Cumberland Times-News


March 9, 2014

BJ Curtis fires 795

BJ Curtis rolled a 300 game on his way to a 795 series at White Oaks to lead area scoring. Darren Durbin was just one pin back with 794, also at White Oaks. Troy Smith shot 782 at The Bowler, Cary Lowery had 772 at White Oaks and Aaron Courtney shot 300 on his way to 763 also at White Oaks. Mike Sipple rolled the third 300 of the night in White Oaks Industrial League during a very high scoring week.

Autumn Grant led the ladies with 678 at White Oaks, while Vivian Helsley shot 640 at The Bowler. Vicki Coughlin had 632 at White Oaks to round out the top three women’s series.

Tyler Iser scorched the lanes at Rainbow for a 726 series to lead junior bowlers for the week.

Sore fingers and hands can have a very adverse effect on your scoring. Throwing a ball that fits properly is essential to improving your game. Local pro shops are equipped to measure your hand as well as provide you with necessary accessories. Finger grips not only can help you provide lift on the ball, but they can also prevent cuts and blisters from forming.

Even a properly drilled ball may not compensate for your thumb swelling or shrinking. Using tape inside the ball to get a proper fit or even putting protective tape on your thumb can let you release the ball cleanly. Tape on your thumb can also prevent blisters from forming and breaking open. Pro bowlers today usually have tape on their fingers and thumb as well as inside their bowling ball.

A lot of us used to have bad cases of bowler’s thumb. We had a raw spot on the back of our thumb from squeezing the ball incorrectly. It also came from bowling a whole lot of games over the course of a season.

One of the worst, or most courageous stories, or both, involved Derek Yates. In a tournament at Rainbow Lanes years ago, Derek had bowled well all day and had qualified for the finals. His thumb had gotten increasingly sore as the day wore on, he was using super glue to just hold his skin together. As he was preparing for one of the last few games he came up to me and said he thought he would have to withdraw. When I asked why, he held up his arm and there was blood running from his hand to his elbow. During a practice shot, the entire superglue, nu-skin, tissue paper, as well as the actual skin of Derek’s thumb tore off and left a bloody mess. Bowling may not look like a contact sport, but it sure did that day. Obviously with the high scores Derek has been shooting this season, he eventually recovered.

Joe Mullenax is the Cumberland Times-News bowling columnist. Write to him at

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