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Dorine Whitman has been bowling with the Friday Night Mixed league for nearly a decade and still looks forward to the weekly gathering of bowlers every summer.

"Everybody has a good time," the Hanover resident said. "We try to run a league that's fair to all the bowlers, whether they have a 76 average or a 200-plus average. We're fair to all."

With the summer leagues at the Lanes now in the books, teams are forming for the fall season that features 17 leagues for bowlers of all ages, skill level and gender.

All leagues begin the last week of August or early September.

"We have leagues for beginning bowlers who aren't hypercompetitive and don't want to spend a whole lot of money," said Mike Sinek, the Lanes manager. "Then we also have the highest level league, which is a PBA [Professional Bowling Association] level scratch league. We have everything from a beginning league to a pro league."

The most relaxed league that is best for beginners, Sinek said, is the Wednesday Fun Mixed, which meets every Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m.

"It's not cutthroat, and the fee is low," he said. "They're just bowling for food and a little bit of fun."

On the other end of the competition spectrum is the Bud Scratch Trios league, which meets Mondays at 7 p.m. and features some of the best bowlers in the area.

"We have PBA region members that bowl in the league, former national team members that bowl in the league, and we have manufacturer representatives that bowl in the league," Sinek said. "It's the highest level."

The season also features leagues for ladies, men and mixed groups. Leagues are also available for senior bowlers on Mondays at 9:30 a.m. and youngsters looking to pick up the game on Saturdays at 9 a.m.

Depending on the league, bowlers will play three or four games every week during the 32- to 36-week season. Fees for the leagues range from $15 to $25 per week. The fees also go toward a cash prize or banquet at the end of the season.

Sinek said there are typically 20 teams in each league during the fall season. Depending on the league, the number of team members range from two to five. Bowlers can sign up as a team or as individuals. Those without a team will be placed on one.

With an average of 80 to 100 bowlers in each league, Sinek said that in addition to regular competition, leagues provide a social aspect as well.

"It's regular bowling, it's competition and it's also a social event," he said. "You're bowling against a different team in your league every week, so you're seeing different people every week."

Whitmann said the opportunity to socialize while competing is a draw for league participation.

"You get to meet lots of people and it's fun," she said.

Editor's note: Registration is under way for the fall bowling season. Sign-up is at the Lanes. For more information, call 301-677-5541.

A League of Their Own

* Senior League, mixed: Mondays at 9:30 a.m., beginning Aug. 27

* Scratch Men: Mondays at 5:30 p.m., beginning Sept. 10

* MWR Doubles, mixed: Mondays at 5 p.m.

* NABI League, mixed: Mondays at 8 p.m.

* Bud's Trio, sport: Mondays at 7 p.m., beginning Sept. 10

* CCF, mixed: Tuesdays at 5 p.m., beginning Sept. 18

* Tuesday Men: Tuesdays at 5:45 p.m., beginning Aug. 28

* Tuesday Mixed: Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m.

* Sleepy Head Ladies: Wednesdays at 10 a.m., beginning Sept. 5

* Goddard Men: Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m., beginning Aug. 29

* Wednesday Mixed: Wednesdays at 5:40 p.m., beginning Aug. 29

* Wednesday Fun Mixed: Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m., beginning Sept. 5

* NSA Mixed: Thursdays at 5:30 p.m., beginning Sept. 6

* Thursday Early Birds, mixed: Thursdays at 6:30 p.m., beginning Aug. 30

* Armed Forces Mixed: Fridays at 5:15 p.m., beginning Sept. 7

* Friday Early Birds, mixed: Fridays at 6:30 p.m., beginning Sept. 7

* Youth Program: Saturdays at 9 a.m., beginning Sept. 8

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