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Thread: Tournament thoughts...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Southeast PA
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    Default Tournament thoughts...

    Was bored this weekend, so decided to enter a local singles tournament. Haven't bowled in a local house tournament in a couple of years. Just some random thoughts.

    I was assigned to my starting pair with a group of 3 other people. Total of 4 of us on the pair. I get that none of us knew each other, but not one word was uttered between us for over two hours. I spent most of my time interacting with the bowlers on the lanes on either side of us. Made for kind of an awkward experience.

    This was a handicap tournament. Handicap based on the difference between your average and the highest average bowler in the tournament. I was getting 12 pins per game. There were others getting 50+ per game. One of the bowlers on my pair was that highest average bowler.

    First three games were qualifying, with the 4 highest bowlers moving on to stepladder finals.

    Leading qualifier had over 750. 2nd place was a 747 (they bowled 612, but were receiving 135 pins handicap on top of that.) 3rd and 4th place qualifiers had 720 and 717 (including their handicaps of approximately 100 pins.) That means I would have needed a 682 scratch to get in to the finals (only bowled 622, 658 with my handicap added in.)

    When looking at the previous standings for this particular tournament series, 3 of the 4 in the finals are bowlers that regularly make it in to the finals and cash. Just as the case years ago when I stopped bowling in these tournaments, the same handful of bowlers are coming in and consistently winning the various events.

    We moved one pair to the right after each game. Keeping up with the transition was key and I was able to do that well. I did need to change balls in the 3rd game, which is something I try not to do. In this case, I had no choice as the transition was so drastic due to being on a pair that 8 other bowlers had used prior to us crossing it. Way different than the transition that happens on a single pair during leagues.

    The highest average bowler did not make it in to the finals. They bowled a 710 scratch but it wasn't enough. They did however win some side pots and card games, so they most likely broke even.

    Overall, it was just an OK experience. It kind of reinforced why I stopped participating in the tournaments a few years ago. I may go to another next month that is a 4-game format. Scratch singles tournaments are few and far between around here, so handicap tournaments are kind of the only option.

  2. #2


    Most handicap tournaments put out a welcome sign... "Sandbaggers welcome!"

  3. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by RobLV1 View Post
    Most handicap tournaments put out a welcome sign... "Sandbaggers welcome!"
    This may just be me but I never understood the whole sandbagging thing. In most of these small tournaments and in league it's not like you can make a living at it and the reputation that goes with it. I witnessed a guy in league last year dump 2 balls in the gutter in the tenth against us (They were way ahead). He stands on 35 most nights so it was on purpose. I try my hardest each and ever game. I just don't get it. Steve
    Current arsenal...Roto Grip Nuclear Cell, Hustle PBR, Roto Grip Gem, Idle Helios and Own It Spare. 300 rev rate, 16 mph off hand, 13.3 tilt,61 degrees rotation pap 4 9/16 over 1 1/8 up.

  4. #4
    Bowling God Aslan's Avatar
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    Aug 2013
    Des Moines, IA
    Chats: 204


    Quote Originally Posted by RobLV1 View Post
    Most handicap tournaments put out a welcome sign... "Sandbaggers welcome!"
    Yeah, I've seen tournaments that do a better job of keeping people from sandbagging...but it's tough. You almost need to use a 3-year rolling book average and require those without established averages to come in with something like a 200 average.

    The BVL does a good job with it in California because there are multiple divisions and you bowl scratch. So, if I'm averaging 185, I'd be in a division of 180 to 197 average bowlers...if I was averaging 178, I'd be in a division of 165-179 average bowlers, etc... Anyone without an average gets put in the > 197 average division.

    The advantage to this system is that it's really hard to sandbag your way out of a "range". You have to use the highest average from last season or the last few years on you'd have to REALLY want to sandbag to spend an entire season bowling 15 pins under your capabilities...just to get put in a lower division.

    Of all the tournaments I've done, that one was the most fun and the competition the most evenly matched. Unfortunately, it takes a large tournament to use divisions. Smaller tournaments wouldn't have enough bowlers to run a system like that.
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