Cumberland Times-News

Local Sports

November 6, 2013

B.J. Curtis rolls fourth career 800 series

B.J. Curtis rolled his fourth career

800 series last week with an 816 highlighted

by a 286 game. That is the

third local 800 series

bowled this year

that didn’t contain a

300 game.

There is always a

question of which is

harder, a 300 game

or a hole-in-one in

golf? While 300

games are more

common they also

have pressure

attached to them. As

you keep stringing

strikes, you naturally

start thinking about shooting 300. On

a hole-in-one, there is some luck

involved, and it can come at any time

whether you are having a good round

or a bad round. A 300 game takes 12

strikes, a hole in one takes one swing.

Additionally, an 800 series is harder

yet. You need to average 250 for your

first two games just to have a chance,

so the build-up and pressure comes

across all three games in a series.

At The Bowler, Cary Lowery shot

799 with a 279 game. At Rainbow

Bryan Jose had 782 with a 276 game

and C.P. Sines had 771 also with a 276

game. Troy Smith had 766 with a 269

game and Rodney Helsley had a 299

game on his way to a 756 series to

round out the men’s top scores.

For the Juniors, Randy Cubbage

shot 681 and Tyler Iser had 653 to lead

the way. Crystal Uhl shot 664 and

Becky Torrington had 651 for the top

womens’ series of the week.

One of bowling’s long-time problems

is explaining its hazards or difficulty

to other sports fans. In golf, you

can see the hazards. Even on television,

you can see the water or the

sand or the trees and get a feel for

how one hole or one course may be

more difficult than the others. In

bowling, the lane conditioner is invisible,

so when a bowler tries to describe

how one lane or pair is tougher, it’s

met with a lot of eye rolling and mocking,

because up until now bowling’s

hazards have been invisible and

therefore mythical to most people.

At the recently completed World

Series of Bowling, blue dye was added

to the lane conditioner. This will allow

bowlers (and TV viewers) to see

exactly where the conditioner has

been applied and to what volume. The

basic concept of lane conditioner is

like traction on an icy road in your

car. The lane conditioner does not

allow the ball to get traction, so it

skids. The drier part of the lane, like

the drier part of a road allows the ball

to grab and either hook more or roll


Up until now, bowlers had to read

the lanes through trial and error. You

found out where the drier part of the

lane was by how much your ball

hooked. If it hooked too much, you

moved to where you hoped there was

more conditioner. If it hooked too little,

you tried to find a drier portion of

the lane. In the future, visually, that

part will be easier. The blue part is

oily and the white part is dry. This will

make it much easier to tell the story

of different difficulties both on television

and even in coaching.

Will this make things too easy?

Well, let me use the golf analogy one

more time. In golf, you can stand in

the fairway and see the green on the

other side of the water. You know

exactly where the water is. You can

even buy a range finder that will tell

you precisely how many yards it will

take to clear the water. Simple, right?

But when you drive past that pond,

there are still a lot of golf balls in

there. Being able to see the hazards is

only part of the battle. You will still

need to execute the correct shot, with

correct the ball at the correct speed

and the appropriate angle. Bowling

needs to embrace this technology as

the positives far outweigh any negatives.

Joe Mullenax is the Cumberland Times-News

bowling columnist. Write to him at

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