Want to get better at bowling? Want to get the kids involved in a weekly league? Or do you just want to go out for some rather "mindless" entertainment on the lanes?
Any and all of those are possible with leagues starting in January at Superior Lanes in Marquette Township.
In an effort to get more casual bowlers to get in the habit of the sport, manager Amy Manning and her staff have developed these speciality leagues for all ages that have seasons that only run about two months each.
There's actually a pair of 9-pin "no tap" fun evening leagues, where knocking down nine of the 10 pins counts as a strike. One league runs Thursdays for 10 weeks starting Jan. 23, the other on Sundays for eight weeks beginning Jan. 26. Each has three-person teams where each bowler rolls three games weekly starting at 7 p.m. and costs $12 a person per week, with handicap so all abilities can compete on a level playing field, or in this case, lane.
Then there's the youth leagues, each running for eight weeks on Saturdays, one this winter from Jan. 18-March 8 and other in the spring from April 12-May 31. Cost is just $8 per child per week and at the end, every bowler receives a free bowling ball.
Registration days are Saturday, Jan. 11, for the winter league and April 5 for the spring one.
Finally, the USA Bowling League is another Saturday league where one coach per team will be available during league sessions to help bowlers better master the sport. This league runs from Jan. 18-April 5 and bowls at 2 p.m. Saturdays, plus for another hour of practice each week as determined by each team.
With registration being held Jan. 11, cost is $8 per week and members received a free pair of new bowling shoes, a ball bag or a discount on a new ball.
For information on any of these leagues, call Superior Lanes at 225-9230 or email the staff at email@example.com.
I mentioned last week that my own Mining Journal Bowler of the Week co-winning score (with John LaFountain) would pop up again this week.
Trust me, I feel really awkward tooting my own horn, but I knew for the good of the Holiday Doubles tournament held in late November and early December, I should get the results out to you.
And that result? My partner, Mike Trickey, and I won. And won by a pretty big margin of 41 pins, if I do say so myself (and yes I do).
We did it the old-fashioned way - with teamwork. With the handicap for the tourney being 100 percent from a 230 average, this was basically a pins-over average contest. And while I was an MJ-high 131 over with 683, Trickey wasn't far behind at 121 over with 685.
This was on Dec. 9, the final week of the event and more importantly to me, my birthday.
It was almost predetermined that I would pick Mike, since I first was going to go with one of my Republic Memorials teammates in the Monday Northern Automotive Electric Industrial League at Country Lanes.
We were a man short with four bowlers that night, and I decided against going with team captain Pat Gingras, since he was debuting a new ball, and Jim Goloversic, who was trying out a wristband for the first time ever.
Mike and I got hot the first game, each hitting 243, and we more or less coasted from there, not withstanding the back-to-back pocket 7-10 splits I left early in the third game.
We won $400 for our efforts, while the runners-up, Jeff Miller and Scott Salminen, got $200. With 259 entries, 86 places were paid, and actually more than that, since some people were on the cash list more than the three times allowed, meaning the next team in line took their place.
That 86th place came in at 1,426, which was only 46 pins total over average. It was actually three teams each winning $10 - Ardi Payan and Carl Eiben, Jen Lake and Rich Vanderschaegan, and Freda Belmore and Hope Virch.
The 259 teams paid $2,590 ($10 each) in entry fees, and with a $200 contribution from the Marquette County U.S. Bowling Congress Association, so $2,790 was paid out in prize money.
Now on to this week Mining Journal Bowlers of the Week, for the week of Dec. 13-19:
Andrew Virch won a close men's race, beating out two bowlers by two pins each.
Virch, bowling in the Wednesday Industrial League at Superior, shot 134 pins over his 200 average with 734 on games of 278, 225 and 231.
Erik Vanlangendon, also in the Wednesday Industrial, was 132 over his 194 average with 714 and a 267 high game; and Dave St. Onge was the same plus-132 over his 187 average in the Monday Northern Electric Automotive Industrial with 693 and a top game of 259.
For the women, Tina Brandel carried the day with 102 pins over her 143 average in the Tuesday Night Mixed at Superior with 531 and a high game of 187.
Next was Dawn Jachovich in the Thursday Night Ladies at Country, surpassing her 126 average by 88 pins with 466 and a top game of 179; followed by Amber Buckmaster in the Wednesday Industrial, beating her 196 average by 76 pins with 664 and a big game of 227.