Are you ready for some bowling!

Jack Hammill - Guest Colulmnist

Okay, okay I know it does not have the same ring as “Are you ready for some football?” but note the exclamation point “Are you ready for some bowling!”

I was having this conversation with a close friend this past weekend at my favorite pizza emporium when the brother of the owner entered the conversation. Mind you teams are still three weeks or so from their league meetings and this gentleman was clearly on task to have his team in order well in advance of those meetings. He is clearly a football fan, but that would have to wait as he was indeed ready for some bowling.

The more we chatted about the game that morning, I teased that the pins are falling so easy at 20th Century this summer that I would wager that I could take a golf ball out of my bag and throw it in the general direction of the lanes and pins would fall before the golf ball stopped rolling. Some would say hyperbole to that notion and while that is indeed accurate it does not change the fact that this may have been a summer season where pins seemed to fall – shall we say easily?

And you do not have to take my word for it – turn instead to your friend and mine – one of the best bowlers that our community has – take the word of Phil Austin, who during a recent evening of play looked at the standings sheet for the Thursday night Scratch Singles lead and noted that he was 12th in the standings and 12th in average for the league. He has picked up the pace some since then but he did state – “We have to be setting some kind of a scoring record this summer in the league.”

Austin is correct, in fact more than correct. Management has run out of the sheets that are used to send to the USBC with regard to honor scores. The league just completed its twelfth week and in at least ten of those weeks somebody has had the front nine in the first game. (For those of you new to the game the front nine would be the first nine strikes starting with frame one as opposed to nine in a row starting someplace else in the game).

The end result of the strike barrage has been at least six perfect games if not eight and as many 800 series. Interestingly enough there has been 800 sets thrown without a perfect game. You then must factor in that we have had two young ladies, one year removed from high school whom have rolled their first 700 series during this summer season of pin destruction. We will update you with names later – this past week Brent Jones who has two himself and one or two other bowling gents could not remember who had them all.

There is a bowling center in Toledo, Jug’s Bowling Center, that is notorious for the number of 300 games that are rolled there in a season. I made a visit there one October afternoon before individuals started lining up to get in for league play. The center already had over 40 perfect games that had been rolled for that season. Get this there are bowlers of quality that will not roll at Jugs – to include the owner as it has gotten too easy.

There is not any concern that 20th or any of the centers in our area will follow in the way of Jug’s as each center places a premium on the integrity of the game. They may even agree that it would be boring to see honor scores all the time. Who knows maybe each center will simply have a Jug’s night every once in a while to give their bowlers a chance to show off.

One scenario where we can anticipate at least a chance to see high scores in rapidly approaching! The PBA returns to Coldwater in late August. The event, PBA Classic presented by Moxy’s Xtra Pair will be an event with a little for everybody. It will also close with a PBA50 event that has left a few folks scratching their heads.

Clearly it is worth the trip for the best up close chance to see a professional athlete compete. Troup, Page, Loschetter have all won here and it it actually listed as an event on the FloBowling PBA Summer Tour – no longer just a regional.

This writer is extremely happy for Doug Davidson of Community Lanes and in this case more notably Moxy and The Bowlerstore who secured naming rights for the tournament. It would be great if it could facilitate the use of Moxy equipment on the tour. We will talk to Doug soon about that dream.

Firmly in the lens of the bowling guy who periodically takes on the initial folks is the management of the PBA – perhaps more specifically the PBA50 group. We have a PBA50 tournament each year in Delphos. There are a lot of bowlers in that group who annually will roll in the tournaments that many of them host. Some are curious as to if there was any chance to pair those two events to be in support of one another. More on this later as well as I know that Bruce VanMeter and the Delphos gang would have loved to have had that date to parlay off the big PBA50 event in Ft Wayne during that same time period.

Jack Hammill

Guest Colulmnist

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