A bowler's New Year's wish list

Posted: Thursday, December 31, 2009

Before we bowl our way into 2010 at Alaskalanes, especially those of us who are planning to participate in the always fun, New Year's Eve moonlight bowling extravaganza, we first need to close out the books on what has been an exciting second half to the 2009 calendar year.

Exciting may be an understatement!

Back in early November, who can forget Rich Edwards' phenomenal performance in the 10th frame en route to his first 300 game, or Catch Worster during his 11-in-a-row strike frenzy in a 290 game?

How about Cindy Coty's game two performance during the Wednesday evening scratch league where she started with the first 10 strikes for a 289 game?

And youth bowler Mikayla Miller, who rolled her way to her first title in Eagle River at the Alaska Youth Scholarship Tournament, or James and Nancy Mackey, who triumphed at the Thanksgiving Scotch doubles tournament?

Since the start of this article there has never been a shortage of writing material, or even a break in the processing of United States Bowling Congress achievement awards. It has been a pleasure and an honor to write about the many events that have taken place at Alaskalanes over the last several months. A big thanks to Teresa Liedes, who was the striking force in getting the article started, and for her continued contribution to the article on a weekly basis.

Below is a list of bowlers who have bowled exceptionally well above their average and have received recognition from USBC through achievement awards.

* Wendell Larsen -- 175 award for a 175 game with a 126 average; 400 series award for a 422 series of 100-175-147.

* Victoria Askin -- 175 game award for a 184 game with a 134 average; 500 series award for a 525 series of 184-181-160.

* Trey Feagin -- 125 game award for a 127 game with a 59 average; 300 series award for a 313 series of 81-105-127; 350 series award for a 369 series of 73-146-150.

* Chase Feagin -- 125 game award for a 130 game with a 56 average; 300 series award for a 309 series of 130-86-93.

* Mason Job -- 125 game award for a 129 game with a 62 average; 300 series award for a 310 series of 97-129-84.

* Haylee Hedger -- 175 game award for a 185 game with a 110 average; 350 series award for a 383 series 134-124-125; 400 series award for a 425 series 185-95-145.

* Amber Nicholson -- 100 game award for a 101 game with a 63 average.

* James Lott -- 75 game award for a 79 game with a 41 average; 200 series award for a 210 series.

* John Nicholson -- 50 game award for a 59 game with a 29 average.

* James Oglesbee -- 100 game award for a 121 game with a 95 average; 300 series award with a 305 series of 121-96-88.

* James Childers -- 150 series award for a 153 series with a 41 average. The games were 42-56-55.

* Lance Kramer -- 200 series award for a 215 series with a 43 average. The games were 85-93-37.

* Richard Huffman -- 550 series award for a 566 series with a 160 average. The games were 171-198-197.

* Macy McMahill -- 50 game award for a 63 game with a 23 average; 100 series award for a 103 series of 63-40.

* Charlotte Yamada -- 250 award for a 267 game with a 173 average.

* Ann Shilo -- 150 award for a 157 game with a 102 average; 400 series award for a 413 series.

* Paulla Bowman -- 225 award for a 234 game with a 159 average.

* Becky McCord -- 175 award for a 182 game with a 119 average.

* Dawn Grimshaw -- 175 award for a 176 game with a 130 average.

* Mandy Elkens -- 300 series award for a 334 series with a 75 average.

Congratulations to the many who have accomplished a great deal!

Now on to the bright future and wish list.

What would bowling be like without the infamous 7-10 split or the 4-6-7-10 split, sometimes referred to as the big-four? Probably much less exciting, and on the extreme end, bowling would lose its status as being a professional sport.

For myself, these splits make up a love-dislike relationship. I dislike leaving either split because it most likely means an open frame, based on the fact that I have not converted either spare in 34 years worth of attempts. However, on the plus side, when I do leave these ugly splits, it is an opportunity, no matter how small, to finally convert them.

Maybe this will be the year that I cross the hurdle.

For any bowler who is fortunate enough to convert these ugly looking, very difficult, almost impossible spares, there may be a reward. Alaskalanes has uncovered a gold mine full of American Bowling Congress patches. ABC was the governing body for bowlers before the United States Bowling Congress was formed.

I use the term "gold mine," because in a recent eBay search I found that an ABC 7-10 split patch goes for an astounding $18. All total there were 177 similar items available for bid.

One of the big goals on the wish list of most bowlers, myself included, is improving one's average. An easy and economical way to accomplish this goal is to attend one of the many training classes that are offered throughout the bowling season at Alaskalanes. A little knowledge may go a long way in improving an individual's average, and also help to prevent injury.

It is no easy task to take four to five steps, while swinging a 15-pound bowling ball, and stay balanced and have good timing during the approach. Bowling class breaks down the approach and shows bowlers how to go about developing balance and timing. Balance and timing are core fundamental values of bowling.

Next on most lists is to roll more strikes. Your problem is solved if you were fortunate enough, because of good behavior throughout the year, to receive the bowling ball that I listed in last week's article entitled "A bowler's holiday wish list." The Virtual Energy ball, manufactured by Storm with the "early revving motion and explosive back-end," Shape-lock HD core weight block, with GPS laser tracking guidance and early warning, split-sensor detection.

If Mr. Claus was out of stock due to high demand you may have to go about learning to roll more strikes the old-fashioned way, by attending a training class. In order to roll more strikes, a bowler needs to be familiar with at least some of the ingredients that go into making a good shot and then experience what a good strike shot feels like.

Last on my wish list for the upcoming year is to improve my spare-making ability. In order to consistently make spares you need to have a process. There are several methods available. However, the one that is most commonly used is the "3-6-9" method. I have provided a link that not only explains the method, but also provides a diagram -- www.wsbowling.com/369method.

Please have a safe New Year's Eve, and best of luck with your bowling endeavors in the upcoming year.

Bowler's Corner is submitted by Randy Stiedl. For any questions, comments or suggestions, e-mail akrms1@yahoo.com.

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