Game 1: 183
Game 2: 215
Game 3: 167
Week Avg: 188
Season Avg: 192
There was still a lot of oil on the lanes when we started the evening. Talking with the league President, I found out that a few bowlers complained to the house about the extremely dry conditions a few weeks ago, thus the heavy oil ever since.
For the first game I went right to slowing my ball speed and it worked pretty well. The only down side to this type of adjustment is that I need to make a conscious effort on every shot not to bowl the way I usually do. I stayed clean through the first nine frames, but couldn't manage to string any strikes together. Then in the tenth frame I blew an easy 2-pin, costing myself an average game and our team the win. I ended up with a 183.
The second game was much better as I had a turkey in addition to a few other strikes. My only open was another solid 8-10 split. As the oil pushed down the lane the ball was waiting a little later to hook into the pocket, even when I tried to find a dry spot further right of my usual break point. I struck and picked up a spare in the tenth to finish with a 215.
The last game got away from me. The lanes started to change and my head just wasn't in the game. The oil pushed even further down the lane and the ball just wasn't finding the pocket like it did before. On top of that, I wasn't picking up my spares like I was earlier. I was consistently hitting light, evident by the 2-8 split I left in the tenth frame. I finished with a 167 game and 565 series
On the drive home on Thursday I told myself I would get to the bottom of my new nemesis, the 8-10 split. I did some research today and the consensus seems to be that the 8-10 is the result of a straight or shallow entry into the pocket. The 5-pin pushes straight back missing the 8-pin and the 6-pin wraps around the 10-pin. Given my preferred line to the pocket, I am the ideal candidate to leave the 8-10. Throw in heavy oil with little to no hook and its a perfect storm.
Thursday was another reminder of how important the tenth frame can be. I had 37 of a possible 90 pins in the tenth frame this week. Filling the tenth frame was the difference between me hitting or not hitting my average for the night, and that bothered me more than the splits I left. It is just not how you finish, especially when bowling anchor. I'm glad my teammates were supportive, saying that they couldn't ever remember me not securing a game that was easily within our reach.
The third game and the lane changes that come with it have once again proved to be a big hurdle. Though it didn't help that I forgot to keep my ball speed slow for the majority of the last game. League night is a marathon and in tough lane conditions it can be just as exhausting, both physically and mentally.