A TOURNAMENT is an event that you will be competing in against other bowlers. If you have been bowling for awhile now and are getting pretty good, you may feel confident enough to compete in an Amateur Bowling Tournament. There are several types out there to meet your needs. There are HANDICAP tournaments where you will be given extra pins according to your league average, and if you are a more experienced bowler, you may want to go into a SCRATCH Tournament where no handicap is given out. These tournaments are for individuals or for an entire team.
Many bowling centers around the country hold these types of tournaments over the course of the year. They usually post notices in the center and you can also ask people in your league about them. In most of these amateur tournaments you will be bowling three games on 2 lanes like in the leagues. Below I have listed a few of these tournaments they may hold at your local center which may be held on week ends, once a month, or even more often depending on how many people have been signing up for them:
1. SCOTCH DOUBLES:
This is a handicap tournament where you and a team mate or significant other can bowl together as a 2 man team. One of you bowls first and the other will pick up the spare. If the first bowler gets a strike, then the other bowler would go first in the next frame and you just keep alternating like that. The place where I bowl usually holds a fun tournament like this for Valentines Day or St. Patricks Day. You just pay the required fee and prize money will be given out for first, second, and third highest Series. If there should be a big turnout, they may give out prize money for fourth and fifth place as well.
This is when a nine pin count will be the same as getting a strike. So if you get nine pins down on your first ball, the automatic score keeper will give you a strike instead and the machine will knock down the one pin that was left and just re-set the pins. There is no need to pick up the spare! If you get an eight count or less on your first ball, then you will need to pick up the spare. I always did great in this tournament because I used to get robbed a lot. If you get a lot of nine pin counts on your first ball, this may be a great tournament for you to try.
3. LOCAL ASSOCIATION CHAMPIONSHIP:
This is where the United Stated Bowling Congress (USBC) local associations throughout the US, host a championship tournament each season to find out who the best bowlers are in each area. This is a usually a large handicapped tournament so bowlers of all abilities are able to compete.
4. USBC WOMENS CHAMPIONSHIP/USBC OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP:
Only those who are USBC members can compete in this one, but if you are in a sanctioned league and paid this fee at the beginning of your league, then you will be eligible to compete in this tournament. It is a very large event and held each season. Bowlers are placed in different divisions based on their skill level, and more difficult oil patterns will be put down on the lanes, not the usual ones you are used to from the league bowling. I'll be discussing different oil patterns in the near future, so keep a look out for them so you'll be prepared!!
There are many other tournaments you can sign up for around the country. Just type in "Bowling Tournaments" online and put in the state where you reside. Then you can scan around to get further details about the date, time, entry fee, and prize money, etc.
Before a tournament, make sure your ball/s and towel are clean and that you have everything you need. Practice a few days before and just do your best to stay calm, focused, and confident. If you don't do well, don't fret. As you keep competing in them you will become more and more confident and start to do a lot better. It's like anything else you do for the first time. When you are unsure, you may get a bit nervous but don't let that stop you! We need to step outside of our comfort zones once in awhile in order to grow and improve.
Please try competing in one of these bowling tournaments, especially if you never have before. It's very exciting and good experience for you as you are improving.You'll meet other people with the same interest and maybe make a few friends along the way. If you're very competitive, you can rack up lots of extra cash as well. So go out and sign yourself up for something now or down the road soon! You may get hooked and win more often than you think. With this economy, who couldn't use some extra cash?
Join me back here next week when I'll be talking about "Bowling Ball Maintenance".
Good Luck and High Scoring!!
Because we are only Human, we can and will get DISTRACTED by many things while bowling. Being distracted takes away our focus which in turn will lead to poor execution, poor ball delivery, and poor scores! Let's say you had a bad day at work or you have something important on your mind. This can be a huge distraction and certainly will take your mind off your bowling game.
Then there are those of us who are lucky enough to have bowlers on our team that are smokers and need to go out to have a cigarette. Then we have to wait for them to come back to bowl while the opposing team is giving us looks as if to say "Where is your other bowler, he/she is holding up the rest of us". Then you slip on your shoe covers to go and locate your team mate because you feel bad.
There are also rude bowlers next to you on the next pair of lanes who think they should go before you even though you were already set up on the lane to bowl, or maybe a team mate or opposing team member shows up late, but just in enough time and is able to bowl the current game. Then all of us have to stop bowling to let them catch up.
What if you are bowling with someone who is very close to you in average and you are worried that you might not bowl up to par or that they may bowl really well and get ahead of you.
It takes a tremendous amount of SELF-DICIPLINE to BLOCK OUT all of the distractions and it takes some time to master, especially if you are new to the game. In reality, most of us do let the little things get to us. The best possible advice I can give you is to just TRY your best to NOT let these things distract you. If you have an issue on your mind for example, the problem will still be there even after you are done bowling, so why not just try to stay focused on your three games since you are only at the center for a few hours. If you do bowl well, you may have a different perspective on the issue and may approach it more positively after the bowling is finished.
Also BE AWARE of things. Here are some examples:
If the opposing team says their team member will be a little late, just be prepared to have your rhythm thrown off a bit but say to yourself " I am going to make sure I am counting my steps so I can keep my good rhythm up".
If you are already set up on the lane and someone comes up to bowl on the next lane because they are unaware of the bowling etiquette, don't get angry. Just discipline yourself to step back and set yourself up again after that person is done bowling their total frame so it won't happen again. Afterwards you can politely inform them of the etiquette and that the bowler to the right has the right of way, unless there's a person already set up to bowl.
Let's say you have 4 or 5 consecutive strikes and the guy on the other team says loudly "Hey why don't you take a break and cool off"? This should NEVER happen, but if it does, try not to get upset. That's exactly what that guy wants.He would love it if you stopped striking. Just ignore that wise guy and just stay focused and keep that string going!!
Perhaps you have a chatty team mate that is constantly talking about his/her job or family and you had a few bad frames.? Just walk away as if you are going to the restroom or getting a snack and sit somewhere quiet to get focused back on your game and what you may be doing wrong.
Remember Bowling is a 90% mind game. The less likely you are to be distracted, the better you are going to bowl! I know it's easier said than done, but keep your guard up. You are only at the lanes for a few hours a week. Try and keep the problems out of your mind for that short amount of time.The times I stayed focused and bowled really well, I noticed that the rest of my week went well too. Problems may still be there after you finished bowling well, but I'd rather have a good round of bowling and worry after I'm done, rather than worrying and having a lousy three games to deal with too, and perhaps some angry team mates for not hitting my average!
Please join me next week when I'll be discussing "What is an amateur Bowling Tournament"?
Good Luck and High Scoring!!
This Blog Post is a continuation from Part 1 on 12/6/21:
Previously I mentioned that Bowling is only 10% physical and 90% mental. The physical part comes with many years of practice, several lessons, and lots of experience in leagues and tournaments. When I took some lessons, the topic of pressure was never brought up and it should have been. Maybe because it's a bit complicated and everyone has a different way of approaching it and adjusting to it. Below I have listed a few ways for you to deal with feeling pressure when a big tournament is coming up or just bowling in your league and trying to make a crucial strike or spare for an important win.
**** POSITIVE ATTITUDE:
Everyone that wants to achieve a high level of performance in Bowling needs to have a positive attitude and a positive Self-Talk before each bowling session. For example, instead of remembering all the splits you had last week, just shake them off and say to yourself "I have practiced and I am prepared to bowl well for myself and my team today". Doing this over and over again will increase positive thoughts and keep the harmful ones out of your mind! Setting GOALS will help you stay focused on what you want to accomplish. When you can concentrate on your "pre-game routine" I mentioned in Part 1 (repeating knowing, and feeling the moves), negative thoughts and emotions will be released and the positive thoughts and emotions will come through.
A bowler needs to release unwanted tension in the muscles that can be caused by pre-game anxiety or just from a busy, hectic week at work. Make sure you do various stretches before the lanes come on for practice. Breathing in slowly and exhaling slowly at the stance will help you relax.
Just before it's your turn to bowl, you can think ahead on what you want to achieve and then try to VISUALIZE it at the stance. Picture the ball rolling smoothly down the lane over the intended target and all 10 pins falling down! You can even try feeling how smooth the release will be in your mind. Then like the Nike saying "Just do it"! By consistently visualizing good shots over time, they will become a "Consistent" part of your game!!
When you are at the lanes practicing, do incorporate these three important items into your regular routine. They are just as important as timing, walking straight, and getting your ball over the correct target.
As you get better and more experienced, you can focus on:
*The last shot to always be a strike.
*Block out what's going on around you so you won't be concerned with other bowlers doing better than you.
* Aiming for a Clean game (Meaning no misses).
Most of all, try and remember to have FUN!! You need to picture what the worst case scenario would be too so you know if that does happen, you can try to remain CALM. Learning from our mistakes is part of the whole process. Even the professionals started out at the same point we all did.
Check out my ebook available on Amazon/Kindle--"Let's Rev Up Those Bowling Scores"!
Join me here again next week when I'll be discussing "How to stay focused while bowling".
Good Luck & High Scoring
Hello!! My name is Joanie. Although I'm not a professional bowler, I have loved the sport for more than 45 years, averaged over 200 for several seasons, and learned quite a bit with research and experience.