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.

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