Bowling in a league can be intimidating to someone that hasn’t ever done so. There are many leagues setup for first time bowlers, such as “Just for Fun” leagues, “Have a Ball” leagues, and “Practice” leagues. All of these leagues are usually low in price and are aimed to only be mildly comptetive. As far as costs, you are probably looking at $10-$15 per week. The “Have a Ball” leagues are designed to let you bowl and earn a bowling ball throught the course of the league. Your weekly fee is going towards purchasing a bowling ball while you have fun.
There is some confusion about sanctioning and what it means. Basically, if you are bowling in an USBC (United States Bowling Congress) league, you have to be a member of the USBC. You have to pay a couple of fees that are normally clumped together into one dollar amount. These are both the national fee and your local association dues. If you join multiple leagues, you only have to pay these fees once per year. If your two leagues are in different bowling centers, then you may have to pay the national and local dues at one bowling center, and just the local fees at the other bowling center.
As you get better, you can build up into a more competitive league where you have a chance to make a little money. These leagues will run up to about $25 per week, but if you find a good handicap league, then you don’t have to worry about having a high average.
The key is to get people to join leagues. Our sport is suffering league shrinkage every year because people are not returning and the ones that do are not bringing in new bowlers. If you love to bowl in league, make it a point to try and recruit at least one person, or one team for next season.