Bowling centers rack up fun

Five businesses offer lanes for casual bowlers, league play

By Paul Danzer, Columbian community sports reporter



Bowling Centers

• Allen’s Crosley Lanes, 42 synthetic lanes, 2400 E. Evergreen Blvd., Vancouver, 360-693-4789;

• Bailey’s Classic Lanes, eight wood lanes, 11605 S.E. McGillivray Blvd., Vancouver, inside the Elks Lodge, 360-882-6921.

• Big Al’s, 42 synthetic lanes, 16615 S.E. 18th St., Vancouver, 360-944-6118;

• Husted’s Hazel Dell Lanes, 24 synthetic lanes, 6300 N.E. Highway 99, Hazel Dell, 360-694-8364.

• Tiger Bowl, 10 wood lanes, 211 N. Parkway Ave, Battle Ground, 360-687-2101.

• Clark County United States Bowling Congress, which governs league bowling and sanctioned tournaments, 2101 E. Evergreen Blvd., Suite 103, Vancouver, 360-694-6348; ccusbc@clarkcountyusbc.comn

In the 2011-12 season, there were 77 300 games, and 24 three-game series of 800 or better in leagues sanctioned by the Clark County USBC.

On April 22, 2012, Charlie Palmer had an almost-perfect day at Allen’s Crosley Lanes.

Participating in the Clark County Open Championship, Palmer came within 24 pins of a perfect series. He scored 289 in his first game, 298 in his second and 289 in his third. His was the highest series recorded during the 2011-12 season by the Clark County chapter of the United States Bowling Congress, which governs league and tournament bowling in Southwest Washington.

For the 2012-13 league season, the Clark County USBC had 2,574 registered members. That was an increase of about 5 percent over the previous season, according to Barb Frank, manager for the Clark County USBC chapter.

For the series bowler who competes in multiple leagues, or for the occasional family outing, the five bowling centers in Clark County offer a range of experiences.

At Big Al’s, which opened in 2006 in east Vancouver, bowling is one of several attractions, including a large sports bar and restaurant and a popular arcade. Allen’s Crosley Lanes and Husted’s Hazel Dell Lanes have undergone upgrades in recent years, while Bailey’s Classic Lanes in Vancouver and Tiger Bowl in Battle Ground continue to operate as smaller centers with traditional wood lanes.

In the 2012-13 season, 57 sanctioned leagues and a few leagues not certified by the USBC call those five bowling centers home. Most leagues play in the fall and the winter. There are leagues for men, for women, for men and women, as well as senior leagues and junior leagues.

There are a few off-season summer leagues available.

Membership in the Clark County USBC cost $21 in 2012-13. The membership dues cover chapter operations and provide awards for bowlers who achieve honor scores such as 300 games or high series scores.

In addition to sanctioning local league play, the local USBC chapter each year stages six countywide championship tournaments.

For recreational bowlers, the cost to bowl a game varies by time of day but is usually less than $5 for adults. Shoe rentals also cost less than $5. For specific pricing, contact the bowling centers listed on this page.

League bowlers pay weekly league fees that include the bowling center’s fee, the prize fund if there is one, and pay for the league secretary who is responsible for record keeping.

The top scores from local leagues are published weekly by The Columbian, as are honor scores such as sanctioned 300 games.

Girls bowling has been a high school varsity sport in Washington for a decade, and most Clark County schools field teams. At many schools, there are enough bowlers to field junior varsity teams. The high school bowling season runs November through January.

Big Al’s in east Vancouver and Allen’s Crosley Lanes in Vancouver are 42-lane centers with modern synthetic lanes. Husted’s Hazel Dell Lanes has 24 synthetic lanes.