High scoring dilemma rears its head again


First Posted: 1/10/2015

Sometime today, perhaps by the time you are reading this a spectator or perhaps even a bowler or even this writer at the Lima City Singles will lament that the scores of the tournament are too high and that changes need to be made.

That said I am not sure. As much as I love a competitive condition there is a big part of me that wants to see the pins fly in the final matches. I would wager that most of the critics feel the same way. While many feel the scores are too high, I do not know many that want to see a 140ish-130ish finale like we experienced in one championship match in the ’90s.

It could be that the thoughts of the scores being too high, is simply a relative notion.

Granted we have had a perfect game by Mike Harner and a pair of 298 games by Brent Miller and Derek Dukes, but at this point men have rolled about 2,000 games in the tournament.

After all it could be a bigger issue, we could be rolling this tournament at Spectrum Lanes in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

When the honor score leaderboard was reviewed last weekend it was noted that there had been just an unbelievable amount of honor scores rolled there this season. If you were to review the list you would see that they have had at a minimum the following: 25 – 300 games; 13 – 299 games; 12 – 290 games; 100 games greater than 275 and 23 800 series.

For me the only real outlier was that only two 298 games were listed. My goodness Grand Rapids we have had that many in the City Singles.

I mean I know that Grand Rapids is bigger than Lima, possibly bigger than our bowling area but that is a whole lot of honor scores and we still have quite a way to go this season. It is like the new proprietor there took a Jugs pill [reference to Jugs Bowling in Toledo.]

What was even more interesting is that none of that scoring really translated to the collegians that rolled there Saturday.

So when is enough going to be enough? …

My personal guess is that nothing is ever going to change. For every JJ Miller of Joel Schwartz that would like to see a competitive condition in all play there are the huge numbers of bowlers that want to be able to say that they averaged over 200 or shot a perfect game or an 800 series.

It is almost like they have to validate the money that they pay on new equipment each season or in some cases each month of each season.

So my guess is that things will never change — the scores will remain high. We will continue to question the conditions and to some extent appreciate the high score shootouts on the final Sunday and especially on our league nights.

Meanwhile the USBC will not monitor and sit back and fiddle while the game we love continues to become less competitive.

Just take a deep breath — because we could be bowling this tournament in Grand Rapids — where scoring standards would be further out of whack.

With the conclusion of the City Singles this afternoon at 20th Century Lanes, the next item for the 200 bowlers that initially toed the line for this event plus the bowling members of the LBA should be the upcoming team tournament at Southgate Lanes.

As I noted earlier this season, members of the LBA don’t just pay your dues bowl the tournaments. Of course the opportunity to roll at “The Gate” is another golden reason to sign up for this event.

Do you realize that Southgate Lanes is not only the birthplace and home of the World Famous Gators and the Lane Sharks it is also the location that has given us the top women’s score by Onalee Lehman and the top men’s score by Derek Dukes in the LBA.

I also want to roll out the second batch of praise to those who rolled well in this year’s Adult Holiday Doubles. While it was a mole who gave me the names of the victors it was the wonderful Sue Clay that gave me the other names in the top three for this totally fun event.

It still amazes me that this was the first event that Bob and Beth Edwards ever won together. They outdistanced the field with a 1,482.

Second place went to Ken and Kim Combs who rolled a 1,454 to edge Jerry and Ali Mort at 1,451.

Again I understand that this is a fun event but when you can roll these types of scores — it had to be a lot of fun.

Remember fans Todd Book is live on television this afternoon at 1 pm on ESPN. What is at stake is the PBA World Championship. If you get a chance go to the PBA.com website they have a great sketch of Todd posted following up on the one of another local favorite Ronnie Russell from earlier in the week.

Book will roll the first match against Stuart Williams of England. The winner of that match will get Russell and then progressing up the stepladder for Mike Fagan and Wes Malott.

One of the cool sidebars of this tournament for local fans is that Book, Russell, Fagan and Malott have all either bowled the regionals at Coldwater or Wapak or participated in the WOHSBC end of year banquet.

Are we the center of the bowling universe or what?

Hope to see a group of you at the lanes this afternoon — it should be a great time.

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