July 8, 2012

Week 8/Scorpion Recap

Game 1: 168
Game 2: 180
Game 3: 142
Game 4: 152
Series: 642
Week Avg: 160
Scorpion Avg: 169
Season Avg: 180

This week just wasn't fun at all. My teammate was on vacation so it was just me against the two 18 year olds from Week 1. It was close to 100 degrees outside. I was going to have a minor procedure the next day. Practice didn't go so well and it took me all 15 minutes to find the pocket. I decided to start the first game standing at the 20 1/2 board and throwing at the 8 board (black line in diagram).

I started the first game with a few decent hits and single pin spares. In the fourth frame I chopped the 2-4-8 and then followed that up by missing the 2-pin. I struck once or twice, but then left my old friend the solid 8-10 split in the tenth frame to finish with a 168.

To start the second game I moved to the 21 board and kept throwing at the 8 board (red dotted line on diagram). It worked alright at first, but after missing a 10-pin in the sixth frame and a few light pocket hits I moved back to my initial line. I missed my mark in the eighth and opened on the 1-2-4, but managed to pick up 29 pins in the tenth to pull out a 180 game.

I blew it in the third game again, mainly out of fatigue and a lack of concentration.  I opened on the 4-6-7-10 in the third, 1-2-4-8 in the fourth, the 2-4-5 in the fifth and the 1-2-4-7 in the eighth frames. I had to change something, give myself a reason to concentrate on my release and my target, so I moved outside slightly to the 20 board and threw at about the 7 1/2 board (blue line in diagram) to try to take advantage of the increasing hook as the pattern broke down. For the most part it worked, but I only finished with a 142.

The last game started with a chopped 2-9 in the second frame. I threw a turkey after that, but then had one of the worst stretches of bowling I can remember. I missed a 7-pin in the sixth, a 10-pin in the seventh and eighth and a 6-pin in the ninth. My first balls were all in the pocket, but I was not throwing good spare balls. I finished out the game alright, but it was way too late. I finished with a 152.

I fell victim to the Scorpion this week. I missed my mark to the right a few times, something I don't normally do, and I paid the price with some ugly leaves involving the headpin. Factor in six missed single pin leaves and a few chopped double-woods and it was one awful night. It was the first time in a long long time that I left the alley feeling so miserable I didn't want to go back the following week.

But I'm not going to let the Scorpion beat me. I have one more week to show it what I can do. I've seen two different sides to this pattern: one was slow changing and consistent with my research, but the other was an ever-changing monster. A big part of this week's changing conditions was that one of my opponents was throwing a huge hook through my line, but the majority of the problem was my inconsistency. As advertised, the PBA patterns magnify the parts of your game that need improvement. I'm grateful for the confirmation of my earlier analysis, now I just need to work on correcting the problems.


  1. The Scorpion sounds like my bowling definition of hell, too much oil and too long.

    Good luck with the procedure, Zach.

  2. Thanks Matt, everything went well.

    The Scorpion actually gets a bit more movement than I expected in the short backend; however, if you miss your marks to the right by as much as a half board the ball won't reach the headpin.