Bowling News USA - March 30, 2012 The Schlemer Report - USBC Nationals
Never in my wildest dreams did I ever expect to be writing a Schlemer Report based on MY bowling experience. But I guess that time has come. Let me give a little prelude before we move on. I have done little to no bowling since moving to Utah in 2009. The main reason for this was during the move I suffered an ankle injury that prevented me from being able to push off with my right foot. After a visit to an ankle specialist, I was told that surgery would be my best option. That and the six weeks I would be out of commission did not fit into my crazy schedule. As some doctors may tell you, time will heal an injury. Not as good as a surgery of course, but time off helps.
Now fast forward to early February 2012. I was asked by fellow co-worker Ernest Goedicke to fill in with the Storm teams heading down to Baton Rouge in mid-March to bowl nationals. I said what the heck, good times and a little bowling. First thing on my agenda was getting a new pair of shoes. Since I haven’t bowled in forever I didn’t have any shoes. Good thing I know a guy, who knows a guy, that knows a guy, and I got some shoes. From there I needed to get a bowling ball or two since they don’t have house balls there as an option at nationals. So again, lucky for me, I know a guy that could help me out with a couple balls. Anyway when it came time to drill, I turned to Hank Boomershine for a good fit. I mean I haven’t bowled since 2009 so my hand has no memory of anything and I have no idea what feels good. After some chatting and him twisting my hand like Chinese contortionist, I had a new grip and was ready to drill some new balls and get bowling.
Since I had some traveling to do, I still did not have much time to actually get some practice in. Lucky for me, Ernest needed a sub a couple weeks back so I got my first three certified games in since 2009. I believe I had 567 that night and was high on my team. Not bad for new shoes and new balls drilled that day.
Next up on the bowling docket was Baton Rouge. We took advantage of the team practice lanes upstairs in the River Center. For all of you that have not made it there yet I highly recommend it. Well worth the investment. Your team gets one hour of practice time on the actual condition. It gives you a better sense of what to expect.
After the team practice it was apparent I needed more surface on my stuff and was going to be the guy playing right to give all the others room to miss right. So before we bowled team I scuffed my pin down, hole down Defiant with 1000 Abralon by hand to increase the surface texture. I originally had it at 1000 Abralon off the spinner and it was too smooth. I also scuffed my stacked leverage Critical Theory with 2000 Abralon by hand to have something to go to in case the Defiant started to get too early. As it ended up, I didn’t need anything but the Defiant.
As we started our 10 minute warm up for team I knew I needed to keep right to give all the others miss room since I was using the charcoal. Wow, was I surprised when I tossed some shots up first arrow and they rolled up high flush. That was all I needed to see. Game one I missed one spare and was high on the pair with 203. In game two, I moved my feet a total of three boards left and still played first arrow. Two opens for 199, one of which was the tenth. Game three the lane tightened up a bit and I got into a timing funk and bowled 160 with three opens. It took me six frames to realize I needed to move my feet back to where I started.
Before I go on, remember that if you are lucky enough to get the 11:30PM squad be sure to have an extra source of energy; I don’t care how prepared or how good of bowling shape you think you are in. It is tough to get your body and mind right to bowl when you are used to relaxing by that time of day. Also going for my partner Ernest Goedicke and I was that we got to bowl on 1 & 2 for doubles and we were the only ones. The pair was still fresh as it was not used in team the squad before. Game one was great. I had 217 with two opens and Ern had 255 for a 472 start. We were off and running. Then that word “transition” snuck up and bit us both. With only having two of us on the pair, the oil started moving everywhere. By the end of game two, I had moved five boards left with my feet, changed to the Critical Theory and then proceeded to move back right of where I started to muster up a sweet 151. While my man Ern moved left, changed balls, changed again, moved right, changed again, and scored a smooth 152. Let’s just say 303 after a 472 start was definitely not what we had in mind, but it is what it is. Game three the lanes calmed back down and we both got it back together. I stuck with the Critical Theory and got back to where I started the squad and had one open for 197. Eight opens gave me 565 and I was still pleased. I mean at this point I was happy to still be awake.
We made the flip over to 3 & 4 for singles and they were a lot different for me. Factor in there were two teams earlier and then the two doubles teams prior to our arrival. It was an adventure to say the least. After moving left and right, forward and backward, I eventually ended up using the 1000-grit Defiant playing them exactly how I started the team event. Games of 182, 184, and 182 gave me 548. Finally at 2:00AM we were done, I was not injured, and there were no reported fatalities. I have to say that it was definitely an accomplishment. With a total of 21 opens, I put together 1675. Not bad for being far from repetitive.
Here is my take on nationals: if you throw it hard and straight like me, be sure you have strong balls with enough surface so you can play first arrow. I am living proof that it can be done. Also be sure to freshen the covers before you bowl your singles and doubles; you want to eat that oil up for both yourself and those bowling with you.
If you have a higher rev rate, I suggest keeping your hand more up the back of the ball from in. As always, your team has to work together. Whether it is surface from the out to give yourselves miss room right or it’s using plastic up about 18 during practice to create a shim, pick your poison and execute. If you really get a hand full, you can’t be scared to make the big move in and use angle on the lane to create hold. The pattern is 39 feet long but it plays shorter from in due to it being so flat. Like I have told plenty of others, if the PBA guys bowled on it there would be plenty of big scores. The key, just like every year at nationals is that you have to break them down correctly to give yourself a chance.
As far as ball choices I would recommend the following: Vivid, Modern Marvel, Marvel Pearl, Crossroad, Frantic, and Tropical Heat Solid.
With that I wish all of you, “Good Luck and Good Bowling!”