Wednesday, October 10, 2012

In Memoriam: Chad Moss

On Wednesday, October 10, 2012, the Huntsville bowling community lost Chad Moss.  Chad lost his life in a fatal car accident

Chad loved to bowl and was a fixture around Plamor Lanes bowling with his friends and colleagues.  Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Southern Bowling Congress Scholarship

The Southern Bowling Congress offers the Jacques Curwen/Jay Guidry Scholarship Fund available to an eligible high school senior in the SBC member states.

Scholarship requirements:
  1. You must be currently bowling in a USBC sanctioned league and must be a high school senior.
  2. You must have bowled in a sanctioned USBC league for three (3) out of your four (4) years in high school and you must have bowled 75% of the league schedule.
  3. You must include an official high school grade and credits transcript with a minimum of six (6) semesters of information.
  4. You must obtain a personal letter of recommendation from either your high school principal or your counselor and attach it to this application.
  5. You must have attained a composite ACT score of at least 20 to be eligible for one of these scholarships.
  6. You must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale to be eligible for one of these scholarships.
  7. After you have been notified that you are one of the recipients of a scholarship, you must continue to bowl in your YABA league until the completion of the league schedule or your scholarship may be rescinded.
  8. The student information and principal/counselor sections must be completed and returned to your coach by March 1st of the year you apply.  The coach must complete his/her portion of the application and forward it to the Southern Bowling Congress Executive Director.  TheExecutive Director must receive the completed application with attachments by March 15th of the year you are applying for you to be considered in this scholarship program.
  9. The decision of the Southern Bowling Congress is final regarding all scholarship matters, including, but not limited to the interpretation of information on this application, and the recipient selection process.
  10. All scholarship funds are to maintained through the USBC S.M.A.R.T. organization.
  11. The completed form and all attachments must be mailed to:
    David Clements
    49 Thornhill Dr.
    Sherwood, AR. 72120
    (501) 425-2299

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Reverse Sandbagging (not in bowling)

We have all seen the final results of a tournament where we didn't cash or place as high as we had thought.  "There was no way I could have won.  I would have had to shot 892 scratch in singles to win!"  That is because you see a 903 leading the handicap tournament.  Or a 2502 all events score where you can barely break 2100 for nine games on an easy condition.  There may be a protest, there may not be one.  Life goes on, and you go to the next tournament still seething over sandbaggers.

Does the reverse ever occur?  A handicap bowler trying his luck in an elite scratch tournament?  Why would it?  There is no incentive or advantage.  The USBC Masters requires you to have at least a 190 average.

The Masters is open to any USBC league member who has averaged 190 or higher for 21 games during the past two seasons, any non-USBC league member who is classified by the PBA as a Full Member, any bowler who has averaged 190 or higher in his/her past five USBC Tournaments and any state/provincial representatives who have placed first or second in the all-events category of their association tournament.

What if you just want to throw away your entry fee for the chance to bowl with Sean Rash or Chris Barnes?  I may swap stories with Norm Duke or Pete Weber in the locker room!  Naaaa, that does not happen in bowling.

But it happens in golf.

The USGA US Open was completed a couple of weeks ago.  Before that, you could try your shot at qualifying to compete against the world's best on the toughest golf course.  Replace the word 'golf' with 'bowling' and see if that last sentence still had any credibility.  Over 9,000 people tried to qualify for the US Open.  However, many golfers who claimed they were a scratch golfer or had a 1 handicap were shooting two rounds in the 90's or above.  This is not what you would expect if you want to play against Tiger, Phil, or Rory.

Rick Reilly explains the USGA does not approve of the week-end hacker lying about his game to enter this tournament.

If you try to qualify for a U.S. Open (this year it's at Olympic Club in San Francisco, June 14-17), as over 9,000 golfers did this year, try not to play like a drunken yeti. You'll get a letter requiring proof your handicap isn't phonier than a ski slope in Dubai.
Why would you say you are better than you really are?  Isn't sandbagging the opposite?  Well, there is a reason:

Reverse sandbagging has become an epidemic at Open qualifying because golfers realize that for just the $150 entry fee, they can play a practice round and a tournament round at a sweet course they could never get on otherwise. 
 You could get a chance to play with someone really good or famous.  Why not?  Bowling does not seem to have this problem.  Leagues and tournaments with tougher lane conditions, such as that the pros use, don't usually get the membership.  You rarely see these events during the fall or winter seasons.  When bowling becomes a legitimate sport, you will know.  This problem will become evident at your next tournament.  It will give you something new to complain about sandbaggers.  You can complain about the reverse sandbagger:

"We have to," says USGA director Mike Davis. "It's not fair to the guy who's trying to shoot 68-68 to be paired with somebody shooting 90-90 and looking for balls all day. There's no way for him to get any kind of rhythm."

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Summer Shootout Spoilers

Another summer, another PBA summer shootout.  Last year was a new format and provided an almost scripted ending.  The big finale had the drama with water bottles.

Since the telecasts will start airing in July, don't read the rest if you don't want to know.


Five teams advanced to the stepladder finals after bowling in qualifying rounds Monday and early Tuesday: Storm, 900 Global, Brunswick, Track and Columbia 300.

The Summer Shootout series will be broadcast on ESPN starting July 7 and does not count toward a player’s ranking during the season.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

New Presidential Qualifications

It appears that we can settle these pesky campaigns with a bowl-off or a really high stakes pot game.

Rick Santorum is stepping up his game against GOP front-runner Mitt Romney. Unable yet to strike his opponent from the presidential race, Santorum is calling for a throwdown with Romney on a stage he dominates: the bowling alley.

If this is the new way to solve presidential campaign issues, even I could pick up a few delegates. Of course, campaigning in bowling centers across the Midwest would endear one to the heart of America's bowling community.

“He’s quite the bowler,” says spokeswoman Alice Stewart. Santorum’s roots are deep in the sport. He studied Bowling 101 at Penn State University, has shot a high game of 241 (out of 300) and opened one recent game with seven straight strikes. He even has his own bowling ball.

Now I know I am qualified to be President of the United States. I didn't have to 'study' bowling at Memphis State. It was an easy 'A' as one only had to average 130 by the end of the semester. I own more than one bowling ball, so I can bypass the Senate!

Of course, bowling is not a presidential qualification. All you have to do is look at the current occupant in the White House.

While attempting to woo blue collar voters in Pennsylvania, the Democratic frontrunner bowled a 37, while rolling several balls into the gutter.

As any league bowler will tell you, a score of 37 probably includes rolling more than several balls into the gutter!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Rerated Anonymous

I walk into the small room. It appears to be a classroom being used for this mandated meeting. Other bowlers are in the room with all the chairs positioned in a circle. I do not recognize anyone in the room. As I have been to many scratch tournaments, none of these bowlers look familiar. Wait, I think I do recognize a couple of them from a few handicap tournaments such as The Stepladder or Ebonite eliminator tournaments. As the newest member to the group, I have to stand and introduce myself. "My name is Joey. I've been re-rated." There are fewer things more embarrassing than a public confession. The experience is therapeutic as it is humbling and introspective. The others welcome me to the group and encourage me to continue my story, most likely hoping for some juicy tidbit or embarrassing confession of a transgression. I continue.

"I've been bowling for close to 40 years. This has never happened to me before. It is mid-January and I decide to enter the monthly tournament being held at the local lanes. It is a handicap tournament using an eliminator format where the top half advances to the next round after each cut. This continues to the final two bowling for the championship. As I have bowled in this tournament before, I pay my entry and prepare for practice. Everyone draws for lanes and we begin the three game qualifying round. During the first game, I need to ask the tournament director a question concerning rules as this is the first of these tournaments that I have bowled in the current season. I ask to what average is the handicap based upon. The answer was 220. I then informed the director that my book average from the previous season was below that. Yes, I had a bad year. I have never had handicap in this tournament before. I had bowled only one league at the statistically hardest house that previous season. I also had a shoulder injury that required missing a few weeks after the pain became unbearable. The director entered the book average into the laptop. I also explained that my current average was more than 10 pins higher than the previous year's book average. I instructed him that I will approve a re-rating if he determined it necessary. The director did not change my handicap back to zero. The tournament flyer lists very few rules if any. I returned to bowling my qualifying games.

I bowled very well. I easily made the top half eliminator cut as I qualified 2nd with my handicap score. To be fair, my scratch score would have also qualified me second. My handicap was a bonus of 5 pins that I hadn't seen in many, many years. I made the next eliminator cut after the next game. The following game, I had the first 10 strikes in a row and very easily made the next eliminator cut. The field is down to the remaining 5 bowlers. After the bowlers are announced over the intercom system, I am publicly requested to come to the front desk. I am then told that I am being rerated to a scratch average, and my handicap is removed. I accepted. I had no remorse as I felt as I had provided all necessary facts. Is it normal to be re-rated when the tournament is nearly complete?

Bowling scratch, I made the final elimination to the championship match. At no time during the tournament, did any handicap pins give me an edge to qualify to the next round that I would not have made with my scratch score. I did not enter any handicap brackets. All my bracket money was entered into scratch brackets. The championship match was close for about two minutes. I was giving my opponent thirty-one pins handicap. He bowled a scratch score over 250. Since I did not start with ten strikes in a row, I ended up finishing the tournament second place. It is a different time. Back in the 1980's, when I was averaging in the 180's (which is a handicap in the 30's), I never shot a 250 score. Only the 200 average bowlers were shooting a rare score of 250. The young bowlers who grew up on high scoring, high risk, high reward deliveries can bowl 250 one game and then follow with a 160. I hope that when this young tournament champion bowls the next tournament, the director looks at his high tournament average and re-rates him accordingly."

I conclude my story and sit down. The looks in the room of the other participants are unimpressed. I guess I should have spiced the story up with tantrums, ejections, protest letters, loud public arguments, and blacklists. A laughable story of how one bowler can justify his 175 average while others have seen him in Tennessee bowling scratch tournaments is told by another participant. I can't believe I am in this group listening to these stories.

The moderator thanks everyone for showing up for this month's meeting. The next meeting date is announced. I told the moderator that I had no plans for attending any more meetings of this group. I would not ever be back.