Estevan is one of the few centres with both five-pin and 10-pin lanes.
With that in mind, youth and adult leagues are starting at Estevan Bowl and offer a rare chance to learn about both kinds of indoor bowling.
“In the youth leagues, basically anyone from age five to 21 can join,” said Blaine Boyle, the head coach at Estevan Bowl. “All ages, any skill level. It’s one of the easiest sports for anybody to do.”
A good way to start youth off in the sport is the five-pin bowling with the smaller balls.
“As they progress and get older, we usually move them into 10-pin with the bigger balls,” Boyle said.
The sport of five-pin isn’t as big internationally as 10-pin, which can go to the international level.
“Monique (Ley) is a member of Team Canada and she’s bowled internationally,” Boyle said. “It’s a good sport because it’s all winter long and weather doesn’t play a factor unless it’s if it’s blizzard and you can’t get to the centre. But you’ve got an activity you’re doing all winter long.”
The season runs 28 weeks, from September well into late March and April.
“All our coaches are certified through the Canadian Association of Coaches’ NCCP program,” he said. “We follow all the guidelines of respect in sport and we do the utmost to see people are treated properly, parents and coaches.”
Kids are rarely discouraged by being around more experienced bowlers and will often learn aspects of the game from them.
“We’ve found that instead of taking all your new bowlers and all your young ones and taking them away from the other bowlers, it’s better to mix them in with the other bowlers,” he said. “We found with the kids, especially the younger kids, when they watch someone bowl a little bit better, they don’t really get discouraged. It makes them want to try harder. We’ve never had anyone get really discouraged at all.”
The first few weeks of the program, they don’t concern themselves with scoring as much as fundamentals.
“We teach them to bowl but we don’t force them,” he said. “Have fun. That’s what it’s about. Probably 30 per cent of our bowlers are just happy to come out every week, throw their three games and just enjoy the friendship.”
Anyone interested in taking part in the youth leagues can contact Boyle at firstname.lastname@example.org