Game 1: 202
Game 2: 183
Game 3: 233
Week Avg: 206
Season Avg: 192
Note: Week 17's recap will be posted early next week as I
will be pre-bowling those games on Sunday.
The Set Up
This was a big week for a few reasons. The first was that we were supposed to vote on whether or not to change the league mid-season from 100% to 80% handicap. Every team selected captains to vote on the issue, but not one word of the vote was mentioned all night. Apparently the decision to change league format mid-season had to be unanimous, and since there were several of us who were adamantly opposed it was decided to scrap the vote altogether. I say kudos to the league officer(s) that decided this was the best course of action, to avoid face-to-face conflict when it really would have been unnecessary.
In other news, this was the end of the second quarter and my team was sitting in second place one point behind the leader and one point ahead of the third place team. We bowled against the first place team head to head, and the third place team bowled to the right of us, which was appropriate since we were really bowling against both teams. On the line was a spot in the end of the year playoffs, as well as over $100 in prize money for winning a quarter.
Practice was a little rough and I only threw four balls, so I really didn't have much of a chance to fine tune my line. I managed to find the pocket on my last shot, but if I missed my mark right or left the ball was going to hang out by the gutter or come in very high respectively.
The first game started with a double and then a few nine count spares. I missed a 10-pin with my Python and made the decision to stick with the plastic for that shot the rest of the night (I would go 3 for 3 in 10-pins with the plastic). Toward the end of the first game I started to come in a little high, leaving a lot of 6-pins. I moved left a board and found the pocket again. Stringing a few strikes together at the end of the game I threw a 202. My team won the first game, earning two points and jumping ahead of the first place team by a point. The third place team also earned two points for a win and an extra point for winning by 100 or more pins. We were now tied going into the second game. Because there wasn't enough pressure already, I was also playing brackets. I gave 14 pins to my first opponent and defeated him to get to the second round.
The second game was all about spare shooting and luckily I have greatly improved on that front. Every hit was in the pocket, but most hits were high and I shot a lot of 6- and 10-pins again. I missed one 6-pin this game, my only open for the game and my second and last for the night. I finally moved up a half step on the approach and the ball found the sweet spot in the pocket. The game was close and coming down to the tenth frame my team was ahead by a few pins. Both myself and the other team's anchor, the best bowler in the league by about 15 pins, had struck in the ninth. He struck the first ball in the tenth and then left the 10-pin. I left the dreaded 2-8 double wood and wasn't extremely confident that I was going to pick it up. Luckily I threw a perfect shot and picked up the spare. I struck the last ball, preserving my team's few pin lead and a win. The other team also won their game, so we were tied heading into game three. I also defeated my bracket opponent, so I was in the finals there as well. My bracket opponent in the final round also happened to be bowling for the team we were battling with to win the quarter.
The third game started with a double and a few nine count spares. I was still coming in high, but luckily I had developed a plan for the third game since this had been an issue the last several weeks. I moved my mark a few inches further out on the lane so the ball would travel a little bit further before snapping into the pocket. I still came in a little high, so I moved my mark one more time, this time a board to the right. Eureka! I threw a four bagger into the tenth frame and then missed my mark left on my last ball to leave the 5-9. I shot a clean 233 game and 618 series, my second over average performance in a row. I easily defeated my bracket opponent who, after going blow for blow for the first five frames, fell apart in the second half of the game. My team won the game (two points) by over 100 pins (another point) and took the series for the night (one more point). Our opponents on the next lane over lost their final game and we won the quarter.
Nights like this are why I bowl. It was fun, it was competitive, it was challenging. I always have a great time bowling against Bruce because he is a great bowler with a 212 average. Bowling against him makes me a better bowler because I love the challenge of trying to keep up. Add to that the fact that we were competing for first place and I was fighting to win the brackets and it made it all that much better. I am very excited about bowling right now, which is good because I have to pre-bowl for next week since we are traveling next Thursday for the holidays.
My big issue tonight was not hitting my mark. This was a problem the majority of the second game before I really made an effort to correct it. I was missing my mark left, which is why I was coming in so high and no adjustments on the approach were working. To correct the issue, I held the ball further right of my body at the beginning of my approach. This gave me a smoother swing since I wasn't trying to maneuver the ball around my body during the throw. Once I corrected my release, I read the lanes well enough to get back on track and throw a great third game. I just need to be more aware of the cause of my problems so I can try to correct them instead of adjusting my game to compensate for it.
Second Quarter Season Review
At the end of the first quarter my average was 189. At the halfway point in the season I am now at a 192. This is a pretty good improvement and a trend I hope to continue into the rest of the year.
Once again the corner pins and missed single pin spares were the story of this quarter. I made the switch to my plastic ball for the corner pins last week and threw four practice games shooting nothing but spares, and so far it really seems to be paying off.
I threw ten 200 games this quarter, about 42% of the games, but week eleven saw my 200-a-week streak end. My low series was a 537 and four out of my five 600 series came in this quarter. Overall, I averaged 196 for the quarter and that is really where I would like to finish for my season average.