Duckpin bowling can drive you crazy. If you think tenpins is difficult, go bowl a few frames of ducks.
You can bowl duckpins for yearsand never figure out what's going to happen next. The scores don't just change from week to week; they change from game to game.
Emma Galeotti can tell you all about it.
Galeotti, a nurse at Harbor View Hospital in South Baltimore, lives in Severn with her bowler husband, Jim. She bowls in the Monday night triples league at Fair Lanes Southwest. Jim bowls there in the same triples league, but onanother team. But that's another story.
On Feb. 10, Emma, a 115-average bowler, was struggling. Her first game was a 93, the second game 101 -- a little better, but still far below her average.
It wasthe third game that proves just how thrilling duckpins can be.
Galeotti fired a strike in the first frame, another in the second and another in the third. That's a great start, but proving again the difficulty of the game, her next three frames were open.
Sixth frame, strike. Another strike in the seventh and yet another in the ninth. Are you keeping count? That's two triples in the same game.
In the 10th, Galeotti broke six, leaving the bread-line (the one, three, sixand 10 pins). You're right, she picked it up and counted eight for a209 game that shattered her league-high 163 game and her personal-high single game of 180.
If you're paying attention, you'll notice that her final game was 15 pins higher than her first two games combined.
"It's the inconsistency that makes bowling so interesting," she said in a model of understatement. "The real challenge of duckpins is trying to maintain your consistency."
Charles Steele is a 17-year-old youth bowler at Greenway Bowl Odenton. He lives in Severn withhis parents, Sherley and Garvin Steele Jr.
His brothers, Garvin III, 21, and Jackson, 14, bowl at Greenway Odenton, too, but neither brother has managed to match a feat that Charles performed on Feb. 8.
On that day, the Arundel High School senior "got lucky."
"I hadthe seven-10 split and just threw at the seven pin, and the next thing I knew, it kicked out the 10 pin for the spare," he said.
Steele carries a 156 average, with a high game of 248 and a high series of624, so making the seven-10 split wasn't all luck. Being a pretty modest guy, Charles said, "I'd like to give Miss Peggy Tully a lot of credit for my bowling. She encouraged me to keep bowling when I was ready to quit."
Making the seven-10 split so early in his bowling career may make it extremely hard for Charles Steele to even think about quiting again.
The Fair Lanes $150,000 PBA Open is currently under way in Woodlawn, and Monday was the date of the qualifying round. Sometimes called the "rabbit squad," part of the tournament allows local PBA players an opportunity to qualify forthe tournament and a shot at the $31,000 first prize.
Anne Arundel County had five bowlers make that select qualifying list on Monday.
Mike Warboy, who is associated with the Crofton Classic Pro Shop in Crofton and lives in Churchton, maintained a 206 average for 15th place. Ray Atkinson of Pasadena was 34th with a 200 average. Tom Lizzio of Arnold was 39th with a 199. Robert Hesenperger of Severna Park was 42nd with a 198.9. And Scott Poe of Glen Burnie was 47th with a 198.
The finals of the Fair Lanes Open will be televised at 3 p.m. Saturday on ABC. Tune in, you might be able to watch one of the localbowlers in action.
Also, Joe Doctor's National Amateur Bowlers Inc. tournament will take place at Rinaldi's Riverdale center Saturday and Sunday. For more information, call 864-5940.
Donald G. Vitek'sBowling column appears every Thursday in The Anne Arundel County Sun. Bowlers are urged to give Don a call with scores and tidbits at 247-0850.