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#6522 - 08/02/05 10:41 AM Re: Thinking about returning to bowling...
Darrell Offline
High Roller

Registered: 01/25/05
Posts: 319
A/S/L: 46 Male Michigan
Welcome to the Forum JimD. The league That I bowled in last fall was $16 US per week for 36 weeks. But one of the leagues that I intend to participate in this fall season is $25 US per week for 36 weeks.
So 10Lbs I believe is roughly $15 US! So it looks like you are sitting pretty, JimD.
_________________________
Darrell "D Man"

--------------------
May all your corner pins fall

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Legend

Registered: Fri Aug 27 2004
Posts: 10100
A/S/L: Mountain View, CA
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#6523 - 08/03/05 03:31 PM Re: Thinking about returning to bowling...
The GDF Offline
League Bowler

Registered: 07/08/02
Posts: 92
A/S/L: 36 / M / England
Hi Jim, welcome to the boards. Couple of things to note (this is all UK specific, the US is slightly different)

1) Fun leagues rarely pay out cash prizes. Most of them will give out trophies (usually including such things as Individual High Game, High Series, High Average as well as Team Game and Series, plus top 3 placings) - If you want to recoup some of your expenses, you'll have to find slightly more serious leagues where cash prizes are paid. Downside of course is if you pay out cash at the end of season, you attract the better bowlers.

2) Cost of a league is invariably around the 10 per person per week mark (at least) - I bowl a scratch league which is 11, which is low (a lot of them are more than that). The centre takes about 85% of that as lineage for the games, with the rest going as prize money (or trophy money), plus expenses to the secretary and treasurer (who get paid a nominal amount for collating the scores each week, often 10-20p per bowler per week).

AMF aren't the cheapest of places to bowl either (as you've noted) - It may be there is a cheaper centre nearby (can't remember if that's the case with Washington - go to BTBA centre search page to check)

3) Some centres offer cheap practise rates for league bowlers. It's worth asking if that's the case where you are. Most of them require presentation of a BTBA sanction card, so make sure the league you bowl in is sanctioned to get one (cost is 15 per year I think, payable in September)

4) The US league format is much different to the UK. They tend to bowl summer and winter seasons, whereas we bowl all year round (with splits for Xmas/New Year, and sometimes for August holiday). The US leagues also tend to "split" the league season into halves, with the winner of each half bowling for the championship. In the UK, league length is usually twice or 3 times the no of teams (for example 10 teams would be a 30 week season, 16 would be 32 weeks). There are exceptions, but that's a good rule of thumb, and it's like the football season, ie, winner of most games wins the league.

I may have missed some stuff, but that's an idea. It's not as expensive as you suggest, but you won't see much change from 350 a year I'd guess. You're right Golf can be cheaper (I play that too), but at least bowling can be played all year round, irrespective of the weather (ever had to abandon play due to lightening ? I know I have laugh )

For what it's worth last season, playing a scratch league, cost me 5 for a 48 week league due to the prize payouts. I know I couldn't have done that playing golf, as I'm only an 18 Handicapper, but the 215 average in bowling made it worthwhile thumbsup

Hope this helped.

Regards
_________________________
Robert Knight
BTBA Phase III Coach

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#6524 - 08/03/05 03:46 PM Re: Thinking about returning to bowling...
JimD Offline
Bantam

Registered: 07/30/05
Posts: 12
A/S/L: 50/M/Washington UK
Thanks, Robert, that was very helpful.

The nearest non-AMF centre to me is Sunderland (which was where I bowled in my first and only league). They are marginally cheaper than Washington, but not enough to make up for the extra petrol to get there and back (plus parking is a bit dodgy at Sunderland).

I'm not likely to win any prizes so I'm just looking for a fun league. The AMF website listed the Sunday morning league (the Early Birds) as a 'Beginners/Fun League', but when I went along to see them it didn't look like it! There was 200 + games all over the place, and my average was 154 in my best season!

I've got a few more evening leagues to look at, but I'm still not sure whether to go for it or not; I'll maybe have a few more practice games and see how I get on. Last Saturday I had a couple of games and got 124 and 179 confused so consistency seems lacking. Still, after only playing half a dozen times in 25 years it's not bad I suppose! :p
_________________________
Jim

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#6525 - 08/04/05 07:18 AM Re: Thinking about returning to bowling...
The GDF Offline
League Bowler

Registered: 07/08/02
Posts: 92
A/S/L: 36 / M / England
Jim,

Two more things

1) The beginners league will most definitely be handicap. In theory it's designed to assist the lower average bowlers to be able to compete against the higher average ones, but the systems vary immensely. There are two factors that determine how level the playing field is between the high and low average bowlers.

First is %. There will always be a Handicap based on the difference between a designated "scratch" score, and your average. The % used can make a marked difference. Using the examples below of a 120 average and a 180 average bowler, both of them bowling their averages, you can see what this is

% -- 120 - 180
66 -- 173 - 193
80 -- 184 - 196
100 - 200 - 200
110 - 208 - 202

As you can see, the % favours the higher average bowler up until you hit 100% handicap or above. The argument for this is that it's easier for a lower average bowler to have a game above their average than a higher one (which is true).

The BTBA favours 66%, I personally prefer 80%, and statistically over the season the lower the handicap % the more games the higher average bowlers will win.

The 2nd factor is the "scratch" marker. Again, most leagues set this at the next round decimal above the highest average (ie high average is 183, it will be set to 190 - High ave is 204, it will be set to 210) - The higher the marker is, the better it favours the lower average bowlers (doing the maths shows that you're getting more pins in favour of the low average bowlers if you increase the point at which it is set).

The only exception to this is if they set the marker at 200, and give the bowlers above that either no handicap or negative handicap. At that point, it penalises quite heavily the bowlers above the 200 point.

If you're worried about your average, and competing against the high average bowlers, simply check on the Handicapping system, and you'll be better equipped to decide if you feel you can compete against them. Also, check the previous seasons winners, and see if they were all high average bowlers. If they were, chances are the Handicapping system favours them, and I'd look elsewhere for a league to bowl in.

Good luck
_________________________
Robert Knight
BTBA Phase III Coach

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#6526 - 08/05/05 01:52 AM Re: Thinking about returning to bowling...
JimD Offline
Bantam

Registered: 07/30/05
Posts: 12
A/S/L: 50/M/Washington UK
Good tips, Robert. Thanks.
_________________________
Jim

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#6527 - 08/05/05 12:43 PM Re: Thinking about returning to bowling...
FlimFlamboyant Offline
Bracket Donor

Registered: 07/20/05
Posts: 193
A/S/L: 33/M/Illinois
I think AMF must be bent on driving their franchises out of business. During "prime time" (after 6PM), games are $3.50 a piece at the local AMF lanes, while independant houses in the area charge $2.00 all day long while at the same time offering a far better facility.

At the moment, however, the AMF house is offering a rather shocking "all you can bowl" deal at $5 for TWO HOURS of bowling on Thursday afternoons. It's a bit of a desperation attempt to get back some of the business they have lost over the years. I'll enjoy it while it lasts. smile

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#6528 - 08/05/05 01:06 PM Re: Thinking about returning to bowling...
JimD Offline
Bantam

Registered: 07/30/05
Posts: 12
A/S/L: 50/M/Washington UK
Open bowling at Washington (UK) AMF is off peak (before 6pm on a weekday) 3.25 ($5.77) and peak 4.35 ($7.72) a game!
_________________________
Jim

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