HAMPSTEAD — Ginny Blackowicz wants to make bowling a sport for the young in Hampstead.
"I want to reach out to the kids, to give them somewhere togo, somewhere to enjoy themselves," she said.
Blackowicz, now living in Manchester with her husband, Ron, and children, Melissa, 12, and Sarah, 5, is a native of Maryland and, as of last month, the new marketing manager for Hampstead Bowling Center.
Blackowicz has been a bowler for about 12 years and was with the Fair Lanes organization for six years; the last two years she has been associated with Country Club Lanes in Baltimore County.
Too busyto bowl right now, in the past she carried a 140 average; as so manyBaltimore area bowlers did, Blackowicz started with duckpins as a youngster.
Ron Blackowicz is a foreman with Blumenthal and Kahn.
Melisa and Sarah both are bowlers. Melissa has a 102 average, and Sarah just started bowling a few months ago.
Blackowicz is a certified bowling instructor and says children or adults can reach her for coaching at any time.
"I want everyone, especially the kids, to haveaccess to coaching and bowling equipment. But I want to have seniorsto form a league as well," she said.
The following spring and summer leagues will be available in tenpins and duckpins:
* The Atlantic City League starts May 1 and runs for 18 weeks. Approximate cost will be $7 per person and includes a trip to Atlantic City, $20 in spending money and first-place trophies. Mixed, handicapped and four members to a team.
* Sunday Adult and Youth Teams will start May 5 and cost $9 per team per week. One youth and one adult is a team and the youngster can have rental shoes free.
* Men's High Roller's League will be triples with an 11-week season starting May 6. Guaranteedfirst-place prize money is $800 estimated on 40 bowlers.
* For Seniors Only will cost $3.50 per week per bowler for free shoe rental and three games. Teams include four members, and the season, which starts May 6, lasts only 17 weeks.
* The Hammer-Am League starts May 24 and lasts 15 weeks for four-member teams. Cost is $12 per week perperson, and at the end of the season all bowlers receive a Hammer bowling ball. You'll have to get it drilled yourself.
* The Youth League starts June 17 and runs for 11 weeks. It will be Young American Bowling Alliance-sanctioned and cost each youth $8 per week. The four-member teams can consist of any combination of boys and girls, and at season's end each bowler will receive a Columbia 300 Lite Dot bowling ball, drilling not included.
* The Hersey Park Youth league will start June 20 and last for 10 weeks. With four members per team, the cost is $7 per week per person and includes shoe rental, the bowling and a trip to Hershey Park on Aug. 29, plus a party the last day pfthe season.
* This last league is for duckpinners only. It's a 14-week season starting May 28 for four-member teams. Cost is $9 per week per person, and after the season each bowler will receive a pair of Scorpion duckpin balls.
Sonny Dixon knows a little about duckpins; he's the duckpin Bowler of the Month at Thunderhead Lanes in Westminster after a game 50 pins over his average.
Dixon bowls inthe Sunday afternoon mixed league and the Monday morning mixed league at Thunderhead Westminster, where he carries a 123 average. His high game is 198 and high series is 446.
He's a postal employee in Baltimore and lives with his wife, Joyce, in Hampstead. Joyce does her duckpin bowling at Greenway East and carries a 110 average at that center.
"The people who work at Thunderhead Westminster are just great, they'll always work with you," Sonny Dixon said.
He should know; he's been the secretary of the Monday Morning Mixed league for quite a while and has been instrumental in building it into a five-member, 14-team league.
"I like everything about bowling, " he said. "But I wish that some people wouldn't take it too seriously. Everyone wants to win, but having a good time is more important."
Couldn't have said better myself.
Sue Maloy, the tenpin Bowler of the Month at Thunderhead Westminster, takes her game seriously but still has fun. She threw a game 117 pins over her average in March.
Hercareer high game is 257 and her high series is 645. That was when she was throwing a conventional grip bowling ball, throwing it almost straight but scoring well. Her average at that time was 171; that 171 average and high series and high set were good enough for a triple crown achievement last year.
At that time, she was bowling in three leagues instead of the one she bowls in now. That's on Wednesdays in the Harrison High Rollers. She also works part time at the control counter at Thunderhead Westminster.
At the end of May, she will start bowling in the Youth-Adult Summer League with her son Timothy, 9, athird-grader at William Winchester. Timothy carries a 70 average in the Saturday Morning Youth league.
Skip Maloy, Sue's husband, has been a Baltimore County police officer for 22 years, does his bowlingat County Lanes and carries a 168 average.
Does Sue have any words of advice for the average bowler? Well, yes.
"If you switch to afingertip ball, make sure that you give yourself time to adjust to it," she said. "I switched to a fingertip ball, and my average went from 171 to 151 this year.
"I've got a big hook now instead of the straight ball I used to throw, but I'm just starting to get to the point where I can control the fingertip grip. If you switch, give yourself plenty of time to get used to it."
Makes sense to me.