What a ****** league experience (so far)

Posted by: Pin Bomber

What a ****** league experience (so far) - 02/09/06 04:35 PM

So, I joined a scratch league at the start of this season looking forward to serious bowling and hopefully getting with a good team. It was more important to have a nice experience rather than be near the top, but the whole year has been the opposite.

My first week with the team there are only 3 of us, but I like the 2 others and I am friends with one of them now. But, the 2nd week one of the 3 leaves to go make up a full team. Can't really blame him for that, but that basically disbands the team and I don't have one.

Three weeks go by with no team, and I get called saying there is a spot for me, so I am pretty excited again. When I go, there are only 2 others again. Then finally we get a 4th person-you would think I would be happy.

Since then, one person dropped, then another one joined the team for 2 weeks then dropped, another one came on, then he dropped, one came on saying he had a 178 average but never bowled a game over 115. Then we kicked him out for a guy who substituted one night who bowled over 200 every game for 2-3 weeks, but now he is only bowling in the 150s-160s.

One week I had the wrong sliding sole on my Dexter shoes and was almost falling everytime I went to the line. I told my team I had accidentally put the wrong sole on, but then one of my team members said that it wasn't the shoe, it was the way I was bowling. I kept hearing all night that it wasn't the shoe, it was me. But how odd that never before that night and never after that night have I had a problem.

That same member is really good, but awfully streaky. She will bowl a 300 followed by a 150. I don't mind the streaky scores, but the problem is that everytime she has a bad game she blames how easy the condition is. She complains on and on that she can't bowl well because the condition is too easy!?!? And then when she has good games, the whole time I hear how she hates bowling and how terrible she is (sarcastically of course).

Now, it seems one member has quit without telling us, and the team doesn't feel much like a team. I just go in every week kind of doing my own thing and muddling through. I just hope we at least keep our 3 people to make it to payout time.

Even though there is decent payout for the winners in the league, we've been near the bottom the whole season. I wouldn't even mind that if the experience itself was worth the $20 a week, but it isn't. Right now I am staying in it just so at least I can get a tad of the payout at the end of the year.

Finally, everytime we bowl someone now, we have this huge looking roster because of all the people we have had come and go. The other teams jokingly ask, "Are you a bowling team or a baseball team"? Some also say we are a football team, and others say we are a basketball team. I sure would like to substitute players if I could.

I'd love to bowl in this league again next year, but only if it is with a better situation. Luckilly I am on 2 other leagues which I am enjoying, but they are handicapped leagues and the competition isn't there as much-that's what I like about the scratch league.

Thanks all for letting me rant, rave, and cry
Posted by: Just call me Al

Re: What a ****** league experience (so far) - 02/10/06 04:20 PM

Too bad your first experience has been this way. Try another league, don't let this get you down. Don't lock yourself into thinking that it has to be a scratch league. You can have just as much fun and sometimes more, in a competitive handicap league.
Posted by: Pin Bomber

Re: What a ****** league experience (so far) - 02/10/06 07:47 PM

I've been in a lot of handicapped leagues, and I am also in one now in addition to the scratch league. They are fun, but I like the competetive atmosphere and the kind of focus that the scratch league requires. The people on the handicapped leagues are fun and nice, but I feel sometimes it's hard to want to focus and concentrate on my game when most the people on my team want to laugh and chat it up.
Posted by: Atochabsh

Re: What a ****** league experience (so far) - 02/10/06 09:10 PM

If you don't have a consistent rouster of teammates then you cannot ever get to the top of the pack. Also if you use bowlers that are not familiar with the house and come in with an inflated average from another house, you can expect a lot of losses. If you have an team average cap, and your team is not close, you will always be at the bottom. So in scratch leagues who you bowl with is of utmost importance. Its almost more important then the average they carry. Because if they carry a high average, but miss many weeks and possibly a roll off or position round here and there, they are not helping you. When I join scratch leagues, I am doubly selective in who I bowl with for this reason. $20 a week is a lot for just the pleasure of throwing three games.

Your situation is frustrating and at this point I don't see a lot of answers that will help you besides quitting the league yourself. And if enough people quit, then the officers will lose teams. Then the house will not be as willing to hold open lanes for their league next season.

Posted by: Dawnhere

Re: What a ****** league experience (so far) - 02/16/06 09:35 PM

I feel your pain. I went through a similar thing 2 years ago. Girls quitting, you get a sub, a new girl joins, sub says she might want to join permanently if someone else quits... which does happen, but then the sub says she can't..... same problems with one girl complaining about her bowling (oh I suck tonight) after bowling a 200 game, etc. I got so fed up with it. Then we had 2 girls that wanted to 'share' a permanent spot on the team. So you never knew from week to week who was going to show up and bowl (if either of them did show). We of course came in last that year and nobody could understand why???? HELLO!!!

Of course I told them that I wasn't able to bowl next season. I had to find a new team, which I didn't happen to do until the first night of bowling the following fall. Another teams member dropped out at last minute. So I got lucky that year. I didn't "fit in" as well with the new team (they're all quite a bit older than I am, have different tastes in things), but I at least got to bowl.

Posted by: Lefty

Re: What a ****** league experience (so far) - 02/17/06 02:13 PM

I've never had luck bowling with people I dind't know before the start of the season. I'm doing that in 2 leagues this year and I want to strangle both people.
Posted by: Pin Bomber

Re: What a ****** league experience (so far) - 02/17/06 03:40 PM

The one nice thing about all this is that at the end of the league, all the teams get together and form before the start of bowling the following fall. So maybe I will wait and see who all I get paired up with for the following fall and go from there. Some of the teams I know I would love to be on, but just not the one I am on now.
Posted by: Silent Mike

Re: What a ****** league experience (so far) - 02/19/06 09:52 AM

My team is having similar issues. We started out well but midway through our anchor quit due to work hours supposedly. Just 2 weeks ago we got notice our younger 2nd spot bowler quit for personal reasons and now we are left floundering with 2 bowlers and 2 vacants. I don't expect to win much, I look at it as a chance to polish my game for the Summer leagues. The good to come from it is I have a few offers to join Winter league teams this coming Fall as well as some Summer teams. Being new to the house I knew I ran this risk, no more joining teams when I don't know anything about them it makes it hard to enjoy the night out.
Posted by: SouthShoreBowler

Re: What a ****** league experience (so far) - 02/22/06 01:58 PM

I feel your pain Pin Bomber. This past summer, I joined a league late and wound up in an aggravating situation. We had a bf/gf couple who would fight constantly (sometimes loudly) and then go on 10 minute smoking breaks in between games (and sometimes in between frames). (*Note* in NY you cannot smoke indoors at bowling alleys.) It was also annoying being the last ones out every week. Luckily that was only a summer league that ended in August.
Posted by: Coach04

Re: What a ****** league experience (so far) - 03/07/06 02:12 AM

Your first year in a scratch league, should be spent on making acquaintances, and improving your ability.

The idea is like the old door to door salesman, just get your foot in the door, then make the best of the opportunity.

Most scratch leagues are capped, causing the need for specific entering averages. You need to be one of the people who bowled consistently, and regularly to be considered by an established team needing you next season.

It's just like going to college, somebody has to pay for the education. Right now you are paying with your sweat, and humility. Make sure you get all you can from the experience. Make as many friends as you can, talk to everyone, and make good lasting impressions. You may just be the guy in demand next season.

PS. Forget about the prize fund. If that is what your motivation is, you're on the wrong league. In every scratch league I have seen there are 4 or 5, very experienced teams, that know how to stack against a cap. They will be at the top of the list at season end. Learn what you can from them.
Posted by: hstephens

Re: What a ****** league experience (so far) - 03/07/06 06:47 AM

It's odd, the Monday Night men's league is having trouble with people quitting too. It seems like nobody wants to bowl anymore. Maybe it's because of the handicap leagues and not having a scratch league, I don't know.

Sorry Pin Bomber, that was kind of off subject. We had a whiner on our mixed team a few years ago. It was horrible, she brought the whole team down. Just hang in there and chalk it up to a learning experience.
Posted by: BillinPhilly

Re: What a ****** league experience (so far) - 05/24/06 09:52 AM

Yeah, I've been there too. I'm fortunate to be on a good team right now bowling with 3 other great guys from work every week. We all get along and have alot of fun. But I can remember being on alot of teams where it wasn't like that.

I think we've all been through this. Most of the leagues I've joined in my life, I joined by myself or maybe with one other friend, because I don't have friends who bowl. Then you get put on a thrown together team with whoever else happens to sign up.

Some of the teams I've been on have been great and we had alot of fun. Others weren't as much fun - like when I was put on the team with the young kid learning to bowl, first time in a league, throws every other ball in the gutter and averages 110, and the 85 year old lady who can barely make it down the approach, throws the ball at 3 mph, and averages 75.

I never bowled a scratch league, because I hear they're way too serious and way too much "cheating" goes on with subs and other rules manipulations. I know enough of that stuff goes just in regular handicap leagues to tick me off, so I don't need that.

I'd like to try a sport league sometime - except that no center in my area does one right now that I'm aware of. I'd think the cheaters wouldn't be interested in those leagues, and they're probably less likely to draw the kinds of bowlers described above.
Posted by: Brian Longo

Re: What a ****** league experience (so far) - 05/25/06 10:22 AM

I kind of went through the same headaches that Pin Bomber was going through with my Thursday Night team. It was a mixed league where at least one bowler had to be of the opposite [censored]. I bowled in this league for the past 3 years - everytime trying to hold together a team.

2 years ago, our leadoff bowler just up and quit towards the end of the year because her son was playing baseball. 3 of us were left and one of the 3 was a new bowler "who knew everything" and would try to tell me how to bowl. Here I am one of the 2 people to average 200 in the league being coached by someone who could barely hit 200 for two games. Needless to say I was happy to be done with that team. Couldn't tell you how we finished because I didn't care. I only put up with it because I just wanted to bowl since it was the only league I bowled in that year.

Last year, one of the gals from the previous year's team and I stuck together. I brought in a friend of mine (another "know-it-all") and we picked up a 4th bowler who was new to the area. He said he wasn't a great bowler. I didn't care. 6 weeks into the season the girl quits for whatever reason, so it's 3 of us again bowling with a female vacancy. In February, my friend hurt his shoulder so it was just me and the other guy. I wasn't too upset because my friend was trying to "coach me" - him and his 160 average and me, again, with my 200. My friend gets hurt and is out 6 weeks. No coincidence that I go on a tear averaging 231 while he's out because he's not in my ear. He comes back, I'm back to struggling to break 600 again. We did finish first for one of the halves, though, which was both good and bad.

This year, the 3 of us were back together (why I agreed to it, I don't know) and picked up a girl for the 4th. She carried a 173 from a synthetic center near Atlanta. I told her she'd be lucky to be around 10 pins less than last year, and would probably be 15 because of the wood lanes at this center (she finished at 157). I tried helping her, she didn't listen because she knew what she was doing wrong. Whatever. :rolleyes: My "know-it-all" buddy didn't help, either. He kept yammering in my ear as well all year long about the poor shot or how I was doing this or that. If the bowling center served alcohol, I'd have been drunk every week.

Around Christmas time, I got mad at the girl because she went nuts over the fact that the team we were bowling had 3 people who weren't there, 2 of which were always late and I said we would wait. She got all bent out of shape because "she didn't want to get home late". Shoot, she lived 10 minutes from the bowling center. I lived 45 minutes away. Anyhow, I cussed her out and nary spoke a word to her for the rest of the season. I don't like people who get all up in arms over starting 5 minutes later than normal. Big deal. Get over it already.

About 2/3 through the season, my friend had to quit because of work, so I had a "revolving door" of subs come in to finish the season. Again, without my friend, I bowled much better and finished the season at 208 and we came in first for one of the halves.

Next season, I'm not bowling in that league, that bowling center or with my friend. I got fed up with the bowling center and most of the bowlers in that league. It got to the point that, despite the fact I bowled well through the year, I didn't even want to show up. What's worse is that we paid $14 a night and $9.25 of that was going back to the house for lineage. So even though we made first for one half, we only walked out with $215/head which didn't even cover our freakin' lineage!

My point is: what's the point of bowling if you're not going to enjoy it? Whether it's scratch our handicap, find a team you enjoy bowling with because all of you are stuck in it for the long haul. Bowling good and winning prize money is nice, but for me it's about (trying) to have a good time. I'd rather bowl with 3 other people who are decent, but not great bowlers who don't openly complain about lane conditions, or their ball works better at such-and-such center, or whatever else than 3 "scratch-level" bowlers who are nothing but primadonnas.

I'm not saying that I'm some sort of saint, because I do get upset about poor and otherwise unplayable lane conditions expecially when I'm forking over that kind of money to the house, but I don't throw a fit about it or complain to my teammates about it. My attitude got so bad this year because I was so mad or irritated that I now need to readjust my head and pull it out of my behind. Yeah, I bowled well, and we took first, but at what cost? Sanity shouldn't be a price you pay for bowling.
Posted by: Rollin' Cowboy

Re: What a ****** league experience (so far) - 07/17/06 02:12 PM

Got one even better. A couple of years ago, we had a woman that came in and joined our team just long enough (21 games) to get a book average for tournaments and then she bailed.
Posted by: Atochabsh

Re: What a ****** league experience (so far) - 07/17/06 02:24 PM

That happens all the time Rolling. Even worse is that in some leagues subs bowl for free. So they sub enough to get their 21 games in and basically get a book average for free. All they have to do is buy the USBC card and they're set.

Posted by: Tyveil

Re: What a ****** league experience (so far) - 07/17/06 02:58 PM

Bowling, like so many other team sports, is all about connections, who you know. If you don't know a lot of bowlers who enjoy bowling as much as you I suggest either subbing for other leagues to build connections and/or play leagues with smaller teams (singles or doubles) until you have the connections to build the team you want.

I don't know why you have to bowl scratch to be competitive. We have a Monday night league that handicaps 80% of 230 and it is very competitive. Averages are generally in the 180-230 range, with most bowlers falling right around 200.

I've also had my share of nightmare experiences with teammates. My first year in the Monday night league we were made up of 5 bowlers who didn't know each other. We had our original captain quit after 8 weeks due to health problems. Our highest bowler (anchor - 210 average) was very unreliable, we never knew week to week whether he would show up or not, and he never called. Another bowler was always angry, cussing out how he bowled like **** even when he was bowling 20+ pins over his average. He committed some serious felonies and went to prison for 50+ years about 2/3 through the season. Finally our 4th bowler, the lowest average, didn't seem to care at all. He'd get angry any time you tried to give him advice. At least he was reliable and showed up every week.

So.. wow.. anyways, by the end of the season there were 2 good bowlers on the team plus myself (yea I know that adds up to more than 5.. we actually had like 9 bowlers on the roster with all the moving around)... So we have a core of 3 good, reliable, high average members to start next year. And I met some employees at the house over summer league that are good bowlers, reliable, and fun to be around. So next year should be a great 5-man team. I think I just had to suffer through that first year circus.
Posted by: Rollin' Cowboy

Re: What a ****** league experience (so far) - 07/25/06 06:15 PM

They still have free subs here too Erin. I personally would rather just bowl with an absent than bring in a sub. You never know what or who you are getting. You may have to give up 10 pins per game but if there's a handicap, you are getting that absent's H-cap at full value.
Posted by: Silent Mike

Re: What a ****** league experience (so far) - 07/25/06 08:14 PM

Yeah but the absent can not help your team win. Some nights you need all 4 people above their average to win. The only time I'd deal with an absent is if the other team had one too, cancels each other out...sort of.
Posted by: Atochabsh

Re: What a ****** league experience (so far) - 07/25/06 09:11 PM

We still don't bring in subs, at least for our team. What gets me is all the subs that just pop in with no book, no sanction card. We have one sub in one of our leagues that's averaging 47 the first time she bowled. Needless to say she did better the next time. I think she averaged 87. But her handicap was on 47. Glad we were not the team she bowled against. Its a pain in the you know what, to figure out the average, then the handicap then the differnce between the teams and then the results. I expect to do this the first couple weeks of a league, but hate to do it 8 , 10 weeks into a summer league or 25 weeks into a winter league.

Only good part about subs is that you might get a regular league bowler for next season.

Posted by: BSchaff

Re: What a ****** league experience (so far) - 07/29/06 03:20 AM

Well I have to say I haven't had a league bowler commit major felonies are get serious jail time... that's crazy Tyveil!!

I bowl with 3 people I know and really enjoy and we're having a great time this season... we are all getting better and we'll be keeping this team together for next season. I agree with all who have said that league bowling is a much better experience when done with those who you know and are friends with. I am finding that out now and will most definitely keep it in mind in the future. I could have added a better bowler but people do not like him so I said there wasn't a spot for him and I feel like I've made the right decision.

Assuming none of my people go to jail for murder, we should win the league smile Great bowling all.