2017-18 Westgate house shot

Rob Lawson has released this season’s house shot at Westgate, which I present below:

2017 Westgate house shot

It is a longish pattern with a fairly light volume, so I’ll have to update my BowlSK leagues. With a 7.5:1 ratio, it should be a fair shot.

 

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Strike F/X Pro Shops to open at Westgate

I’ve been sitting on other Westgate transition news, but I got the go-ahead to post this: Jon Van Hees has informed me that they hope to have a “soft” opening of a new Strike F/X Pro Shops location here by this weekend, with a grand opening of sorts coming next week. Many of Westgate’s good bowlers have already been using Strike F/X at other locations, so a Westgate location seems natural for them.

Jon and Alex Aguiar will be around at times, but it will mostly be Kevin Thibeault, who had been working at USA Pro Shop for Ray DiSanto, present at the Westgate location. I will certainly miss Ray, but I’m looking forward to the new shop.

Administrivia for the post is the addition of the link to the Strike F/X website to the sidebar, in the “Local/New England” list, but please be aware that each location also has its own Facebook page, and I will “Like” the Brockton page as the blog’s page.

Westgate Lanes sold to Patel family

As reported by the Enterprise, a sale of Westgate Lanes to Patel Westgate Realty was executed last Monday for a reported $3.3M. The Patel family owns several bowling centers in New York state, with their flagship location in Kingston.

Fran Kaiser has been appointed as Westgate’s new general manager, and, in a meeting I was able to sit in on, she stressed that league and tournament bowling will continue to be important to their business model, and they also hope to build up the junior program as part of that effort. One other thing related to this I can pass along is that the Patels hosted a PBA regional event at their Kingston location this summer, and they hope to bring one to Westgate in the future.

I’d like to formally welcome the Patels and Ms. Kaiser to Westgate Lanes, and I look forward to working with you.

10th anniversary post

It all started on a lark.

Ten years ago today, my brother offered to take me bowling, which I’d only done once in the previous seven years coming off of heel fractures. I took my brother up on the offer, however, and, while I wasn’t having much success knocking down pins, I at least found I was able to get the ball down the lane better than the previous time. It planted a seed that I could come back, and I started working on getting my bowling legs back, hopeful that I could become a league bowler again. A summer league came the following year, and, since then, all of my highs pre-injury had been bested, and I have been a league bowler continuously longer in my second bowling life than when I was originally one.

At the time, I’d been a computer user for more than ten years, and had had personal websites before, but I’d wanted an efficient way to keep my chat friends updated on my bowling progress. Some of my friends had blogs about their hobbies, so one of my own seemed to be the answer, and I started this one four days after my bowling outing. I was starting to see the possibilities, one of which was being able to link different bowling sites in the sidebar, so the concept of a bowling portal as part of the blog was the fruit, later adding the RSS feeds for national and international bowling news sites in order to stay connected to the latest bowling news. My Westgate Lanes home was not forgotten, and I found that I was able to convey the Westgate tournament schedule in the sidebar, as well. However, back to the bowling portal concept, it was noted by the founder of BowlingSeriously.com, who linked the blog on her site for the benefit of getting new bowlers started, which was really the point of it. If this has helped even one new bowler, it’s been a success.

Another thing I noted was that the local newspaper was no longer running a bowling column, so, seeing an opportunity to give something back to bowling for getting a second chance in the sport, I started posting local bowling news, and my regular readers know the result. It led to me offering to start a Facebook page for the Brockton Bowling Association in an effort to become involved on a larger scale. The late Bob Young, seeing my potential, recruited me for the board, and I’ve been able to help out at association events since, including the state tournament at Westgate two years ago. As a side note to this, I recently gave the blog its own Facebook page, which, in the last year, I’ve also been using to share bowling news in the larger New England region.

I didn’t want to write this post without noting how harmoniously my bowling and computing interests have merged, and I’ve told more than one person that I love being a bowler in the information age. Part of that also was becoming a user of bowling software, starting with Perfect Secretary when I offered to become the secretary of the online league on the BowlingCommunity forums. When the opportunity presented itself, I started using bracket software, first for association events, and, eventually, the Coke league. I need to mention, as well, that my media involvement also included becoming an amateur digital photographer and videographer, which has come into play both for this blog and on Facebook.

It is a happy coincidence that my half-sister came into my life at this time five years ago, and even that has had an impact on my bowling life, as her daughter is a Special Olympics bowler, and I’ve been able to cheer her on since Westgate Lanes started hosting the qualifier for the state games.

Looking ahead, my bowling world is in a state of transition right now, but hopefully to something good, and it is my hope that I’ll be able to continue to serve bowling in the area for at least another 10 years.

Finally, I want to thank everyone who’s been part of my bowling life, both in my real life and online. Knowing all of you has made my decision to make a comeback worth it. 🙂

NEBA announces 54 members of inaugural Hall of Fame class

As detailed in the video above, 54 bowlers covering 54 years of NEBA’s history will comprise the inaugural induction class of its Hall of Fame. 49 will be recognized for bowling achievement and five for meritorious service, and, rather than go through the entire list, I will note that Brockton Bowling Association Hall of Famers Tony Attardo, Fred Delfino, John Ellis, and Ed Roberts, along with Coke league bowler Steve Dale Jr., are in the class, with all but Delfino being inducted for bowling achievement (Delfino is being inducted for meritorious service).

The induction dinner will take place on Aug. 26 in Glastonbury, CT, in conjunction with the $50 tournament at Hall of Fame Silver Lanes.

My 2016-17 season in review

This post has been the “by the numbers” post in the past, but I decided call it “season in review” last year after bowling a second league for the first time. I definitely improved in both leagues year-to-year, so I’ll use the BowlSK reports to see if there are any trends. First, comparing my Brunswick Mixed first-ball stats (last season’s numbers before the pipe):

Strike percentage: 30.7% | 36.4%
Pocket shots: 58.0% | 65%
Carry percentage: 48.4% (317/655) | 52.2% (378/724)
Double rate: 30.2% (101/334) | 36.1% (139/385)
Average first-ball count: 8.5 | 8.7
Average first-ball non-strike count: 7.9 | 8.0

I’m not sure if my improvement is better shot-making or just matching up to the house shot better, but it’s clear that I got the pocket more often, and my carry was better, as well.

Now the Brunswick Mixed spare-related numbers:

Overall spare percentage: 59.1% (443/750) | 57.6 (389/675)
Single-pin spare percentage: 74.8 (208/278) | 66.7% (204/306)
Multi-pin spare percentage: 58.8% (221/376) | 60.3% (170/282)
Makeable (non-split) percentage: 65.6% (429/654) | 63.6% (374/588)
Split conversion percentage: 14.6% (14/96) | 17.2% (15/87)
Washout conversion percentage: 26.1% (12/46) | 29.4% (10/34)
Percentage on single 10 pin: 69.8% (74/106) | 59.5% (72/121)
Percentage on single 7 pin: 72.7% (32/44) | 56.9% (41/72)

Weirdly, my single-pin numbers went down, while my multi-pin numbers went up. The weakness on single-pins is reflected in the makeable rate, as well.

Now, my Sunday Niters numbers:

Strike percentage: 29.0% | 37.9%
Pocket shots: 58.5% | 69.8%
Carry percentage: 45.3% (239/528) | 51.4% (348/677)
Double rate: 31.6% (79/250) | 36.4% (127/349)
Average first-ball count: 8.5 | 8.8
Average first-ball non-strike count: 7.9 | 8.1

Overall spare percentage: 54.5% (335/615) | 57.4% (331/577)
Single-pin spare percentage: 68.1% (177/260) | 67% (203/303)
Multi-pin spare percentage: 53.8% (147/273) | 57.4% (117/204)
Makeable (non-split) percentage: 60.8% (324/533) | 63.1 (320/507)
Split conversion percentage: 13.4% (11/82) | 15.7% (11/70)
Washout conversion percentage: 12.1% (4/33) | 19% (4/21)
Percentage on single 10 pin: 54.7% (58/106) | 50.4% (69/137)
Percentage on single 7 pin: 70.4% (38/54) | 71.2% (47/66)

Roughly the same trend, though I actually improved on my 7 pin year-to-year. My first-ball numbers were also higher on Sunday night than Wednesday night. Clearly, however, buckling down on my single pins should be the best way to improve next season.

David Umbrello elected to Mass. state USBC Hall of Fame

A source on the state board reported to me that David Umbrello, a bowler currently out of AMF Auburn Lanes, was recently elected to the Mass. state association Hall of Fame. Umbrello, who came out of the Boston Youth League organization, has since been a dedicated Worcester County bowler, having co-owned Bowler’s Edge Pro Shop at AMF Town & Country Lanes in Shrewsbury, and has several tournament titles, including a state tournament doubles title in 2013 and all-events and doubles titles in the Lilac City Tournament in 1994. David also held the house record (869) at Gardner Ten Pin for 10 years and has over 60 300 games and 35 800 series. He had also been involved with the Gardner youth program, also having started the high school bowling program there.

David will be inducted during the opening ceremony of the state tournament next month in Gardner.

Mar. 1 Brunswick Mixed recap

My Week 26 bowling, frame-by-frame (Linked to BowlSK sheet)

I was thinking “here we go again” after two games, but it was a better night than Sunday night, because the potential triplicate was 169. The double 9th & 10th in the third game, however, made sure I actually improved in the third game.

Result: 169-169-177=515
Average (75 games): 173
Average for last 9 games: 180
Next week’s AVG+1 score: 556

Composite average (138 games): 174

Team won four forfeit points, with Si having a strong night.

Wanting to do more for the association board, and noting that announcements weren’t really being made about our events on Wednesday night, I made my debut on the Westgate PA system tonight with an announcement about Sunday’s BBA Madness tournament. I wasn’t sure how I’d sound, but the feedback I got from the bowlers was encouraging, so I’ll likely be making the announcements for the association on Wednesday nights going forward.

Tina Gannon, Harry Thibeault Jr. elected to Brockton USBC BA Hall of Fame

As announced in the Facebook post above, the Brockton Bowling Association elected Tina Gannon and Harry Thibeault Jr. this week to its Hall of Fame. Tina, the second woman elected and first for Bowling Achievement, is a past association tournament champion and a many-time state women’s tournament champion, along with being a TNBA national tournament champion and holding other regional titles. Harry has also been an association tournament champion along with being Bowler of the Year champion in 2001 and a Southeastern Mass. association singles champion.

The association hopes to announce plans for the induction dinner in the near future.

Dec. 10 pro shop note

When Ray took over the pro shop at Westgate, the shop came with a vending machine, which had been used to sell various bowling accessories (thumb tape, Nu-Skin, rosin bags, etc.), and he didn’t think he’d ever use it and gave it back to Junior for his use. Junior already had a vending machine for candy, however, so the machine fell into disuse until Ray had a change of heart and decided to take the machine back. He and Kevin were setting it up today where the bulk of the vending machines are located (near the desk) while the NAT scratch mini-marathon was going on and it is now operational to serve the bowlers’ minor needs while the shop is closed or otherwise busy. I’ve included a photo of it below, which will also be uploaded to the Facebook page:

pro-shop-vending-machine

The pro shop’s “new” vending machine (sorry about the photo quality)

Note: The machine is unable to make change and only accepts bills, so make sure you check the prices of the items you want and get the exact amount.

Goodbye Tina Gannon

As the post from the Westgate Lanes Facebook page indicates, the Coke league last night said goodbye to Tina Gannon, long the league’s best female bowler, who is moving away from New England. I said goodbye to her in person, but wanted it on the record here that I’ll definitely miss reporting on her bowling exploits. It should be said that a bowling e-buddy runs a pro shop not far from where she is moving to, and I hope I got her connected with him. 🙂

Westgate to run sport shot pot game Tuesday nights

As the Facebook post below indicates, a sport shot pot game will be run at Westgate Lanes on Tuesday nights in lieu of the Sportsmen league for the near future. The pattern will be Kegel Taj Mahal for the next four weeks.

2016-17 Westgate house shot

Rob Lawson has released to me the Westgate Lanes house shot for this season, the PDF of which is linked below:

Westgate 2016 House Shot

It is a 45′ pattern at an 8:1 ratio, and, as you can see from the PDF, there is quite a bit of shape to it.

I do hope to get a copy of the shot to the pro shop before Wednesday, but that might depend a lot on the weather.

Update: On a second look at the pattern, I thought it looked familiar, and, checking my post with it, it did look similar to the shot of two years ago, which we’ve affectionately dubbed the “Hakim” shot (because of the 900 series on it). It is the same length, with a little less volume, and with the middle oil ending earlier downlane. The ratio is lower, so we’ll see if this shot plays a bit tougher than two years ago.

Dan Hamilton passes at age 59

I need to pass along my condolences to the Hamilton family at this time, as Dan Hamilton, brother of Brockton Bowling Association Hall of Famer Bob Hamilton, has been reported to have passed away at age 59. This is open to correction, but association president Rob Young told me that Dan had once held the Westgate Lanes house record in the 1970s with an 818 series.

9th anniversary post

I tend to post on the anniversary of my return to bowling (meaning the outing with my brother that sparked my return to league bowling), but I don’t have that much to say on the occasion this year. The thing I did want to mention is that I made more of a commitment to reporting local bowling news to those outside the area, mostly taking the form of a partnership with NEBA to post their tournament results, as they post on Facebook, to the IBMA’s group, which began with the March tournament at Westgate Lanes. I do see myself expanding my involvement with the other local tournaments (most notably the Bay State Open) in the coming year.

I usually thank my readers (the bowlers) at this time, as this blog probably wouldn’t still exist without having bowling news to report. 🙂

Vicki Prevost elected to IBMA Board of Directors

International Bowling Media Association Operations Manager Jackie Wyckoff announced in the organization’s Facebook group that legendary New England bowling writer Vicki Prevost, whose “Pin Tales” column has been running in the New Bedford Standard-Times for over three decades, has been elected to a two-year term on the Board of Directors. Along with former Enterprise bowling columnist Dick Roche, Vicki is someone whom I’ve respected in the local bowling media, and would like to congratulate her on her election.

As administrivia, a link in the “Local/New England” sidebar list to the sports section of the South Coast Today website, where Vicki’s column appears online, will be added. Really long overdue. 🙂

2015-16 brackets recap

I’ll start this post by recapping what happened with the brackets I enter on Wednesday night, and, as my results worksheet shows, I had a bad year, losing more than half of my money. Out of the 32 weeks we have brackets, I got money back after only 12 of those, always a recipe for taking a bath in these.

Of course, there are also the brackets I run on Monday night, and, as I told Seany in person, I’ll consider the year in that a success. Nightly commissions might have been down this year, but I was there every night during the Coke league season. Last year, I had to miss two nights, one because I had the flu, and the other the Monday night after the last weekend of state tournament, when my laptop was in the shop. The other thing was that I was able to start a mystery doubles sweeper for the last third, and the bowlers seemed to like that. I’m really hoping for more of the same next season. 🙂

My 2015-16 season in review

This post has been my usual season-end “by the numbers” post, but I decided to “rebrand” it “season in review”, as I was bowling two leagues last season for the first time. The bulk of it will be the usual, but I’ll also post my Sunday Niters numbers at the end of it to determine differences between my two leagues. First, as always, comparing my Brunswick Mixed first-ball stats (last season’s numbers before the pipe):

Strike percentage: 32.3% | 30.7%
Pocket shots: 64.0% | 58.0%
Carry percentage: 46.9% (322/686) | 48.4% (317/655)
Double rate: 32.0% (106/331) | 30.2% (101/334)
Average first-ball count: 8.6 | 8.5
Average first-ball non-strike count: 7.9 | 7.9

I was definitely hitting the pocket less, which may be the function of a declining physical game. It’s hard for me to find practice time with some of my other obligations, but I do need to practice more to become more consistent. Second ball now:

Overall spare percentage: 55.7% (384/690) | 59.1% (443/750)
Single-pin spare percentage: 67.6% (188/278) | 74.8 (208/278)
Multi-pin spare percentage: 60.3% (185/307) | 58.8% (221/376)
Makeable (non-split) percentage: 63.8% (373/585) | 65.6% (429/654)
Split conversion percentage: 10.5% (11/105) | 14.6% (14/96)
Washout conversion percentage: 28.6% (10/35) | 26.1% (12/46)
Percentage on single 10 pin: 60.6% (63/104) | 69.8% (74/106)
Percentage on single 7 pin: 61.2% (41/67) | 72.7% (32/44)

My spare game was what showed the most improvement year-to-year, particularly picking up my corner pins. This was probably the biggest part of my average improving by a pin over last year.

Now, my Sunday Niters numbers:

Strike percentage: 29.0%
Pocket shots: 58.5%
Carry percentage: 45.3% (239/528)
Double rate: 31.6% (79/250)
Average first-ball count: 8.5
Average first-ball non-strike count: 7.9

Overall spare percentage: 54.5% (335/615)
Single-pin spare percentage: 68.1% (177/260)
Multi-pin spare percentage: 53.8% (147/273)
Makeable (non-split) percentage: 60.8% (324/533)
Split conversion percentage: 13.4% (11/82)
Washout conversion percentage: 12.1% (4/33)
Percentage on single 10 pin: 54.7% (58/106)
Percentage on single 7 pin: 70.4% (38/54)

Most of these numbers are lower than the ones in my other league, and I don’t know if the different lane conditions (we are sometimes bowling after tournaments) or the quicker pace of bowling (three on a team rather than five) affects that more. My double rate was slightly higher, but not high enough for my average to at least be the same as in my Wednesday night league.

May 4 notes

Just a couple of summer bowling notes:

  • Westgate Lanes will run a Tuesday night Scotch doubles league, which will be four games per night, two of regular doubles and two of Scotch doubles (two bowlers alternating shots, meaning if you don’t get a strike, your partner has to try the spare). The league will start May 17, cost $20/week, and will not be sanctioned (USBC playing rules will be used, however.) Bowlers interested may contact John Hayes Jr., who will serve as league president.
  • Westgate Lanes will again participate in the “Kids Bowl Free” summer program. Interested parents can visit the “Kids Bowl Free” website for details and to register children.

2016 Stonehill vs. Curry results

Stonehill coach Ray Fischer and Curry player/coach Stephen Major gave me a combined report on their match Saturday. The first part was a combined singles and doubles competition, followed by ten Baker (five bowlers bowling two frames each for one complete game) team games. In the first portion, Pete Krahe of Stonehill won singles and also combined with Pat Burke of Stonehill to win doubles. In the team portion, Stonehill won seven of the 10 games, but only won total by 82 pins, so Curry fought hard in that part of the competition.

Congrats to both programs on their efforts. 🙂

Stonehill, Curry to hold inaugural match Apr. 16 at Westgate

In what is possibly a first between two collegiate teams from Massachusetts, Stonehill College, coached by Ray Fischer, will bowl against Curry College’s first-year bowling program, for which Stephen Major bowls and will also serve as coach, on April 16 at Westgate Lanes. I wish both programs the best. 🙂

A new trick

Wanting to have more options for brackets available, particularly for things like the Brockton Bowling Association’s Bowler of the Year tournament, I recently splurged for Treasure Software’s Perfect Brackets, which I had seen has options for two-game brackets (needing two-gamers for the above-mentioned event), but other options opened up for the Coke league.

My original thought was a “super bracket”, which would have had 27 slots for three rounds (and needing to beat two bowlers instead of just one to advance), but having mentioned that some sweepers could be run with Perfect Brackets, and describing the sweeper options, I was told the Coke league used to run a mystery doubles, where a bowler enters and is drawn a doubles partner at random from among the other entrants. In the lead-up to last night, as I wanted to do the new events at the start of the third, some bowlers liked both options, but not really enough of them said they were interested in the 27-slot bracket, so I announced a mystery doubles sweeper that started last night.

At first, I thought I’d be able to run a sweeper that allowed bowlers to enter multiple times, but, seeing when I set the sweeper up over the weekend that the multiple entries option wasn’t available for a blind draw sweeper, I went with my original plan of a $10 sweeper paying 1 in 5 teams. When I started it last night, I thought the payout option of “1 in X” would automatically pay the correct number of teams, but soon realized that it might have meant “pay 1 in X bowlers”, which would have been wrong. I had 22 bowlers, enough for 11 teams, so I had to use the other payout option, telling it to specifically pay three places. To get the payouts in even dollars, I kicked back a small amount of money into the prize fund, as well. The final payout was $100 for the winning team, $60 for second, and $40 for third.

Another thing I like about Perfect Brackets is that, like Perfect Secretary, which I use to run the virtual league, reports can be saved to a choice of formats (notably PDF files and PNG images), so I remembered to get a PNG image of the final sweeper standings, which I present below:

First mystery doubles_page1

Linwood Cowen Jr. entered both brackets and the sweeper and had a great night compared to his average, so it was no surprise he did well in both. I actually found the standings report later in the night, so it might have been possible to let everyone in the sweeper know who they’re paired with that night, and I’ll be getting feedback on how everyone wants me to run it.

All-in-all, I’d have to say the first mystery doubles sweeper was a success, and it will probably become a staple of the Coke league’s side action as long as I’m running it.

Jan. 21 youth association note

I learned yesterday that Westgate Lanes youth coach Tony Attardo, who is a member of the Brockton Bowling Association Hall of Fame, has recently obtained his Bronze-level coaching certification from the USBC. I’d like to wish Tony well in the use of his newly-earned certification. 🙂

Sean Richard elected to Brockton BA Hall of Fame

Sean Richard, a seven-time Brockton Bowling Association and two-time Massachusetts state tournament champion, as well as a winner of many other local tournaments and current holder of the record average at Westgate Lanes, has been elected by the Brockton Bowling Association to its Hall of Fame, as posted on its Facebook page. Details on his induction dinner will be announced by the association at a later date.

Congrats Seany! 🙂

2016 BBIS Marathon results

The results of today’s third annual BBIS Marathon (scores are +/- 2,000 after handicap added):

  1. Rich Brignolo +249
  2. Al Donato +234
  3. Robert Sims +215
  4. Yat Voong +185
  5. Dennis Johnson +142
  6. John Hayes Jr. +99
  7. Louis Lam +85

There were 20 entries.

I acquired a copy of T-Brac fairly recently, and, while I’ve had issues with it for running brackets in the Coke league, it really made my life easier helping run this tournament, particularly because we ran sidepots, too, and scores only had to be entered once for both the tournament and sidepots without having to resort to anything like a second worksheet in Excel, which was how it was done before, and scores were sorted automatically, as well.

As a final note, some of the bowlers had suggestions on how we can improve things for next year, and we’re seriously considering them.

Thank you to everyone who participated today.

Wamesit Lanes set to open in Tewksbury

Brunswick Zone Lowell will probably remain the primary destination for league and tournament bowling in the Merrimack Valley area, but, soon, bowlers there will have an alternative, with Wamesit Lanes in Tewksbury announcing on their Facebook page that they’re nearing a grand opening, possibly by the end of October. Their website informs site viewers that there will be 28 lanes of bowling, with a mix of tenpin and candlepin, available, along with other forms of entertainment, including an HD golf simulator. Another section of the site includes a sign-up form for leagues, so perhaps some smaller tenpin leagues will be available at this new center.

Good luck, guys! 🙂

Sept. 26 Raise the Roof

I decided to grace the Cabrals’ Raise the Roof fundraiser with my presence again, and my day turned out to be better than last time, shooting a 636 no-tap with a 252 third game. I also spent most of my time on the bench encouraging Paul Felci, who was in the 700s with a game that it looked like he would have a no-tap 300 game with natural strikes on one lane and no-tap strikes on the other, but I think a split derailed that.

Raise the Roof No-Tap set for Sept. 26

Cindy Cabral’s next Raise the Roof No-Tap tournament for the Lively Stones Christian Center will take place next Saturday (Sept. 26). Cost is $20 for adults and $10 for children, with $3 shoe rental, if needed. Please contact Cindy for more details.

2015 Westgate Lanes house shot

Rob Lawson, the laneman at Westgate Lanes, finally felt confident enough in the house shot he has out now to release it to me, and I’ve attached the PDF. Ray will also have a copy in the pro shop when I get it to him tomorrow night.