Sunday, May 07, 2017

Position Round Roll-Off Drama / First 600 Series

1st 600 series, May 3, 2017
In league bowling, a season begins and ends like a school year. It starts in August or September and ends in early-to-mid May.

My Monday night league at Bel Mateo ended last week. Wednesday's league at Classic Bowl will end this week.

In the first half of the season (September to December), both teams finished in the top 10. In the bowling league world, any finish below the top 4 is the equivalent to those lame participation awards youth leagues give out so no one's egos are too bruised. Your team still gets cash payouts, but not nearly as much as the top teams would receive.

We improved considerably in the second half (January to May). Both teams ended the regular season in first place. Monday's team, a 1/2 game margin. Wednesday's by 2 games. The top 4 teams then bowl each other to determine final standings - also known as position round.

Monday's team needed to win 2 games to finish first. We swept. Our wins were so close that our opponent's total pin count was only 7 less than ours.

Wednesday's team needed to win 2 games to finish first. Despite achieving my first ever 600 series, we won only 1. It was now a tie. Sudden death roll-off time. Team to win best 2 out of 3 captures first place.

We lost the first sudden death game. Had to win the next 2 to retain and finish in first place. Like Monday night position round, every frame was an intense battle. Held firm and won the final 2 games.

After position round, the final night is roll-off and sweepers. Roll-off is the 1st half winner versus the 2nd half winner to determine league champion. Jason, my Wednesday night teammate for the past 6 years, was my opponent in last Monday's roll-offs.

Sweepers is the chance to earn cash payouts for high bowling scores of the night. It gives individual bowlers a chance for some extra cash if they bowl well. Nice way to end the season, too.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

2017 California USBC State Championships

2017 California USBC Adult Championships
Country Club Bowl - San Rafael CA
As I did this past November, I bowled a state tournament. November was the Cal USBC Seniors tournament. Yesterday and today, the Adult Championships.

The lane conditions for this tournament were the most difficult I've bowled since my butt kicking at a local tournament that included young PBA phenom Darren Tang.

For this straight bowler, that's bad.

I bowled a dismal 391 on my team squad yesterday. In my first game this morning in doubles (see above photo), the struggle continued - 127.

Not to panic. I still had 5 games, and my team had the entire lane pair to ourselves. For me, it made for predictability and a faster pace. In other words, a lot less paralysis due to overanalysis.

Finished 3 games. On to singles. Made an adjustment on how I held the ball. It worked well. Bowled 213. Got a pink pin (given to women who bowled 200+). My teammate Monica got one too. She also killed it in brackets and sidepots (over $200).

My next 2 singles games weren't as high, but well enough that I finished with a 522 scratch series, 55 pins above my average. Tournament continues through June 18, so on the very remote chance I cash out, I'll have to wait until then.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Relaxed Bowling Grip Pressure

source: USBC Queens
Carolyn Dorin-Ballard
Last week, I reached a new personal scratch series high, breaking the previous one I made 2 months ago. I also bowled 2 of 3 games of 200 or more.

This week, in the 6 years I've bowled 2 leagues, both teams are in first place. Monday, 1/2 game lead. Wednesday, tied. Position round for Monday night is tomorrow. Wednesday night league, next week.

I attribute this season's consistency to 2 easy adjustments my dense brain should have figured out years ago. Especially since the same principles can be applied to throwing a softball, gripping a bat and shooting a basketball - all sports I played long before I began competitive bowling.

Relaxed grip pressure and loose arm swing.

I couldn't do either until I added more tape to my thumb to maintain a snug fit. A loose fit forces a bowler to grab the ball and/or muscle the throw.

With some cool techno background music, here's how the elite women bowlers do it.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

2016 - 2017 Bowling Stats - Season to Date

Monday night, Bel Mateo Bowl

Wednesday night, Classic Bowling Center

The above screenshots are taken from my Monday and Wednesday night leagues. It's my guess most bowlers don't know their weekly statistics, or like me, never really looked at them. Or you don't care because you're there for fun. Game and series score ranges are consistent across both leagues.

This past Wednesday, I set 2 personal records, 2 games above 200 in a series, and scratch series of 575. I have a total of 5 games of 200 or above for the 2016-17 season. Of the 5, I bowled 3 of them in the past 2 weeks.

Season in both leagues will end in 2 weeks, just before I head to Europe. Both teams in currently in 2nd. If we hang on, we'll be in contention to bowl for the bigger bucks in position round.

Wish me luck.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Give Back Box

As I prepare for next month's trip to Italy, Spain and France with new comfy shoes and another anti-theft bag, I need to clear out what will be replaced.

I recently found out the pile of boxes I've accumulated from countless online purchases I've made over the years can be put to good use through a donation site called Give Back Box.

Give Back Box's mission: The purpose of Give Back Box® is to provide an effortless and convenient method of donating your used household items. Give Back Box not only provides an easy way to be part of a truly good cause, it gives a secondary use to corrugated boxes and guarantees they will be recycled.. So this is an all-round CSR & Sustainability solution that costs you literally nothing.

The process is extremely easy. From the Give Back Box webpage, click the link to print out a UPS packing slip. Affix the packing slip to the box you'll use to return clothing, shoes or handbags.

My first donation - 3 year old backpack from eBags. I'll receive a $25 credit toward a future purchase. I've posted a screenshot of the other participating merchants.

Box hoarder no more.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

South Carolina Basketball - Final Four x 2

source: ABC News
Dawn Staley
South Carolina Women's Basketball Coach
source: Sports Illustrated
Frank Martin
South Carolina Men's Basketball Coach
Congratulations to the South Carolina Gamecocks Women's and Men's basketball teams for making it to the Final Four.

The men's team lost yesterday to Gonzaga yesterday in one of the semi-final games, 77-73.

A few hours ago, the women's team defeated Mississippi State 67-55 in the championship game.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Buzzer Beater Victim 25 Years Apart - University of Kentucky

source: NCAA
Christian Laettner, Duke University
To Ashley Judd and longtime Kentucky basketball fans, please look away.

March 28, 1992.
Duke versus Kentucky, NCAA East Regional Final.

In overtime, Duke power forward/center Christian Laettner catches a 70-foot pass from (source: Wikipedia) from Grant Hill. Laettner dribbles once, turns around and from the the free throw line sinks the winning shot.

Final score: Duke 104, Kentucky 103.

March 26, 2017.
North Carolina versus Kentucky, NCAA South Regional Final.

Game is tied at 73-73. With less than 15 seconds left in the game, Kentucky's Malik Monk (source: Ricky O'Donnell, SB Nation) sinks a 3-pointer to tie the game. North Carolina regains possession with 7.2 seconds remaining. North Carolina forward Luke Maye receives the pass inside of the 3-point line. Shoots, scores with 0.3 seconds to win the game 75-73.

March Madness, indeed.