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
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
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
B.J. Curtis rolled his fourth career
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