We too often forget the magic of playing sports that we experienced as children. Our bonds with our teammates felt unbreakable, games were steeped in excitement and the rush of adrenaline, and the support of friends and fans kept us going (along with excessive amounts of pizza and candy). Even if we weren't team players, we still got an undeniable rush from moments of play, whether they happened in the woods or on the playground. It can feel hard to reclaim that kind of experience, or even that much enthusiasm. But Asheville's new Intramurals Social Bowling League is on it. The league will meet on Wednesdays starting this week, on July 5th at 9 p.m. at the AMF Bowling Company (491 Kenilworth Rd.).
While you should probably at least like bowling a little bit before you sign yourself up, no mad skills are required to join. The point is just to have fun. That's what league founder Rob Z. Heskett found was most lacking in his adult life, and it's why he created a solution. "For someone who was never good at team sports, bowling presented new opportunities to meet people and participate in a team activity," he says. "I joined bowling leagues in the area and quickly learned how accommodating they are. New bowlers are just as dangerous as highly experienced bowlers because of handicaps, so my clumsiness doesn't get in my team's way, and I can drink while engaging in respectable social interaction. It was clear to me that bowling is an ideal activity to build a social network around—everyone can fit in and everyone can can have fun."
Creating an inclusive community was high on Heskett's list of priorities and fit well with his vision of Asheville. "I've always loved the tight-knit feel of Asheville," he says. It's as though the city is full of friends. Despite this, I'm still striving to achieve a sense of belonging. I've been eager to find a social setting with a purpose, a social networking opportunity with an excuse to convene each week. I need forced interaction balanced with a comfortable setting to relax enough to really get to know the people around me."
Forging new friendships can happen easily in this kind of team-building environment, which will bring like-minded people together around the game of bowling. Teams will consist of 4 to 6 players to build some flexibility into the league. The cost is $10 per person per week, or $90 for the season.
Beyond the games themselves, the league hopes to make a difference in the larger Asheville community. "The goal of Intramurals is to defy the forces and trends that are pulling us apart as a community," says Heskett. "While the internet's utility presents limitless opportunities, it also presents the illusion that it has the answer for everything. There is no substitution for getting out and making friends or having a magical night when it otherwise would have been spent watching Netflix. We want to give everyone an excuse to get out on Wednesday nights and a resource for local events to plan around. We are committed to promoting local events, businesses, and artists."
Interested? Come to the league's first night, happening this Wedensday at 9 p.m. Follow the league's Facebook page here for future event details.