Here is a preliminary list of the main “bowling” artifacts that I have either seen, heard about, or made note of on my first initial visit to my site, Summit Lanes Bowling Center. Some of these items are self-explanatory, while others may require a little explanation, which I will provide alongside the particular item.
Bowling shoes—shoes with a slick bottom are used by bowlers so their feet do not stick to the lane and cause them to trip or fall when releasing their weighty bowling ball. Some people have bought their own designer shoes, while most others can rent them for an additional fee when they pay for games. I believe shoes are included in the league sign-up fees.
Hand brace—this is similar to what you would see someone with carpal tunnel wear. At the top of the brace, there is a hole for the thumb and a contoured piece that rests along the back of the hand, while the remainder of the brace fits snuggly around the wrist, keeping hand and wrist aligned. it is generally constructed of plastic and canvas and has Velcro straps to secure it. This is used by some bowlers to either provide support for their wrist or to keep their wrist from twisting when they release the ball, thereby changing the course, or path, the ball will take down the lane and ultimately hit the pins at a desired angle.
Fitters (for finger holes in balls)—bowling balls are generally custom-made to fit the individual bowlers hand; however, if the holes drilled become too large (not drilled exactly right from the beginning, or the bowler loses a significant amount of weight) or the bowler does not have their own ball and uses one of thousands provided by the alley for visitor use, these fitters go into the holes to make the ball easier to grip and hold onto.
Powder pouches—these are similar to what gymnasts use to absorb moisture from their hands, thereby preventing the grip on the ball as being too slick in some cases, or sticking in others.
Lanes—made of wood and kept oiled (I am not certain at this time what kind of wood or what kind of oil).
Lane approach—this is a length outside the lane, a sort of “running start” that bowlers use to approach the edge of the lane where they release the ball.
Arrows on lane approach—these arrows are located on two points of the lane approach. One set is immediately upon steeping onto the “platform” from the sitting area, the other is halfway between the first set and the edge of the lane. Some people use the ones farther back due to long legs or a need to take more steps in their approach. I cannot recall how many arrows go across the line, but will check on my visit this evening, but do know they are there to guide the bowlers approach.
Ball return—this unit sits on the beginning of the platform edge, dividing two lanes. It is the machine that brigs your ball from the back where they hit the pins, under the alley and up onto a circular catch podium where bowlers can retrieve their balls for their next turn.
Fan—found on the ball return, another way that bowlers can dry the sweat from their hands if necessary.
Racks for balls—these racks line the entire set of lanes, on a higher platform (which is the “main floor,” just above the seating area, and contains several rows of bowling balls with varying weights for visiting bowlers.
Score board—an electronic score keeping board that hangs from the ceiling, centered with the score table, which is located in the seating area just behind the ball return.
Score table—this table used to be where using a score card and golf pencil, bowlers would keep track of everyone’s score; however, thanks to technology, score keeping is computerized. The table holds a touch screen where you can enter bowler’s names and in what order you have chosen to bowl.
Bowling ball cleaning machine—this machine is exclusively for cleaning bowling balls, takes money like a vending machine, and will clean and polish one bowling ball at a time.