There’s a Bowling Team at East?!

Robert Munch, Staff Writer

When fall comes to a close and a new sports season begins, many seem to only care about one of East’s four sports played during the winter: basketball, men’s or women’s. But one quite interesting sport many don’t ever hear about. Overlooked by basketball in the winter season, bowling might be the least known sport at East. Most only know about bowling due to being on the team or having friends on the team and some don’t even know what the sport is. This doesn’t make bowling bad or boring,there’s just not much attention given to it. Some people may even say that bowling isn’t a sport.

“People consider chess a sport, so if bowling isn’t a sport, then chess definitely isn’t” said senior bowler and team leader Jace Sanders.

“It’s really difficult to get a large crowd in,” said Coach Thibodeau on why bowling doesn’t receive much attention. Many students don’t realize the bowling team has meets, and of course, not many people go because many think it might be weird to be one of the few or only kid standing behind the bowling team as they participate in a meet.

Led by Coach Thibodeau and made up of six co-ed bowlers, varsity bowling can be tough to get into. Varsity bowlers are expected to bowl a 200 or more score which is a very hard feat. The team practices 4-5 times a week at Olathe Lanes East for an hour and a half and compete in meets where all six varsity bowlers bowl. In the meets the best four scores from each team are recorded to eventually award a winner.

Bowling for Dummies

In a bowling game, a person takes a bowling ball and rolls into into 10 pins attempting to knock down as much as possible without going into the gutters where you get zero points.. They compete others to see who can get the most points, the max score being 300. Here are some bowling terms to further explain:


  • Strike: When all ten pins are knocked down with one ball.  You get 10 pins plus the total pins scored from your next two turns
  • Spare: All ten pins are knocked down with two consecutive balls.  You get ten pins plus the total pins scored on the next ball.
  • Game: A game consists of ten frames per person.
  • Frame: A frame consists of up to two deliveries.  If you bowl a strike, there is only one delivery per frame.  However if there are any pins remaining after the first ball, a frame consists of two deliveries.   
  • Foul Line: The black line at the start of the lane.  It separates where the bowler physically delivers the ball from the lane where the balls travels on its way to the pin deck.  You will receive a foul for crossing this line
  • Gutter: The section on both sides of the lane where the ball ends up should it come off the lane.  You get a score of zero for a gutterball as it doesn’t hit any pins
  • Double: Occurs when two strikes in a row are bowled.
  • Turkey: Occurs when three strikes in a row are bowled.


Bowling may not be the most well-known sport, but the bowlers couldn’t care less. Each bowler takes the game very seriously but also have a little fun, just like every other sport. The bowlers look to compete for state every year, one of the most exciting times for them, just like every other sport. With this in mind, maybe more may start paying more attention to bowling, and treating it like every other sport.

“We’ve managed to put together a family-type atmosphere with the kids, and the kids bond with each other and they have a great time.” said Coach Thibodeau.