Greater Victoria experiencing bowling boom

WatchLocal leagues are near capacity and demand to roll is on the rise, Jeff King explores the reasons for the capital region's recent bowling boom.

Greater Victoria is experiencing a bowling boom.

“All of our league’s are essentially full,” said Selena Vanhuizen, league director at Langford Lanes.

The league’s at Langford Lanes are near capacity, demand is on the rise and more supply is likely on the way. Plans are already in place for a new bowling alley coming to Uptown Mall in Saanich.

“We can get up to a two hour wait from as early as 1 p.m. on Saturday and that’ll go through pretty much the entire day until 1 p.m.,” said Vanhuizen.

Players and teams at Langford Lanes range in age and skill level, like one group we found of former curlers.

“We curled out here at Juan De Fuca and then they decided to close the curling rink,” said curler-turned-bowler Don Sheldrick. “We wanted something else to do so somebody said bowling.”

The league uses a handicap scoring format, so whether you’re more gutter-ball than  7/10 split, the playing field is level.

“Yeah we’re pretty terrible right now,” said a smiling Sheldrick. “But we’re getting better.”

“Everyone’s very friendly. It’s very social,” said Chris Clark, Sheldrick’s teammate. “You talk with other teams, they give you high fives when you get a good shot.”

Perhaps it’s the laid-back, friendly approach to bowling that fits that patented Island lifestyle.

“You don’t have to be super fit. As long as you can kind of walk and roll a ball,” said Clark.

Sheldrick concurs. “We laughed and had so much fun that first night, we were hooked.”

Kevin CharachKevin Charach

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