Except for one very notable headline exception last week, scores in tenpin league action at Hood River’s Orchard Lanes looked like we were back in the 1960s. 
 
In those days, the highest city-wide average was under 200! And, a bowler who averaged in the mid-180s was darn good. So, don’t feel bad about how tough scoring was last week, that’s always relative to the conditions. Bowling isn’t easy. Most top players roll 15 pounders at the pins which are 60 feet away from the foul line. The foul line is where the ball must be released. Ten pins are set in a triangle shape, 12 inches apart from each other and each one weighs 3 pounds 6 ounces.  This means that a 15-pount ball must knock down nearly 34 pounds of pins to get a strike. That’s formidable!
 
The target at the pins is called the pocket, which is between the head pin and the one next to it just behind, on the right side for right-handed bowlers and the other side for left handers.  This target is only a couple of inches wide and if you’re a top bowler, you try to hook the ball because that increases strike action. That makes hitting the target even more difficult! Nevertheless, challenging conditions are fun for us bowlers because the only way to overcome them is to make better shots and focus on converting spares.
 
Scores really plummet if you miss those spares. 

Hats off to Joey Springs who had no trouble last week as he punished the plastic to a nearly perfect scratch 289 game and a lofty 730 series in the Monday night Industrial league.
 
Joey had the first 10 straight strikes in that fine 289 game, just a couple away from perfection! And, by the way he’s rolling the rock, that perfecto may be just around the corner.  Most of the rest of us couldn’t break an egg last week, so we would be wise to watch Joey in a pin-spilling session to see if we can emulate his game a bit. It’s sure working good right now!
 
Okay, it’s early as we’re only about a month into league action but just for fun, let’s see who’s got it by individual high average right now:
 
1. Joey Springs — 223
2. Stan Pratnicki — 220
3. Bill Whetstine — 218
4. Mike Parke — 217
5. Jeff Miller — 216
 
This would be your all-star team right now and you must admit, their averages are pretty darn good. 
 
Obviously, the current “tough” conditions don’t bother these guys, in fact, they may even like them. Sure, they are all elite bowlers. Granted, a few of our perennial big names are not currently on this list but don’t count them out, they are all very talented and will probably be back in the limelight soon.
 
Let’s all get back in the game by stringing strikes and making those spares!
 
Good luck and good bowling everybody.
 
League reports
Monday Night Industrial:
Joey Springs — 289 game and 730 series; Rod Pratt — 241 game; Steve Byers — 235 game; Nancy Asai — 213 game
Tuesday Nite Mixed:
Brandon Kawachi — 653 series; Nancy Asai — 225 game
Wednesday afternoon senior Colts & Fillies:
Lee Rogers — 245,203 games & 608 series; Lynn Spellman — 216 game; Ron Baumsteiger — 212 game; Bernie Keys — 204 game; Mike Parke — 203 game
Wednesday night Fraternal:
Jeff Miller — 260 game & 686 series; Bryan Mason — 252 game

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