If you are reading this article, the chances are that you are up for opening a bowling alley of your own and want to know more about the types of equipment that are needed. Bowling is quite a simple game that demands making the pins fall down with a bowling ball. But there is much more to it when you require to set up a complete bowling alley.
List of Equipment Required
- Bowling Ball: Not all bowling balls are the same; the size depends on the type of game you are playing. The ten-pin bowling balls are 8.59 inches or 21.8 cm in diameter and weigh about 6 to 16 lbs or 2.7 to 7.3 kg. Each ball has a standard three holes and the spacing between them is smaller to accommodate smaller hands. However, it can be customized. The material also matters – a modern resin cover is great for the ball’s hook potential; the traditional plastic balls are more suitable for straight shots. Then there are also duckpin and candlepin balls which do not have any holes but fit the hand perfectly.
- Bowling Pins: Bowling pins are the next biggest requirement for the game. The pins are usually cylindrical and wide at the bottom. The ten-pin bowling pins are the heaviest of all. They weigh about 3.6 lbs or 1.5 kg. Other pins like duckpins are shorter than tenpins while candlepins are the tallest but not as wide. Bowling pins are usually constructed out of maple wood or any other approved synthetics. They are then coated with plastic, painted, and covered with a glossy finish. One can differentiate plastic pins from wooden pins by their sound when the ball hits them.
- Bowling Shoes: A normal shoe wouldn’t do at the bowling alley. Special bowling shoes would be needed which could provide proper traction and slide. Deciding on a bowling shoe can be pretty individualistic depending on your age, shoe size, expertise, and bowling frequency.
- Alleys: The bowling alley is the space where the player would play the game. The material used is either synthetic or wooden while the number of lanes can be varied. Each lane has a pinsetter and a monitor screen to display the score.
- Pinsetters: Pinsetters or pinspotters is an automatic device that helps put the pins to their original place after a hit has been made. It also helps the ball to return to the alley and clear the fallen pins. Previously, the same job was done by a human being.
- Automatic Scorers: A scorer is a screen that can usually be found on top of the bowling lane. It helps to keep the scores of the players and the teams. The automatic scorer is directly connected to the foul detector to be more accurate. Traditionally, the teams used to keep a score by themselves.
- Ball Return System: Bowling ball return system allows the ball to return automatically to the player after each throw. The system has a covered tunnel through which the balls return to the end of the bowling lane. A standard ball return is 9.1’ (2.78 m) in length with a width of 18” (45.7 cm). The rails are 21″ (53 cm) and the cover has a height of 34.5” (87.5 cm).
- Central Management System: A central management system is mandatory to make the whole process go smoothly. It can be integrated with multimedia, the display offers on the screen, create invoices, handle bookings and reservations, give visual lane overview, etc as soon as a lane is booked.
- Seating Arrangements: Bowling alleys are usually comprised of a lounge where the participants can wait for their turn or simply order food and drinks. The seating arrangements depends on individual perspective. The seating area can have tables, lounge sofas, and chairs.