It's extremely difficult to become Bowler of the Year anywhere, any time. After all, you're competing with every sanctioned bowler in your league, center or city, county or state.
If you want to make it almost impossible, try becoming Bowler of the Year in a state where you don't reside. But it just happened.
Ronni Fincato lives in Riviera Beach, right here in Anne Arundel County, and she's been crowned the Bowler of the Year in Virginia.
"I've been bowling over 20 years," Fincato said. "I was born and raised in Virginia and did all my duckpin bowling there, but about eight years ago the company I work for, CSX, transferred me to the Baltimore area."
That's when the story starts getting a little wild.
Fincato was a charter member of the Virginia Ladies All-Stars and didn't want to give up bowling with her friends.
"They [The Virginia Ladies All-Stars] said if you feel that strongly about it, since you're a charter member of the organization, you can continue to bowl with us," she said.
Membership in the National Duckpin Bowling Congress is good anywhere duckpins are bowled, and a lot of bowlers cross city, county and state lines to bowl every day.
However, for Fincato to continue to bowl with the Virginia Ladies All-Stars presented a small logistical problem: The organization is a travel league in Virginia.
So, for the past eight years, Fincato has traveled to Richmond and Norfolk and surrounding areas to bowl with the Virginia Ladies All-Stars. That should be enough bowling for anyone, right?
Fincato bowls in the Wednesday Doubles, the Saturday Night league and the Sunday Night Mixed at Riviera Bowl.
"Thank goodness, I live right back of Riviera Bowl," she said. "It makes it very easy for me to bowl there."
She needs the break from traveling, because besides bowling in the Virginia travel league Fincato also bowls in the Women's Baltimore Professional Duckpin Association, another travel league.
Fincato carries a 128 average with a high game of 201 and a high set of 487.
And after all these years she finally has introduced duckpin bowling to her husband, Tino, who's a fast learner. He started his first year of bowling with an 87 average. When the league ended, he was the Most Improved Bowler, with an average of 97.
Garry Mueller, who started bowling when he was a kid and is better known as "Stretch," finally had one of those nights.
"If you don't say Stretch, no one will know who you mean," said Liz Pence of Greenway Glen Burnie.
After June 30, everyone who bowls at Greenway Glen Burnie knows exactly who Stretch is.
He's the guy who threw a 236 game and a 579 set, career-high figures and good enough for Stretch to receive $300 for the high game and another $300 for the set from management at Greenway Glen Burnie.
Mueller lives in Linthicum with his wife, Barbara, and carries an average of 130 plus. Barbara, after a 12-year layoff, started bowling duckpins last year with Stretch at Greenway Glen Burnie.
Bowl America Odenton and Glen Burnie have a great offer for beginning bowlers.
Starting at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 25, and at 8 p.m. Sunday, July 26, you'll have a chance to learn to bowl and to acquire a new bowling ball.
It's $6 per week, and you receive six weeks of instructions and a free bowling ball.
The 15th annual Youth Duckpin Invitational starts Sunday, with the final round July 26.
Top young bowlers, 13 to 21 years old, from centers in Baltimore and Washington will participate.
The Baltimore bowlers will compete at Greenway East on Sunday; Fair Lanes Westview, July 21; Mount Airy Lanes, July 23; and Greenway East, July 26.
The third annual Country Club Classic Tournament continues at Country Club Lanes, with a guaranteed first prize of $4,000.
The Amateur Bowlers Tour will conduct a tournament July 26-28 at Country Club Lanes.
The LPBT Regional Open will visit Greenway Bowl Odenton Aug. 7-9. The Youth/Adult Pro-Am will be Friday, Aug. 7, with the finals on Sunday, Aug. 9.
Donald G. Vitek's Bowling 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.