Marine Corps Base Hawaii --
Monday nights at 6 p.m. you will find Marines of every age and rank participating in the Commander’s Cup Bowling League at K-Bay Lanes. The league started Monday and will continue for 12 weeks. Each of the 14 teams is made up of four players, and can have up to four alternate players. The alternate players are usually people who want to participate but can’t make the commitment due to crazy work schedules. Each player pays $12 a week, or when they play, since some teams have more than four players. The money goes toward a banquet and cash prizes at the end of the season.
Many of the players are returning participants to the league, but newcomers are welcome.
“This is the sixth time I’ve been a part of the league,” said Cpl. Matt Liebhart, bass guitar player with U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Band, 22, and native of Akron, Ohio.
Liebhart is the team leader to his team of only band members, the 15-Pound Balls. His team consists of four main players and one alternate. He has been bowling since he arrived in Hawaii in October 2011, and has enjoyed it ever since. He plans on signing up for the leagues following this one.
“I enjoy bowling a lot,” said Lance Cpl. Victor Danish, flute player with MarForPac Band, 22, and native of San Antonio, Texas. “I bowled before I joined (the Marine Corps) and decided to join (the league) since my friends were doing it, and I like the game.”
This was Danish’s first time playing for the league. He was an alternate April 1, 2013 but was still content being there with his friends. They sat around joking, cheering on their fellow team members and taking their turns at the lane for the two-hour bowling session.
“I’m trying to improve my bowling skills,” said Lance Cpl. Bryan Sitka, trumpet player with MarForPac Band, 19, and native of Bristol, Conn. “I like it because I can sit back and hang out with my friends, and bowl.”
The teams compete to win prizes at the end of the 12 weeks. Teams that place first through fourth place win cash prizes. There are also awards for individual players on a team, for example most improved and highest scratch games. To participate a person doesn’t have to be an expert at bowling. It’s just a good way to relax, enjoy time away from work and bowl.
The reason the league is only 12 weeks long is to make it less of a commitment for everyone. It makes it easier for Marines to be a part of something, and not have to worry because they have other obligations. It helps Marines who are deploying to have a chance to play, but not have to forfeit because they are leaving soon.
There is another league starting July 15, running for 12 weeks.
“I’d definitely recommend it,” said Liebhart.