Season opens to a mixed review

By Jack Hammill

While it is true that there has already been some great scoring this season, at least one 800 set and at least six perfect games, there have been some bumps as well as we enter another season impacted by the Pandemic. Now there is a word that I would imagine we are all quite tired of already.

As I work to put together a master list of the honor scores I do feel the need to approach bowlers and fans of the game with a dose of reality as it relates to bowling as well as some of our favorite eateries and watering holes.

At the risk of sounding harsh it really does not matter what any of us feels about to mask or not to mask. It is the result of a commitment that local businesses have made to reopen in the midst of the pandemic. There I have said it again. We will stick to bowling for today.

As you enter bowling establishments, you will see signs requesting that masks be worn and not just for Halloween happenings as Westgate has coming up in the next couple of weeks. It is not an accident that those signs all look alike from one center to the next. They were provided by the Bowling Proprietors of Ohio and Jen Clark who has had the back of us all since the time that state authorities went back and forth on the if, the how and the when that you would be able to throw a ball this season. Please note that when we opened there were anyplace from seven to ten states that had not yet been given that right.

Clark toured the state and shared what was needed, actually meeting with proprietors and or their representatives of Northwest Ohio at Westgate Lanes. The realities were that if they were to reopen things would have to be different. The critical areas were masking and social distancing to include not strolling from table to table to hangout – especially if you have an adult beverage in your hand. The end result could be that liquor licenses could be impacted and perhaps even seized on the spot and or the business being closed.

There has been a serious financial consequences on businesses already, beginning with the closures last spring. Different houses have been shuttered as they were not able to make it through the initial closings. We have been very lucky in our area, thanks to the return of bowlers. I know that I have been glad to see old friends back at the lanes. With that being said there is still work to be done as we keep each other as safe as we can.

I am not a big fan of the mask but I do not want to see nay more bowling families impacted by the COVID-19. It is not hard for me to follow mandates of our area businesses to keep them open and available.

One of the elements in this that I do not understand is that the enforcement of the mask and social distancing edict does not appear to be uniform. I would hope that would change and change soon. We were all in the room and the information was clearly shared with those that did not attend the meeting.

By Jack Hammill

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