By Joe D’Amodio | email@example.com
Staten Island Advance | Click Here for the Full Story
League bowling returned to Staten Island’s two bowling centers this past week and things looked a little different thanks to the pandemic.
Plastic partitions in between pairs of alleys are in place at Showplace Entertainment Center, while all bowlers must wear face masks in both centers, among other pandemic protocols mandated by the state during these uncertain times.
At Rab’s Country Lanes, proprietor Frank Wilkinson was excited to welcome his league bowlers back after an almost six-month hiatus because of the pandemic.
Here is a question-and-answer session with Wilkinson, son of former late Island bowling great and proprietor Rab Wilkinson.
How has it been going so with league bowlers returning last week?
“Our season officially started this past Tuesday (Sept. 8), so we’re still in the swing of getting the new season up and running. The start of the season is always an exciting time for us, as we get to welcome our bowlers back after not seeing them all summer long, with this season having much more significance, being off after a shortened season on top of the summer. While the season looks and feels very different in the start, it has provided our family and team some normalcy, seeing familiar faces, as well as new faces, back on the lanes with us. Bowlers are overwhelmingly happy to be back to their regular habits, seeing their friends and family while sharing the experience of bowling. The season looks very different, because we are operating at 50% and utilizing every other lane, many of our leagues are bowling in shifts so we can accommodate as many bowlers as possible. Historically, our league business uses most if not all 48 lanes at one time. On the business side, operating at 50% with no indoor dining (for now) is very challenging. We have many league bowlers who did not return, just yet, for understandable reasons.”
Is everyone following protocol?
“For the most part, yes! Our regular customers certainly understand and appreciate that we need to follow the protocols in order to keep their favorite place to bowl open.”
Does Country Lanes have partitions in place in between lanes or pairs of lanes?
At this time we have not installed partitions between bowling lanes. We are operating to the guidelines utilizing every other, allowing for space for bowlers to physical distance between lanes. As always, our patrons come first and we want everyone to feel as comfortable and safe as possible being in our environment enjoying the sport we all love. There is 11 1/2 feet between each pair, so this allows our bowlers to utilize as much of the available space. The guidelines do not require partitions. However, the utilization of partitions potentially allows the use of additional lanes.
What about league bowling? How many bowlers are allowed on a pair of lanes?
“There is no restriction on the number of bowlers per lane/pair of lanes.”
Do patrons need to wear masks or when do they have to wear them?
“Yes, just like every other facility in the state, masks/face coverings must be worn at all times.”