Bowlers Wanted!

Kurt Heinz - 10/15/2020

Proposal – VFW Post 6722 Bowling League

Why have a bowling league?

1.      FUN: The first reason to have a bowling league is that it is fun. Bowling takes a little skill but it is not a hard or strenuous game. There is something satisfying about knocking the heck out of those pins standing at the other end of the lane. There is a distinctive sound those pins give out when you bowl a strike. You will know you got a strike just by the sound alone.



2.      CAMARADERIE: Let’s face it. The reason for the existence of the VFW is to promote the camaraderie of veterans as well as to help the community. Taking time out once a week for a couple of hours to meet other post members and shoot the breeze and share funny stories between frames while have refreshments is a great way to some free time.


3.      MONEY: There is prize money for the best team or the best bowlers. Some of the money you pay to bowl goes into a prize pool that is paid out at the end of the season. Depending on the creativity of the league, there is money to be won with high score or strike pots. It is whatever the league dreams up. If the bowlers want, some of the money from the prize pool can go back into the post. It is up you, the participants.



4.      THE CHARACTERS: You won't believe it until you see it. Even then, you might not believe it. League bowling brings out some of the most colorful, interesting, baffling personalities in the world. You have no idea these people are in your community or your post until you join a bowling league. From unbelievably talented bowlers to inexplicably strange humans, you get a cross-section of society you didn't realize existed.



5.      FITNESS: For those of us in our golden years anything that gets us up and about is a good thing. While bowling is not a particularly strenuous activity, after three games lugging and tossing that bowling ball around will give you a little energy boost that simply watching TV can’t do.



6.      SNACKS: Every bowling alley has some kind of snack bar with drinks. Some alleys even have a bar. Although Buffaloe Lanes in Dunn doesn’t have alcoholic beverages, it does have light snacks and sodas.



7.      GAMES: Buffaloe Lanes has a ton of other electronic games available for diversion. If you have young kids and don’t want to pay for a sitter, this venue is for you. You can bring the kids. There is a ton of entertainment available for them while you bowl, mix, and mingle with the post membership.



8.      US BOWLING CONGRESS MEMBERSHIP: The USBC will sanction the league for a small fee. USBC membership qualifies members for awards and discounts for hotels and cars among other things. However, USBC membership and sanctioning is not required for a local bowling league.



9.      RELAXATION: After a long day at the office, doing housework or yard work, it is great to just get a respite from the day’s chores and enjoy everyone’s company to have a good laugh. Because you will have a good laugh when you see how most of us bowl.

How can bowling help VFW Post 6722?

Did I mention there is money to be had during a night of bowling? It is up to the league to decide what to do with the prize money we all contribute to the kitty when we pay for our games. It is up to the membership to decide how much money will be paid out in prizes and how much will be put into the general fund for other things like renovations, supplies, or relief fund efforts. By participating in a night of bowling you are not only having fun but contributing to the post. A bowling league is also seen by other bowlers at the bowling establishment. It advertises our presence in the community. It is a great way to recruit new post members.

So how does this all work?

A bowling league needs to have the participation of the post. The more bowlers we have participating, the better. Between 24 and 30 bowlers would be a good start, more the merrier. I think it would even be good to open the league up to folks who are friends of Post 6722 like the Lillington chapter of the Marine Corps League or the American Legion.


There are two seasons per calendar year. Each season is 17 weeks long. The first season starts in late August and goes till December. Then there is a break for Christmas and New Year then the second 17 week season begins in mid January to May. After each season there is a payout of prize money from the kitty.


Between now and the beginning of the January – May bowling season, we need to sign up our bowlers with name, address, phone, and email. I suggest we have a mixed league of bowlers that include:



  •         Members and family over 18 years of age from Post 6722 and the Women’s Auxiliary.  
  •         Friends of Post 6722. By that I mean we have relationships with other veteran organizations in Lillington. We should open up participation to:

o  The American Legion Post 28

o  The Disabled American Veterans Association (DAV)

o  The Marine Corps League "Crossed Rifles" Detachment #1346



·        We can select team captains and have a draft of bowlers. On the other hand, we can randomly assign bowlers to a team.



Buffaloe Lanes in Erwin, NC would be our bowling establishment. We would meet there one night a week; preferably when the post canteen is closed. Currently, I do know they openings for a league on Monday night and possibly Wednesday night in January.



Every team bowls three games. The three game line Buffaloe Lanes charges is a flat rate of $11. Bowlers will kick in an extra few dollars for the prize kitty. I am recommending another $5. The league members agree upon that amount in advance of the season in an organizing meeting. At the end of the season, Buffaloe Lanes will provide our league with a pay out of our prize kitty minus the cost of the games.



For example, let’s say we agree on a $5 prize kitty at the start of the season. On the night of our scheduled league, the bowlers pay $11 for the cost of their games plus an extra $5 dollars for the kitty to go to prizes at the end of the season. If we have 30 bowlers that would mean we would get a payout at the end of the 17 week season of approximately $2550. Multiply that by two seasons per calendar year and the amount is $5100. We can also run a nightly 50 – 50 drawing that people could kick into if they want to. Or we can run a nightly high score prize. It is up to us. But participation in these extra gambits is not required.



Bowlers are responsible for their own shoe rentals. Of course, if you have your own shoes and bowling ball, you would not have to rent. If a team member cannot make bowling night, he/she can roll off in advance. However, to do that, the entire team must roll off in advance. Otherwise, a team uses the absent bowler’s bowling average minus 10 pins. Therefore, it behooves the team to roll off in advance together to avoid that penalty.



We can distribute prize money any way we like at the end of the season. Some examples are the top teams can split a portion of the prize money among themselves. We can award a prize for best overall average. If a person bowls a perfect game, that person can get a prize. Alternatively, we can have a banquet/luncheon. Some of the money can go into the general or relief fund or to a community service program. As an example what can be done with the prize kitty money, I participated in a summer league one year as a teenager. The kitty money was used to get tickets to Pittsburgh Pirate games and Pittsburgh Steeler games. It paid for the bus to take up to the stadium. When we returned to the bowling alley, there was a luncheon waiting for us. It was great fun.

I have talked to Buffaloe Lanes.

While there are more details to be worked out. The bowling lanes help in the management of the league so it is not all on us. The facility is nice. There are drinks and snacks. They have a nice pro shop. And if a bowler has kids and cannot get a baby sitter, there are plenty of diversions at the facility to occupy their time. One does not even have to understand how to keep score anymore. The AMF bowling system the facility employs does all the scoring automatically.



So this is just a quick overview of what having a bowling league is like. I will continue to communicate with Buffaloe Lanes in Erwin to get more details. I will also put an announcement in the website and print out some flyers we spread around. Those you that have connections to our Friends of Post 6722 can spread the word with them and deliver some flyers. I will create a roster book to collect names, addresses, phone, and email information. I would like to leave it in the canteen so if anyone comes by when the canteen is open, and is interested in signing up, they can do so. I also recommend advertising the sign up on the bill board occasionally.


Folks interested in signing up for the bowling league can email the post Quartermaster at They can sign up at the canteen at after 5 P.M. Wednesday through Friday. Or they can call the post at 910-893-3706 to leave a message.