"Lane conditions are a bit tougher this year," Joe Slebodnik said. "But that's good. It had started to get too easy to throw big scores."
That's just what Slebodnik had in the Tuesday Doubles League at Brunswick Normandy -- a big score. With a 199 average, he threw a 287 game for his career-high single game. His high set is a fine 767.
The American Bowling Congress instituted a new rule in September requiring more oil on all sanctioned lanes, creating the tougher conditions. But it has posed no difficulty for Slebodnik.
Joe's been bowling for about 10 years now, and bowls in two leagues: the Tuesday Doubles at Normandy and a Monday night league at Fair Lanes Kings Point. And it looks like the tougher lane conditions are right down his alley.
Slebodnik, a flooring installer for Bode Floors, lives in Ellicott City with his wife, Susan. This a bowling family: Susan carries a 167 average.
The new conditions also seem to be just what Steve Paratore needed to improve his bowling. Paratore lives in Laurel and bowls at Brunswick Columbia in the Sunday Morning KCB league.
He works for Matwork of Beltsville. Paratore started out bowling duckpins, as so many Marylanders have.
Last year was his first year bowling in a tenpin league.
Paratore picked the game up pretty quickly. He's had a high game of 268 and a high series of 560-plus. Not bad for a guy who carries a 158 average.
That 158 average was low enough to give Paratore some
handicap pins in the Brunswick 9 No-Tap Tournament. When you added those handicap pins (123) to his games of 300-263 and 228, you arrive at the 914 score that won the Brunswick Eastern Division Tournament. The Eastern Division of Brunswick consists of 24 houses, so Paratore had to beat a lot fine bowlers to capture first place.
He received $150 for leading the tournament at Brunswick Columbia and another $700 for the Eastern Division win.
"Getting nine pins in a no-tap tournament can sure boost your game," he said.
Well, sure, but you still had to get more nine counts than everybody else, Steve, and that's what you did.
Ed Lanehart, of Ellicott City, bowls at Brunswick Normandy in the Mixed Quads and in the BG&E Friday leagues. Last year Ed carried a 206 average, so he can throw the ball pretty well. In the Brunswick No-Tap Tournamenthe had games of 288-300 and 297 for a great 885 series. But that high average only allowed him 14 handicap pins for an 899 series -- not good enough to overcome Paratore's winning 914 total.
"I don't feel bad about not winning the No-Tap Tournament," Lanehart said. "I know that I bowled well and that's what counts."
He and his wife, Jackie, bowled pretty well in the recent Coca-Cola Pins-Over-Average Doubles Tournament at Brunswick Normandy. They placed third. Jackie had her career-high game of 255 and her career-high series of 629 in the tournament. Not bad for a woman with a 163 average.
"It was all Ed's fault that we didn't win it," she joked.
Well, yeah, that's true -- it comes from Ed having too high an average. It's pretty tough to go way above your average when that average is higher than 200.
Ed added to his total of 700 sets last week. He threw games of 276-245 and 219 for a 740 series, making it 17 times that he's thrown over 700.
Did I mention that in the Maryland Senior Olympics last monthEd threw a 298 game that was the cornerstone for a 728 set that won him the gold medal? And there's no handicap in that event.
The Odouls Turkey Shoot tournament is being played at theBrunswick centers. In the second game of league play you get 80 percent of 200 handicap for the chance to win a turkey. That tournament runs until Thanksgiving.
The entry fee is $2; one of 15 entries will win a turkey. And you get a pass for one game of bowling when you enter. Gobble, gobble.
Don't forget the 1991 Bowl USA to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. It takes place Dec. 1 at BrunswickNormandy and is open to bowlers of all ages. Participants collect donations or pledges for every point they score in a three-game series.See you there.