Okay, well for many of you out there like myself that joined a 36-week bowling league back in the fall with visions of grandeur and league championships in your eyes, well….. reality has set it. You realize that the chances of your team finishing in first place aren’t that great. You realize that maybe you shouldn’t have voted for that prize structure with the huge prizes for the first couple places and very little for the rest of the league. Well, don’t worry, your league can still be a lot of fun. There are other ways to enjoy yourself while you bowl and watch the other team celebrate their victories. Here are a few ideas my teammates and I have came up with.
One of the most popular ideas is playing poker while bowling. The way to do this is you have a deck of cards on your team’s table while you are bowling. Each time someone on your team gets a spare or strike they receive a card from the top of the deck. Set up bonuses for if someone either gets three marks in a row (if you all are really struggling), or three strikes in a row that you get an extra card. In other words for your third mark in a row (or third strike depending on how you decide to set the rules), you get 2 cards instead of one. At the end of the 10th frame have everyone on your team form their best 5 card poker hand. The winner gets a prize, either a small pot of money that you decide to chip in on or maybe they don’t have to buy the next time it’s their turn to buy a round of beer. If you want to make it even more interesting, before the game choose a card as a wild card for that game.
Have your own “turkey bowl”, many leagues around Thanksgiving and Christmas will give out turkeys to anyone that gets strikes in 3 predetermined frames all in the same game. Well, okay maybe you and your friends don’t want to bring in a turkey for the winner. But how about do something like everyone chips in $1 ever game they bowl and the pot keeps increasing until it happens in one game where someone on your team gets strikes in the three predetermined frames in the same game , and then they win the entire pot. If two people do it in the same game then have the high score in that game be the tie breaker.
How about another game using cards. This time make it really easy. You play it the same way as the poker game I listed above, but instead of judging on poker hands you add up the value of all your cards. A’s are worth 11, face cards worth 10, and all other cards worth their face value. Person with the highest total wins. Of course you can actually play the first game and this game at the same time, with a winner for the poker hand and for the highest point total.
My final suggestion is for people making hard shots in the game. Have a prize for anyone making a split, with the bigger prize for the harder splits. This is rather simple and can be played along with the other games. Actually if you think about it, you can play all four of these games while you bowl. Prizes can be determined by you and your teammates depending on how much money you wish to contribute to the prize funds of these games. Remember the whole idea of bowling is to have fun and hopefully this will help if your team is like mine and now realizes first place is an extreme longshot at this point.