Memorable Matches: Chris Barnes wins his first title

Chris Barnes has had an incredible professional bowling career, amassing 18 titles (3 of which are majors), winning both PBA Rookie of the Year (1998) and Player of the Year (2007-2008) honors, bowling a 300 game on TV (Geico Shark Open 2013), and being a consistent title contender week-in and week-out for more than a decade. The 1999 Eerie Flagship Open was Barnes’ second career TV show, and it was a high-energy finals that culminated in what would turn out to be the first of many championships for Barnes. Let’s go back in time to that memorable day now!

The crowd at the Eerie Civic Center was electric before the first ball was even thrown. This could be because there had been high scores all week, with bowlers averaging in the 230s and some even in the 240s, and the tournaments held in this venue in previous years had also yielded high scores. It could also be due to the fact that a basketball game which was airing on the same TV station that day went into double overtime, so the start of the bowling was delayed by a significant length of time. The first match featured Parker Bohn III going up against Rick Steelsmith. Bohn III was making his third consecutive TV finals appearance (and would eventually end up winning Player of the Year honors that year) and Steelsmith had incredible bowling talent but did not have a more accomplished career due to a shoulder injury he suffered earlier in his career. Bohn III had a lot of momentum going into the match, but after the first few frames it was apparent his ball reaction was not good. Bohn III, who was playing up the gutter, would go light on one shot and high on the next. He wasn’t missing by much, but he did not have much room to miss if he was to get a strike. Bohn III left a split early, which resulted in an open frame, and fell behind by a large number of pins when Steelsmith began the game with 3 straight strikes. Even though Steelsmith cooled off in the middle portion of the game, leaving 3 single pin spares that resulted in spares, Bohn III could not string enough strikes together to climb back into the match, or even make it close. When Steelsmith, who was playing a slight swing around the second arrow, threw 3 more strikes in a row the match was his. He defeated Bohn III by a score of 235 – 197.

Steelsmith now faced Chris Barnes who was making just his second TV finals appearance. Continue reading

Advertisements

Improve your bowling without buying equipment

While owning your own bowling ball and shoes are almost a requirement to compete in bowling professionally, a person can still get pretty darn good at bowling without spending $200+ on a bowling ball and $100+ for shoes. This article will give you some simple and basic tips that, with practice, should give you an edge against most of your friends!

Before I give you tips, though, I think it will be helpful to know a few things about the bowling lane. A bowling lane is 60ft long, however the front pin is about 55ft away from the foul line. There are 39 boards on a lane, with the board closes to the gutter on your side being the 1 board, the center of the lane being the 20 board, and the board next to the gutter on the opposite side being the 39 board. There are arrows on the lane and these are 15 feet from the foul line. The foul line is the black line that you are instructed not to cross. If you cross it in competitive play you get a zero for that shot. You also don’t want to cross it during recreation play because there is oil on the lane (to protect the lane surface from the impact of bowling balls) and this oil can cause you to slip. The bowling pins are numbered as follows:

7  8  9  10

4  5  6

2  3

1

Other than what shoe size to choose, your first decision is what bowling ball to use off of the rack. Continue reading

Memorable Matches: Duke vs. Hoskins

The championship match of the 1998 Greater Rochester Open came down to Norm Duke, the top seed, and Steve Hoskins, the #2 seed. Hoskins, a powerful cranker, had thrown a lot of strikes in the semi-final match against Tim Criss, shooting 224, and appeared to be locked-in. Hoskins was the defending champion of the event, and he actually bowled a 300 in the same bowling alley on the TV finals of another bowling event that year. So, during the 1998 Greater Rochester Open, whenever Hoskins started a game with a strike, there was electricity in the air with the possibility Hoskins would attain perfection in consecutive years. The crowd was going nuts whenever Hoskins threw the ball, especially so if he struck.

Dressed all in black, Hoskins started the final match with the first 3 strikes in a row and it seemed as though it was going to be his day, Continue reading

Belmonte wins his 4th Masters title

Jason Belmonte, from New South Wales, Australia, defeated Michael Tang, from San Francisco, CA, 279 – 212 Sunday, February 26, 2017 to win his 4th USBC Masters title.

Both bowlers started the championship match with 2 straight strikes, but the third frame would prove to be a telling sign for how the match would play out. Continue reading

A Humble Suggestion

With the pros averaging in the 240s on a weekly basis, and with all of the 900 series being shot, I think it’s safe to assume that all bowlers consider this trend the most problematic facing our great sport. Everywhere you look, people are throwing strike after strike, even if they just learned how to bowl a few weeks prior. It’s gotten to a crisis point where strikes are much more common than spares and splits.

There have been many proposals about how to combat the scoring pace, including going back to older equipment, making the lane conditions more challenging, and even making the pins heavier. With all due respect to those ideas, I believe I am about to suggest an idea that is vastly superior to all that came before it. My idea, which I now humbly present to you, dear readers, is as follows. Continue reading