I once attended a teacher in-service where the speaker asked the assembled educators the following questions. "Have you ever seen geese flying in the sky in a V formation?" Many of us nodded our heads. "Did you notice that frequently one line of the V seems longer than the other?" As we murmured yes, he asked one final question. "Do you know why that is?"
We waited expectantly for a brilliant explanation that never came. Instead we got this classic response. "It's because there are more geese in that line!"
It's that simple. Sometimes we tend to over think many things and that is especially true when it comes to bowling. If you are in a bowling league and would like to see your team be the league champion, well, this is your lucky day. I'm going to give you all the information you'll need to have your team win that championship trophy.
Basically there are two ways to accomplish this task. The first option is to have very good bowlers. Put five people in your lineup that throw a lot of strikes night in and night out, and see what happens. With that kind of shooting, winning a league can be relatively easy.
Now my bowling team in Fostoria has reduced our magic number to clinch the first half to one. With 12 possible points left, we have a 12 point lead over the second place team. It has been a very dominating performance thus far. Mathematically we have not quite clinched yet, but I like our odds to do just that.
So is our secret to put five very good bowlers on the approach each night? I know, I know. I'm on the team so that shoots that theory, right? The truth of the matter is, we are not bowling very well as a team. One of our guys has been good all year. Another one has been outstanding the last four weeks.
The other three have struggled all season and are 10 to 15 pins below their normal averages. I'd like to tell you that I'm one of the first two guys, but alas that would be stretching the truth. I am close to 20 pins below my average from last year.
Yet we have a big lead. How is this possible? Well here is option No. 2 when it comes to winning your league. Be lucky. That's it. Get more than your fair share of breaks and you too, can win the league.
Most long time bowlers will tell you that the breaks even out. I'm not sure that has been the case for my team in the first 12 weeks of the season. When my team has two guys struggling on a particular night, our opponents seem to have three. We leave a solid 10-pin and our opponents leave the 7-10 split on the same type of shot. It has been happening all year.
If you don't believe me, let me share one story with you that will prove my point. Two weeks ago we bowled against Brian Soals. Now Brian has led our league in scoring average for the last several years. He will be on the north side of the Mendoza line (for those of you not familiar with this phrase, it is a baseball term to describe a hitter whose batting average is near .200) all night long. His season average will be 220 plus.
On this night Brian is struggling big time. In fact his third game ends in the 130's and my team easily takes four points. He is so frustrated that he says he may not return again. After bowling is over for the night he calls his son and asks him to bowl for him for the rest of the year.
When I return to the lanes the following week I am a little surprised to see Brian on hand. I ask him about quitting and he shrugs his shoulders and says, "it's a new week."
Brian will be bowling against the second place team and all he does is shoot 300 in his first game. His team wins, my team expands our lead and all I can do is shake my head. He shoots 130 against my team and 300 against another team. I'm telling you, being lucky is the simplest way to win a league title.
If my team somehow does not win the first half, I will be back in three weeks writing about some of the biggest collapses in sports history. Of course winning the first half does not guarantee winning the league either. We'll see if our luck holds out.
Meanwhile I'd like to congratulate Brian Soals on throwing his 10th perfect game. My teammates and I would also like to thank him for shooting it against someone else!
Robin Dickman rocked the pins to the tune of 675 to lead the Alley Cats League. Carla Siebenaller shot 561, Janet Houk 506, Heather Butler 477 and Carol Fry 473. Deb Nominee paced the Imperial-Majorette League with 622 while Steve Steinmetz Sr. shot 554, Dale Bentz 547, Steve Steinmetz Jr. 541, Kellie Faust 493 and Mary Ruggerio 467.
Sunday Night Rock N Roll League scores include Tom Tiell 632, Tim Bollenbacher 619, Chris Rhodes 604 and Janice Young 472. In the Rocket League John Funk shot 602, Roger Coppus 581, Dave Hohman 571, Mike Distel 566, Dotie Funk 445 and Virginia Vanover 427. Ron Yentzer topped the Sportsman League with 671. Chris Peck shot 657, Greg Tiell 643, Chris Johnson 633, Rich Yates Jr. 600 Phil Neikirk 590 and Mike Kimmet 584.
Dawn Davis shot 573, Nerita Streacker 455, Marilyn Gangluff 455, Linda Caseman 440, Deb Hoerig 433, Carol Burmeister 430 and Val Krombach 410 in the Lady Knights League. In the 55 Plus League Jim Ruess had 634, Dick Gabel 571, Bob Reinhart 541, Dan Coppes 487, Dave Murray 468 and Mike Ditslear 429. Jeff Morrow shot 646, Tom Tiell 637, Aaron Sherman 633, Rhonda Fitch 568, Kellie Faust 511 and Rhonda Lewis 435 in the Twilight League.
Al Stephenson is The A-T's bowling columnist.
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