular entertainment center for people of all ages. No matter where you are, in the modern day, it is difficult to drive very far without passing a bowling alley. The sport of bowling has steadily increased in popularity over the past century, which has, in turn, increased the demand to support this game.
Although the sport of bowling has been traced back to 3200 BC Egypt, standardization of the game did not come into play until the late-19th century. In the primitive stages of the game people set the pins at the end of each lane after each player bowled. These pinsetters were later replaced by a mechanical pinsetter that would automatically set the pins after each bowl. This efficiency was the dawn of technology in the bowling alley, and helped to spur even more interest in bowling. The mechanical ball return also did the same for the game.
With bowling organizations for all groups of people "men, women, and children" bowling has become a sport oriented to families as well as people of all ages. In many cases, a bowling alley will offer special attractions geared toward all age groups, including video games, table games, and snack bars. At night, many turn down the bright lights, turn up the black lights, and employ the use of fluorescent colored pins and decorations in conjunction with popular music to add to the entertainment factor and draw a young, hip crowd. Additionally, it often will provide space to accommodate children's birthday parties and community fund raising events.
The term "alley" has often carried the connotation of a dark, dingy, smoky lair of gambling and other crooked affairs. It was this same connotation that caused all early ninepins alleys to be outlawed in Connecticut in the mid-19th century, which in turn, created the common tenpins played in North America. It is increasingly popular for a bowling alley to be referred to as a bowling center. This helps to promote the more positive and friendly environment for which bowling has truly come to be known. It is also a more realistic representation of what is in store for those who enter the doors of their local bowling "establishment."
At first glance, one may argue that each bowling center is the same. Dozens of bowling lanes, countless bowling balls lined up on tiered racks for bowlers to utilize, multi-colored bowling shoes for rent, the arcade, and the snack bar are all common. However, it is the character of each bowling alley that is so alluring. Some are old, some are new; some are smaller and some are quite large; some are decorated with trophies; and some decorated with colorful artwork and murals throughout. But the charm of the atmosphere is never the same from one to the next. Decades of evolution have fashioned it into an indoor entertainment center in which families and friends of all ages can take pleasure.
Labels: Bowling Alley