The concept of bowling is simple—a player throws the ball, pins get knocked down and everything is magically reset for the next round. What goes on behind the scenes is a little-known bowling alley fact among casual players in Hampton, VA. Bowling alleys rely on a series of moving components that are mostly hidden from view. Here’s an inside look at how a bowling alley works.

Ball pit

After the bowling ball knocks down the pins, it falls into a ball pit. This is located behind the lane at a lower elevation. A gate catches the bowling ball and guides it to the side exit, where it begins the journey back to the player’s docking station. The ball pit also collects fallen pins. The floor of the ball pit consists of a conveyor belt that carries fallen pins towards the pin elevator.

Pin elevator

As the name suggests, a bowling alley’s pin elevator transports fallen pins upwards so they can reset for the next round. Pin elevators have up to ten slots that carry the pins to their next station. All the pins must gather at a high altitude so they can get into their proper arrangement before lowering onto the pin deck. After this elevator collects all the pins, they’re dispensed into the pinsetter turret.

Pinsetter turret

A turret is like the loading dock for bowling pins. The pin elevator dispenses fallen pins into each of the turret’s holding slots. Every time the elevator brings up another pin, the pinsetter turret rotates so each pin can transition into an empty slot. Bowling pins are transported bottom first into the turret’s holding slots, which ensures they sit right side up once they’re lowered onto the pin deck. Since the pins are bottom heavy, gravity helps them fall effortlessly into place.

Spotting table

After the pinsetter turret has gathered all the fallen pins, they’re dispensed one by one into the spotting table. Much like the other components, the spotting table is integral to how bowling alleys work in Hampton, VA because it arranges the pins into the configuration you see on the pin deck. Spotting tables fulfill two purposes: they pick up the pins that are still standing on the deck and receive pins from the turret. Once the spotting table is full, it carefully sets the pins on the deck so players can start the next round.

Metal track

While the pins are getting set up, the bowling ball runs back to the player’s docking station on a metal track. A little-known bowling alley fact is that this metal track is similar to a roller coaster. The ball mounts a steep incline, then tips over the summit. Rapid momentum carries the bowling ball along the metal track, which runs beneath or alongside the lane. After a few moments, the ball is back by your side and ready to go.

Now that you understand how a bowling alley works, share these newly acquired bowling alley facts with your friends at Sparetimes. We’re a local favorite among residents of Hampton, VA and the perfect place to witness all these fascinating components in action.

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