XP Bowling Page
NEW! 2015-16 Bowling Season
Gamblers Anonymous League
Bakersfield, California USA
I'm back in the saddle again on Wednesdays in the Gamblers Anonymous League at Southwest Lanes. And of course, it goes without saying, the same goals as always: to have fun! I'll post my scores here, and as always, I won't be embarrassed if I roll a poor game, but I will be embarrassed if I don't have fun!!!
STATUS REPORT for Wednesday, March 30th, 2016: PROBABLE
Updated: Friday, March 25th, 2016 @ 7:30 am PST
House: AMF Southwest Lanes in Bakersfield, California USA
League: Gamblers Anonymous • League Secretary: Linda Wright
Team: #19 Help Us
Bowlers: Dawn, Alex, Don, TBD
Non-Bowling Dates: November 25th, 2015
Final Sweeps: April 30th, 2016 @ The Orleans in Las Vegas, NV
XP's Official 2015-16 Beer: Miller Lite
Week #21: Did not bowl; was out of town for Spring Break.
Week #20: The embarrassment continues. Been in a slump for a month.
Week #19: Here's what's cool about a bowling average... a bowling average is a statistical concept obtained by dividing the total pins by the number of games. Unless someone rolls the exact same score every time, by definition, there will be high score and a low score. My performance in Week #19 was a mere statistic - the lowest series of the year (and the lowest series I've bowled in a long time)! So if this series wasn't the lowest of the year, then another one (402) would have been. Why not make this series the lowest? It's a statistic, after all. Some series has to be the lowest, why not this one, eh? And, in spite of my horrible night, my team still won 3, baby! Alright!
Week #18: Aaaargh! Will keep trying!l
Week #16-17: Bowled regular plus makeup; still standing!
Week #15: Didn't bowl on Wednesday the 10th; the games will be made up soon.
Weeks #11-14: It's been a busy five-week period, but here are the highlights. I'm having fun! Had a bowling injury - fell flat on my knee on January 27th... fell on my knee (went down like a rock) - very painful. That's never happened to me before. I iced it for a couple days and I guess it's fine now. Last night (February 3rd) I finally rolled a 6 (620). Apparently I like to do that once per year!
Week #10: Felt a little better tonight... still not consistent enough - that's what next week is for.
Week #09: Did not bowl.
Week #08: Slump continues, but hopefully a slight upward trend?
Week #07: Almost saw a 300. No, not me - on the lanes next to me! I still need to go practice - I wonder if I will?
Week #06: Wow! That's the worst I've bowled in years. Oh well, I'll try again next week.
Week #05: Finally had a pretty good night. I'll take it!
Week #04: Maybe I'll find some time to practice... that would probably be a good idea.
Week #03: Aaargh. Just didn't have it all after sitting around all Veterans Day. That's my excuse and I'm sticking with it.
Week #02: Started good but then went from bad to worse. Oh well, the more I practice the better I will do - I guess I better get out and practice a little! Team has now won eight-in-a-row, baby!
Week #01: I had absolutely no expectations for my first week bowling in approximately 18 months. I hoped to find a way to keep the ball on the lanes and not roll a bunch of gutter balls. I had no stress or pressure. That probably explains why I bowled pretty well (for me). I basically just completed my approach and let the ball roll. It seems I do this every year: the first week I roll just good enough to set my average so high that I will consistently fall short of it every subsequent week, letting my teammates down. Aaaaargh. I did have one opportunity to choke - and I took full advantage of it! The last frame all I had to do was get 7 pins or more to assure a 200. I got 6 pins! Anyway, I got through the first week with only a sore knee, wrist, and thumb. On to next week!
2016 Season Sweeper at The Orleans
The $eason-ending $weeper will be at The Orlean$ in La$ Vega$ on $aturday, April 30th, 2016.
This Is No Crisis...
"Gotta get used to it, this is [me] having fun... just another tricky day."
Support Robb's Pro Shop!
Unless you are one of the very few to win a new bowling ball from www.bowling.com or www.bowlingball.com you have a choice. You can save a couple of dollars and order your ball on the internet or you can visit your local pro shop and receive personalized and professional services for maybe a few bucks more.
I hope you buy your bowling gear from your local bowling pro shop. Pro shops are facing the same economic times we all are. If pro shops are taken out of the bowling lanes because everyone bought their gear online, there will be no more individualized services. Your ball will not be drilled to your own personal specifications and style. It will be drilled um, small, medium, or large...
Do you really want someone 500 miles away drilling your ball? No, you don't!
Support your local pro shop!
The Best Bowling Forum...
For No Bull, Just Bowling, visit BowlingChat.net
In Case You Were Wondering, This Is What A 300 Looks Like!
Andrew Svoren decided to roll not just one, but two 300 games in the last couple of weeks at Southwest Lanes in Bakersfield. He also had an 800+ series. Good decision Andrew! Outstanding!
Keep making great decisions!
Win A FREE Bowling Ball!
Great things can happen at XP Sports! You might win a FREE Bowling Ball! Click the banners for your chance!
Nothing Hits Like A Hammer, Baby!
I use the Hammer Brick™ for my strike ball and the Hammer Infection™ for my spare ball.
Robb White (Robb's Pro Shop) has drilled them and set them up perfectly to match my game.
Nothing hits like a Hammer, baby!
New Old Ball!
I've been struggling with the ten pin. When I throw my Hammer™ Infection perfectly, I pick up the ten pin. But having to roll a perfect ball to pick it up is well, not something I do um, every time. Usually I pull it to the left or drop it off into the channel. My friend and teammate, Alex, had an old plastic ball that he donated to me. Robb and Andrew plugged it and redrilled it. It is nothing fancy and should just roll straight. The important question is, can I roll a straight ball? How's my aim? Anyway, I'll give it a try this week and let you know how it all works out. At the very least, it's kind of a groovy soft purple and orange color, eh? Thanks Alex for the ball... hopefully I'll pick up a few more ten pins now! (01/20/14)
Save Bowling #1
Save Bowling #2
I admit I'm an old-timer and I know things change. I know we're in the tech age and everything is done for us by a computer these days. However, in the old days, everyone knew how to keep score. Believe it or not, we actually did it ourselves (with the Telescore)! Now it's all done for us. Many don't know how to keep score. The game is over and the bowler looks up and says, "Wow! I got a 167! Surprise!" I'm pretty technologically-savvy but I can't even enter my name into these new machines... ! can't correct a score... I can't push the right button to start a new game. I can't even find the instructions on how to operate these new damn contraptions. Just show up and bowl... forget about the other 50% of bowling (the thinking part).
USBC Rulebook 2012-13 (PDF) & Our Local Association
Introduction to Bowling
What other sport can be compared with bowling? Golf, maybe. In golf, you take six seconds to hit the ball, then drink for four hours while you play 18 holes. In bowling, you take six seconds to roll the ball, then drink for three hours while you complete three games.
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways...
1) You drink beer
2) You smoke cigarettes
3) You play 50-50
4) You have your scratcher ticket
5) You have your scoresheet right there
6) You have your cell phone to text and take pictures like this one
7) You get to sit there
8) There are other humans around
9) Every once in awhile you go bowl
10) You get out of the house
11) You're not watching tv
12) You drink beer ...
Thinking Out Loud...
I've always been in awe of professional bowlers. Many times I've had the thought, "Wow, I wish I could bowl like that!" On March 10th at the AMF National In-League District Competition at Riverside Lanes, I watched the Open Division (amateur bowlers with 200+ averages) compete before my shift began. One bowler (Sonny Pollard from Bakersfield, 214 Average) rolled a perfect 300 (then started the next game with four-in-a-row!). Again, I felt awe-struck ("I wish I was that good").
But I watched all the bowlers. There were plenty of 200 games. There were some 240s, 230s, 220s, etc. But there were also plenty of 140s, 150s, and 160s. The thought occurred to me that even bowlers with high averages fit on the normal curve. Just like any of us, they can bowl great on a given day but maybe not so great the next.
I began asking myself, "What's the difference between them* and me?"
There are some obvious answers right up front. The first being -- they are better bowlers than I am! Aaargh! But why are they better? I'll think out loud as I try to answer, or at least confront (challenge myself) to find the answer(s):
They have a higher average?
Okay, he has a 200 average while my average is 177. That's a 23-pin difference between us. That means the 200 average bowler gets one to two more spares or one to two more strikes per game than I do. In a three-game set he will convert 3 to 6 more spares and/or strikes than I.
They are more physically gifted?
It seems to be a given that there are some physically gifted bowlers. I watch their touch, their delivery, their balance, their follow through, their release -- everything it takes. I have to accept the fact that there are just [plenty of] bowlers who are more physically gifted than I. On the other hand, I notice that not every 200+ bowler appears to be physically gifted. As I observed all the bowlers there were some obviously much superior to me but plenty of others who, well, I wouldn't trade styles with. I've always felt that the most physically gifted in any sport isn't necessarily the automatic winner (See 20 Ways To Be A Great Basketball Player). So maybe there's more to consider.
They practice more?
We all know the more someone practices, the more consistent they become at any sport. So I guess I'm assuming these guys get out and bowl 21 games a night! But that assumption is probably in error. Probably some practice a bit more and some practice a bit less. Some maybe only bowl one night a week like I do? I used to work in a bowling alley a long time ago. There was a two-year period in my life when I was bowling in three leagues per week and practicing up to 21 games the other days. It was during that time that I held the highest average I ever held in my life, which was 192. So I still believe practice makes a lot of difference, but even back then it was only worth maybe one or two more marks per game than I'm making now.
They have better gear?
Well, I'm not sure they have better gear than I do... I roll the Hammer. Nothing hits like a Hammer, baby!
They look like a bowler should look?
I noticed several wore bowling shirts. Some of the shirts were pretty cool, sporting either the new style or the old classic look. I do kind of miss the old days when everyone wore bowling shirts. Maybe I'll get one.
They have the correct mindset?
It's a given that everything that isn't physical is mental (or of course environmental)... or luck, I guess. I'm pretty highly aware of the mental aspects of sports (positive self talk, keeping things in perspective, not letting one bad frame get to you, etc.). But as it relates to this topic, I think I maybe have been guilty of too many negative and self-depreciating thoughts and comments. For example, "I wish I was as that good" should be better stated as, "I'm only a mark or two away from that level, I'm not there yet, so I'll keep trying."
They effectively deal with pressure?
Dealing with pressure (i.e., not choking) is a question always right there at the forefront. In my sports career, there have been times I've overcome pressure and found success. There have been other times I've, um, gulp, I have to admit it -- choked. The good news is it happens to everyone. The bad news is when it happens to me! The bottom line is stress is an internally-invented condition. When you have a turkey, is there really more stress to roll the fourth strike? Or is each frame an independent event, like rolling a dice?
They effectively overcome fear of failure/fear of success?
If either of these two factors enter the equation, I'm doomed to being with. I shouldn't be thinking about this crap - I should be concentrating on my bowling!
They don't think too much?
I find when I try to think about everything my scores go down. When I start trying to read the lanes, adjust to the changing conditions, fine-tune my ball speed, alter my starting position/set, account for the topography and humidity, etc., things usually don't work out well for one main reason: I'm not smart enough to figure out all that stuff! The bottom line is I only have one shot in my repertoire - to aggressively attack the pins, rolling somewhere between the first and second arrows! :-) Either it's working or it's not!
They don't drink too much?
As a recreational bowler, I - and just about everyone else in the league - enjoy a drink or two while bowling. I imagine a lot of the 200+ average bowlers have a beer or two while bowing in leagues too. This is the existential question - will an individual's average go up if s/he doesn't drink? To drink or not to drink? Well, I can say the best - and the worst - I've ever bowled in my life has been while enjoying a Miller Lite or two. Again, I'm not talking about pro bowlers: I understand the PED of pro bowlers is prescription pain killers. If I ever turn pro and appear on tv, I won't drink. Otherwise...
They can bowl in the morning?
Come on, man! Even when I was ten years old bowling in Bantams and Juniors, 8 a.m. was too early! They need to schedule these competitions, tournaments, and events at like 3, 4, or 5 in the afternoon!!! I don't think I'm going to enter any more events scheduled before noon!!! I know you're not supposed to say words like, "I can't." Instead, I'll just say, "no, I won't!"
So I'm just thinking out loud. Processing information.
*I'm talking about bowlers with a 200 average. I'm not talking about professional bowlers, who may have a 210, 220, or 230 average or more! Those guys are at a whole different level that I won't ever be able to understand. I'm just talking about a 200 average bowler here. According to the 2011-12 Bakersfield Golden Empire Average Book, there were 43 local bowlers with 200+ averages.
Free Online Disco Bowling!
The Peak of My Bowling Career
The zenith of my bowling career occurred when I won the AJBC Wyoming State Singles and All Events Championships in 1971 at Hilltop Lanes in Casper. I rolled a 199-201-236 for a 636 series (714 HDCP). It wasn't all luck as I had diligently practiced there weekly prior to the tournament.
ARCHIVED: 2013-14 Bowling Season (Ended April 26th, 2014)
Gamblers Anonymous League
Bakersfield, California USA
I'm back in the game, baby! After about six months away, I'm rejoining my old teammate, Alex, on Wednesdays in the Gamblers Anonymous League at Southwest Lanes. Same goals as always: to have fun! I'll post my scores here, and as always, I won't be embarrassed if I roll a poor game, but I will be embarrassed if I don't have fun!!!
House: AMF Southwest Lanes in Bakersfield, California USA
League: Gamblers Anonymous
Team: The 9's
Bowlers: Angie, Rita, Alex, & Don
Non Bowling Dates: December 25th, 2013 & January 1st, 2014
Final Sweeps: Saturday, April 26th, 2014 @ Sam's Town Bowling Center, Las Vegas, NV
XP's Official 2013-14 Beer: Miller Lite
ARCHIVED: 2012-13 Bowling Season (Ended April 24th, 2013)
Gamblers Anonymous League
Bakersfield, California USA
I'm not that good of a bowler but I have a lot of fun. I'll keep track of my scores here. Why not?
Goal: Having fun and trying to challenge myself to improve my skills as the season progresses. I won't be embarrassed if I roll a poor game -- I will be embarrassed if I don't have fun! Miller Lite is XP's OFFICIAL beer for the 2012-13 bowling season!
House: Southwest Lanes in Bakersfield, California USA
League: Gamblers Anonymous
Team Name: TOT (That One Team)
Bowlers: Danica, Victor, Gaby, Alex, & Don
No Bowl Dates: October 31st (Halloween); November 21st (Thanksgiving); December 26th (Christmas).
Final Sweeps: April 27th, 2013 @ Sam's Town Bowling Center, Las Vegas.
Week #25: Season's over! I had a lot of fun this year bowling with Danica, my teammates, and others in the league. TOT finished about third, fourth, or fifth place, about 6-8 games out of first. I fell short of my goal to reach a 180 average... was really close the last month or so but just couldn't get over the hump. Last year's season-ending average was 160, so I raised my average 18 pins this year! Last year I didn't bowl from May to September - I'm not going to make that mistake again because after so much time off, it feels like I'm a rookie starting all over again. I'm not going to bowl summer league, though, because I would be missing too many weeks, but i will occasionally go practice. I don't know which league or leagues I will bowl next season, but I'll bowl somewhere! Ultimately, I attained my bowling goals this year... I had fun, I raised my average, and I met new friends! I'll assess my game and make a few adjustments and come back next year! Thanks for visiting my bowling page... I'll still make a few updates during summer in preparation for upcoming season!
Week #24: Once again, buried many and got tapped about 15 times... then missed the damn spare. My own fault.
Week #23: Team split 2-2. Fun night. Had several lucky and/or Brooklyn strikes... buried several and got tapped a lot. Oh well.
Week #22: Last game buried four in the pocket, left four solid ten pins, missed all four of 'em. Aaaaagh.
Week #21: Felt good all night. Team won four. Alex almost had a 700. Danica finished strong the third game.
Week #20: Another fun night. Team split 2-2. Finished strong.
Week #19: Finally! My first 600 of the year! I decided to quit thinking and just be aggressive. It worked for me tonight! Yes!
Week #18: More fun. Riverside on Saturday, City Tournament the next week. Into the future and beyond!!!
Week #17: Fun night. Team split 2-2. Felt a little better tonight. Had, uh, fun.
Week #16: Looks like a slump or something the past two weeks.
Week #15: Aaargh! Just didn't have it all night. I was lucky to score as well as I did. Will try again next week!
Week #14: Probably my best night so far. Once again, I don't think I choked. Third game I had six strikes including a turkey. My only two opens were big splits (almost picked them up). Would love to get a 600... will keep trying! Danica rolled great, team won four!
Week #13: Wow, another interesting night! One interesting night after another. The good news: I had another 254! Was rolling well all night. The bad news: once again, came close to a 600 but fell short. Apparently it would kill me to ever roll a 600! The good news: once again I don't think I choked -- we were the last ones out of the lanes and I just fell asleep. The bad news: once again came close to a 600 but fell short. I did go practicing on Saturday, staying true to my goal, and that maybe helped. Team won three and remains near the top of the standings. Will try again next week. Aaaargh.
Week #12: Interesting night. I could take two hours to philosophize about the past 30 frames, or I could leave it at... interesting.
Week #11: Aaargh. Team split 2-2. Everything was average, nothing spectacular. Will try again next week. Everything is.
Week #10: Fun and interesting night. Given a board here or there it could have just as well been a 449 or a 649. It was a 549. Could have been better, could have been worse. I'll take it.
Week #09: I rolled pretty good... actually figured out the lanes, making a few slight adjustments (ball speed, starting position) as the night progressed. Danica kicked my butt, rolling GREAT! Alex struck out the final frame to win the last two. A lady on the other team chewed us out, spurring us on to three victories!
Week #08: DANG! I guess it would kill me to ever roll a SIX! I kept getting enough spares to kind of hang in there the first two games, then finished the third game with eight-in-a-row and a 254, baby! The Miller Light finally started to take effect! The Hammer™ did it's job too! The team won, um, one.
Week #07: Did pretty well tonight. I picked up most of my spares; buried quite a few and got some taps, some splits, and a few terrific strikes! The whole team got the oopsies in the second game but we still did great, winning four. Danica did terrific, rolling the highest score of her life!!!
Week #06: Ouch! In spite of my poor showing, the team won three! That One Team is now 17-7! I'll, um, try again next week.
Week #05: Strung a few, baby! I didn't choke the last game, just fell asleep. Danica rolled great all night. Team split 2-2 (14-6).
Week #04: This week and last we were joined by Alex, the newest member of our team. It looks like we'll have a competitive team and he's a great guy too! Tonight was a little better, kept improving as the night progressed and finally had my first 200 game of the year. Next week we don't bowl given it's the evening before Thanksgiving. I hope I get a chance to get out and practice a little in the next two weeks. TOT won 3, we're now 12-4
Week #03: Finally felt a little more comfortable on the lanes tonight. Actually was pounding the pocket for awhile and had quite a few taps, then struggled with spares. All in all I feel better having [ALERT: excuse to follow] bowled now five times since May! Team 9-3.
Week #02: Aaargh! Maybe I'll get a chance to get out and practice a little! Still, team is 6-2!
Week #01: Well, didn't score that well but for the first night in a long time it could have been worse. The good news is I had fun and am looking forward to bowling with Danica and Victor.