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Thread: Sportsmanship in Men's Leagues

  1. #1
    Bowling God Aslan's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Sportsmanship in Men's Leagues

    Okay...quick backstory...I recently joined a men's league...first time ever...I've really only been able to join mixed leagues up until now as men's leagues were a bit rare in California around the area I was living. And, even if ya found one...if it was more than 15 miles away...traffic pretty much limited participation.

    So...I joined a Men's league...a LOT of good bowlers in this league...probably the best talent in the metro area. A lot of high level amateur players, guys who have done well at the USBC Open, guys who routinely compete (and win) at the State tournament, former collegiate players, several guys who have competed in local PBA open events, and even a PBA bowler who has won a Master's title. Fortunately, I don't have the lowest average (as I'm trying to get back into the swing of things after a 9-month break)...but I'm definitely toward the bottom of the list in that regard.

    Now, my team has been awesome. They have been welcoming and friendly...and we have a good time and good laughs. There's even a guy on my team that throws "sort of" like me so I can maybe learn something watching him. The "downside" (besides embarrassing myself with my scoring) has been sportsmanship. While I'm used to the occasional bleep-hole that takes things way too seriously and slams his equipment down or punches the ball return...I've never seen it occur at the level I see it now...and the PBA bowler is one of the worst culprits.

    But...concerning my team...the biggest issue I have is that whenever things aren't going well...they just rant obsessively about lane conditions:

    - One guy claims the lanes are too dry to throw resin...which is not true. But...he refuses to move inside, throws < 13mph, and comes up the side of the ball like Mark Roth. It's hard to give him advice...given he averages over 200 and I average just shy of 170...but the reason he can't throw resin is he simply throws too slow with too much hand and refuses to change his angle...simple physics.

    - Another guy...throws an aggressive ball (Nexxus)...about 13mph...with a similar up the side release. Again...if you're gonna do that...and it's diving through the have to move inside and change your angle. He also misses a ton of spares because he refuses to throw plastic at his corner pins...and at his speed with that stronger's not going to stay on the right side of the lane.

    - A third much better...even though his average is a little lower than example #1. He seems to grasp the game better, has a better arsenal of balls, is mroe consistent, and is a very good spare shooter. He throws some very, very good games (256, 267, 246, etc..) BUT...he expects to win every game. He's had some opponents that have bowled out of their mind lately...and has lost head-to-head even though he's thrown near 250. And if he doesn't carry every shot...he gets pissed about lane conditions and how he hates this center and is never gonna bowl here again...every week.

    Maybe it's my struggles talking...but I kinda miss the mixed league. No...I DO miss my mixed leagues! I used to bowl 3 times a week...subbing. It cost me $10 in sub fees and I usually spent $40 in brackets/strike ball. Most weeks I spent $40 and won at least $20 of it lets say $30/week to bowl 3 nights. I didn't always do well...but people had fun and, for the most part, had a good time. People knew me...I had bowled in those leagues for 3 years....went to sweeps in Vegas with them...most weeks I was "booked in advance" to sub for this team or that team. Now...nobody knows me...I suck as bad as I sucked when I joined my first league in 2013...and when my teammates aren't bowling > 220 and winning every point...they are almost unbearable to be around.

    Is this sportsmanship part of bowling men's leagues? Or, are men's leagues usually fine but I just happen to have a bad one?
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  2. #2


    Unfortunately, what you have is pretty much the norm. Men seem to need women around to keep them in line. LOL

  3. #3


    Like ROBLV1 said: It is pretty much the norm for mens league. Only here instead of having too much hook on the sides and back end, we have no hook on the sides and very minimal on the back end. Normally your ball will hook during practice, but as soon as league starts the back end goes away as if the lane machine never strips the back ends. I would rather have too much ball reaction than to have hardly any!!! I can always ball down or adjust, but when there is no ball reaction here then all you do is throw the ball straight to the head pin from the corner of the lane or up 15 board and hope to hit the head pin and get a light mixer type strike. Sounds like i need to move to California

    The mixed leagues are more fun.
    Last edited by TTREX; 11-03-2018 at 06:07 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aslan View Post

    Is this sportsmanship part of bowling men's leagues? Or, are men's leagues usually fine but I just happen to have a bad one?
    Pretty much what your describing there happens (to a varying extent) on all leagues mixed or not, It has nothing to do with whether women are there or not. It just depends on the people.

    I've been at lanes during all women leagues and they act just like men. They drink, they cuss, they bellyache about conditions, too many balls on the rack and each other etc.. So it's not limited to just the men's leagues.

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobLV1 View Post
    Unfortunately, what you have is pretty much the norm. Men seem to need women around to keep them in line. LOL
    Quote Originally Posted by bowl1820 View Post
    Pretty much what your describing there happens (to a varying extent) on all leagues mixed or not, It has nothing to do with whether women are there or not. It just depends on the people.

    I've been at lanes during all women leagues and they act just like men. They drink, they cuss, they bellyache about conditions, too many balls on the rack and each other etc.. So it's not limited to just the men's leagues.
    Most of my bowling the last 25 years has been mixed leagues. I have subbed in a few menís leagues in the last ten, but most of my experience in menís leagues is from the 70s, 80s and early 90s.
    Back in the 70s & 80s most of the griping was about the mixed league before we got the lanes taking too long because the guys were trying to chat up the girls, or the women were flirting with the men. The next most popular was that pin setters and/or ball returns werenít working right, i.e. the real reason the early league was so slow. We did have one old guy who was blind in one eye who quite literally could not see you if you were on the approach on his blind side unless he turned his head to check. The older he got, the less often he remembered to do so. However we all new he might walk up on us and worked aroung him. We also had one or two young hot heads, who would get mad at themselves for missing a spare, and would kick the ball return or punch the back of the settee.

    My experience with mixed leagues is that the pace is a bit slower because it is more social. Yes there are some women who can swear like sailors, but for the most part the men seem to be on their best behavior when there are women in the league.

    The gripes that I hear now are more likely to be about the lane conditions or the lack of appropriate lane courtesy. In sport leagues there always seems to be one guy who will say they didnít put the pattern down right because itís not playing the way it did when he bowled on it two years ago in another center. Some guys will insist on giving two lane courtesy when the league rules specify one lane, and then get mad if some one puts a toe on the approach of lane 30 when they are setting up on 32. In other leagues the complaints aremore likely to be: They changed the house pattern. They let open bowlers on our pair just before league. So and so is taking too much time on the approach.

  6. #6
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    Sorry that you are having to deal with this Aslan, but as the group is saying the Men's leagues seem to consistently have these situations. I will say by far the worst possible league is the men's handicap league, this is essentially to the point that I will never bowl one of these again. You get a few types of teams (I have been a part of many of these so I'm speaking from experience).

    The first team in these leagues are the teams that are simply stacked with good bowlers; this is where you put together a ton of 215-220+ bowlers on the same team and then those bowlers complain when they shoot 245 and lose. Not a hard concept, when I average 225 and shoot 245 that is only 20 over and essentially is an extra double for the 170 bowler to win that match.

    The second team is one that has one or two 170 range bowlers who feel as though they are a 200 average (a.k.a. they throw one every few weeks) and thus get very upset when they don't shoot 200. You then get to "coach" that person(s) on not getting so upset and to "turn it around"

    The third (which I have not been a part of) is the group of bowlers that significantly sandbag early for two purposes; the first is to win/compete in the second half and secondly to clean house on side pots/brackets later in the year. These teams are not as plentiful as you expect, but since there are some clear teams that do this we start to expect that any team that has a great night must be doing this. This can also happen in scratch leagues that have an average cap at the end of the year when a team is out of the running but trying to keep their team together for next year (watched a team throw a gross amount of washouts the last month of a season). The other way we have caught this is by using the book average for 7 weeks in a league before adjusting to league average (shockingly, almost every team we suspected of sandbagging voted against this).

    The fourth team is the group that whines about how they leave an inordinate amount of ten pins....oh wait, that's all teams it feels like.
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  7. #7
    Bowling Guru Amyers's Avatar
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    What your saying is pretty much the normal here weather it is mixed or men's bowling can't see much of a difference. if you have any women who are high level bowlers themselves they can actually be much worse. We don't have many but a few. I've bowled regularly in both it's as much about the people than the type of league. usually they cross over at least here.
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  8. #8
    Pin Crusher
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    Women can be bad also. Every league has teams that complain. Some people are much better than others holding it in. Mostly the sober ones.

  9. #9


    It sounds to me like your guys are possibly a little worse than the teams I've seen and bowled with over the years in mens leagues, but there are guys like that in every league I've
    ever bowled in, although maybe not every guy on the team.
    We had a guy a couple of weeks ago go off because there were too many balls on the rack and started throwing balls on the approach.
    I personally bowl with a guy who throws a slow with an aggressive ball and says none of the adjustments he makes make any difference, no one can get it through
    to him he needs a different ball and no matter where he stands he walks right up to the same place and throws straight over second arrow from directly behind 2nd arrow
    and wonders why the adjustment didn't


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