Interesting discussion with Laneman today

Posted by: Dennis Michael

Interesting discussion with Laneman today - 11/07/08 11:37 PM

We have been having trouble with the oil patterns at my main house, that seem to now be fixed. While bowling this afternoon, the laneman approached me and asked how the lanes have been. My response was I felt they are becoming easier, as I see the scores increasing over the past 3 weeks.

He informed me that this House, and he in particular, have been given directives by the Regional Manager, this being a Chain location, to increase the scores. He said he looked at an Honor score listing from the House and found that myown 298 was the highest game for 5 years in this house. We have had 2, 300's since March, the first for 6 years.

Seems they are targeting higher scores in their shot, since it is their opinion that league bowlers are going where the higher scores can be bowled. And, this house is losing bowlers.

This house has been know for its tougher shot, and a reason why I bowl there. But, the almighty High Score seems to be where the money is.

What are your thoughts on this?
Posted by: Calvin Pistorio

Re: Interesting discussion with Laneman today - 11/08/08 07:37 AM

Unfortunately its true. Most bowlers want the high scores even if it means bowling on the easiest shot. The house I am bowling my only league in this season is one of those houses that lends itself to high scoring. Some bowlers refuse to bowl there as to not establish too high of an average for tournaments and such. The center is full of leagues though, and it also treats the bowlers well, or it did before the GM change. Just between last Friday and Saturday I think there were five 300 games, an 800 set or two, and a few more 290+ games. This house also attracts some of the better bowlers in the area that can take advantage of the condition.
Posted by: TheDemolitionMan

Re: Interesting discussion with Laneman today - 11/08/08 10:09 AM

I wish this weren't true but nowadays it seems working hard at something is disappearing. Don't get me wrong I'd like to have a high average and high scores but there is more satisfaction when it's thrown a tougher shot. I mean it was the combination of the PBA shot league that I threw over the summer and a couple of Ron C.'s tips that very woke me up and told me I needed to really work on my swing. I couldn't figure out why my stuff wasn't working. Hellooooo, tougher shot equals lower scores when you're used to adult bumper bowling. Regardless I think I'm going to find a PBA shot league to bowl in again and a different house for the summer.

Plus tougher shots are more challenging hence more fun (for me at least) because it's something I haven't seen that I try to get to figure out. It might be frustrating at first but it'll be more satisfying when I get it.
Posted by: Atochabsh

Re: Interesting discussion with Laneman today - 11/08/08 11:49 AM

I think the house is right.

You or I or We may not like it, but its the truth. Keep in mind that that percentage of bowlers that feel as you do about the game is minimal and to the houses' perspective NEGLIGABLE.

They need to keep the doors open and this last year has been a struggle to say the least. They cannot keep the doors open by catering to a slight percentage of customers. No operation can.

I think the best you can hope for is a center thriving off its house shot putting down a PBA shot for a league or special occasion. But you need a thriving center first. I don't think you can have it the other way around, unless you are in a specialized location of non compete for customers. Even then you might find customers that just opt to not bowl rather then travel further to an easier house or continue in the difficult one.

Posted by: General Pounder

Re: Interesting discussion with Laneman today - 11/08/08 11:58 AM

There is a house by me that is known for higher scores. All of their leagues are full. Why? Cause of the reasons listed above. A lot of bowlers want higher scores. The house is about half the distance from the house I bowl at now. It is the toughest one in the area. I will continue to go there for that reason.
Posted by: Justinmill14

Re: Interesting discussion with Laneman today - 11/08/08 09:40 PM

The only way I would want to bowl on the easiest shot there is, is if I were going somewhere and really just wanted to show off Lol. But, I'd rather be bowling on the toughest patterns there are because that is the best way to improve.
Posted by: CoachJim

Re: Interesting discussion with Laneman today - 11/09/08 08:34 AM

Did your laneman say if this was just the tip of the iceburg, or was that as easy as they were going to make it.

The bowling center I bowled at before I got injured has been doing the same thing, gradually making the shot easier and easier. One of my students is averaging 239 with a 300 and several 750+ nights she was averaging in the low 200s two years ago then 2teens last year, so they are gradually making the shot easier and easier.
Posted by: Dennis Michael

Re: Interesting discussion with Laneman today - 11/09/08 09:24 AM

Coach, let me give you a little update. This is a Brunswick house.
This was the house where the oil patterns were just "UNPLAYABLE".
The original laneman transferred in Aug.
The Backup, who was still in training was helped by the Asst Mgr, and they screwed up the shot, and apparently also caused the outside spray nozzles to malfunction.
New lane man was hired in Oct, and immediately send to classes to work on and learn the machines.
We had an entire league disband, and some teams merged with out league.
After 2 weeks, 2 teams quit, and some bowlers too. Everyone complained.

3 weeks ago, the shot was finally playable, and bowlers commented favorably.
Mgr said there was still some tweeking to do, since, the outside was OK, but still couldn't get a good read at the break. That seems to have been improved.
I believe they are done with the machine tinkering.

New laneman gave me the indication that now his schedule is to perform much neglected maintenance, as on Fri, he had 3 machines torn down and laying on the lane.

1 was lane 16 where I bowled and 6 balls got damaged a month ago. He explained that problem as ball roller in the ball return was worn badly, and balls would just bounce against the metal frame, causing ding marks in balls. I counted 122 ding marks in one of mine.

Some results are the Asst Mgr, who is a PBA card holder and a 230 average has averaged at the 190 mark. In the last 3 weeks, his low series is 750.
I had much trouble and had a 170~ for the first 5 weeks. Checking BowlSK, I am averaging 212 for the past 3 weeks.

The laneman rules. But, the bowlers are happier.
Posted by: General Pounder

Re: Interesting discussion with Laneman today - 11/10/08 09:55 AM

That is the house trying to do something right. They had a condition that was unplayable and machines that were not right messing up the shot. The houses that upset me are the ones in working order and they tweek the shot to get the high average from the house up to 240 from 230. Those are the places that aggravate me. The occasional 300/800 for a house is nice. When they happen every few days, that is an issue.
Posted by: Rack Wrecker

Re: Interesting discussion with Laneman today - 11/10/08 03:48 PM

I agree. I have heard that the lanes I bowl at is fairly easy to bowl on but I still have had my rough nights and can get similar scores, if not exactly the same, on other lanes as well. I guess I am just anxiously awaiting my day of hitting those big numbers, 270 and above... 300 would probably cause me the same fate as this older gentleman in my area a few weeks ago. the story goes: he was 66 and finally bowled his first 300 game at that age. Then in his enjoyment they say he had a heart attack and died. I don't mean to make light of the situation but wow, what a way to go... in a blaze of glory I suppose
Posted by: Scott Gannon

Re: Interesting discussion with Laneman today - 11/10/08 07:43 PM

I feel fortunate because the house I bowl at is known for being fairly tough. People who average over 200 are rare, not the norm (there are only 2 in my league right now). Since those are the kind of scores and conditions I was used to before my long layoff I like it like that. Success on any given lanes is dependant on what others are doing on those lanes. It does make the whole system kind of skewed because someone could be averaging say 210 on a house-shot and someone averaging 190 on a tough shot and that 190 average person is actually fundamentally a better bowler than the person averaging 20 pins higher on a house-shot. Also success is dependant on how much you bowl and how much you practice.

I think bowler’s are pretty aware of what is going on and are realistic about it however. It did not take me long at all after joining a league 2 years back after a long layoff that the house I was in were tough lanes and the new lanes 35 minutes away you could average 20 or 30 pins higher at. It is common knowledge by people in the sport so the only people you are going to impress by having a hefty average at a walled-up house-shot are people not really familiar with bowling. Also throughout a long Winter league you usually get to know what bowlers are in 2 or 3 leagues and practice all the time, the ones who only bowl the one league, the ones who take the sport more seriously, and the ones who are just in it for the fun so you kind of know where you stand among whatever category you fit into.

I guess human nature is what it is and most people are going to go where they can do better. If houses where easier shots are attracting bowlers it must be working. My decision is actually a no-brainer because the easier house is 35 minutes away so higher scores or not, the drive isn’t worth it to me. Still I do have to admit if there were a known easier house at the very least curiosity would want me to try it to see what I could do there.
Posted by: Brian Longo

Re: Interesting discussion with Laneman today - 11/10/08 11:34 PM

High scores take precedence over "a fair shot". I don't care what part of the country you are in this is standard fare. Unless you are the only game in town you pretty much have to make the shot easier to keep the doors open. A house could get away with being 10-15 pins lower than the highest scoring house and, as we know, there are some bowlers who actually cherish a more difficult and challenging pattern, but they make up a much smaller percentage of paying patrons.

FWIW, the league I bowl in put out a much more difficult shot on Monday night, but the rest of the leagues get the easier house shot. Currently, out of 52 bowlers, only 3 are above 200. I'm at 192 (make that 191 next week) and there's only been 1 700 shot in the first 9 weeks and the highest game is 268. But there are no mumblings and complaining because the league asked for the tougher shot instead of the ridiculously easy shot we had last year. As I told many people, when I can average 223 only bowling once a week, it's easy. I, too, welcome the challenge. The problem is my brain shuts down after 2 games. LOL
Posted by: chipmunk bowl

Re: Interesting discussion with Laneman today - 11/23/08 03:46 PM

i think my house is doing something like that because they changed the pattern recently and we have been scoring bigger and bigger recently i nearly threw my first 200 yesterday and i have only been bowling a couple months and my last average was 149. my friend just bowled a 268 yesterday but i think he got some pretty lucky breaks. the pattern is really wet from 3rd to 5th arrow then dryer on the outsides.
Posted by: Dennis Michael

Re: Interesting discussion with Laneman today - 11/23/08 10:07 PM

Regardless of what we all say and think, bowlers are attracted by the ability to score high. The laneman is God when it comes to how you bowl.