Bowling! Anybody Throw The Rock?

Although Donald Trump has a lot of followers in the bowling community, the powers that be can read the writing on the wall. The four-month long USBC Championships had been scheduled from March to July. When COVID-19 hit, they were postponed and shortened to run from September through November. Today, the governing body announced the event is being cancelled altogether. Its a huge loss for Reno, as last year’s event in Vegas brought nearly 53,000 bowlers to town.

Several smaller events for more elite bowlers have also been cancelled, and the NCAA bowling season is being postponed for at least three months. Meantime, routine leagues can move forward at the discretion of the bowling centers and the bowlers. That’s America.

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The Deplorables struck in more ways than one at a local bowling center last night. A new league was opening. They had like 15 teams of 4 players each. That’s a solid league these days. But the county has a mask ordinance. And of course the bowling center wants to stay in compliance to stay in business.

So the bowling begins. At least eight bowlers refuse to wear a mask, even though you’re allowed to pull it down when making a shot or eating/drinking. They just flat out refuse. The cops are called, and the offending bowlers are banned from the center for six months. Several teams can no longer field a full roster, so the league dissolves on the first night. Score one for the “law and order” party.


This is me exactly, I’ve been telling myself to get a ball for a couple years but haven’t got around to it. I throw it straight with a house ball but if I got my own I think I’d have to learn to curve it. Bowl in a casual league every other week during the winter, my average is around 150, high game in the 220s and high series was just shy of 600 (think 580s).

It’s what I do when there’s literally nothing else left in the world to do.

I suck at it but among friends it can be fun.

It’s been six months now, so time to bump the bowling thread. Wait til you see what I have for you in September.

Sorry. I couldn’t wait six months. Bowling is good tv.

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Who was better in their prime? PDW or Almonte?

Belmonte? Yeah. Jason Belmonte I would say is the best ever. Pete was very good. Walter Ray Williams probably very slight shade better. Weber was better showman though. Bad boy image. This is the clip he was referring to with his f-bomb.

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Lol stupid phone. Seems it’s never heard of a Belmonte

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Haven’t bowled in years but bowled throughout my childhood. High score something like 235, nothing special.

One odd phenomena about bowling I have observed. Whenever I went to bowl for the first time in years, without exception my first game is my best, and then things rapidly decline from there.

oh yeah can’t wait to put my hands inside a house ball. bowling must be the worst covid activity there is unless you got your own gear.

I haven’t bowled seriously in about 10 years, but I started looking at it again recently for a data project. Was surprised to see that Belmonte is the #1 player and has been pretty dominant over that stretch, becoming the all-time majors winner in the process. I remember around the time I stopped playing, he was considered more of a novelty. Dude spins the fuck out of the ball and is basically the Rafael Nadal of bowling.

So I just pulled up this 2022 WSOB Scorpion and am seeing all kinds of crazy stuff. They’re actually overlaying the oil pattern graphics on the TV broadcasts and calling out which balls are in play? That seems like it’s a decade overdue but props for them catching up I guess. Also noticed Belmonte appears to be using some of the newly banned (USBC) Storm balls that come in too low on Shore hardness. I don’t really understand that ruling but it seems to have energized some of the people who claim he is “cheating.”

I actually enjoyed watching this though. Those nasty leaves that aren’t “supposed” to happen are exactly what I’m used to, so watching these dudes get rustled by it is amusing. Of course, they’re on a scorpion pattern but it’s not clear to me how much it’s a result of that versus something else being off.

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Ha. I’m watching PBA playoff shows I taped earlier today off FS1. The ball ban applies to the USBC, which is mainly league bowlers and does not apply to the PBA. I’m glad the USBC is paying attention to ball technology. The physics of bowling have really become important over the past couple of decades and the pros have quite an advantage over us duffers because they more keenly understand ball construction and layouts and how they relate to the oil patterns. Plus they have ball company reps consulting with them on such matters and they get their balls for free.

I put Belmonte in the same kind of category as Dick Fosbury. He was the guy who invented the “Fosbury Flop” in high jumping. His competition probably hated him, but he found a way to jump higher, and his opponents had the option of doing it his way. So Belmonte was an innovator in the same way Fosbury was. Same thing has happened with soccer style kickers who replaced all the head-on guys from back in the day in the NFL. The spinning style of shotput replaced the hop and put method and it worked better. You mentioned two-handed tennis backhand in the other thread. That’s a similar style change. I can’t think of any others right now, but there must be some.

Meantime, I’m getting psyched for USBC Open Championships in Vegas. The tournament runs four months and is already in progress. I’ll be going in June with a group of 36 bowlers from my area. We’re all getting excited about it. I’ll actually be bowling in the same event on a level playing field against many of the pros we see on tv. Can’t think of another sport where I could do that. Even better, I’ll be out there just after start of WSOP and hope to play the $1,500 Omaha 8 tourney. Should be an epic trip.

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Had to bump the thread tonight, because tonight I was in the zone. Tonight, I threw 17 strikes in a row over two games. Broke my personal record of 15. I bowl a couple times a week. I play poker a couple times a week. Sometimes I feel like I may kinda be in the zone in poker, like a little bit. But it’s not like being in the zone in bowling. I’ve thrown one 300 game, a couple 299’s and a 298 and an 806 series. Tonight was 232-267-265=764. 30 strikes in 36 shots. Just six shots away from perfection. I dunno. I wish I wasn’t the only one among us who likes this. If you want lessons, come on down to Florida, and I’ll teach you (for only a small price). League bowling is a great way to network. You’ll make more friends. I have bunches on bowling friends on my phone. I don’t have a single poker acquaintance on my phone. Bowling gives me a reason to work out, because propelling a 16 pound ball down the lane at a speed storng enough to strike is still pretty physical. I’m 64. But I’m still strong enough to do this, and do it well enough to impress myself, once in a great while. Sorry, but I just had to brag. I threw 17 in a row tonight. I was in the zone!


Do you do that two hand throw that everyone seems to be talking about or are you a traditional one-handed bro?

I’m a one-hander. Like I said. I’m 64. That’s going to be the interesting thing to see about the current two-handers. Can they still do it when they’re 64? It’s a more physically demanding style. It hasn’t really been around long enough to see if it holds up in old age.

Sick congrats.

I really like bowling but I haven’t jumped into learning how to throw a real ball, still just going straight house ball. I’m in a casual league with my in laws and a bunch of their friends/acquaintances.

That’s a start. My advice is to get a real ball. A ball with a fingertip grip. The pro at the pro shop will custom fit the ball to your hand. It makes such a huge difference. The way the ball is drilled in relation to the weight block inside the ball, combined with the surface of the ball, allows hook to happen, even if you are not intending to make it curve. But you will learn how to control the curve over time, and will start to get better looking strikes and a bigger variety of strikes. It doesn’t have to be the most expensive ball in the shop. Just see what’s available in a reactive resin surface, and have it drilled with a fingertip grip with a proper span. Then practice. Over time, you’ll start to feel like a pro.

I bet two handed is absolute hell on your back

that’s awesome. congrats. covid really ruined my plan to get serious with bowling during my time in the US. it’s too expansive of a hobby here. I still take pride at bowling multiple 200+ games with house balls.