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#70369 - 11/08/08 11:54 PM Open rack in league
SimplyAmazuring Offline
Bumper Bowler

Registered: 10/22/08
Posts: 7
A/S/L: 23/M/Dallas; TX
This happened a few weeks ago in my league, and I wanted to get some opinions about it.

The league that my wife and I bowl in is very informal. Toward the end of our second game, I noticed that a pin was on top of the pin deck, and every time it set down a 1 pin, this pin stuck on the deck would nudge the headpin ever-so-slightly to the left, upon rising back up with the pin deck. No one else but me seemed to notice. I had never bowled with an open rack before, and figured that with technology the way it is today, I would never have the opportunity. I had remembered reading about open racks - that it made the strike pocket bigger, but could lead to leaving more 10 pins for some. I quietly pointed this out to my Wife, and she started striking on nearly every shot on that lane. I tended to leave more corner pins, but still struck quite a bit. However, I also noticed that on shots that went a little high and should have left 4 pins - we were getting strikes. I never mentioned this open rack to the lane attendants, because my wife and I were taking advantage of and enjoying this unique condition, and we figured the conditions were the same for everyone else on our pair.

Has anyone else, recently or not, had an experience with an open, closed, right-justified, or left-justified rack? Was continuing to bowl on that condition against any rule? Was I being underhanded and devious, or shrewd and resourceful? Your responses are greatly appreciated. - SimplyAmazuring

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#70372 - 11/09/08 04:17 AM Re: Open rack in league [Re: SimplyAmazuring]
Atochabsh Offline
USBC Bronze Coach

Registered: 02/13/01
Posts: 6567
A/S/L: 50/F/California
Something that obvious should have been fixed by the mechanic as soon as you noticed it.

Off spot pins have a lot to do with how you can or cannot carry the rest of the pins. Most centers should be fairly close with their pin spots. Its a USBC requirement in their certification each year.


#70373 - 11/09/08 06:14 AM Re: Open rack in league [Re: Atochabsh]
Dennis Michael Offline
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 12/11/05
Posts: 9820
A/S/L: M/Barrington, Ill
This is a strange condition, because USBC rules allow a bowler to accept an offset pin in a rack. Once, the bowler bowls, the rack stays as is. Conversely, a missing pin may be called by anyone noticing the pin missing, and that is a dead ball. An offset pin must be called prior to the bowler bowling.
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#70386 - 11/09/08 09:13 AM Re: Open rack in league [Re: Dennis Michael]
Calvin Pistorio Offline
State Champion Contender

Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 6283
A/S/L: 32/m/maryland
A few years ago on a Mens league we had several pins on one lane, off-set. I can't remember exactly which ones and which way, I think one was either the 3 or 6 was involved, as there was talk about a possible problem carrying the 10. Most of the righties didn't have an issue. We tossed some pretty good scores. It actually started at the end of the first game so something got out of whack as we were bowling.
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#70398 - 11/09/08 06:55 PM Re: Open rack in league [Re: Calvin Pistorio]
Rack Wrecker Offline
Team USA Contender

Registered: 10/24/08
Posts: 460
A/S/L: 19/M/Cleveland, Ohio
To be honest, I have dealt with similar situations at a particular center I bowl at. They have recently updated their scoring technology to incorporate all touch screen scoring and new lane cameras and racks. The problem being that they are very inaccurate. We often get erroneous scores and pin leaves. The carry is awful and the pins set down very often offset. I once bowled a gutter for a scoring error of 3 pins. Last night in particular, my friend and I had to come up with a new scoring technique since the pins would rerack instead of letting him pick up his spare. He'd bowl his first half of the frame, and then his leave was never replaced but instead, filled back to a full rack and left his score with the 8 or 9 he bowled to begin with. So I told him depending on the spare in the first place, splits being more than single pins, if he knocked down at least 8 pins or something I'd count it as a spare since there really was no way to undo the problem. I know that's not proper scoring but since we were being timed it just seemed to be the easiest and faster way to fix the issue. At Besides, it wasn't just you who was affected, the entire lane was so it was still fair odds in my opinion. Still, as far as rules are concerned I suppose telling the lane mechanic would be the proper thing to do
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