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!!
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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.