When I was studying in the university, before the final exams, I would often go to Al Masa Bowling Alley in Shatti Al Qurum to relieve myself of the exam stress. After I graduated, I continued to visit the bowling centre with friends to play as a group amidst the crowds of children, teenagers, and elders who filled the venue each weekend. Bowling is one of the few games that anyone can enjoy, and it is especially loved in our desert country, where it offers an active escape during hot summer days.
As the story goes, bowling may have even originated in the Arab world, with traces of balls and bottles thought to be used for sport, found in Pharaonic tombs of ancient Egypt. The game as we know it today is traced back to eleventh century England and in 1895, the Americans founded the first union for bowling.
Bowling requires a very smooth long wooden lane to facilitate the rolling of a heavy bowling ball that’s hurled towards 10 pins that are arranged at the end of the lane. The basic object of the game is to knock-down as many pins as possible in as few a throws as possible during a ten-round (called frame) game in which each person or team gets two chances per frame to knock down their pins.
As far as scoring the game, if all the pins go down in one throw it is a strike, if the remaining pins from the first throw are knocked down on the second try, it is called a spar and is marked on the score card as a slash. If the pins still remain after the second throw, the total knocked-down pins are counted as the player’s score.
A strike is 10 points plus the number of pins knocked down for the next two rolls; a spar is 10 points plus the number of pins knocked down on the next roll. On the tenth and final frame, if you roll a strike you get two additional rolls in which to rack-up points. A perfect score in bowling is the coveted 300, for which a player would have to roll 12 strikes in a row. Even if you don’t keep score, practising the heavy bowling ball down the slippery lane is a great way to have fun and get in a little sport during the hotter months. And it remains my favourite way to knock my stress right out. —[email protected]
Where to play your frames in muscat:
1. Oman Bowling Centre:
Al Khuwair, opposite the Muscat Holiday Hotel +968 9136 7694 Timings: Thurs-Tues 10:00am-2:00am Wed 11:30am-2:00am
+968 9136 7694
2. Al Masa Bowling Alley:
Shatti Al Qurum, behind Al Saroj petrol station +968 2469 3991 almasamalloman.com Timings: Daily 10:00am-1:00am
+968 2469 3991
3. Star Bowling Centre:
Qurum, next to the Natural Park, inside Fun Zone +968 2466 2988 Timings: Sat-Wed 9:00am-12:00am Thurs 9:00am-1:00am Fri 2:00pm-1:00am
+968 2466 2988