Carol Tucker remembers the days when she didn’t bowl in a league.
That all changed five years ago when she was asked by a friend at now-defunct Rocket Bowl in Chatsworth to fill a spot on her team. Tucker agreed to join.
“Then I became addicted to bowling,” Tucker said, “and my friend quit and never bowled again. It’s a true story. Strange how you become involved in a league.”
Since then, Tucker has joined a second league . . . and a third. She now bowls Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at AMF Woodlake Lanes in Woodland Hills.
Tucker has considerable company from bowlers competing in multiple leagues.
Sami Rice, a league official at Woodlake Lanes, says it’s an increasing trend.
“It used to be 10 to 20 percent [of league bowlers in multiple leagues],” Rice said. “Now it’s 30 to 40 percent.”
How does Tucker feel about bowling in three leagues? She loves it.
“[Bowling is] fun and healthy and forces you to socialize,” Tucker said. “In this age of technology, people don’t live for the moment. I like living for the moment and having real contact with people — not just emailing and texting that young people do so much these days.
“I’m old-fashioned. And I like eye contact with people.”
Rice agreed. “You meet people,” she said, “and it’s still affordable above and beyond all the other stuff – and who wants to sit in a movie and spend 10 to 20 dollars?”
Bowlers also cite the lure of competition and the rewards they can secure for success.
Tucker is no stranger to receiving recognition for her bowling feats. Her team won the championship in a 13-team league in Woodlake’s competitive Wednesday night league this summer. She will be receiving a trophy for that achievement – it will go with first- and second-place team trophies she had previously won.
Tucker also has won several individual trophies, including one for a 240 game she turned in at Canoga Park Bowl.
Bowling in three leagues has allowed Tucker to fine-tune her game. She improved her average about 10 pins since last year and is now averaging in the mid-150s.
“To be good at anything, you have to practice,” said Tucker, who also runs to keep in tip-top shape.
Tucker acknowledges that she has thought about reducing the numbers of leagues in which she competes. But each time she thinks about it, she rejects the idea.
“I wouldn’t be able to leave because of the people I’ve met,” said Tucker, a Van Nuys resident. “It would make me too sad to leave some people.”
Tucker, among the most popular of bowlers at Woodlake with her infectious smile, said she counts at least 30 bowlers as her friends at the Woodlake bowling house.
Said Tucker: “Bowling has become a part of my life.”