Bowling Evolves in Eastern Idaho

Reported by: Phil Campbell
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Updated: 11/15/2012 11:58 am

The sport of bowling has been around longer than any of us can remember. In fact, evidence of bowling can be traced as far back as 3200 BC. Of course today’s game has changed a lot from the primitive days of balls and sticks. Now, bowlers can take home Batman pins and rent strobe light balls.

There really has been. The smoky bowling halls of the 1980s now look more like family fun centers and it seems to be working for now.

For some, the sound of a bowling strike is the greatest sound in the world. And more and more people are getting the opportunity to participate in the sport than ever before.

“We have ramps for wheelchair people and bumpers as well for them so they can score well too,” said Pat Luras, Owner of Tough Guy Lanes. “And they can set the ramp on the wheelchair so they have good ball movement to get down there and knock the pins down and so it makes it fun for them too.”

A few years ago, Pat Luras reached his goal of owning a bowling alley. He began his career in the sport in 1981 and has seen a lot of changes along the way.

“We have state of the art bowling,” said Luras. “The bumpers will go up for the little ones and go down for the older ones, every frame now. We have a state of the art bowling system that we’ve only had for two years. We’ve put a lot of money into this system. It does a Halloween theme, it does a Christmas theme, it does all this stuff. For company parties, we have a thing called “lucky train” where a train goes across the screen and opens up on a certain lane and gives somebody a winner and so there’s all kinds of fun things you can do on this system.”

As for the future of the sport in eastern Idaho, Pat says you shouldn’t take it for granted.

“You never know,” said Luras. “Bowling centers are closing all the time and some of them are just barely getting by. It’s a fun sport, the number one sport still, but people need to come out and support it.”

The bowling community is tight knit and Tuesday morning hall of famer Parker Bohn III was at Tough Guy Lanes to give lessons and help advance the sport. It’s hard to tell where the sport will go but with options that range from bumpers to karaoke, your local bowling alley should continue to be a source of entertainment for years to come.

A big part of any bowling alley is its leagues and Tough Guy has some openings if you would like to give it a shot. You can find more information about bowling by following at this link.

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