Monday, November 9, 2009

Patches? We don't need no stinkin' patches!

I love my patches. I have two affixed to my jersey. When my wife came to bowling night a couple of weeks ago, she said, "You have to remove those patches." She noted that nobody else in league flaunted their accomplishments on their jersey (not that anybody else wears jerseys). The other Movements like to make fun of them, too. But you know what? Everybody likes a patch, and only two BM's have 'em. This provides an obvious opportunity for making fun of those who lack patches. The BM Patch Club was formed at the end of last season. It still has only two members (me and Johnny), but it's membership will grow to include at least Daniele at the end of this season. I put them on my jersey for two reasons. 1) What else should I do with them? 2) I think it is funny to flaunt the 180 game patch. Is that really something to be proud of?

The USBC has a fairly large number of patches that can be earned for accomplishment in bowling. My favorites, none of which have I earned, are the Special Achievement awards. These are for rare accomplishments. They consist of: 1) 7-10 conversion; 2) Big four split conversion; 3) All spare game; 4) Dutch 200 game; 5) Triplicate series. I don't really want to get into what all of these things are, but they are hard to do. They don't really speak to your ability as a bowler. They are just really unusual occurrences. Someday, I'd be thrilled to get just one.

So far, I have only earned Single Game Awards, the 180 game and the 200 game patches. The next step up in this series of awards is the 250 game award. In fact, the 180 and 200 patches are currently unavailable to me because in order to get them, you need an average under 140 and 160, respectively. I think I earned another 200 patch during the first three weeks of league, but since then, my average has crested the 160 mark. So, now my next target is the 250 patch.

As I pondered to which part of my jersey I should affix this patch, I realized that I had no idea what it would take to actually roll a 250. Quite some time ago, I looked at what must be done to roll 200. So, I thought I'd do the same for 250. In short, I realized that my 250 patch is a long way away. In fact, I may never get one. Let's start with the obvious. In the 81 games of league bowling that we have on record, I have only crested 200 three times. My high game is a 226. You can see it on the bottom of the blog. So, a 250 is pretty far away.

Above are four hypothetical 250 games. What I found is that in order to get to 250, you need at least seven strikes. I have achieved this twice in single games, except in order to get to 250, those strikes have to be consecutive and not in the 10th. I have never recorded more than five in a row. If you only get seven, you have to spare the remaining frames. If you don't string strikes together, then it is more easily done with eight or nine strikes, if you think that's easy. For example, the top game has nine strikes with three turkeys. Three turkeys in one game? I'm happy to get one in a series. In short, in order to make 250 a realistic possibility, you have to be able to throw strikes at a high rate. I currently strike only 1/3 of frames on average.

So, maybe I'll work on that Dutch 200 game patch instead cause I am a long way from 250. Or maybe I'll just buy one and pretend like it's mine, and while I'm at it, I think I'll get a perfect game jacket, too.


  1. I was going to say something about impersonating a bowler, but I've been doing that all along... Impersonating a GOOD bowler, however? I think the USBC would strip you of your patches in The Rite of Defrocking and then sanction you...

  2. Aren't you supposed to emulate the behavior of those who you admire? I admire police officers, so I should dress like one, right?

  3. Dude stop knocking the 180 patch! It is close to my all-time high score. I have broke 170 twice this season, I hope to see a 180 patch in my future.

    By the way, I like the pataches on the jersey - what does nicole know. If everyone had cool uni's like ours they would probably have patches too. Also as a new trend if I get my 180 patch - I'm making a black 180 patch ballcap that I wear every frackn' game.

  4. Sorry, Joe. I am convinced you will get your 180 patch, but it's probably going to take a while.

  5. Once again, I think tattoos are the answer. In fact; I can't think of a situation where a tattoo can't solve the problem.


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