Let the season begin

By Jack Hammill - Guest Columnist

It was during the Division I bowling sectional last season that I made the first of my calls to the United States Bowling Congress (USBC.

There had been some questions about the legality of a couple of different balls in play leading to the call that was made on that day. Interestingly enough my call was not the only one that had been made and the USBC was already working on the standards for bowling equipment. A good piece of the feedback gained on that evening was that they were working on a book that should be out this season, dealing specifically with balls and delivery of same.

Well unless you are a person that invests in a bowling ball to last for a more than a year, or five minutes for that matter, we can all take a deep breath. It appears that the magic date for noteworthy change will be August of 2020.

Therefore if you still want a ball with a balance hole or a weight hole – you should still be good. My advice to you would be that we have plenty of knowledgeable people that run or work in pro shops in this area and you would be wise to listen to what they have to say. I would say however if you ask for an extra hole advantage as in old school days that it is best to be aware that the hole in the 2020 will need to be plugged.

Generally speaking the balance hole came to assure side weight was within standards. The USBC has apparently had some conversation with the ball manufacturers to assure greater accuracy in the production of the balls. All the more reason that you connect with a legit pro shop or one of the lanes in our area such as Southgate in Bluffton who have stayed on top of this element of the sport. If you or a loved one try to buy a ball from somebody and they seem to have a blank stare on their face … it may be best to find another source or at the very least re-ask your question.

In the short term there may be an even better avenue to get all your questions clearly answered.

This Thursday at 6 p.m. Astro Lanes in Wapak will be having a EBI Ball Demo Day. No EBI is not a new brand, instead they are a clearing house for different companies that manufacture equipment. You will have the chance to see what is new on the block from Hammer, Ebonite, Track and Columbia as well as other companies.

There will be great food at the event, notably pizza and wings and the price is as good as it gets – free. You will also get the chance to bowl at that same price.

Members of the Wapakoneta association will be around as will Brian Vanmeter and his incredible crew to see if they have a league time that works best for you.

The equipment will be demonstrated by two great young talents, Matt Staniger and Astro Lanes own, Anthony Kennard.

What is really fascinating is that the initial league meetings are now less than one week away meaning that we are only two weeks away from the beginning of the season.

This would be the ideal time to contact the establishment where you normally roll and see if there is any league availability that fits best for you. It is a great way for you and your friends to extend friendships.

What is as fascinating is that we are just a little over a week from the PBA Xtra Frame Kenn-Feld Group Classic in Coldwater. This has always been a great regional but this last season through it ties with Xtra Frame gained a notable national hook. Rhino Page was last years winner and he as well as anybody who wins this or any other season will be credited with a valued national title.

The trade off for the fans is that there will always be notable stars there, such as Page, Chris Loschetter, EJ Tackett and Sean Rash among about 90 others. The Pro-am is on Friday evening with three separate shifts of qualifying on Saturday and the elimination rounds on Sunday.

On the scholastic bowling side of things there has been a great deal of both high school and college plans being discussed over the last couple of weeks in any number of bowling establishments.

Lourdes University open house to show off their remodeled bowling digs is Aug. 25. Torrie and Dan Bartalone are fired up about the opening season for the school up north, north in Ohio that is.

Locally on the college side of things UNOH takes another great step this season. The bowling team is not any longer a part of the HWAC.

“We are not any longer a part of the NAIA and as a result we are no longer in the conference,” said Tyler Sosby when we chatted. “We will be independent this season. I am really sad about it because I think that this would have been a year where we could have won the conference title.”

Sosby was very upbeat about the season.

“We will have about 45 young men trying out and nearly 20 young ladies. We will be playing in a lot of the same tournaments as last season. We will make some trips to Kentucky and elsewhere to make up for what we will lose from the WHAC. It will be a great season!”

I can only echo Tyler, … this just in there is another high school in our immediate area that is doing due diligence for high school bowling. What a great year it will be indeed.

See you at the lane.


By Jack Hammill

Guest Columnist

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