SPORTS SHOT vs. HOUSE SHOT - "Why don't the RealBowlers Tour use a house shot? You would attract so many more bowlers."

This is a comment that i hear more times than i care to remember. Is it a fact or an assumption? Maybe, maybe not. There are legitimate valid points on both sides of the argument and the factor that drives my response is the original mission and goal of the REALBOWLERS TOUR. For those of you that don't know, we originally designed the RBT to provide a consistent structured tournament circuit for the competitive scratch bowler. When I think of a competitive scratch bowler I think of a individual that revels at the chance to compete against the best in a some what challenging environment. That environment don't have to be tough, it at least should be challenging. Challenges make you stronger. I've had bowlers tell me many times that their participation in our tournaments have made them better. Competing against the best will eventually aid in developing your overall skill and mental toughness if you approach it from the right perspective. WHY NOT USE A HOUSE SHOT? I believe the name sums it up......House shot= a pattern bowling center uses to build bowling leagues and increase open bowling etc. House shots were designed to lead your ball to the pocket rolling up the 10th board which encourages more strikes, which increase league membership and bowling center patronage. There is nothing wrong in my opinion with tournaments using house patterns, because I do believe that most 200+ average carrying bowlers prefer to compete on the condition there average was established. Its your natural comfort zone.....its human nature. Think about this question......What makes bowling a SPORT and not a activity? In my opinion, what makes bowling a legitimate respected sport is the challenge factor of the lane conditions and the grinding formats. If there is no different challenge to the lanes than what an open bowler faces, in my book it becomes more of an activity than sport. Now thats my opinion and my opinion is simply that, my opinion.:) Now don't get me wrong, the conditions don't have to be extremely tough to make it different and we are experimenting with patterns for next season so that it is not so difficult where it becomes discouraging. Nobody likes to bowl bad. We don't want the shot conditions so tough that its frustrating and you feel you have no shot at succeeding. Next season we will not use the PBA patterns, we will find patterns that are playable with a element of difficulty so that more bowlers have a chance of success on them. Our goal is to ultimately help develope more competitive scratch bowlers so that we can grow the SPORT of bowling. What do you think? I want to hear your thoughts. Tim McNair

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Comment by Carl Hall on January 20, 2009 at 3:11pm
A house shot at a tourney with good bowler will just turn into a carry competition.. Throw it right and hope it carrys.. It's amazing on some leagues 290 won't win any jackpot on a consistant basis... But the same bowler in a sport league average 150... hmmm That say something
Comment by Matthew Traynham on January 18, 2009 at 2:36am
I look at bowling tournaments this way. If you are interested in pulling a handicap tournament then you will probably bring in a lot more bowlers to the tournament by using a house shot. Even a modified shot would sate the appetites of most handicap tournament bowlers. It allows for a more average field of play to compete and even newer bowlers tend to have a shot on this type of condition.
If you want to get the top bowlers coming to your tournament then I believe you must put out competitive patterns. Some of the better bowlers will at times pass up a tournament that simply comes down to CARRY. Better bowlers will consistently be in the pocket and stringing together lots of strikes on simple patterns. A sport shot will weed out the bowlers that are on top of their game and put them in the money. I do believe a tougher shot makes you better over all as a bowler who wishes to be competitive.
I will say this about your tournament,i see lots of bowlers that are PBA regional bowlers enter your tournaments. These guys will usually jump at the opportunity to bowl a tournament that offers a solid payout and one that has a shot that isn't a cake walk. Hell they are bowling on those shots already. I believe you can change up a little on the difficulty of the shot but I wouldn't give anything to the bowlers that takes away from what the fundamentals of your tournament is based on, and that being REAL BOWLERS.
I think you run a great tournament with nice high end payouts and if your entries have slipped it is more than likely the unfortunate state of the economy. I have bowled a couple of tournaments in the past and am looking at bowling one this year. I will see you in SC in March as long as all goes well.
Comment by Jack Taylor on October 26, 2008 at 9:19pm
Also no 2 day tournaments, not a big fan of 2 day tournaments unless there is a golf outing the day before the tournament
Comment by Jack Taylor on October 26, 2008 at 9:15pm
Megan the issue bout the high school bowling is correct and also bout the tournament to. That is one thing i can say the the nothern states do better than the south in highschool bowling. My thing is you guys run a great tournament. Entry fee lower is going to help, i know because i did not like the entry fee at 150 but i paid it and it was well worth it to bowl on a tuff shot and to bowl with bowlers that some ability beyond a tipicall house shot bowler but you also have to remember that i do it for fun not for the money. Most bowlers who come to your tournament come to make money. I think that you might want to go out to different money leagues in Atlanta and say to people who are not bowling the realbowlers tournaments and ask them, "why are you not bowling?" Ask 205 avg plus bowlers. If you need help please call me or talk to me next thursday. Theo, Tim talk to me next thursday i got an idea that might help. Also take that bs bout the "house shot" tournament and throw it in the trash, YOU WILL LOSE YOUR REGULAR SUPPORTERS espically me. I will go to alabama to roll if you guys do that. And dont put playable shot or sport shot on the flyer. If people dont understand that being a realbowler means rolling on a tough shot they are dumber than the people bowling thursday early mens league and THAT IS DUMBER THAN A SACK OF ROCKS. When i first bowled your tournament i just moved down here two weeks pryer to the tournament and i shot you an email bout the tournament and i have been hooked ever since. Also dont bring the amount of qualifying game down past 5 please.
Comment by TIM MCNAIR on October 20, 2008 at 7:00pm
Nice post Megan, that is pretty much the mind set we have in doing tournaments. Its been sort of like pulling teeth trying to promote that idea. We totally understand both sides of the arguement and has tried fervently to please every one on this issue. My belief is that at the end of the day, tournament bowling should be different than league. The shot dont have to be like quantum physics, but it should at least have a element of difficulty. We are working on that for this new season and hopefully we can continue to get more and more bowlers to buy into it.
Comment by Megan Kimbler on October 20, 2008 at 6:00pm
To get "technically" correct before I get on my soap box...A sport shot is the extreme of all shots. There are leagues dedicated to these shots, sanctioned by the USBC, and the oil patterns are nothing compared to what the professional bowlers are bowling on. A true sport pattern allows the bowler about 1.5 boards of play to the pocket. A pba shot allows 2-3 boards of play to the pocket. A "modified sport" shot allows about 3-4 boards to the pocket. A "modified pba shot" allows about 4-5 boards to the pocket. Using any of the more technically challenging shots allows for serious, competitive bolwers make their game better. In today's game, there is more to bowling than ball placement on the lane. Other factors have to be taken into consideration like ball speed, ball surface, hand position, timing, ball choice, etc...By eliminating the typical playing area of 5-15 on both sides of the lanes, a bowler then has to rely on the other factors of the game. I do not know if you have High School bowling in the South, but in the North, high schoolers are now having to learn how to compete on tougher lane conditions. The patterns are not typical house shots and teach the younger generation how to use the whole lane. This also allows for the youth to be better prepared for college sport shots, which are true sport shots. That is also why you are seeing the rise of many younger bowlers on the professional tours because they are bowling on the most difficult lane conditions there are. For tournaments, I am a strong believer that the shot should be more difficult. It then challenges all bowlers across the board on equal terms. A competitive bowler, I would hope, would try to learn what pattern will be laid out, check their equipment surfaces, and use league as practice to play different parts of the lane. In today's game, there are too many individuals that are scratch because they can consistently hit a target area, not an actual specific target and make all the pins fall down because of there overpriced bowling ball. Does this make them a good bowler? Who wants to go to a tournament on a house shot, bowl a solid 660, averaging 220, and not cash because some average Joe came out, dumped to ball to the right, watched it curve left, and carry better than the rest of the field? What is the point of going to the tourament and wasting an entry fee, gas, side pots, brackets, food, drinks, cards, etc...? I honestly don't think that you want to put down a true Sport Shot, but I do think that you want to challenge your bowlers. In the long run, it will make them better competitors.
Comment by Kennylaneshark on September 15, 2008 at 2:36pm
Here's somthing to throw on the wall and see if it sticks. What is the purpose of the tour? Who do you hope to attract to your tournament? I have been bowling for a living for about 20 yrs. up until two yrs. ago. I had to get a regular 9-5 because of alot of tournament directors that just don't seem to get it. We are currently in economical hard times for most with high jobless rates and high gas prices. I have seen a steady decline over the past 3yrs. of tournaments that start strong but for different reasons seem to lose their steam. I don't think that the lane conditions really make any difference to most players. It's the idea of having to put out $120 to $150 for entry fee and then being unable to compete. If a bowler is going to be subjected to tough conditions then thats fine as long as he gets the same opportunity to practice on these tougher conditions to prepare for it. The idea of having a tour that you can be a part of is good. It gives a guy that maybe doesn't have the money or time to commit to the pba something to bowl on a competitive level. But one must realize the bowling ability of his bowlers. You are not running a pro tour so you shouldn't subject people to so called tour conditions. This includes kegel patterns, sport patterns and any other groups that are trying to sell their product such as oil or exposure for their pro tour. Back when I entered to adult ranks, House shots were much tougher than nowadays. Why not take the house patterns and change the distance and take out the first 5-7 boards on both sides.Let people bowl on something they are more familiar with and tweak it alittle. This should be enough to keep everyone honest and let's face it the best bowlers usually finish at the top no matter what you bowl on right. It's the few that think they are so much better than the competition and want brutal conditons . I have seen these clowns look like bad bowlers on easy and tough conditions. Lately,I have seen many tournaments including yours losing entries over the last several months, which is a shame because you guys run a great tournament. Maybe its time to let the groups that are only trying to sell their product find some other way to do so. Get creative and think for yourself. With todays machines you can do alot. I am starting my own tour in N.C. called Lanesharks Bowlers Tour with my own idea of a competitve condition. I wish you guys luck in the future but unless you change somethings I'm afraid that the tour may go under. Let's hope not because there are very few quality tournaments to bowl nowadays. Call me sometime and I could give you guys some ideas on challenging lane conditons which should allow most people to be able to compete and even if they don't cash they will still want to come participate in the future. I also think that if you scale back alittle on your entry fee , cut out all the extras such as membership fees maybe more people will be able to afford to bowl your tournaments. Maybe just pay $1000 to win and try to pay more people. Hey it works for the pba lol.Just a thought, Well gotta go there are some pins to munch on . Later---- the laneshark
Comment by Theo McNair on September 13, 2008 at 12:11pm
One thing I have observed is tournament coordinators in other states that have similar tours to what we are doing, the past couple months have had great participation (80 and 90 bowlers). And most of that has come as a result of the locals coming out and supporting the events. I would like to challenge more of the locals to come participate, especially the ones that have never tried, to come and experience bowling in a top notch tournament with top notch bowlers.
Comment by Shaun Goodwin on September 3, 2008 at 12:42pm
Here in Alaska we have just recently grown out of the " House " shot phase. The majority of tournaments were modified house shots, not to tough, not a cakewalk. While thats all said and good, last year, I won the first singles tournament of the year on a house shot. I averaged 238 for the 22 games, and felt good about it, but not great. Later in the year I won another singles tournament on the 2007 masters pattern. I averaged 203 to make the stepladder (qualified 3rd) and found some big games to finish the tournament. That win was MUCH MUCH more rewarding, simply because I knew that I outbowled all the other competitors on a condition that rewarded your ability, accuracy, and overall skill. I am a firm believer in tournaments being MUCH tougher patterns than daily leagues. Keep throwin down the tougher shots guys, after all, they are meant for the REAL BOWLERS....right? =-)
Comment by Kyle Miller on September 3, 2008 at 12:09pm
Dont ever change your thought on this. If you are a good bowler then you dont want to bowl on a house shot in a tournament.House shots were made to improve averages and league participation.Of course this didnt work because there is less league bowlers today than there was 10 years ago.I really respect what you have done with the lane conditions, alot of tournament directors would have gave in and made the conditions easy to try and get more entries.Its a releif knowing that I dont have to come to your tournament and strike forever to compete.True scratch bowlers dont event think about the shot untill they start practice.Its just a product of todays game these days, you have guys averaging 220 in league on a house shot and then they bowl on a tough condition and get it handed to them and they lose interest.Also Atlanta doesnt have alot of tournament bowlers these days and thats also a factor.This is a shame because if you look at the pro regionals guys that bowled here(Jason, Stoney) are doing well so that tells you the talent is here.

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