Ten pin bowling was something that we tried out as a family for something different, and then one of the local papers printed some vouchers for a free coaching clinic so my brother and I got to go and get taught how to it properly (not that the lessons helped that much).
When it came to school sports I wasn't much of a player, I liked cricket, I knew how to play soccer (or at least knew the basic rules) and I could swing a tennis racket, so when the school I was attending gave me the choice of Rugby League and Aussie Rule or Soccer and Rugby Union I didn't think it was much of a choice. What was worse is that they decided to play Rugby in the first half of the season and I'm definitely a fish out of water on a Rugby field. Fortunately, after the first week or two, they decided that all us unco kids should have another choice and offered to take us to the city bowl and I jumped at the chance.
When we moved to the south coast there wasn't a bowl within a 100 mile radius so I had to go back to football, which I didn't particularly enjoy. While I did have to participate when it was Rugby League that we were playing I didn't actually have to play, they allowed me to run the sideline as touch judge, so it wasn't too bad. There does seem to be an issue in the school system where they think every boy knows how to play every code of football so someone like me must have seemed real odd to them.
After leaving school and having a couple of different jobs I eventually moved back to the Canberra area and started going to the bowl on a regular basis, joined a couple of leagues and was enjoying it although I still couldn't bowl very well.
During my first few years in leagues I managed to damage my right hand. It got to be quite painful and I actually had to change my bowling style and move to a finger-tip grip to take the pressure off the damaged joint. Sometime later I decided I should be using a heavier ball and so I bought myself a new one, got my hand measured and the ball was put aside for the guy that does the drilling. When I got it back I found that the span was short but the centre wouldn't do anything about it, claiming that the ball had been drilled to the correct measurements and that I would have to pay to get it fixed, so I put up with it for a while. A little while later I had to give up bowling for a while due to study, so it didn't mater at that time.
After I finished my course of study I decided to take up bowling again but this time try left handed. I wasn't particular good at bowling left handed but I my scores were over 100 so I kept at it. I got anther ball drilled and again the span was short and the centre insisted that it had been drilled to the measurements. Something definitely wasn't right and I didn't know what it was and couldn't be bothered asking. Shortly after that I move to Melbourne so I had to find new leagues to bowl in.
After finding a centre and leagues to bowl in I decided it was time to get my right hand ball redrill for my left hand. This time to person drilling the ball was the same person that measured my hand and she had me there when she drill the ball. I think I found out why the other ball drillers had done what they had done. After measuring my hand and drilling the thumb-hole the pro wanted to re-measure my hand as she wasn't sure how the figures could be correct, but then, on re-measuring my hand to confirm the figures she drilled exactly where she need to, and I had a ball that actually fit my hand.
After correcting my footwork (bowling left handed with right handed footwork is quite awkward) my bowling improve quite dramatically and I won most improved in my first fall season as a lefty.
After quitting my job and moving back to the Canberra/Queanbeyan area I found that new bowling centres had opened up and I decided to join a league in Queanbeyan. I also decided that it was time I got myself a new bowling ball. This time when I got my hand measured I got a slightly different reaction. "Wow". It seems that I have an unusually large span for size of my fingers (which must have been why the other ball drillers decided to change the measurement on previous balls).
Over the next 10 years or so I switched hands a few times, set new high scores for myself with both hands and even tried out for representative teams, but this post is already long enough so I'll leave that for next week.