Virtual Bowling arrives in Kaiserslautern


    Industry News

    Republished courtesy of the MWR and Public Affairs Departments at USAG Kaiserslautern

     It's a big ten strike for bowlers. The U.S. Army Garrison's Emerald Alley, located at Armstrong's Club in Kaiserslautern, is the very first military facility in Germany to offer Virtual Bowling. Click on the image to enlarge it.

    For bowling enthusiasts around the Kaiserslautern military community, the new indoor recreation adventure, which combines the popularity of bowling with today's high-tech video and simulation games, offers just about everything that a conventional alley has to offer.

    Gary Smith, marketing director for Brunswick Bowling & Billiards, the company which installed the system, said, "Virtual Bowling is standard width bowling, in which the only differences are that the lanes are about one third shorter than regular lanes and the pinsetter is a virtual pinsetter. Bowlers roll a ball down the shortened lane, in which sensors detect the speed and direction of the ball as it enters the virtual world.

    In 2004, the first Virtual Bowling alley was installed at the Hard Rock Café in Gothenburg, Sweden. Since then, its popularity has increased worldwide. Virtual Bowling has been installed in homes, resorts, cruise ships, and clubs in Sweden, Norway, Germany, Spain, Austria, the Czech Republic, Russia and the United States.

    "Regardless of where you are in the world, bowling is tremendously popular. It has been the number one participation sport for several years and up to 100 million people bowl every year," Smith said.

    Steve Pelletier, Kaiserslautern's U.S. Army Garrison Director of MWR said, "We are very fortunate to be able to offer this new high-tech bowling venue at our club. It's great to be the first military club in Europe that provides the latest generation of realistic computer- generated bowling fun by using such innovative technology."

    Emerald Alley's Virtual Bowling uses normal regulation size bowling balls and features sounds of a conventional game, including a realistic impact of the balls striking the pins. Because Virtual Bowling doesn't operate within the confines of conventional pin bowling, the system features a variety of themes that can be programmed to appeal to bowlers in all age groups. Themes include Classic Bowling, Chicken Run, Space Bowling, Tomato Factory, and Artic Alley.

    If you are a bowling enthusiast, check out this next generation of pin action by visiting Armstrong's Club, Bldg. 1036, on Vogelweh Housing. Emerald Alley, where Virtual Bowling is located, is open Monday through Thursday, 5 – 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m. – 2 a.m.; and Sunday, 4 – 11 p.m.