Game 1: 180
Game 2: 222
Game 3: 168
Week Avg: 190
Season Avg: 190
Our team is down to three bowlers this season with two "Vacancies" filling in the fourth and fifth spots. It might fill in in the coming weeks, but for now we might be looking at early nights all season long. This will put a lot of emphasis on quick decision making and also run the risk of a faster pace than is really needed. We will have to be mindful that we are bowling at a pace that works best for us, or else we'll be putting ourselves at a disadvantage every week.
Unfortunately one of our bowlers had to work and so we were down to only two bowlers for opening night. The lanes were a bit drier than I remember seeing seeing all last year. Perhaps the center forgot leagues were starting that night. It took some time, but by the end of practice I thought I had found a line that worked well for me . . .
I was so wrong! I started the first game of the season with four straight splits. A 4-6, 5-7, 8-10, and 3-10. Luckily I managed to convert the last one. There were even a few pocket hits in there and I think the other team started to feel bad for me. All I could do was laugh, really. I switched down to a weaker ball and managed to throw a turkey and spare out for a 180 game. The three straight opens killed me.
As the first game wore on I started coming in a bit light. I thought that this was being caused by the front end oil being pushed further down the lane so I decided to go on the offensive. I switched back up to the C-System and was able to throw my preferred line for most of the game. By the end of the game the oil was gone and I switched back down to the Python. I left a 3-9-10 in the seventh frame, but managed to convert the spare and finish with a clean 222.
The third game was a lot like the first. Some mixed success, but overall I wasn't very comfortable. I left two additional splits this game, converting one of them. I missed a 10-pin on my last ball in the tenth frame for my only non-split open of the night. It was a hard fought 168 to be sure, but I was thankful to escape with that and live to fight another day.
I know what you're thinking because I was thinking it to: "Zach, this summer you practiced playing all those different lines, why didn't you just do that?" I did move left a bit to catch some oil in the middle of the lane, but either the ball wouldn't grab or I wouldn't get good carry when I did hit the pocket. Could I have fine tuned a better line to the pocket that was more successful? Probably. Actually that is most likely what I will do from here on out.
But my thinking was this: I carry two different balls for a reason and with my style of play these conditions seemed better suited for the Python. I transitioned from ball to ball without any issue or "lost frames," so I think the summer practice did help me in that regard. Plus it was week 1 of 34, if I am going to start experimenting this was the perfect time to do it.
I think it is important to look at the positives from this week's outing. The first positive is the seamless transition from ball to ball that I mentioned before. The other big one is the successful implementation of the offensive strategy I outlined above. In the second game I read what was happening on the lanes and worked the oil to benefit me. Without that big game I don't know how this week would have turned out, but I think it would have taken more than the Labor Day break to recover.