August 22, 2012

Starting the Sandbagger Prevention League

The beginning of the fall league season is upon us, and with the start of our real leagues comes the start of the experimental, quasi-fictional, Sandbagger Prevention League.

I outlined the concept for the league in a previous post, so I won't repeat myself here.  In addition, I have created an entire page dedicated to tracking the progress of the league throughout the season (see the SPL link at the top?) and explaining the various formats being tested.

Joining me and my fictional, unethical bowler Sam Sandbagger, are: Lauren (my wife), Doc, EBH of Thumbhole Chronicles, and, of coarse, my buddy Matt at Bowling Rollercoaster, who is contributing scores from all three of his leagues for this project.I couldn't do this without you guys and I hope we get some real results when the league wraps up.

The league will run for 32 weeks and if any of the participants are in leagues shorter than that I know they practice enough to cover the extra weeks. They will submit their scores in the comments section of the SPL page by listing the week number and their three games.  In Matt's case, he'll need to specify to which Matt the scores belong (Matt 1, 2, or 3).  If they maintain a public score sheet, like Bowling Tracker, I can use that instead.

The most difficult part of creating this league was trying to get inside the head of a sandbagger. I've grappled for a few weeks on how to develop a sandbagger's strategy. What should the scores be early in the season?When should Sam start bowling well? How blatant is a sandbagger when throwing under their real average? How bad is too bad for a sandbagger?

Sam is going to be a conscientious sandbagger, never totally tanking a game but only bowling to his full potential when he has to. Sam is a 200 average bowler; however, at the start of the season he is going to throw around 150. He'll bowl better when facing opponents with higher averages to take advantage of his higher handicap and he'll bowl closer to his lower average against opponents with lower averages. I will create Sam's scores based on his opponent's average before they submit their scores, so I will have no influence on Sam's performance.

If any one has any questions about the league please let me know in the comments.  Otherwise, the first set of scores will be rolled this Friday and the league will be underway.

Thanks again for all of your help


  1. Hey, Zach-- I think I'll be bowling a lot in a Tuesday night league, which starts next week. My Thursday league kicks off tomorrow.

    1. Thanks for the info. You can choose which league's scores you would like to use, but I'd ask that you try to keep it to the same league as much as possible. If you want to use your Thursday league that's fine with me. Matt had mentioned that his league started on Friday and mine starts on Monday, so we will all be grouped pretty close together.

  2. This is gonna be awesome. Thanks for setting this up, Zach.

    1. Thank you for contributing. I'm trying to treat it like a science experiment and eliminate as many variables as possible. I hope we get some good results that we can pass along to Fagan and maybe the USBC.