A traditional bowling condition


Jack Hammill - Guest Columnist



I have owned it in the past and I will do so again today.

I can still remember the ‘good old days’ when it did not matter if it was an early rendition of an automatic bowling machine or the venerable Tobe Cardone dressing the lanes with an oil can and a mop, the word condition continues to take on special meaning.

As flexible a man as I am when it comes to lane conditions I am probably as long-in-the-tooth throwback as there is in this area. The lane dressing needs to be used to protect the lanes and not serve the bowler. Please understand that this statement is not designed to voice the opinion of any proprietor in our area and certainly not for any bowler.

As you read this you are one day away from the best way to combat the weight that you and family members may put on this Thanksgiving Day. It is Phil Austin Week. The dynamic DJ returns to a world where if at all possible he is an even greater performer – Bowlers love and respect our man Phil.

As you read this it is Tuesday and Phil is going through all that needs done for the Thanksgiving Eve Scratch Eliminator that will be held at Ottawa’s Highland Lanes at 9:30 p.m.

Ottawa before Thanksgiving is a lot better notion than the day after. You can sample their fine cuisine, pizza and/or pizza burger or steak come to mind, to help stretch the stomach for the big day.

The eliminator is my favorite format as individuals are taken out in clusters. Should be fun. I hear the scores are rising at Highland to the stratosphere that 20th Century has experienced this season. Then again, Phil has upon occasion did things Tobe style.

On Friday at 1:30 p.m. the annual Black Friday Sweeper will be held at 20th Century where you can prepare to work off the Thanksgiving turkey. The lead I read says it will be a preview of the City Singles Lane, Condition – ugh – how I have learned to hate that word.

It almost like I can hear Tevye of ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ singing it in the background can’t you – “CONDITION!”

There are more than a few on social media that moan that the condition should not be used for the Sweeper – “condition!”

“CONDITION!” – there are times that I kind of agree but then again two things pop through my mind – 1] Nobody is restricted from entering the sweeper and 2] The City Singles has been captured by many and only rarely has it been a 20th employee – Steve Kniola and Dennis Roney come to mind and then again the youngster Augie Ermi as well then again Ermi and Roney won it in the era of the oil squirting gun and mop.

Despite being a traditionalist there have been times that I have felt that the “CONDITION!’ for this event should be the easiest shot possible, something like the bowlers at Juggs in Toledo use on a regular basis. Can you imagine what the scores would be for this event when you consider the best of the best make this tournament? The qualifying rounds for the City Singles are as always the first full weekend of December – the 14th and 15th. Please call 20th Century at 419-222-1876 or let Bob Edwards know when you see him.

The high school season is off to a somewhat sluggish start as some of our teams appear to be struggling with even the basic ‘house CONDITION!’

While there is still a major part of me that says the youth really needs to see the conditions that they will be seeing at sectional, district and state level – the largest part of me is saying maybe we could pump the breaks some and wait until mid-January for that occurrence. I have now seen three high school matches – more than that actually when counting the boys and girls as well as varsity and jv separately and let it be said some of our youth have some learning to do. Thankfully we are blessed with some of the best coaches in the state of Ohio right here in the greater Limaland area.

On this rather important point it appears that tradition and ‘CONDITION!’ are in some level of conflict. We have a great tradition of taking care of our youth and yet if they start the state conditions too soon and there could be issues.

On the very positive side of things the Lady Redskins of Wapak made it into the round of eight at the OHSAA Kickoff Classic this past weekend. Sadly they were the only positive side of the equation on the team side of things.

Two of the prime young ladies in our area, Madison Doseck of Wapak and Abbey Ambroza of Shawnee made their mark by earning First Team status at the event. I will see each of them soon and bring you some sound-bites in my next column.

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Jack Hammill

Guest Columnist

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