LET’S BEGIN THE 2021-22 season by mentioning some news and highlights from the Mercer County Bowling Association annual meeting held on May 24th.
After the opening of the meeting, the national and local tournaments were discussed. The only state tournament that is not finished is the senior tournament which will be held in Williamsport in October and November.
County tournaments are tentatively scheduled as follows: The Open County tournament is scheduled for the last weekend of February and the 1st weekend of March 2022 at the Celebrity Bowl. The senior tournament is scheduled at Thornton Hall on the weekend of March 12, 2022, pending approval from the new owners.
The last major news concerns the election of officers. The following people were elected: President: Bobby Johnson, 1st VP: Burton Stiles, 2nd VP: Lisa Brajkovich. The following people were elected to the Board of Directors: Jamie Altman, Jeff Bragg, Alan Carpec, Beth McCracken Griffin, Brenda Scrivens and Jim Scrivens.
• It’s the start of the new bowling season, and I hope we can get through it without a break from COVID or other things. Here are some tips you should consider before you throw that first ball.
If you haven’t bowled in the summer, you should get out there and practice. However, take your time and don’t tire yourself out on your first few strokes. Your muscles must adapt to the new activity. You don’t want to pull on a muscle or have some type of early injury that could keep you from bowling for a full year.
You should also consider cleaning your bowling case. Get rid of all the items you collected in the previous bowling season (standing leaves, banquet notices, etc.). Wash your towel or buy a new one.
Check your gear and start with your shoes. Clean the stockings and consider new laces. If your shoes are worn out, you may want to think about buying a new pair. If you’ve significantly improved your average and are considering a more competitive league, you may want to consider a pair that allows you to change the soles and slip heels depending on the condition of the approaches.
Restock all your accessories (tape, ball cleaner, that is). Today’s high-tech equipment tends to absorb oil. If you don’t use a ball cleaner, buy one. It comes in the form of sprays or wipes.
Changes in your physical situation from the previous year should be taken into consideration and some of them may result in your ball re-piercing. Remember that as we get older we tend to lose flexibility.
If you are or are approaching the senior age group, it is a good idea to ask your pro-shop owner to assess your grip. You may need to shorten your wingspan or change your height to compensate for any physical differences that might have occurred.
Young bowlers should also be aware of the changes. They experience growth spurts and increased strength. This usually leads to an increase in your wingspan and the potential to use heavier equipment.
Age can also play a role in strength. Most of us lose strength as we age. If you find yourself struggling with a ball that you feel is too heavy, feel free to drop your ball weight. Tests have shown that with today’s high-tech equipment, the power loss is almost minimal.
You may have had surgery that may have affected your strength (rotator cuff, hip replacement, knee replacement). If this has happened, a few workouts are a must.
It’s also a good idea to check your thumb and finger grips. No matter the brand or type, they all wear out. There are usually three indicators that tell you when it’s time to change your grip: a loss of lift and power, a feeling of sagging in the thumb or finger holes, and a lack of grip (fingers) when pulling. release of the ball.
The last area we will discuss is resurfacing your ball. We are well aware that the surface is one of the major factors in the way the ball reacts with the track. This is why it is important to clean your equipment after each session.
However, this is not enough. Dirt, track conditioner, and oil will enter the pores of modern equipment and will affect a ball’s performance. Normal wear and tear on the ball also worsens the problem.
All bowling balls pick up nicks and scratches. This is normal and is usually not a primary cause for concern. However, any damage to the track area must be addressed
We all know the track surface is the worn-out part surrounding your ball that is the result of routine contact between the track surface and the ball. As we continue to use our equipment, typical track wear will progress to the point where your ball may be ineffective. When that happens, it might be time to resurface your ball.
There are two methods that can be used: hand sanding the bale in a high speed centrifuge or one of the high tech bullet resurfacing machines. Both methods are usually done by a professional store owner. Obviously, the latter method is preferred because it eliminates the excessive sanding that leads to a flat spot on the bale.
To each of you, wishing you a great season.
GABE D’ANGELO is a member of the Mercer County Bowling Hall of Fame and the Professional Bowlers Writers Association who writes this weekly column for The Herald.