"If at first you're not successful, keep on trying."
That's the advice Brian Blood of Libertytown had for amateurs trying to win a National Amateur Bowlers Inc. (NABI) tournament.
"I've been trying for three years, and Sunday it was worth $3,000 to me," Blood said.
Blood, a vice president for Scorpion Systems, used his 16-pound Pearl Hammer bowling ball to defeat 622 entries at the NABI Inner Circle Club Tournament last weekend at Crofton Bowling Centre.
Twenty-one entries drove up from North Carolina; 73 bowlers came from the Tidewater area of Virginia; 35 came from the New Jersey and South Philly clubs and 33 were from Delaware.
One of the big assets of bowling in the NABI club tournaments is that if you belong to NABI, you can bowl in its tournaments anywhere in the United States.
For example, this Sunday and Monday the Delaware NABI club will present its third anniversary tournament at Strikemaster Lanes at Seaford, Del. Guaranteed first-place money is $1,500 for that tournament, which will be under the direction of Joe and Diana Kirkpatrick.
For the local tournament, Sandy Jackson, manager of Crofton Centre, had the lanes in excellent playing condition. It was tough but fair and remained that way through the weekend.
There's a good reason for that. Jackson has been associated with the Crofton Centre for almost 12 years. For 10 years, she was night manager. She has been the general manager since January 1991.
The Pasadena resident is a bowler with a 165 average and a high game of 269 with a high set of 608. She knows what bowlers want and makes sure that the Crofton Centre supplies it. There were no mechanical breakdowns.
Joe Doctor, director of the NABI tournament, and the bowlers raved about the professional way that the tournament at the center was handled.
Following Blood on the prize list was Michael Clifton, a Navy man from Newport News, Va., who picked up $1,800. Cliff Foreman, )) also from Newport News, finished third and won $1,600.
Fourth place went to Jim Broyhill from Fairfax, Va., with a $1,200 payoff, and fifth place, $900, went to Trent Horn from Oxon Hill.
The top three winners won an all-expenses-paid trip to the 1993 NABI Nationals in Las Vegas, Nev. Total prize money was $26,830.
Blood made a point of insisting that he's just an average bowler. "I've been bowling for about 20 years and I average from about 183 to about 188," he said.
His high game is a 289 and his high series is 750-plus. He bowls at Shady Grove Lanes in Gaithersburg.
There's the beauty of bowling in NABI; the handicap system used gives every bowler, no matter what his average is, a chance to be a winner. And to win a big hunk of money. Every tournament has at least $1,000 first prize guaranteed.
To place the prize list in perspective, the list for this particular NABI tournament exceeded some of the prize money for which professionals compete. Membership fee for NABI is only $25. That's means that you can bowl in any NABI tournament in the United States.
Next weekend, Sept. 12 and 13, Fair Lanes Annapolis will be the site of NABI. As always, first prize is a guaranteed $1,000.
Howard Marshall who works at Walt Cervenka's Pro Shop at Fair Lanes Ritchie, took the $4,000 top prize in the Country Club Classic Tournament on Aug. 23.
That tournament drew bowlers from seven states, and the total prize money exceeded $17,000 in cash and prizes.
Tune in to Don Vitek's Best of Bowling WCBM/AM radio show every Sunday at 5 p.m.
Donald G. Vitek's Bowling column appears every Thursday i The Anne Arundel County Sun. Bowlers can give Don a call with scores and tidbits at 247-0850.