In-the-know Bowlers Know Not To Bowl Slow


August 18, 1991|By Donald G. Vitek

Looking to speed up play in your bowling league this season?

"There's three primary reasons that league play is too slow," says Joe Rineer, owner of Mount Airy Lanes.

"The first reason -- and in my opinion, the most important reason-- for slow bowling is the pace that the leadoff bowler sets for theteam. Two, the bowlers who are never ready to take their turn. Three, the bowlers who insists on waiting for the personal ball to return before throwing the third ball."

I agree with Rineer, but there isanother reason for slow bowling -- the average league bowler doesn'trealize they don't have to put up with the few bowlers who keep breaking the rules.

Is slowness counterproductive? You bet. In many ways.

Some centers have given up trying to combat the problem and have eliminated the second evening shift of leagues.

How do they make up for the lack of revenue? They have to charge more for bowling. We know who pays this tab, don't we?

How about the averages, what happens to them? They go down. Check it out.

When the bowling is paced well, the bowlers' averages go up; where slowness is chronic, theaverages go down.

There's another reason I detest the bowlers whoslow up the game -- the ones who can never get their shoes on, who can never find their towel and can't bowl without it, who have to makeone last telephone call, who disappear into the restroom never to return, who stand at the snack counter chattering away.

The main reason the average bowler is on the lanes is to have a good time, to enjoy themselves. Slow bowling takes away from that enjoyment. And there's no valid reason for slow bowling.

Eliminating slow bowling doesnot mean that everyone must rush, rush, rush; it just means a steadypace is maintained, there is a flow to the game, and each bowler must take responsibility for participating in the game in a manner that is fair to every bowler on the lanes.

Check out the following duckpin rules:

* Rule 114. Bowlers must bowl as soon as the pins have been set on their lane.

* Rule 115. Bowlers shall not wait for bowlers who are two or more lanes away.

* Rule 116. Bowlers may not wait for their first ball to return before they bowl their third ball.

* Rule 120. Bowlers shall leave the bowling area immediately at the end of the last game to avoid delaying bowlers that may follow them.

* Rule 1301. The play shall begin at the starting time fixed for the league by contract or agreement with the bowling center or fiveminutes after the lanes are available for each match, whichever is later.

And don't forget that duckpin rule 2003 has a sanction against unsportsmanlike conduct that can lead to suspension. Deliberate slowing of the game could be construed as unsportsmanlike conduct.

Since we're on the subject of correct conduct on the lanes, perhaps the following rules of etiquette would be appropriate. Few of the following rules are official but they should be observed by all bowlers.

* If you're keeping score, turn over the score keeping to someone else before it's your turn to bowl.

* When you're setting on the approach, don't take too long.

* Do not use another player's ball without premission.

* Don't stray onto the other bowler's approach.

* If you reach the approach at the same time as a neighboring bowler, allow the bowler on the right to go first. Step to the back of the approach area while you wait and indicate to the other bowler that you'll wait.

* Keep in mind that excessive noise could be distracting to the bowler who is delivering a ball.

* Don't loft the ball.It doesn't help your game and it damages the lane.

* Everyone wants to win, but being a gracious loser doesn't cost a dime. And you'renot going to win all of 'em.


It's time again to remind the secretaries that they face a season of hard work. Thefollowing check list may be of use to the novice.

* Collect individual membership cards and dues.

* Forward membership cards and the sanction applications to the local association secretary within 30 days after the league begins.

* Open a league bank account.

* Keep scores eligible for American Bowling Congress and National Duckpin Bowling Congress, state and local awards.

* Furnish final averages to the local association secretary.

* Keep league financial records for at least 120 days following season completion.


The Sunday Night Mixed Doubles League at Thunderhead Lanes in Westminster will have its meeting at 5 p.m. Aug. 25 at the bowling center. Bowling will start an hour later, and several openings for men and women are expected in the league.

* The Duck Pin Doubles League atMount Airy Lanes starts at 9:15 p.m. Aug. 28. Several openings are available and the team must have an average of between 250 and 270.

Information: 829-0710 or 795-0560.

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