Tag Archives: Ten Pin Bowling

PBA Senior Tour: Entering a Golden Age by James Goulding III

PBA Senior Tour: Entering a Golden Age

by James Goulding III

Hello once again avid Bowler-2-Bowler blog readers!  Sorry it has been a month since the last blog entry, but the hectic end to the current bowling season, as well as a multitude of good tournament bowling has left me with little time to catch up with all things bowling related here on the world-wide web.  I was strolling through the PBA headlines, and one thing caught my eye, which was the current results for the senior U.S. Open which is going on right now at the Suncoast Bowling Center in Las Vegas, NV.  I got to thinking about the senior tour, and how it has gone from immensely popular back in the days when John Handegard, Gene Stus, and the great Earl Anthony ruled the roost, to practically non-existent a few years ago, and now it seems to be making a comeback in popularity.  Why?  Well, let me throw my .02 out on the matter, as reading through the PBA website gave me the idea for this post, and I have some opinions on the matter, so let’s get started!

First off, I think that the PBA Senior Tour is about to enter another “Golden Age” of sorts.  What I mean by this, of course, is the talent that people are going to see out on the lanes in the next few years is going to be as good as it has ever been on the PBA Senior Tour.  Viewers relate to bowlers they have seen on TV their whole lives, and now that many of the great PBA players of the past 20-30 years are getting into that 50+ age category to qualify for the senior tour, I believe the same viewers who followed those great players will continue to watch them do battle on the senior tour.  There are some great players who are now eligible for the senior tour, and some who have had some tremendous success in their limited time on tour already.  Tom Baker, Harry Sullins, Brian Voss, Hugh Miller, and the great Walter Ray Williams Jr. are just a few of the names out there competing, and WRW is still at the top of the heap on the regular PBA Tour, so he is a dual force to be reckoned with!  In the next few years we are going to see the likes of Parker Bohn III, Pete Weber, Ameleto Monacelli, and many other great PBA bowlers become eligible for the senior tour, and I believe this is what is going to make the PBA Senior Tour “must see TV” every tournament.  All of those players have been legends and staples on TV for decades, and now that they get a chance to compete at a high level on the senior tour, well, that just adds more drama and flare to a tour that so desperately needs it.  I just hope that the executives of the PBA realize this in the next few years, and take advantage of the marketing of the PBA Senior Tour by letting everyone out there know some of the “big guns” who are now competing out there.  This really could be a “Golden Age” for the PBA Senior Tour, but without the backing of the PBA front office, it will sadly go un-noticed and these great bowlers will not get the recognition, or financial gain, from the tournament bowling that they deserve.

Another reason I say this is going to be a “Golden Age” for the PBA Senior Tour is because history has shown me that these things are cyclical.  What I mean is, a tour like the senior tour, which has an age limit to get in, goes through periods of  drought where there are not many bowlers becoming eligible who may have dominated on the PBA Tour in their younger years, and even though they are getting a steady stream of senior players from the amateur circuit, many TV viewers are more likely to tune in if a recognizable name is on the telecast.  If you look back to the mid 1980’s to early 1990’s, which was the last “Golden Age” on the PBA Senior Tour, you had a flood of talent come up from the PBA ranks, the likes of Early Anthony, Teata Semiz, Gary Dickinson, Johnny Petraglia, and the legendary Dick Weber.  Many people grew up watching these gentlemen dominate the PBA Tour every Saturday afternoon on ABC, and now that they were on the senior tour, the same viewers tuned in to see them dominate once again, and they did not get disappointed.  I, myself, was too young to see the great Earl Anthony or Dick Weber compete on the national tour, but I was able to see both of them bowl on the senior tour, and it is something I will never forget.  If there were no senior tour, then I would have missed out on seeing two of the best bowlers of all time, which is another reason why it is so vital that the PBA keep the senior tour going.  For many younger viewers who didn’t get to see Pete Weber win the Triple Crown, or see WRW become the first bowler to top $200,000 in a single season, for instance, the senior tour allows them to see these guys in a whole new light.  So, like I said earlier, I believe that the cycle is about to be back on the upswing with the ground swell of PBA talent either eligible now, or becoming eligible in the next five years for the senior circuit.  I really do think that we are going to see something special with the senior tour, just like we did back in the late 80’s and early 90’s, and I don’t want to miss a minute of the action.

Lastly, I would like to say that the PBA needs to get their heads out of the sand, and get these senior bowlers on TV again!  How are people supposed to even know that Brian Voss may be bowling against WRW for a title if it is not on TV?  I would hate to miss a classic battle between two of the best bowlers of the last 25 years, just because the PBA decides to keep it off of TV to save a buck.  It would be a shame for an entire generation of bowling fans to miss out on some great senior bowling, so maybe with the infusion of talent coming onto the PBA Senior Tour in the next few years things will change for the better.  Every form of professional bowling deserves to be televised, from the PBA Women’s Tour, the PBA Tour, and the Senior PBA Tour, they are all professional athletes and deserve the respect of a national viewing audience to showcase their unique talent on the lanes week in and week out.  Maybe I am in the minority on this opinion, but I feel very strongly about it, and think most hard-core bowling fans would agree with me.  Get ALL of these professional bowlers on TV!!

In closing, I would like to say that I enjoy all forms of professional bowling, but I hold a special place for the PBA Senior Tour in my heart.  I love watching how these great bowlers can continue to compete at a level I could only dream of, and at an age when most people are thinking more about relaxing than grinding out 30 games of qualifying week in and week out.  It takes a truly special talent to do what the senior players do, and I hope the senior tour gains in popularity like never before due to the factors I mentioned earlier in my blog entry.  I think with the infusion of such spectacular talent over the next few years, along with the great bowlers already on the senior tour, this will become another “Golden Age” for the PBA Senior Tour.  As always, the opinions expressed in this blog are my own, and in no way reflect those of the MSUSBC or any of its members.  Please feel free to comment on anything you read, and I will post it up here, and respond ASAP.  Thank you for reading, have a great time on the lanes everyone, and don’t forget to check out the PBA Senior Tour this summer!

www.mist.bowlingchat.net

www.msusbc-maine.org

www.lausbca.org

www.jgoulding.wordpress.com

Leagues & Associations – Why Serve – by David Charron

I have bowled in many different States and in many different Associations within the State of Maine. I have been in every imaginable League Officer Position over the years on various leagues, and recently have become a Board Member on one of my Local Association Boards. There are many bowlers out there who both have been bowling for many years and even some who are very new to the sport of bowling but love it dearly, ask yourself this question, why serve.

For me this answer is easy, I wish for the sport to be on a fair and competitive level and for the rules to be enforced on a consistent basis for all bowlers, all of the time. This is why I have served for many years as a League Officer. Just recently I have made the move into the “politics” of the Local Association Board. Now again for me the answer to why is an easy one, I wish to effect change, I wish to make my Local Association Board be more about the Bowlers it is in place to serve and less about all the other things that make up the “political” side of my local association. The only way I see to effect the change that I feel is so desperately needed is to become involved, now this holds true not only for bowling, but for anything if you really sit and think about it.

Now, I know this opinion is not going to be popular with many people, but it is my opinion. If you are currently a member of you Local or State Association Board, a Committee Member, or a League Officer for any of the following reasons

  • It looks better on your Hall Of Fame Resume
  • You have a Personal Agenda or Personal Vendettas
  • You wish to have Power over your fellow Bowlers
  • Financial Gain – Pay from the League or Board; or other Financial Gain

RESIGN – Resign immediately. You are not serving the Bowler’s, you are serving yourself and frankly that is not what being a League Officer or an Association Board Member is suppose to be about.

Now with that said, these are Voluntary Positions, how do we fill the seats of those who have departed recently, or those with terms that are expiring. Recruit, Recruit, Recruit. If you are a bowler reading this Blog and have always wanted to get involved but didn’t know where to begin. Ask current board members when and where the next board meeting is; you don’t have to be a member to attend these meetings. You will be both surprised and inspired by what goes on during these proceedings. Get involved attend meetings, run for office, become a board member, or even the Member of a Committee (you do not have to be a member of the Board to be on a committee). However with that being said if you are going to serve your fellow bowlers in this capacity, make sure you are doing it for the right reasons.

  • DON’T become the Secretary / Treasurer of your League only because the position pays for your bowling, or for other financial gain. DO take on this position because you have the skills and ability to do a great job at it, do it right, and provide a valuable service to your league.  
  • DON’T become a League Officer on your League only because you don’t like the rules and want to try to change them for your own benefit or for your team’s benefit. DO run for these positions if you’re doing so to make sure that everything runs smoothly and that all USBC Rules and regulations are applied fairly and evenly to all bowlers on all teams.
  • DON’T chair a Tournament Committee only because there is pay involved, or only because you wish to control certain aspect of the Tournament (Lane Assignment, Who bowls with who, or what lanes they bowl on, Oil Patterns or Oiling Schedule, etc.) DO chair this committee if you have the time, expertise, and organizational skills to run a successful event for all of the bowlers who choose to enter.
  • DON’T chair or become a member of your Association Board or of any committee simply because you wish to control outcomes with your own personal agenda or wage personal vendettas. DO become members of these very important committees because you wish to serve all bowlers in a fair and consistent manner and have the time to do so.
  • DON’T volunteer to do anything for which you do not have the skills or time to do. It does your fellow board or league members no good for you to volunteer your time to do a job and then not do it, only to have others have to pick up the slack at the last minute. This behavior is counterproductive and not in the best interest of the bowlers you wish to serve. DO volunteer as much as you can, without overextending yourself, your service is needed and greatly appreciated.

In Closing, I urge all bowlers who truly care about this sport to become involved. Go to League Meetings; go to Local and State Association Meetings. If you possibly can, run for office (League or Association) volunteer the time and the energy to keep our sport alive. Please do it and do it for the right reason, your local association needs more people to become involved.

Opinions expressed in this post are solely mine and may not reflect the opinions held by MSUSBC or any other Local Association. As always your comments and opinions are welcome and encouraged. Please post your responses and thank you for reading the Bowler 2 Bowler Blog. Good Luck and hopefully I will see all of you on the lanes or even better at your next Local or State Association Meeting.

Keys to Effective Practice – by David Charron

I have been bowling for some 30+ years now. When I was a Younger Bowler in my early and late Teens I use to practice much the same way as many of the youth and adults for that matter, I see practicing today. Throw as many games as possible just as quickly as you possibly can. I quickly learned through my early 20’s that this type of Fast Paced non-thinking approach to practice was doing more harm than good. I changed my method of practice, while my number of practice games did not decrease (Roughly 50-80/Week in my 20’s), my time on the lanes certainly increased. I started to key on certain things through my practice session and started to see vast improvement on the lanes. The results of my new practice regiment only wanted to make me spend more time and effort on my game. I don’t practice as much these days, occasionally when my timing is bad, or I am having a particular difficultly, or most often when I get new Equipment to simply figure out reaction compared to my current equipment. So in this article I am going to share with you my 7 Keys to Effective General Practice.

 1)      PICK A GOOD TIME TO PRACTICE – Pick a time when you can devote at least 2 hours to a practice session. Not 20 Minutes before league to throw 3 games of one ball after another.

2)      PREPARE TO PRACTICE – Always start with stretching, Arms, Legs, Back, Neck, Hands, Etc then start slowly by rolling anywhere from 10-12 Balls down the lane with no particular attention to where, start with a very slow ball speed, and gradually pick this speed up to normal this with further stretch the muscles … Also prepare yourself mentally as well (see PLAN PRATICE) Make sure your body and mind is ready to practice.

3)      PLAN PRACTICE – Remember when you went to your high school or other team practice for Basketball, Football, Soccer, Baseball, or other sport. Your practice was planned with certain activities in segments. This is no different. Plan your practice and the things you will work on. Try to plan your Practice when Lane Conditions will be Similar to Leagues or Tournaments, or just the opposite if Adjusting to Different Conditions is the main focus of your practice. (i.e. Corner Pins, Single Pin Spare, Multi Pin Spares, Hand Positions, Approach, Ball Speed, Baby Splits, Angles of Entry, Timing Issues, New Equipment, etc)  Each practice segment (3) should be 20-30 Minutes in length approx. the time to bowl a Full Game.

4)      DON’T HAVE PRACTICE OVERLOAD – Do not try to work on too many things in one practice session. This will diminish the quality of your practice. Also be mindful of practicing too quickly, think about each shot in practice as if you were bowling in a league or tournament. Try to maintain the same type of pace to your practice.

5)      SIMULATE COMPETITION – Remember when you were in the yard, playing whatever sport when you were younger, say Basketball for instance, “It’s Jordan for 3 at the buzzer, and it’s good” How many times do you hear that play in your head as a kid. Regardless of what you are practicing on when you get to the Tenth Frame of each practice game, pretend you need to throw the First Strike to win the game. Put the pressure in your mind practice with this pressure, when you get to real life situations you will be better prepared.

6)      COMPLETE PRACTICE – Complete your practice session, by bowling regular games at a tournament or league pace. Remembering to simulate competition, but now on every shot. Make this session of your practice about bowling for score applying the ideas and techniques you learned, modified, or practiced during other portions of your session.

7)      MENTAL GAME – Keep POSITIVE mental focus on every shot regardless of how poorly or how well you might be doing or what portion of your practice session you might be in. Remember once you get to certain skill level the Mental Game is probably the most important part of your overall game.

Now that we have covered General Practice Tips I want to also cover “Breaking in the NEW Ball”. Most of the time I see Bowlers practicing because they just got a new ball and want to “see how what it does”. I do this as well, but again I see bowlers doing this in the same fast paced non-thinking environment as they utilize for their General Practice. Here are my 4 Additional Tips for New Equipment. .

 1)      PICK A GOOD TIME TO PRACTICE

2)      PREPARE TO PRACTICE

3)      PLAN PRACTICE – If you are going to test or try new equipment you can put this into your General Practice Plan, but put it at the end. However, my Suggestion is that you devote an entire practice session to NEW Equipment.Make sure your new equipment is prepared to bowl. Whether that is inserts, beveling of holes, sanding, tape, etc.

4)      CURRENT EQUIPMENT FIRST – Bowl a couple games with your current equipment to give yourself a baseline on how the lanes are reacting and such with the equipment you are currently use to using. Fight the urge to put that NEW Ball in your hands immediately.

5)      SAME LINE – Now play the NEW Equipment on the same line, hand position, speed, etc. Simply try to throw the ball the same way as the Current Equipment to give yourself an idea of how it will react in comparison to your current equipment.

6)      ADJUSTMENTS – Make adjustments to ball speed, hand position, line, etc to find the desired ball reaction. Test these adjustments in a variety of circumstances, throw the ball at full racks, corner pins, single & multi-pin spares.

7)      SIMULATE COMPETITION

8)      COMPLETE PRACTICE

9)      MENTAL GAME

Following these guidelines to General Practice and New Equipment will make the most of your Practicing TIME & DOLLARS. This also should lessen the adjustment time to your new ball and hopefully save the frustration of struggling with new stuff, because you didn’t take the time to make sure you were ready to use it.

Opinions expressed in this post are solely mine and may not reflect the opinions held by MSUSBC. As always your comments and opinions are welcome and encouraged. Please post your responses and thank you for reading the Bowler 2 Bowler Blog. Good Luck and hopefully I will see all of you on the lanes.

League Prize Funds – By David Charron

I have bowled in Leagues for the last 30 Years in many different Associations in Numerous States. I have also prepared Prize Fund Proposals for a majority of the leagues I have bowled on. So I pose the question, what makes a good Prize Fund?

First, the rules pertaining to League Prize Funds. Prize Funds should be presented to the league as soon as possible USBC Rules mandate by week 5. Remember a Prize Fund must have the MAJORITY vote in order to be accepted. What this means is that if you have 16 Teams and you distribute 3 Prize Lists, in order to be accepted one must receive at least 9 Votes. Otherwise, you must drop the list(s) with the least votes and re-vote on the 2 Lists which received the most votes.

Now, you’re preparing a list, what should you include. Most leagues in Maine bowl a split season. Halves, Quarters, or even Thirds. For the sake of this discussion we are going to assume your league has 16 teams and bowls a split season in 2 halves. Your prize fund should pay every team based on standings each half. And then pay the top 2 or 4 teams in a roll-off at the end of the year. Additionally you should pay Team Awards for High Series Scratch, High Series Handicap, High Game Scratch, and High Game Handicap. The awards should be of equal value, and you should pay 2 place in each so that half of the teams in this league will get some Team Award Money. Also, you will pay Individual Awards for the same, High Series Scratch, High Series Handicap, High Game Scratch, and High Game Handicap. Again these awards should be of equal Value, except I would pay 3 Places in each, so that 12 different bowlers will get individual Award Money. There will also be awards for High Average 3 Places, and Most Improved 2-3 Places. Finally, let’s talk Point Money. For those of you who don’t know what Point Money is – it is an amount of money that each team will receive for each point it wins during the regular bowling season – not including Roll-Offs. The reason to include Point Money in your prize fund is for 2 very important reasons. First Point Money will give some of the bottom teams a little extra money which is more evenly distributed than your overall league prizes, because there will just not be as much disparity between first and last place monetarily where point money is concerned. For instance is point money is worth $1 per point, then the first place team may get $160 in point money and the last place team is going to get around $75 in point money as opposed to the $600 For first and $100 for last they are also going to get. The second reason is Point Money is easily adjusted to account for variation in Actual Prize Fund Dollars at the end of the year. As you know most leagues have 50/50, which provides a unknown amount to the prize fund, and therefore you could have a “budget Shortfall or Windfall” at the end of the year, which without point money leaves you with a problem of what to do. With Point Money you have a way to easily adjust the point money to the Actual Amount in the Prize Fund at the end of the year.

Let’s Assume your League has 16 Teams and a Prize Fund of $10,000. This is exactly what I would submit for a Prize Fund

Team Place Awards

First Half                          Second Half                         Roll-Offs

1st $ 500.00                  1st $ 500.00                      1st $ 500.00

2nd $ 300.00                2nd $ 300.00                    2nd $ 300.00

3rd $ 200.00                3rd $ 200.00                     3rd $ 200.00

4th $ 175.00                4th $ 175.00                       4th $ 100.00

5th $ 150.00                5th $ 150.00                      

6th $ 125.00                6th $ 125.00

7th $ 100.00               7th $ 100.00

8th $ 100.00               8th $ 100.00

9th $ 75.00                 9th $ 75.00

10th $ 75.00              10th $ 75.00

11th $ 50.00              11th $ 50.00

12th $ 50.00             12th $ 50.00

13th $ 50.00             13th $ 50.00

14th $ 50.00             14th $ 50.00

15th $ 50.00             15th $ 50.00

16th $ 50.00             16th $ 50.00

Team Awards

High Series Scratch – High Game Scratch – High Series Handicap – High Game Handicap

1st $ 150.00  2nd $ 100.00 

Individual Awards

High Series Scratch – High Game Scratch – High Series Handicap – High Game Handicap

1st $ 100.00  2nd $ 60.00  3rd $40.00

High Average

1st $ 125.00  2nd $ 75.00  3rd $50.00

Most Improved

1st $ 75.00  2nd $ 50.00  

Point Money Estimated Point Money $0.82 Approx Per Point $ 2,525.00

Actual Point Money Adjusted to Reflect Actual Total Prize Fund

Total Prize Fund $ 10,000.00  

I hope this post has been thought provoking, I am sure Some bowler would not vote for this prize fund and others would, but it is meant to be the start of topic conversation. Opinions expressed in this post are solely mine and may not reflect the opinions held by MSUSBC. As always your comments and opinions are welcome and encouraged. Please post your responses and thank you for reading the Bowler 2 Bowler Blog. Good luck and good bowling I hope everyone is having a great Start to the Fall League Season. I’m sure I will see you on the Lanes.

Is Your Equipment Legal – By David Charron

Recently my local association had a meeting in which they discussed the need to monitor equipment at both the Local and State level. The argument they made for wanting to do this was a simple one; some members of My Local Association feel that bowlers must be using Illegal Equipment to be able to achieve the scores and accolades of the recent past. This association is considering purchasing an electronic scale for the purpose of weighing equipment prior to any Local Level Sanctioned Tournament and also any State Level Events which are to be held in our Local Association Facilities. I am going to break this down into sections of discussion at this is a very broad and bold statement being made by my local association.

High Averages & Honor Scores

The reason for the fact that scores have gone through the roof is many. But the 2 things that immediately come to mind are lane conditions and technology. The days of the Rubber and Plastic Bowling ball are gone. Hence the new age of very technologically advanced equipment, this makes bowling on “House Conditions” much easier than in years past. This quickly brings me to the second and most important point of the reason why scores are so high, Lane Conditions. Let’s face it the typical house shot for an advanced player is somewhat easy. A very good to excellent bowler can easily find an area of the lane to play, which with their equipment will give them 5-7 boards to hit and still get to the pocket, as when the ball sails to the right it hits the drier boards on the lane which create more hook bringing the ball back to the pocket. Thus more balls in the pocket equal more striking equal higher scores. Unfortunately Lane Conditions are not going to voluntarily be made harder by the Center Management, because the typical bowler in this day and age wants to bowl once a week, never practice, and still maintain what they consider to be a decent or competitive average usually somewhere between 185-205. (Adjust this number depending on the skill level of the player) Don’t get me wrong I know there are still bowlers out there who are trying to improve through practice, but those are few and far between. In some recent years, some centers have elected to make the shot “Tougher”, the general result of this experiment by some proprietors has been met with angry “Customer’s”, and they eventually go back to the “Easy House Shot”. They do not lose bowler’s generally to other centers, because unlike other places there is not a lot of competition for local bowlers in Maine, except in Bangor. What usually happens is bowler’s who get extremely frustrated with these “tougher” conditions quit bowling altogether. Proprietors are in the business to make money, they do so by keeping their customer’s happy, they keep their customer’s happy by giving in to the majority and that majority wants to achieve high scores. So forget about changing the lane conditions anytime soon. If you want to test your skill level on “tougher” conditions, I suggest joining a PBA Experience League, or a Sport League.

Illegal Equipment

Let me first say that if anyone is knowingly using illegal equipment, I am the first in line saying they should be suspended from USBC. I think that Association Members at both the Local and State level should be very careful when suggesting that Bowler’s are using illegal equipment without the proof that they are. Making such statements is not fair to those bowler’s, and they could turn around and sue you for defamation. I do not think that there are an abundance of bowler’s in Maine who are purposefully cheating by using illegally drilled equipment. I think in most cases the illegal things that happen in Maine are centered on what happens during competition (i.e. cleaners, abrasives, powders, etc). I would however agree the idea of routinely checking equipment at Tournaments and after Honor Scores is a good one, because I think there are many reasons for illegal equipment and I also agree that there is some of it out there being used everyday. First, I think there are some people out there drilling equipment who truly do not know what they are doing, and have no idea about the rules when it come to balancing a bowling ball. Second, I think some pro-shops are using old un-calibrated equipment for weighing bowling balls. Third, I think there are guys out there who are willing to do anything to make their Customer happy, with no regard for the rules. But still in most of these cases I don’t think the bowler even knows the ball they just purchased is drilled illegally. In our current culture they would never know unless they went to nationals. I know of 3 or 4 Bowlers who recently went to nationals only to find out that their Equipment was drilled illegally, in some instances so bad that they could not be fixed without a complete plug and re-drill. If you care about your equipment, I suggest you pick a very reputable shop to have your equipment done, ask questions, make sure you understand how your equipment is going to be drilled, once you find that Pro Shop stick with it. I have been going to the same place to get my equipment for over 10 Years, I have been to numerous USBC National Tournaments and never have I had a ball rejected. At the bottom of this article you will find some of the Specifications as outlines in the Equipment Specification Manual provided by USBC. There is also a Link to the full manual below.

Local and State Level Events Weighing Equipment

As I stated previously, it is a great idea to weigh equipment both before Tournament Competition and also after Honor Scores are achieved, with a few stipulations. Phase this program into place; don’t just throw it in place. Maybe even provide it as a voluntary project the first couple of years. In order to have every bowler go through a weigh station prior to bowling would require bowler to arrive at least 1 hour before a scheduled squad start time, it’s hard enough to get bowlers to arrive more than 5 minutes before the start of a squad. By phasing it in you give the bowlers the opportunity to get used to it, and understand it before throwing it at them. Remember a lot of bowers don’t even have a clear understanding of the rules, or what a weight hole, side weigh, finger weight, or top weight is. Consistency is going to be paramount here, if someone thinks a ball is out of balance it should be checked, double, and triple checked before the determination is made. At Nationals, a ball goes on an electronic scale, if it is slightly above the tolerance levels it is then sent over to a second more advanced scale system, which more accurately finds the specs of the ball. My concern is that the Local Association is going to buy a used electronic scale much like the first one used at Nationals. But will not have access to the more advanced version should something be close at initial weighing. The other concern I have is those individuals who will be responsible for conducting the weighing, how well trained will they be, if you have Pro Shop operators out there who can’t find the center lines of a grip, and are producing illegal equipment how well versed are these individuals who are going to be charged with the process going to be. While phasing this in, I think there should be a list of Balls, Bowlers, and where they were drilled kept on file which brings me to the next point

Pro Shops & Pro Shop Operators

I think that their should be an organization formed perhaps overseen by the State Assocaiton to come up with a program for accrediting Pro Shops in the state who meet or exceed certain benchmarks while doing this program of weighing equipment. See notes above about finding a reputable pro shop, our State Association is suppose to be here for the bowler’s. Something like this would be helpful to those bowler’s in our state who are looking for a pro shop. The cost for this would be very minimal, a list on a website, and a paper certificate which the Pro Shop Proprietor could display.

Bowling Ball Specifications

 Weight:

 The weight of the ball shall not exceed 16.00 pounds. There is no minimum weight.

Hardness:

 1. The surface hardness of bowling balls shall not be less than 72 durometer D at room temperature (68 – 78 degrees F).

2. The use of chemicals, solvents or other methods to change the hardness of the surface of the ball after it is manufactured is prohibited.

Circumference and Diameter:

A bowling ball shall not have a circumference of more than 27.002 inches (diameter of 8.595 inches) nor less than 26.704 inches (diameter of 8.500 inches).

Roundness:

A bowling ball shall be spherical and shall not be out of round by more than 0.010 inches.

Radius of Gyration:

The radius of gyration of a 13.00 lb. or more bowling ball, about any axis, shall not be less than 2.430 inches nor more than 2.800 inches. In addition, the maximum differential radius of gyration between any two axes of the same ball shall not exceed 0.060 inches. These shall be tested in accordance with an USBC approved test procedure (see Appendix C).

Marking:

Each ball must be uniquely identifiable by the following: 1. Brand Name/Logo 2. Ball Name 3. Individual Serial Number 4. USBC Star logo (examples at right)

Center of Gravity (CG) Marking Location:

The center of gravity (CG) of an un-drilled ball must be clearly identifiable by a unique mark or indicator.

Coefficient of Restitution:

The coefficient of restitution of a 13.00 lb. or more bowling ball shall not be less than 0.650 nor greater than 0.750 when tested in accordance with an USBC approved test procedure (see Appendix D). Coefficient of Friction: The coefficient of friction of a 13.00 lb or more bowling ball shall not exceed 0.320 when tested in accordance with an USBC approved test procedure at a relative humidity of between 30% and 50% (see Appendix E). The ball may be tested anywhere between 320 grit to 3000 polish.

Holes:

The following limitations shall govern the drilling of holes in the ball:

1. Holes or indentations for gripping purposes shall not exceed five (5) and shall be limited to one for each finger and one for the thumb, all for the same hand. The player is not required to use all the holes in any specific delivery, but they must be able to demonstrate, with the same hand, that each hole can be used simultaneously for gripping purposes. Any hole that cannot be reasonably shown to be used with a single hand would be classified as a balance hole.

2. One hole for balance purposes not to exceed 1-1/4 inch diameter.

3. No more than one vent hole to each finger and/or thumb hole not to exceed 1/4 inch in diameter. This hole may not exceed 1/4 inch at any point through the depth of the hole.

4. One mill hole for inspection purposes not to exceed 5/8 inch in diameter and 1/8 inch in depth.

Balance:

The following tolerances shall be permissible in the balance of a bowling ball used in certified competition:

10.01 pounds or more:

a. Not more than 3 ounces difference between top half of the ball (finger hole side) and the bottom half (side opposite the finger holes).

b. Not more than 1 ounce difference between the sides to the right and left of the finger holes or between the sides in front and back of the finger holes.

c. A ball drilled without a thumb hole may not have more than 1 ounce difference between any two halves of the ball.

d. A ball drilled without any finger holes or indentations, may not have more than 1 ounce difference between any two halves of the ball.

e. A ball used without any hole or indentations may not have more than 1 ounce difference between any two halves of the ball.

For a ball weighing 10.0 pounds to 8.0 pounds:

a. Not more than 2 ounces difference between top half of the ball (finger hole side) and the bottom half (side opposite the finger holes).

b. Not more than 3/4 ounce difference between the sides to the right and left of the finger holes or between the sides in front and back of the finger holes.

c. A ball drilled without a thumb hole may not have more than 3/4 ounce difference between any two halves of the ball.

d. A ball drilled without any finger holes or indentations, may not have more than 3/4 ounce difference between any two halves of the ball.

e. A ball used without any hole or indentations may not have more than 3/4 ounce difference between any two halves of the ball.

Less than 8.0 pounds:

a. Not more than 3/4 ounce difference between the top half of the ball (finger hole side) and the bottom half (side opposite the finger holes).

b. Not more than 3/4 ounce difference between the sides to the right and left of the finger holes or between the sides in front and back of the finger holes.

c. A ball drilled without a thumb hole may not have more than 3/4 ounce difference between any two halves of the ball.

d. A ball drilled without any finger holes or indentations, may not have more than 3/4 ounce difference between any two halves of the ball.

e. A ball used without any hole or indentations may not have more than 3/4 ounce difference between any two halves of the ball.

LINK TO BOWLING EQUIPMENT SPECIFICATION MANUAL

http://usbcongress.http.internapcdn.net/usbcongress/bowl/equipandspecs/pdfs/04_2009_EquipSpecsManual_WEB.pdf

 

I hope this information has been helpful and informative.  Opinions expressed in this post are solely mine and may not reflect the opinions held by MSUSBC. As always your comments and opinions are welcome and encouraged. Please post your responses and thank you for reading the Bowler 2 Bowler Blog. Hope everyone is gearing up for another great season of Bowling.

A Men’s Only Tournament – WHY ? – By David Charron

Recently there has been a poll generated by the State Board asking the following Question.

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Men’s Tournament
MSUSBC is considering adding a Men’s Tournament. Men, please indicate how this decision would affect your tournament bowling.

  • I would bowl only in the Open Tournament.
  • I would bowl only in the Men’s Tournament.
  • I would bowl in the Open and the Men’s Tournaments.

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I would like to start this post by first saying I think a Men’s Only Tournament ADDED to the Tournament Schedule is a bad idea. Secondly, the poll as it is posted does not necessarily give the appropriate choices for responses that would help identify why I think it is a bad idea.

First, let me give some reasons why adding a Men’s Only Tournament is a bad idea.

  •  Adding a Men’s Tournament is only going to take Entries and Prize Fund Money away from the Open Tournament.
    o In this economy bowlers are not going to spend more money on bowling. If they say they are going to bowl in both tournaments they are going to bowl less in the Open in order to spend that money in the Men’s only event.
    o Those who respond that they would bowl in only the Men’s Tournament are then forgoing the Open Tournament which would obviously adversely affect the Prize Fund in that Tourney.
  • It is a lot of work to put together a Tournament; we already have Youth, Women’s, Senior, and Open Tournaments, which are overseen by the State. Why is it necessary to add another event to the schedule?
    o Certainly this newly created tournament would take even more considerable work to get going the first year, for which almost assuredly will be a small tournament to start in this economy.
  •  The argument of the Women have their own tournament why don’t the men just doesn’t make sense to me.
    o Women over the years that they have been allowed to participate in the Men’s and now Open Tournament have put more money into the prize fund then they have taken out. And certainly the bulk of this Prize Money women have won has been in the handicapped divisions.
    o I agree that it is not necessary fair that Women also have their own Tournament in addition to being able to compete in the Open Tournament. However it is only benefiting the Men when they bowl in the Open Tournament because they are simply adding more money to the prize fund.
    o Currently Women account for roughly 10-13% of the overall Entries in the Single and Doubles events of the Open Tournament during the last 3 Years. (Can’t Count Team Events – data available doesn’t list bowlers but I would guess the number is a little less because quite a few Men bowl on Multiple teams whereas most Women only bowl on one Team in the Open Tournament.) In Contrast they only account for roughly 4-6% of the overall Scratch and Handicap awarded Prizes in those same Categories.

Now, let me add what will probably be a fairly controversial solution to the whole problem. I am not sure if I really think this is the way to go, but just a suggestion and why it could be a good idea.

  • Maybe the route we need to go instead of adding a Men’s Only Tournament is to run the Open and Women’s tournament in conjunction with each other, same center, same time, same everything at the same time adding Mixed Divisions to the Tournament.
    o How about is we extend the Tournament, to 8 Weekends instead of 6, Start it a little earlier so that we don’t have the Tournament on Mother’s Day, and have different divisions; Men’s, Women’s and Mixed – These divisions would be based solely on Gender, Women do not have the opportunity to complete for Men Prizes and Team’s with both Genders are considered in the Mixed Category Only. This idea might actually make the Open Tournament Bigger and Better, by adding a Mixed Division that may give a boost to entries.
    o If you were to go this route the Tournament would have separate prize lists for Men, Women, and Mixed based only on the entries received for those divisions within the tournament.
    o The only pitfall I see to this would be that obviously the Tournament Management would have to put more work into running a tournament which would be considerably larger and run 2 extra weeks compared to the Open Tournament as it is now. The second pitfall maybe that it may not meet the Merged Association Requirement which mandates an Open, Women’s, and Youth event each year.
    o Also having a combined Tournament like this would possibly boost entries because you don’t have 2 tournaments overlapping as the Women’s and Open Tournament is doing this year
    o After all and as many have said previously. Why should the Women have their own Tournament when the Men don’t?

Finally, perhaps we need a couple of different Polls that asks these Questions.

  • MEN – If we were to add a Men’s Tournament how would this affect your Tournament Bowling?
    o Would you Continue to bowl the Same Amount in the Open Tournament ONLY
    o Would You Bowl in Both Tournaments, but bowl less in the Open Tournament
    o Would you bowl in Both Tournaments, and Continue to bowl the same amount in the Open Tournament
    o Would you bowl in the Men’s Tournament ONLY

 

  • MEN & WOMEN – If we were to have a Combined Open Tournament that instead offered Divisions of Men’s, Women’s and Mixed at the Open Tournament how would this affect your Tournament Bowling?
    o Would not Bowl in the Open Tournament at all     
    o Would Bowl in only Gender Specific Divisions in the Open Tournament (Men’s or Women’s) thus not increasing or deceasing my Tournament Bowling.
    o Would Increase my Tournament Bowling by adding some Mixed Division Events to my Tournament Schedule

I hope this post has been thought provoking, I am sure it will be very unpopular with many people, but it is meant to be the start of topic conversation. As always your comments and opinions are welcome and encouraged. Please post your responses and thank you for reading the Bowler 2 Bowler Blog. Good luck and good bowling hope to see all of you (Men and Women alike) at the State Open Tournament in Brunswick.

Bowling Shoes & Approaches – Understanding the Rules – By David Charron

Did you know that you are not allowed to apply any foreign substance to the bottom of your bowling shoes during competition? This includes but is not limited to Rosin, Baby Powder, Talcum Powder, Pumice, Ashes, Saliva, Water, Easy Slide (Yes the SHOE Product), Alcohol, Acetone, Simple Green, and Windex.

This is the excerpt from the USBC Rule book that establishes this.
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Rule 12. Approaches Must Not Be Defaced

The application of any foreign substance on any part of the approach that detracts from the possibility of other players having normal conditions is prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to talcum powder, pumice and resin on shoes, and/or soft rubber soles or heels that rub off on the approach.

Commonly Asked Questions – Rule 12

12-1   One of the bowlers is having a difficult time sliding on the approach and applies a commercial product purchased at the center pro shop to the bottom of his/her shoes. The product is designed to help a bowler slide. The secretary says she has received a complaint from the opposing team and notifies the individual to stop using the substance or the game will be forfeited. Can an officer tell a bowler to stop using the substance and declare the game forfeited?
Commercial products, talcum powder or any substance applied to the shoe or approach could be in violation of Rule 12. If a league participant uses a substance and somebody complains that it prohibits him/her from having normal conditions, the league officer should require the individual to immediately stop his/her action. If the individual refuses, his/her games are subject to forfeiture.
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In a couple of my leagues we have had some issues with people not understanding the purpose or the meaning of this rule and how it is applied. There have also been instances during Tournaments when bowlers get on unfamiliar approaches that are either slipperier or tackier than what they are accustomed to.

First, let’s discuss the purpose of the rule. The purpose is simple, its safety and fairness to all of the bowlers who are bowling on that particular pair of Lanes. When you apply something to the bottom of your shoe or to the approach you are changing the approach conditions for everyone, and that is not only unfair, but could be a safety hazard as well. For instance let’s say you are putting water on the bottom of your shoe between shots because your sliding too much, you are carrying that moisture to the approach to the area which you are sliding, now that area is stickier then it previously was, the next bowler sticks and falls because of this. You have created an unfair condition for that bowler to have to deal with, not to mention the fact they could injure themselves by falling or pulling a muscle trying not to fall.

Now let’s talk about the rule and what is allowed and not allowed. Keep in mind the rule states “ANY” substance and the “POSSIBILITY” of other players having normal conditions. Having received clarity from the USBC Rules Department, I have learned a few things; the official Charged with rendering judgment (League President or Tournament Manager) has to decide if it is reasonable to think that the actions of the bowler are in violation of rule 12. In almost all instances this is simple, the bowler is applying a substance (Powder, Spit, Ashes, and/or Easy Slide) directly to the bottom on the shoe, and this is a clear violation of Rule 12. (I know someone is thinking the product Easy Slide is for shoes, actually it is a shoe product, but it is illegal to use on the bottom of your shoes during competition). Now there have been other instances where some on the following has happened. I will provide clarification of each instance.

  1.  A bowler puts a powder of some sort on his/her thumb, or on the fingers, or holds a rosin bag in the hands between frames, but before stepping on the approach wipes the bottom of the shoe with his/her palm to remove grit or sand. Prevalent in the winter months in Maine (USBC Says as long as the bowler takes reasonable steps to ensure the powder is not transferred to the shoe they are not in violation of rule 12, USBC would suggest wiping the hand before going to the shoe or using a clean towel to wipe the shoe instead of the hand.). Keep in mind many Bowlers use Rosin Bags, Hand Conditioner, Baby Powder, Etc on their hands for grip purposes, you simply must make reasonable steps to not transfer these substances to your shoes. As USBC suggests if you must wipe the bottom of your shoe, wipe the palm of your hand on your pants or a towel before wiping your shoes)
  2. The bowler has stepped in water and wants to apply something to the bottom of the shoe to counteract the water they stepped in. (Baby Powder, Ashes, Easy Slide, Etc) (USBC Says the bowler cannot apply anything to the bottom of the shoe which could then be transferred to the approach. You can apply these substances to try to fix the slide sole, however you must wipe all of it off before stepping on the approach.) If you must do this during your league of other competition make sure you notify a League or Tournament Official beforehand, this will alleviate any misunderstandings.
  3.  A bowler uses Sneakers or a shoe other than a bowling shoe on either or both feet. (USBC says as long as the foreign shoe does not leave any markings or residue on the approach then the bowler is not in violation of Rule 12, If the shoe does leave a mark or residue on the approach then the shoe(s) cannot be worn)
  4.  A bowler licks their hand and applies this moisture to the bottom of the sliding sole to lessen there slide on slippery approaches. (USBC says that this a clear violation of Rule 12) If you need to adjust the slide of your shoe and do not have the type of shoes that allow you to change the soles the only legal suggestion I can make would be to Brush the bottom of the shoe with a Coarse Wire Brush. The best I have found for this is a little silver colored Tire Brush at Sears. You can lessen the slide by Brushing the sole from front to back, or to lessen it even more brush the sole from side to side thus creating more friction between the sole and the approach.

I hope this information has been helpful and informative. As always your comments and opinions are welcome and encouraged. Please post your responses and thank you for reading the Bowler 2 Bowler Blog. Good luck and good bowling hope to see all of you at the State Open Tournament in Brunswick.

Team Bowling – What Makes a TEAM – by David Charron

I have bowled on many many different TEAMS over my 30 plus years of bowling, and one thing always rings true in my mind. League Bowling is a TEAM Sport, not an individual competition. Now granted some bowlers will say, well there are Brackets, and Individual Awards, and High Average Awards and such which all have, in some cases, significant value and are certainly Individual Competition within the realm of League play. However I will say it again … “LEAGUE BOWLING IS A TEAM SPORT”. If you disagree ask your TEAMMATES next time out if they care about how much money you make in Brackets, or if they care that you have the League High Game, Series, or Average. The answer would be a resounding NO. So when you’re considering the dynamics of TEAM Bowling I implore you to consider the following;

 

It is not always better to put together a TEAM of the Highest Possible Averages. Granted a TEAM with the higher average does have a slight mathematical advantage depending on the Percentage of Handicap used in your league which can vary depending on the League and the Handicap Structure (Generally Speaking if a League uses 90% of 230 the TEAM that averages 1000 has a 5 Pin advantage over the TEAM that Averages 950 when everyone bowls their average). However, the best TEAMS are not always those with the highest averages. The best TEAMS are those that interact well together and have an ability to keep Teammates focused on the task at hand when things are not necessarily going well. When your TEAM loses it is not one person’s fault, you “Win as a TEAM and lose as a TEAM”, period. Sometimes when you have a TEAM of Higher Averages, egos tend to get in the way. Or the Brackets or Individual accolades get in the way of what the TEAM is trying to accomplish, this almost always leads to a TEAM failure. I once bowled with a gentleman who on the very last night of bowling we were bowling for the League Championship, I need 2 Strikes in the tenth frame of the final game to win the League, but I would have also beat my Teammate in 6 Brackets and the High Game Pot, observers actually witnessed this bowler routing against me. (We Won) But, needless to say after that day I did not bowl with that person ever again, and I instituted a new rule on all of my TEAMS, if I am Alive with a Teammate the final Game of a Bracket, we split it ALWAYS. I do this with all of my teammates regardless of their average, or what I feel my chances of beating them are. This promotes the TEAM Atmosphere for all of us, everyone on all of my TEAMS know and understand the meaning of TEAM. AS the old saying goes there is no “I” in TEAM.

 

Now with that being said here are some tips for being and becoming a better teammate.

 

1)      Remember “WIN as a TEAM, LOSE as a TEAM”, when you win it is not because one bowler bowled good, when you lose it is not because one bowler bowled poorly or missed an important spare in the 10th frame. You can go back and find many instances throughout the game whether you won or lost, where there were contributions to the outcome by all of the bowlers on that TEAM.

 

2)      Always have encouraging words for your Teammates, regardless on what’s going on. Maybe your ahead but somebody is having a rough game, something like “Don’t worry about it, we’ve got your back this game, try to find it for the next game”, or maybe you’re behind and need a spark, something like “hey guys lets have a good frame this frame and see if we can cut down this lead”. Bottom line here is it is all about being POSITIVE, Keep in mind your actions and facial expressions speak louder than your words. Slamming a towel when a teammate misses a crucial spare speaks volumes.

 

3)      Don’t scoreboard watch – what I mean by this is that you can only control yourself and not what other TEAMS are doing who may be ahead or close to you in the League Standings. Scoreboard watching only puts added pressure on yourself and your teammates to perform at a higher level. Your teammates will not appreciate this added pressure. I say the good teammate has put enough pressure on themselves to bowl well without the added pressure of what other TEAMS might be doing.

 

4)      Don’t Scoreboard Watch (Part 2) – Your teammates don’t care who you have in the Brackets, or the side pot, or whatever individual things you got going on that particular night. And when they see you looking around to see who you’ve got and how their bowling it sends a clear message to your teammates, you care more about that then the TEAM. This will not sit well with your teammates.

 

5)      Maintain Focus – Your teammates will appreciate you being at the lanes when it is your turn to bowl, they will also appreciate you staying in the vicinity of your lanes, with your TEAM, rather than always being off socializing with other league members all night long. You have made a commitment to a TEAM, that commitment is not only for a season, it is for each and every night you are bowling with that TEAM. Now I am not saying you can’t socialize during bowling, just don’t do it all night long, be there for your TEAM.

 

6)      Try Your BEST Always – A true teammate is never going to fault you for bowling bad. All I ever ask from my teammates is that they give 100% effort 100% of the time, I expect it from myself, I also expect from my Teammates. Your teammates expect the same from you. If they don’t then they are not the teammates you want to surround yourself with. Bottom Line – NEVER GIVE UP no matter how far behind you might be.

 

In closing, being a good teammate will give your TEAM a better chance of winning, after all I doubt anyone is trying to lose. Your comments, responses, and opinions are encouraged and welcome. Thank You for reading the Bowler 2 Bowler Blog.