Bowling gutter guards

Gutter guards at UltraStar Multi-tainment Center’s Ten Pins Down are designed to give beginning bowlers more confidence.

MARICOPA — Many bowlers, no matter the skill level, can remember the feeling of knocking down their first pins, even if they did so with the assistance of bumper guards.

Dale Schnell, Maricopa’s newly arrived Ten Pins Down bowling pro and general manager, is available to assist aspiring bowlers in the area 6-7:30 p.m. Fridays through Aug. 16 to sharpen their skills. Ten Pins Down is located at UltraStar Multi-tainment Center.

Schnell was inducted into the Tucson Hall of Fame in February 2015 after working in the bowling business for 35 years, the past 25 years in Arizona. He has worked most of that time in Tucson and more recently, he did a short stint in Flagstaff after which he says he needed to move back to warmer weather.

UltraStar’s 24 lanes are only seven years old and have a state-of-the-art scoring system with the added feature of optional patented gutter guards, keeping the ball in the alleyway and out of the gutter for your bowling enjoyment.

Ten Pins also offers an assist with Dino Ramps, red foam dinosaurs that allow small children or anyone with low upper body strength due to surgery or for any reason to successfully bowl. Loading the bowling ball onto Dino, then simply letting go, yielded all pins down with its perfectly straight and steady delivery.

Both Dino and gutter guards are more recently available options to allow and encourage more people to participate in bowling and be able to enjoy scoring.

Scoring in bowling is about balance. It’s about the ability of the bowler to balance the body, limbs and ball weight as he or she strides up to the lane to deliver the ball, as straight as possible into the lane.

People who do balance activities such as yoga, pilates, Tai Chi and others may be better at bowling and vice versa. Bowling may be a way to layer on balance and core-centered activity.

Have you ever been bowling and had trouble letting go of the ball? Schnell has a tip for that. “Roll the ball off of your finger tips,” he said.

Want to overcome the most common mistake made by a casual bowler? Schnell said, “Keep your arm straight and follow through to the head pin.”

New plans for Ten Pins Down include starting new leagues and events, tournaments and other bowling specials. Schnell has focused on special needs and Special Olympics bowling leagues at his other locations in the past and is especially interested in forming those leagues at Ten Pins.

For $10 per person, you can bowl two games, complete with a bowling ball, shoes and expert instruction offered by Schnell.

“Earlier this Summer, more people were coming on Friday nights but as the new school year approached in July, fewer people came,” Schnell said. “We want people to know we are still out here for family activity every Friday night.”

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