I bowled in my first tournament this weekend. I was a little nervous when the first game got going which surprised me a little, and I struggled all day to make spares and just get the ball off my thumb (115 degrees doesn't help) so I finished almost 20 pins below avg for the 6 games.
That said, it was worth it for the experience. Not knowing anything I had to have everything explained to me. Next time I'll know. The format was a lot of fun: mini-match play is how they described it, basically you bowl head-to-head against another bowler and the winner gets 50 bonus pins to his total. The first round was random, subsequent rounds matched up based on pin total thus far.
Unfortunately the first game I got matched up with the kid from the Pro Shop
who is my age, but has yrs more experience (his name is the only one on the house's all-time high youth scores with a 300 and 834 series). He came in with a 216 avg, and I also shared the lanes with a couple other 210+ bowlers. I have to say I got a little intimidated when they destroyed the rack during warm-ups and everyone but me started with a double (I at least started strike spare). I pulled a few spares while they continued to strike and my opponent ended up with 243, beating me by almost 100 pins scratch, 60 pins with hdcp.
It took a couple games to get settled and bowl close to avg,even still I went into the last game in dead last, getting to bowl the absent bowler (odd number of entries) for a free win and (mercy) 50 pins bonus.
The best part of the day, however, was bowling against and meeting the actual driller from the pro-shop (new to the area in the last few weeks). He was happy to talk to me about my thumb hole struggles, and explained the effects it would have. It was a relief as a lot of the trouble I've had the last few weeks (when I've felt like I've been really improving my form) can be chalked up to my fit. I'm going in this week to have him work with me to get a good fit. Much better than that same young guy I bowled against telling me to use more tape and stop gripping the ball when I went in before.
There were a lot of good bowlers there, and that was another benefit is I got to see how they play the lanes. One thing I noticed is they all had a lot more speed/revs than I did. Even the strokers.
All-in-all it was a lot of fun (despite the struggles) and I look forward to doing another.