Bowling allows blind league members chance to socialize and compete

They gather on Fridays for 'Beer Barrels' league

When you listen closely, you can hear what it's like every Friday night when about two dozen people gather for the Milwaukee Beer Barrels Blind Bowling League.

“Blind bowling was established to give blind bowlers an outlet to socialize and have fun bowling competitions with their sighted counterparts, friends and family,” said League President Jeff Spantikow.

Spantikow is legally blind.

“About seven feet away I can see clearly,” Spantikow said.

So there's a sighted person who tells the bowlers which pins they've knocked down.

“With my vision loss and stuff like that, bowling was an easy fit for me,” described bowler Rhonda Lang.

She’s in her third season with the league.

“We all do it for fun,” she said.

Lang is completely blind.

“I used to have a decent amount of vision and then about 15 years ago, I lost what I had,” she said.

But Lang's gained friendships.

“All the people in this league, we all get along really well,” she said.

In addition, she’s gained skills.

“I've been doing better,” she said with a chuckle. “I have good days and bad days.”

Guide rails assist the bowlers. They typically take four steps and then, just let it roll.

“I love bowling because it doesn't matter what size you are, doesn't matter how much you weigh or what have you and it doesn't matter how old you are,” Spantikow said.

And Lang agrees, and said, “It means that no matter what your disability is, everyone can do anything if given a chance.”

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