Three years ago, junior Brandon Tran bowled for the first time. At first, bowling was a way for him to connect with his family until he joined a bowling league with his brother and dad a year and a half later.
“We usually do it as a team or we try to compete amongst each other,” Tran said. “[Bowling] helped bring us closer because my parents and relatives don’t have a lot of time since they have work.”
Tran would bowl for four hours every Sunday or two hours every day. During the summer when he has more free time, Tran competes in leagues in Rosemead and Arcadia. The local leagues happen in the early hours of the morning, from 12-2 a.m. or 8 p.m. to 12 a.m.
“There’s no age limit, but you have to be over 14,” Tran said. “You sign up with three other people as a team and you go against others, whether it’s competitive or just to get around and get to know each other.”
Tran finds bowling appealing as it helps him kill time and he is able to meet new people during league competitions.
“Most of them are relatively older than me so if I ever went bowling out they would ask me to go bowling with them,” Tran said. “[It’s] chill. Everybody’s more mature.”
To Tran, the challenging part about bowling is trying to keep a consistent technique to hit pins at a certain angle and score strikes, as over time cramps and soreness can develop.
“When I first didn’t stretch, I kind of pulled my muscle,” Tran said, “so I had to go to the doctor’s. Then it’s just this aching and sore feeling when you first bowl. It’s like muscle memory after that.”
Without a certain technique or rhythm, bowling can be difficult for newcomers. Endurance is another main factor when competing.
“Bowling’s actually pretty hard if you don’t have a certain technique and you don’t follow a certain rhythm,” Tran said, “because over time, as you bowl, it drains your energy and being able to bowl for four hours during league is very, very consuming.”
One of the bowler’s fondest memories was when he and his team scored 200 points each, almost winning the league.
“We got destroyed because this other team had 200 to 300 [points], so we ended up losing,” Tran said.
Since school has started, Tran has less time to go bowling with his family. Though he does not plan to continue bowling after high school, Tran said that he will probably play for recreation with his friends and family.
“I bowl because my parents no longer have time to bowl anymore,” Tran said. “I just do it to live through the memories or for nostalgia.”