by Randy Ooney
My Nickel’s Worth by Randy Ooney
As usual, while the winter snow is melting off the roof, many bowling tournaments are taking place throughout the state and the country. Tournament directors strive to make their event a benchmark, so past and present competition includes some events with special rules. We see some “Lucky 13” tourneys occasionally, as well as the familiar “40 frame game” with various gimmicks in appointed frames. The longest standing special rules tournament remains the “No Tap”. Any count of nine is scored as a strike. The curious part of no tap is the handicap system. Most tournaments need to offer handicap in order to get people interested and obtain sufficient entries to be successful. Unfortunately the USBC does not maintain no tap records, so handicap is based on a league average of regular scored bowling. There’s a flaw in the system. I know many bowlers who throw powerful shots and strike often, but their average suffers due to a poor percentage of conversions of corner pin spares. If you see yourself in this paragraph, make the trip to the Island or Little Falls and pick up some cash. I wonder if Mike Scroggins will be making an appearance there.
As someone who has whiffed more than a few ten pins over a season, I often marvel at some of the stats offered on the PBA telecasts. Frequently they will show weekly performance records of players who converted 98 or 100 per cent of their single pin spares in a tournament. And since they are professionals, I have to believe that most of those single pins are on the corners. A no tap tournament may produce a higher score, but will not help your league average.
There is a new style tournament which I have not heard of in the past, mainly because I made it up this week. The Ooney All Tap tournament format. The rules of bowling are altered slightly. If you count nine or less on the first ball, you must attempt to convert the spare. If you strike, you receive credit for a nine spare, or nine in the 11th frame.
The highest possible score in all tap would be 190. Finally, a tournament that places a premium on making spares. And, if you are a victim of frequent 9 count taps, you can not get blown off the lanes by guys like Lumpy, Smilin’ Carl, and drock, who strike at will.
There could be a drawback however. Most automatic scoring equipment has software designed to keep score for no tap events. However, I don’t think anyone thought of putting all tap into the scoring system. You may have to actually use a piece of paper and find someone to write the score down with a pencil. Believe it our not, that’s the way all scores used to be recorded. But once AT&T and Verizon get the news about the all tap rage sweeping the bowling industry, I am sure a scorekeeping application will be available on your phone.
And after all tap takes hold and becomes boring, I am working on the Ooney duck walk approach tournament, which could be the wave of the future. Keep those knees flexible!