Bowling Ethnography Essays

1125 Words Mar 16th, 2010 5 Pages
Heather Dooley

10 Pound Balls

We tend to think that bowling is a very simple and boring sport played by only older men. I did my fieldwork at a bowling alley during two different leagues to explore the different social interactions among bowlers. I learned that bowling is not limited to one specific age group or gender. I also discovered there is a unique hierarchy among the bowlers that is not determined by their age or gender. This social status is dependent upon their bowling average, type of ball used, and the weight of their balls. I found there were many other social interactions that occurred between smaller groups of bowlers such as teammates. I first entered the field during a Wednesday night bowling league. The
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This league has a larger amount of money to be won at the end of the season because of the competitiveness. When the bowler referred to average he meant the average amount of pins he will usually knock down during three games. Every game you have the opportunity to knock down 120 pins. Each game played has ten frames. The term frames means each turn all the bowlers take. Every frame the bowler has the chance to knock down ten pins. If you knock down all ten pins at once this is called a strike. When you bowl a strike it earns you more then ten points. If you bowl a strike for every frame you can receive a 300 game. This is the highest score you can reach and it is very difficult to achieve. Strike Terminology: 1 - Strike
2 - Double
3 - Turkey
4 – Four Bagger
5 – Five Bagger
6 – Six Bagger
7 – Seven Bagger
8 – Eight Bagger
9 – Nine Bagger
10 – Ten Bagger
11 – Eleven Bagger
12 – Twelve Bagger

I discovered the main way bowlers judge each other’s skills is through the average they hold. Someone with a 250 average considers himself a better bowler then someone with a 185 average, even if the lower average bowler beats him in a game. Another form of bowling hierarchy is determined by the type of ball you use. Some bowlers will pay anywhere between $250 to more than $300 for just one ball! I learned that there are different types of bowling balls made to help you throw the ball a certain way. Some people may buy a

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