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calendar   Wednesday - June 30, 2010

Skunked

Ratz. We got trampled at bowling league last night, 0-7. We were in first place for 1 whole week. Alas, no more. If I can ever stop totally sucking at this game maybe we can get it back. The cash prize for first is “huge” in this little league, a whole $100. The league started with 7 1/2 teams, which was 8 teams in the rotation. That’s the perfect size for a 15 week season; everybody plays each team twice, then you have 1 week for the finals. That didn’t last. Now it’s 6 teams, and at least 1 pre-bowls each week. And the schedule is all screwed up too. I guess they made the adjustment by just snipping out the teams that dropped or something, I don’t know, but we’ve played a couple of the other teams twice already while not playing the last team at all yet. And 5 doesn’t go into 14 evenly, so there will be 1 team we only play twice. Bah. But that’s summer league sometimes. I’m starting to think that the Wednesday night group might be better, as they have 18 teams. The Tuesday night league might be dying.

If I ran things, I’d get all the teams together on one night, but have several small leagues of 8 and only 1 week of position rounds. That way you get a fair rotation. 18 teams in a 15 week season means there will be 4 teams you never even bowl against, and that’s BS. It’s 1 team worse when such a league does the typical 2 weeks of position rounds.

We played that family team last night, the folks we opened the season with. The ones who were sandbagging it totally. Looks like they have stopped doing that; they creamed us by 126 the first game, then hung back in the second game waiting for us to finish and then beat us by 2. We tried to rally in the 3rd game and were actually ahead in most of the first 9 frames, but then they “miraculously” came from behind with a 10th frame that was mostly Xs and took us by 20 or something. I didn’t even bother to note the score.

There are an infinite number of ways to bowl. There is no one style or method that gets the job done best. There are crankers and strokers and tweeners, but those are only loose categories that fit the better bowlers. In a rinky dink league like this one you see everything under the sun. It can be interesting and amusing to watch, but anyone who has had a bit of training in the classic methods can find it irritating after awhile. Especially when they get their asses whupped by Ugly Bowling. That was us last night. Arrggh! I did get one domino strike that provided some comic relief.

This family team does everything “wrong” and that makes me grind my teeth. They do it consistently though, so it works for them!! Dad weebles up to the foul line, his timing varying by hours. He plants his left foot, comes to a stop, and then slangs the ball, coming over the top and around the ball so far that his right arm goes horizontal. His throw looks like he’s wiping down a table. Every bit of coaching I’ve ever had says that this is a disaster waiting to happen. And yet his ball hooks, and goes into the pocket. Son uses a pinch grip that squeezes the ball between his thumb and middle finger. He races to the line, almost running as his arm swings out and away from his body like a sidearm pitch in softball. And then he fires the ball down the 15 board as his hand comes up and makes a window wiping arc to his left. Another disaster in the making? Once again, every bit of training I’ve ever had says yes. But that arc and that wipe put a bit of counter-clockwise rotation on the ball, thumb hole to the rear, and with it’s great speed the ball flares in a few boards and hits like a thunderclap. He rolled a 223 last night. Big sister is their least bowler and uses something like a classic straight ball approach, throwing from near the right gutter down and across the lane into the pocket. She isn’t putting any sideways rev on the ball and I don’t think it’s even rolling forward faster than the ball is moving. Her throw isn’t fast, isn’t slow, and isn’t superbly accurate, but if her ball finds either pocket most times it will strike. The part that makes me roll my eyes is that she can nail the headpin square on and also get strikes. This isn’t supposed to happen. Or is only supposed to happen once in a while. She manages it more than half the time. Maybe her ball weighs 30 pounds or something. Little sister throws through the deepest oil. She uses a luggage throw, the weakest possible release that will impart a little rev on the ball. 3 step approach, stop, ball swings forward at waist height, thumb comes out and ball falls off her stiff fingers. It gets about 4 spins in as it goes down the lane. Her release point is right down the 20 board, dead center in the lane, and my guess is that she aims somewhere down the 15 board. But with a slow throw, those 4 little revs are enough to move the ball in, and since she launches through the deep oil, the ball moves in late. Into the pocket. For a strike. But her ball is going at the wrong angle!! Every bit of coaching, training, or pity aid I’ve had from the alley employees tells me the same thing: to get a strike you want your ball to come in to the 1-3 pocket at a 19 degree angle to the center line, revving axis 45 degrees to the left, so that deflection is minimized and the ball hits the 1-3-5-9 pins. At best she is hitting 1-3-6-9. But that gets her strikes and her average is higher than mine.

Wonder boy, the kid who lives and works at the alley, threw another 300 last night. He’s a super cranker, and throws out between the 3 and the 4 arrow, really deep right out to the edge of the lane. We’re talking his 2 board, or even his 1. But he revs the daylights out of his ball, and it comes back hard. It accelerates into the pocket, parallel to the front row with a matching angle on the ball and a perfectly vertical rotation. Which means his ball (he’s left handed) take out 2 fulls rows by hitting the 1-2-3-5-6-9-10 and usually blasts 2 messengers from each side across the deck and back. Without trying too hard he usually carries a 245 average. At 23 I think he has over 200 perfect games to his credit. Bastard.

I have decided that there are no experts or coaches worth listening to. Everything that they say is a bad thing is actually a great thing for somebody. I don’t think it matters a jot how you throw the ball as long as you can repeat that throw frame after frame. Use the heaviest ball you can hang onto and just chuck it. The pros you see on TV? Bah. They’re just the pretty style boys and girls, all throwing minor variations on the classic methods. I really am beginning to doubt that they bowl any better than the ham handed oafs who trounce us at league. And I’m beginning - no, long past just beginning - to come to the conclusion that my years worth of trying to learn those styles has been a total waste of time.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/30/2010 at 07:33 AM   
Filed Under: • Bowling Blogging •  
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