One of my teammates

Posted by: KoukiGS

One of my teammates - 01/06/10 12:13 AM

I bowl in 2 leagues. One of thursday and one on friday. The friday one is a very competitive league that I do every year. I'm doing the league on thursday because a friend of mine couldn't get any of our other friends to bowl with him. To the point now...

My friend has had a couple of knee surguries and is incapable of bending them for a slide without severe discomfort. As a result, he tends to loft the ball way down the lane and stands straight up. He still averages 185 though and is getting better and better everytime he bowls. On the league, I hear people on the other teams constantly laughing at him, making fun of how he bowls and everything. I take personal offense to it, because I know of his knee problems. I actually kind of use it as a personal drive to bowl out the house each and every night to prove a point. However, its getting to the point where it's really old hearing people every week. I almost feel compelled to put a shirt on my back that says stop laughing at my friend, he has knee problems and he will out bowl you. Has anyone else had to deal with something like this?
Posted by: mtg712

Re: One of my teammates - 01/06/10 12:52 AM

no. ive never heard of this happening. we bowl with a guy 400+ pounds plus. hes a hell of a bowler but i never hear anyone say anything about him. i would definitely say something.
Posted by: Domokun

Re: One of my teammates - 01/06/10 12:58 AM

"Hey ____, that's not cool. He's had multiple knee surgeries and can't bend to slide. Knock it off."

Barring that, you could give the jokers some knee problems with a tire iron from your car.
Posted by: Atochabsh

Re: One of my teammates - 01/06/10 01:11 AM

Get a thicker skin. That's about all I can say. Does it bother you more then it does your friend? As long as he is not damaging the lanes and equipment then he can bowl as he wants. If the management has a problem with it, they will tell him.

And if you are absolutely driven to respond to these guys in your friend's defense that's as far as I'd take it...."talk to the management, because they have not said anything to us about how he bowls".

Posted by: KoukiGS

Re: One of my teammates - 01/06/10 01:37 AM

I'm a very humble bowler. I don't show emotion. I don't do crouch chops and I don't celebrate. I stand up, take my shot and sit back down. I don't make fun of how anyone else bowls, as with other sports, everyone has their own style of what works for them. Atcohabsh, you are probably right I do need to get thicker skin. It's tough for me to get through my head because of the way I am towards everything. I have not directly responded to anyone and have only let it reflect in the bowling. While for the first 13 weeks of league, that has worked fine, it's generally the same people I hear commenting everytime. He's not going to change his form, he can't, he's physically uncapable of doing so. I think that I take it so personally because he is a friend of mine and not just a bowling aquitance. I will take the advice of Domokon because going to management isn't how I deal with things. And when I say take his advice, I'm not referring to the tire iron part (though I do own a 4-way lol). I was more or less looking for a way to deal with it without making the problem worse or getting management involved.
Posted by: Jay R.

Re: One of my teammates - 01/06/10 01:59 AM

Does he plant or does he still have a little slide? Just curious really. I wonder if he would consider bowling with his other hand so he could bend. Then again, it could still be uncomfortable using it as his power step too.

Good luck with the situation
Posted by: Atochabsh

Re: One of my teammates - 01/06/10 02:18 AM

And when they escalate due to someone else standing up for your friend what then?

Unless your friend has solicited your assistance in dealing with this "irritation" then I would just learn to ignore it. I'm sure your friend has been bowling like this for a long while and this is not the first group of critics he's seen. In fact if you do this without your friend's knowledge and agreement, you might embarass him.

Posted by: Domokun

Re: One of my teammates - 01/06/10 10:38 AM

Erin makes absolute sense and truly, that's the way to go if this were really Adultopia, but it's not, and I know all too well that you will never be able to let it go. We're talking about your buddy, and you got his back. Don't take this as a slight against you, but it's more about you getting upset than how your friend feels--like Erin said, your buddy would've said something by now if he heard or cared about the jeering. So, better to get it calmly off your chest before one bad scene makes it explode from you.

Unless there's a lot of empty beer bottles on their table (or the guys are absolute dbags), they'd stop being as vocal if you politely and firmly confronted them--smile when you're doing it and keep the tire iron in your head.

Don't let 'em get a rise out of you, and the jeering'll probably go away. Or it'll just be out of earshot. Escalation's up to them, and if they do, then keep your hands up, smile on your face, and back off. Folks around you will take note of their dbaggery and will back you up.

Unfortunately, what Erin said at the end of her post is absolutely dead on...what you do is at the risk of his embarrassment so ya gotta weigh your options before acting.
Posted by: 10PinGaloot

Re: One of my teammates - 01/06/10 01:06 PM

My gosh! There was a bowler like that at my house 2 years ago. Knocks the heck out of the pins. I can't imagine laughing at anyone who is physically or mentally less well-equiped than me.

However, maybe your friend could develop a little comedy routine that he does with each opposing team prior to the game, to help them get adjusted to his differentness. I say comedy because nobody wants to hear about his medical woes, but everyone likes a person who doesn't take him/herself seriously.

Something like this - He throws a practice shot, turns around and says "Hey! Anybody got a spare knee? Mine doesn't seem to work." He throws his second practice shot and turns around and says "Wow! That baby was airborne!" Third shot, he turns around and says "I think I'm bending too much at the knees."

This breaks the ice, and then when folks on the other team ask you - or if they don't, you can offer - just tell them he's recovering from surgery and can't bend the knees. This all sets up for the game, at which time they should not be laughing at your friend but cheering him on!

A little personality goes a long way.

Posted by: J.Brown

Re: One of my teammates - 01/06/10 01:23 PM

The guys doing the jeering probably don't know your friend can't bend his knee. I've never really heard anyone making fun of anyone else's bowling during league play though. If your friend is bothered by it or even know's ppl. are making fun of him your friend should be the one to say something or like said maybe he doesn't care smile

Spareme is right though some comedy would help break this ice. I bowled with a guy i worked with a few years ago. At work he had his hand disfigured. The machine cut his thumb and index finger off, cut half his middle and ring finger off. The hospital did a surgery and put his big toe where his thumb used to be and put what was left of his middle and ring finger together to make one finger. And yes this was the hand he bowled with, he always made jokes about his hand. Since his toe was on his hand he used to say "not bad for a guy that kicks the ball down the lane" lol.
Posted by: Tim Gerard

Re: One of my teammates - 01/06/10 01:25 PM

This is what I would do if it really bothers you.

Don't go up to them like some hard a$$ and confront them, just walk up and make them aware of his condition. Be polite, say something like,.." You gotta give him credit for even attempting to bowl with those knees" or something of that nature. Inject a little humor yourself, Like SpareMe suggests. If they have any decency at all they will understand and tone it down. They just need to be made aware of your friends knee condition. Bowlers for the most part are pretty understanding, and I suspect these guys will be too.
Posted by: B-Hammer

Re: One of my teammates - 01/06/10 01:27 PM

Does he walk with a limp or wear a knee brace? My guess is that he masks his handicap very well and they are mocking the excessive lofting more then his physical problem, by highlighting the physical issue it might just stop the comments.
Posted by: Scott Gannon

Re: One of my teammates - 01/06/10 06:51 PM

I agree 100% with Erin. You may end up embarrassing your friend and create a big mess.
Posted by: looseleftie

Re: One of my teammates - 01/07/10 03:10 AM

What a shame that the world has so many dropdead ar**holes out there.

My question how does your friend feel when he hears them, do u think he likes it!! Do u think he would rather them STOP? Have u spoken to him about it?

I assume that you and your mate league for the fun, and it sounds like those guys are spoiling it for you, and I would suspect your mate (although he may be use to it, and pays no attention, still doesn't like it, I have never met a human being who enjoys being teased!!)). Your friend has the right not be be bullied, for F**ks sake, you are bowling in an ADULT league .
So, in my roundabout way of saying it, I personally would speak to these guys regardless when u get a chance of explaining that its not too cool a thing to do in stirring a guy with a disability (if possible with humor and personality, make them aware of his knee surgeries as well). This may help the situation, and may cause it to stop, also mention it to the president of the league as well, only after you have spoken to these guys first.
If they take it badly, then they could possibly become worse towards your mate each week (assuming these guys are ar**holes)... It all comes down to whether you think this is acceptable, me I think NO, and well done for becoming involved, you sound like a good friend and decent person..
They could make it worse, they could stop stirring your mate, or they could leave the league, or you and your friend could leave the league and join another one..
But why should u leave if u love your league.. That is where the president comes into, with your treasuruer/other league officials, strengths in numbers. Approach these guys as a group let them know that their behaviour is not acceptable in ANY form of society, let alone league fun bowling, should they continue they will be asked to leave.. I'm sure they annoy/[censored] off other bowlers out there as well, and who knows whether they have caused any bowlers to actually leave the league before, because KNOWONE confronted them...Your league doesn't really need these kinds of people in there does it? These guys will probably turn more bowlers in time away from the sport

Just like the schoolyard bully, people let them get away with it by being too scared or not wanting to cause any further trouble and not reporting it...That is not a solution to a problem!!! I respect all of the posters here, but strongly disagree on this point. Hopefully I have made some sense.. Talk to your mate firstly, find out how he feels.

Now I'm all pumped up, better sit down and have some water.Hope I do not come across as some kind of extreme militant mercenary kinda guy, cause I'm not,I'm actually more of a pacifist by nature I just dislike bullies.

Good luck let us know how it all panned out
Posted by: Atochabsh

Re: One of my teammates - 01/07/10 03:46 AM

You can make this a huge big issue, its up to you. But there are consequences if you do. Your friend might be more embarassed by bringing more attention to his style then he wants. The opposition might just escalate beyond normal league policing. No one is going to quit the leauge. And if by chance they do, they will do so owing money to the leauge (GUARANTEED). The last option, IMO, is that they will quietly accept his style after you have confronted them no matter how you do it. But if bowlers and teams leave, then the league will be restructured the schedule restructured, you might now have a blind team. And all over a battle that you don't even know your friend wants you to fight. Now that might be worth it to you I don't know. But keep in mind that right or wrong, leagues generally don't like "drama" and will disassociate themselves from it if they can. An extreme case is that your friend and you, might not be welcomed back next year.

I see a lot of bowlers with various physical challenges (including knee braces, and all kinds of braces). None of them loft the ball to the arrows (except one that wears no braces at all and is in his mid 30s, and no one in our leauge particularly cares whether he lofts to he arrows or not). So I have my doubts as to whether your friend does this because of his knees or because its just the way he bowls.

Bottom line, your friend is not going to change his style and until the center says he cannot do X or Y, he shouldn't. Nothing in USBC rules cover how far you can or cannot loft the ball. So he's 100% covered in how he wants to bowl. Unless the center steps in.

Just make sure this is the bridge you both want to die on before you start the battle.

Posted by: looseleftie

Re: One of my teammates - 01/07/10 06:29 AM

Erin wrote "Just make sure this is the bridge you both want to die on before you start the battle.". I like that Erin, must remember that one. That is a great little adage.I have had my glass of water, its not calming me down, but my scotch and coke is working a treat!!!

We don't have any moral police patrolling our bowling leagues, so I guess you have to use your own values and morals. Obviously you have these qualities KoukiGS. Way to go!!

If these guys made racist comments about another bowler, whilst the insult was not directed at you, you are more than entitled to be offended..These comments are not appropriate at work, in the street, shopping malls and bowling centres. Just because it has affected you indirectly, should not mean that u just do or say nothing..

Speak to your friend first, then go from there. To be honest KoukiGS, to do NOTHING is the easy option!!

You give these ar**hole guys licence to continue their offensive behaviour, if not directed at your mate, then it will be some other person down the track from your league, and then someone else later on.. It is a cycle, these guys will continue, its part of their nature/maturity/insecurity, call it what u will. Pick them up on this, and KoukiGS you will feel better about this.

Erin, if u rock the league boat, then perhaps the boat needs rocking. The league surely wouldn't condone this type of behaviour. Nor would they want other bowlers to not enjoy themselves because of a very small minority. What are the rest of the bowlers like in this league? Fair minded individuals who turn up every week to bowl and have fun.. Money should not be a consideration into your actions, nor having to restructure a season to get rid of some bad wood!!. There are things far more important than money..

Think about what kind of league you want. I know that if you were to approach these guys, and mention in a joking and friendly manner "hey guys, ease up on Mick down there, hes had 2 knee operations, and hes still bowling in pain, give him a break". Then that couldn't hurt much could it?..

Out of curiosity, what are these guys like for the most part? Are they approachable? Are they bear drink red necks, who would be more interested in shovering your head into a ball return , rather than listening to your point of view?

Look forward to hearing back