House Basketball: Spotlight on team “Girl Bowling”


Photo Courtesy of Callie Randall

Girls Bowling members pose for a picture after regular season victory.

Sponsored by the Arlington County Parks and Recreation Organization, house basketball is a youth league sports program offered to students in third through twelfth grades. The season starts around early January and ends with playoffs in March. Being a recreational sport, all who sign up and pay the fee are guaranteed both a spot on a team and play time. However, varsity high school basketball players are not eligible to join.

The season begins with one to two practices before the first game. Each team is assigned one-hour-long practices per week but are allowed to better their skills outside of their designated time. The practices continue throughout the season, which is an average of about 10 games.

Sponsored by the Washington Wizards and Mystics youth basketball program, all kids who sign up for house basketball are given free tickets to one Wizards game. The two teams also supply custom jerseys, changing the color every year. “I think it’s awesome that we are given the opportunity to go and watch a professional basketball game every year,” senior Sally Ancheva said. “It’s inspiring to see people playing and loving the same sport you do.”

House basketball has become fairly popular in recent years throughout the teen community, especially within the school. Whether students are involved in the program through being a player on a team, serving as a coach or going to show support, many have found their way to the basketball games one way or another.

Girls Bowling, a team made up of all W-L female seniors, has been in existence since 2013. Captains Sally Ancheva and Tara Dolan have led the team to many victories and improvements, for example, the team is tied for third in their division. “House league basketball is always so much fun because it has a lot less pressure than more competitive leagues like school teams,” senior Tara Dolan said. “We created our team to have fun, but have progressively improved in many aspects and ways that it’s also about playing our best and performing as well as we possibly can too.”

The team is coached by varsity basketball players seniors Michael Stearman, Ashley James and Gene Jones. Though none are allowed to play, they show their support through offering strategy and mentoring to all of the students. “I like getting to help other people learn about a sport that I also enjoy playing,” James said. “It makes it so fun for everyone.”

Additionally, many students come out to support Girls Bowling’s games. Most games average a student section of about 10 to 20 students at the minimum. “I love going to watch my friends play and support them,” senior Kitty Adair said. “It’s really funny because all of them play other sports competitively, so seeing them play basketball is really entertaining.”