April 27th, 2008


The Quest For 200

9/ X 9/ X 9/ X 9/ X 8s1 XXX

Does anybody know what the above line of text represents? It's my new passion, the art of Bowling.

My dad, brother, and me have all got brand new bowling balls, bowling shoes, and bowling bags. We've participated in the sport at least once a week for the last two months now and we're getting noticably better.

I've been tinkering with a new form, trying to make my bowling shots look like those professional ones that kind of go straight and then curve into the pins at the very end. It's not going well. Either I go full-arc from beginning to end or I roll it straight and quite pathetically.

All of this came to a head when Mark was in town on Friday where I tried go revert back to the three-fingered technique the professionals use (as opposed to my thumbless way that has the biggest arc from right to left). I, Bowled, Like, Shit. So, on Saturday, I decided to give up on ever using a thumb (except to pick up a spare of any kind). I rebounded in my second game to get 155 and a share of first place with my brother. It was game three though that saw my high score of all time. It was also game three that could've been the oddest game on record.

First frame: rolled a 9 and picked up the spare
Second frame: strike
Third frame: rolled a 9 and picked up the spare
Fourth frame: strike
Fifth frame: rolled a 9 and picked up the spare
Sixth frame: strike
Seventh frame: rolled a 9 and picked up the spare
Eighth frame: strike

Now, at this point, if I can pull out a spare or a strike in the ninth frame, I'm all but guaranteed a +200 game. Things were looking good when I let the ball go, but ...

Ninth frame: rolled an 8 with a bowling ball-sized gap between the 3 and 10 pin on the right side

This is NOT a tough split to pick up by any means; in fact in a prior game that night I picked it up. All you have to do is hit the right side of the 3 pin and the ball will bounce right into the 10. Unfortunately, I missed the 3 pin by mere inches, I hit the 10 pin fairly square, and ended up with a 9 in the ninth frame. That left me with a 168 and absolutely no chance for 200. Still didn't stop me from ...

Tenth frame: strike, strike, strike

198. I was too disappointed to appreciate my all time high score because I was 1-pin away from getting that 200. My score went like this:

20, 40, 60, 80, 100, 120, 140, 159, 168, 198

A spare in the 9th gives me a 160 in the 8th and a 170 in the ninth. A strike in the 10th gives me a 180 for that ninth frame plus ten more to put me at 190 with two rolls left. A simple spare puts me at an even 200, but those two strikes I got would've left me at 210 and something to REALLY celebrate about.

Oh well though. Still gives me something to strive for. In the meantime, time for more hand exercises (not the kind you're thinking of, perv).