Benita Adesuyan takes a look at the new ladies’ bowling league in Dubai.
You don’t need to have twinkle toes like Fred Flintstone to enjoy bowling and with ever more new leagues to join, if you’ve haven’t given ten pin bowling a bash, summer is an ideal time to try it out.
The Dubai Bowling Centre in Al Quoz is home to more than 30 teams in three leagues and in particular has a growing women’s league. Maggie Archangel is the league and events organiser at DBC and she’s been a keen bowler herself for five years. She says that the centre has seen the women’s league really develop and appeal to players for social as well as sporting reasons ‘Right now its warm outside and people like to do something healthy instead of just going to the malls. Bowling is a nonstop process of learning, if you’re a first timer you’ll definitely come back because you’ll enjoy learning the techniques. Some people come a few times for fun and then soon start buying their own bowling balls and they register with the club.’
Bowling is a sociable sport and it’s easily accessible to people of all ages, but Maggie insists that it’s still highly competitive. ‘You have to play with your best team because every week we have prizes for the best teams, male and female, so they have to bring a strong side to be in with a chance.’
While most leagues are currently in their summer break and will resume in September, the bowling doesn’t stop as the club is still open tevery day to anyone who wants to play and Maggie believes now is a good time to try out the sport with friends before deciding to form a team for the leagues.
The women’s league play on Wednesday evenings, with the mixed teams on Monday nights, and they all play a variety of bowling called no-tap. No-tap is a quicker form of bowling, in standard bowling you have to knock down all ten pins at once for a strike, in no-tap you only need to have five pins down for it to count as a strike.
DBC currently has 16 ladies’ teams and are open to receiving more new players. While the regulars and the pros make it look easy, casually throwing a succession of strikes, Maggie says that when beginners take to the lanes there are a few things that tend to trip them up. ‘Beginners often struggle with getting strikes because they don’t realise that we have to oil the lanes, so a real first-timer may find that they’re struggling.
If you throw a house ball it will not always travel in a perfect straight line, it will go a little bit to the left or right side. We use a lane oil to avoid scratches on the ball and to maintain the lanes. But pros will examine the oil pattern before they throw.’
The centre also offers coaching for beginners who want to develop their technique, stance and use different balls and ultimately start racking up those all-star strikes. So, whether you are a bowling fan who has not played in a while or a newbie this could be the perfect time to try this sport.
Dhs200-Dhs500 for annual membership plus Dhs10 pay per play fee. Sun-Wed 10am-midnight, Thu 10am- 2am, Fri 10am-1.30am, Dubai Bowling Centre, Al Quoz www.bowlingdubai.com (04 339 1010).
How to bowl a strike
Firstly, choose the right ball for you. The ball should not be too heavy or too light and have the right size for your fingers. Then focus on the arrow on the lane, not on the pins, and just walk straight before the foul-line. Always keep your arm straight until you release the ball on the right time. Lastly, don’t forget to follow through, swing it easy and smooth and you’ll get a perfect strike.
More bowling centres to try in Dubai
Dubai International Bowling Centre, Al Mamzar
This is one of the largest bowling centres in Dubai and has 36 lanes. It also has a pro shop where can players can buy balls and shoes.
www.dubaibowlingcentre.com (04 296 9222).
This chain of bowling and entertainment centres has venues across the UAE with three in Dubai at Deira City Centre and also the Dubai Festival City Mall.
www.bowling-city.com (04 242 8600).
Yalla! Bowling Lanes and Lounge
Located in PlayNation, Mirdif City Centre, this family-friendly bowling facility has 12 lanes of ten-pin bowling with cool graffiti décor.
www.theplaymania.com/yallabowling (04 231 6257).