Bowling Alley Attendant

Bowling Alley Attendant


New York, NY

Male, 35

For a few years in high school I was a lead attendant at a bowling alley. Responsibilities included everything from taking payment for the various package offerings, handing out shoes, dealing with mechanical issues with the lanes and solving any and all problems that arose.

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30 Questions


Last Answer on January 18, 2013

Best Rated

Not that I'm complaining, but how come bowling alleys don't require shoe-swaps any more when renting shoes?

Asked by busterbrown over 12 years ago

Quite the opposite. Employees didn't want to be constantly touching YOUR shoes! Plus, and probably most importantly, it saves a ton of time at check-out to not have to be hunting for peoples shoes as they leave. Finally, the liability of holding onto someone else's shoes resulted in some nasty confrontations..."where are my shoes?"

How come the "Service" buttons don't work 99% of the time and I have to go chase an attendant down when my lane is screwed up?

Asked by Arghhhhh over 12 years ago

Depends on the lanes. A good place has a guy full-time running around in the back, behind the machines (especially during peak hours). BTW - This guy is usually a pretty weird dude, to be perfectly honest. When the service button is pressed, a light goes on behind the lane and he'll know to address the problem. The most typical problem is that a pin will get stuck in the ball retrieval hole and the balls will get clogged up back there. League bowlers are usually furious at this stage.

What were the best bowling team names you saw?

Asked by PinPals over 12 years ago

Sorry - don't remember too many. There was always a cadre of people with dirty team names, which were funny, but the real bowling names were usually the "Strike U Down", No Spares on Board, The Seven-Ten Chicks, Gutterlovers. Great question!

Are the bowling balls ever cleaned?

Asked by Slambatta over 12 years ago

Gulp. No. Not that I can remember. Like the shoes, having your own ball is super pimp and you'd be surprised at how cheap they are AND how much better you bowl when a ball is fitted to your hand. More often then not, people end up using a ball that's too heavy just to get a good grip and the weight ruins your delivery.

I'm suspicious, is it really the same bowling ball that gets returned to me?

Asked by edsumnermagic about 12 years ago

Sure is! Ask the crazy league bowler who brought his $500 custom ball to play with... The machines are made so that the belt speed gets the ball back before the pins are reset.

Why do you think bowling tends to attract more working class types, as opposed to sports like golf or tennis which attract the white-collar crowd?

Asked by alwayswondered over 12 years ago

Who knows...probably because they are better bowlers! Your guess is as good as mine, although bowling is a pretty cheap sport to play and I'm sure that likely has something to do with it.

Which brings in more money for the typical bowling alley: the leagues, or casual bowlers?

Asked by royroy over 12 years ago

Leagues are the bread & butter on the bowling side. They pay a little bit less for their usage, but come every week for a full season. Casual players tend to bowl a bit less, but in a densely populated community, the lanes are typically filled all night anyway. The concession sales really give this group an edge over the leagues (many league bowlers don't drink while they bowl). Kids birthday parties are another large revenue source, with the bonus being they are on weekend mornings when none of the aforementioned groups are playing.

I once saw a girl get her thumb stuck in the ball and go flying a good 20 ft down the lane -- ouch. What is the craziest bowling alley mishap you've ever witnessed?

Asked by Bailey over 12 years ago

That's a great one. Seen that before too. The worst once of that nature I saw also took half the fingernail too. OUCH! The craziest (best?) mishaps I've seen ALWAYS involve drunks. In this case, Mr. Drunk learned the hard way why bowling shoes are so smooth on the bottom. As he aggressively approached the lanes for his shot, his front foot stuck and he faceplanted on the lane. Buzzer sounds. Laughter ensues.

You ever pull pranks on each other to pass the time? A bowling alley seems rife with potential...

Asked by GK over 12 years ago

Typical pranks were played on bowlers by messing with their names on the computer. Someone with the initials "AB" might roll a strike and see "@ss Bandit" up there on the screen.

Which is harder: a 300-game, or the 7-10 split?

Asked by rollinrollinrollin over 12 years ago

Good question. I don't know the odds, but I had never seen a 300 game and saw a bunch of 7-10 splits...

What's the most number of strikes you've seen someone roll in a row?

Asked by alleycat over 12 years ago

12. Tension in the room was wild for the last toss.

Better bowling movie: Kingpin or Lebowski, and why?

Asked by theDUDE over 12 years ago

Both are great flicks. But really, nobody f**ks with the Jesus.

What do bowling alleys do to keep those nasty shoes clean?

Asked by xxx300xxx over 12 years ago

Well, you have every right to be grossed out. It's disgusting how bad they smell after a night of bowling. The good news is that they replace them quite a bit and we used a pretty powerful disinfectant spray after each use. My best advice - wear a nice thick sock when you go bowling OR, better, treat yourself to a cheap pair of pimped out bowling shoes.

Is is possible for someone to get their finger stuck in the ball and send themselves into the pins???

Asked by freespirit5795 over 11 years ago

Stuck - yes. Often. Seen one dislocation. Not pretty. Sending yourself into the pins would require a lot of alcohol.

Did you encounter a lot of customers who ran out without paying?

Asked by jake the snake over 11 years ago

We were all prepaid, so nope.

Is there a product we can purchase that can convert normal shoes (running, dress etc) into bowling shoes?

Asked by Joda about 8 years ago


when bowling with a group of 10 or more people does each person pay seperately

Asked by Shann over 8 years ago


What do bowling alleys do with old balls? How long do they keep bowling balls before replacing them?

Asked by brikhaus over 11 years ago


If bowling ball comes out of gutter before reaching head pin does it count

Asked by Jon about 6 years ago


How do I pick the right ball when I throw a reverse hook?

Asked by Bo about 3 years ago


have you ever heard of stiltronic scoring system?

Asked by mike over 10 years ago


To avoid the almost 5 dollar per game shoe rental cost is it against the rules anywhere to set the player count to 8 players when there are only 4 to essentially play two games for the price cut on just that one game. Can you cheat the system?

Asked by Earlybowlingbasics over 2 years ago


are the rental bowling shoes ever sanitized after being worn before renting to another person?

Asked by Katrin over 10 years ago


Is it a rule that bowling centers have to oil lanes right before league starts bowling that day?

Asked by Barb Meahan almost 10 years ago


Why don't bowling alleys have windows?

Asked by 88 keys about 11 years ago


I have old team bowling shirts ,Should I wear them on a new team or not

Asked by vern about 5 years ago


Last season and this season my league noticed a major increase in the number of pocket 7-10 splits . One pair of lanes has many more than the others. This past week there was a total of 12, 7-10 splits on this pair. Any ideas what could be the cause?

Asked by Joeajr over 4 years ago


My gf and I have really gotten into bowling and I have been obsessed with learning to bowling properly. We would like our own bowling ball but they are expensive.
Would it be possible to drill multiple holes that fit both our fingers/thumbs?

Asked by Jono almost 5 years ago


I'm the lead bowling attendant at a bowling alley and I've been having issues keeping the shoes clean. This isn't your typical bowling alley so this may not be the right forum. We are also a sports bar so people tend to mistreat the shoes. Any advice

Asked by Bowling Wizard almost 10 years ago


How often do bowling alleys order new shoes. How many do they order and is it cheap or expensive also do they make money renting the shoes

Asked by Gary almost 11 years ago