Think about the Numbers League Report 2

Second league night: 106 104 106. A 316 series. Disappointing. I had even “practiced” beforehand. I know now it is “practicing.” Before league started, I just called it bowling. But a friend of mine is a lifetime leaguer and he corrected me. When I came up with this idea of competing in a national bowling tournament, I started bowling a lot and told him so. Him: “Which league did you join?” Me: “We aren’t in a league.” Him: “Oh, so you’re just practicing.”

So, yes, we practiced and weren’t so bad, but on league night it was another ho-hum event. It shouldn’t matter. After all, it is my lack of athleticism that led me here, i.e. to a sanctioned league (one in which a handicap is established) and this blog. It shouldn’t matter, but it does.

On the plus side, I have a 76 pin handicap which should help the team. Still, I read the official report of the first day of our league and it is daunting. Someone bowled a 299 game.

I went through the numbers. There is only one way to get to a 299 game. I checked it out on an online bowling calculator. Here’s the link. It’s interesting to see how the numbers play out.

He bowled a strike in the first nine frames. Then in the tenth frame, he bowled two more strikes but got a nine on his last throw. In other words, he bowled 11 strikes in a row and missed the 12th strike needed for a perfect score by just one pin in the last frame on his last throw. That’s the only way it can be done.

If he had had that nine in any other frame, it would not have been a 299. In fact, his score (assuming his first throw is a 9 and his second throw is a miss) would be 278, 268 for the 1st and 2nd frames and then 267 for the 3rd through 10th frames.

In fact, if he had hit nine pins on his first throw in the 10th frame, he still wouldn’t have a 299. Assuming he did knock down the last pin on his second throw for a spare, and then got a strike on his third and final throw, his score would have been a 279. There you go. There’s only one way to get a 299. It had to be two strikes in the 10th frame and then a nine on the third and final throw.

That’s what my team is up against.

They’re serious about this. League Report 1

That was my first impression of my first night of league. My four member team along with all the other teams gathered in a room near the lanes and elected – really – a president, vice president and secretary. There was no competition for the jobs. It seemed like most of the people knew each other. They certainly knew the officers of the past leagues. It was basically election by acclamation.

The president then read the rules – two legal size pages single spaced. I’m going to get a copy of those rules. There was a brief discussion of good bowling manners most of which condemned walking in other bowlers’ lanes. Very distracting don’t you know. I would have added that unsolicited advice is never welcome, but no one asked me.

Someone asked to add $7 per person to the cost of the league to pay the secretary. The motion was seconded and carried. I’m guessing that job is keeping track of the players and the handicaps – tedious work and well worth the money. Another person asked to increase the league cost from $16 to $18 per bowler per week. That also carried easily. I think they wanted the money for the prizes to the top teams. Who knew? There’s a prize!

So, we had rules and voting and motions made and carried. It was serious stuff.

This league we picked is the handicap league. I need to be in a sanctioned handicap league in order to qualify to join the United States Bowling Congress (USBC). I need to join the USBC to compete at the Nationals. This league is a team league. My team has four members who have committed to bowl every Monday (except Memorial Day) from May 14 to August 27.

Every Monday we bowl three games starting at 6:00 p.m. Why three games? Bowling – tournament bowling – is the total score in a “series.” A series is three games in a row.

We were assigned lanes and given 15 minutes to practice. I didn’t practice. I’m always afraid that my practice ball will be my only strike. So, we bowled. My score was a dismal at 96, 105, 116 – a 317 series. To put that in perspective, one of the players in the team next to us had 245 in a single game. But that makes my handicap useful to the team. Next week I’ll take those practice shots. Lord, I hope they don’t have a worst player award at the end.

Team Report:

We have two good bowlers so far, one 428 series and one 423 series. We have one bowler who hates his ball and is going to buy shoes instead of rent next time. We were stylin’ for our opening day in plaid, a Polska Tee and a genuine bowling shirt.