This week I am going to tell you something about my experience in Ten Pin Bowling tournaments.
There seems to be quite a bit of misinformation in the bowling community when it comes to tournaments. People seem to think that you have to be good enough to bowl in them, and by "good enough" they mean having an average that exceeds 200. I'm glad I never thought that way, because I wouldn't have been a state or national champion if I had. Admittedly my state titles were in B Grade Doubles and Restricted Masters and my national title (which I share with my wife) was in D Grade Mixed Doubles.
One thing I learned quite early was that tournaments were graded and that I would only ever be bowling against people that were about the same standard as myself, so there's no real feeling of not having any chance of winning. Any event that is marked as "Restricted" is not only restricted by average (men must have averages less than 180 for most restricted events) they are handicap events, which mean that you get additional points added to your score based on your average, which evens the field considerably.
While I didn't have much success at tournaments and team trials I still enjoyed participating in them so when my wife and I were invited to join the seniors we decided to give it a go. At the time I was bowling right handed and I didn't have much luck. Sue, on the other hand, made the team on her first attempt. What's more, the team ACT won the the Graded Team Challenge that year so she got to boast that she was a national champion.
I had had some success bowling league right handed, set myself a new high score, even managed to bowl a 700 series, but things seemed to start deteriorating and my right hand average started a downward spiral that didn't seen to want to stop, so I switched hands again. My first attempt at the team trials as a lefty was successful and I got to join the team in Hobart, which is where Sue and I won our mixed doubles.
Since 2006 I have represented the ACT at the Seniors' National Championships 4 time. One of those time I was the ACT Restricted Masters Representative, having won the state title, and I almost won the national title, coming second in the competition.
I love bowling in tournaments and hope to be able to again, but, since moving to Albury, I have only participated in one and wasn't particularly success in that. I hope to get back into the seniors some time soon. Because we now live so close to Victoria (it's just across the border) and future representation will be for that state, and from what I've heard, it will be harder to get a position on their team, but I will try, one day.