By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published Aug 08, 2020 at 8:04 AM

Happy National Bowling Day, Milwaukee! 

As we move into autumn and eating and drinking on patios become less seasonable, people will start to look for other forms of entertainment that are both indoors and are not high-risk for contracting COVID-19.

Bowling fits the bill, according to Frank DeSocio, the executive director of the Bowling ProprietorsAssociation of America (BPAA), which is located in Arlington, Tex. but was headquartered in Greendale until 2008.

DeSocio says the sport already practices social distancing, routine disinfecting and isn't hindered by mask wearing.

"Although bowling centers are not essential businesses, they are essentially 'big boxes' just like a home improvement or a grocery store and so they already have the space needed for social distancing," says DeSocio.

Plus, disinfecting shoes has always been standard procedure at bowling centers and now the disinfecting of bowling balls is also part of the cleaning routine. Consequently, bowlers, no longer choose their ball from the rack like they did pre-COVID.

Many bowling centers are using every other lane and not taking large groups or parties. Graduation celebrations are usually big money makers for bowling alleys, something that wasn't possible this year.

Most bowling facilities experience their busy time in the month of March, April and May, which was when the pandemic first hit this year and have caused many to struggle financially during and after the mandatory shut down. 

"Like so many businesses, bowling centers got hit hard," says DeSocio. "Especially since the spring months are to them like what December is to retail businesses."

There are 212 bowling centers in Wisconsin that are members of the BPAA, including JB's on 41 that reopened in June with these new procedures.

"Wisconsin is a wonderful bowling state and it always has been," says DeSocio. "Right now, it's tough out there, but we're going to get through this."

Go here for a guide to bowling centers in Milwaukee (note some are currently closed for the summer or due top the pandemic). Go here to see photos of vintage local bowling alleys.

Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.

Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.