Bowling lanes measure up for a new season

September brings two things: School and new five and ten pin bowling seasons. While the students hit the books, the bowlers are aiming to hit the pins and knock them into the pit with one, or at the most, two attempts per frame. While some dedicated bowlers hit the lanes during the summer, the majority take the summer off with the golf course the favourite location. One man who excels at both is Wendell Harrison, who has fired a perfect 300 game and scored a hole-in-one.

Before the bowlers step on the approach, the local association directors visit the lanes and inspect them to make sure they meet the requirements for sanctioning. After the local officials receive permission from the proprietors to inspect, the oil is stripped from the lanes to make sure they do not slip. Depending on the size of the house, two or more directors do the inspection. The lanes are usually re-surfaced once a year. The Canadian Tenpin Federation Inspection manual is over 70 pages long. Following are the highlights of the inspection process.

They arrive with a CTF inspection form, tape measure, 42- inch level, gutter and pit gauge, pit end gauge and a bowling lane gauge. Some of the 22 measurements taken are gutter depths, surfaces of the lanes to be sure they are level and don’t contain excessive depressions or grooves, distance between the kickbacks, location of the pin spots, surfaces of the pin decks for lengthwise and crosswise tilt and accuracy that the pin-setting machine places the pins upon their spots. Before this inspection takes place, the automatic machines are turned off and all employees must be aware that association officials are working close to and under the machines.

When the inspection is finished, a written report is given to management with any work to be done highlighted. When necessary, a short follow up visit is arranged. The completed form is sent to the federation, which issues the certification form for the current bowling season which runs from Aug. 1 to July 31.

If an honour score is rolled, the league secretary is required to fill out an honour score application form and submit it to Barb Hollands within 30 days. Honour scores are 300, 299, 298 or 290 singles, an 800 or better triple or 11 strikes in a row. There are also other awards including a Century award for surpassing your average in one game by 100 pins or better, sparing the “Big Four” split or “7 – 10 “ split and an all spare game.

The eight 10-pin houses in operation for this season are Splitsville Hamilton, Skyway Lanes, Bowlerama Stoney Creek, Burlington Bowl, Splitsville Burlington, Star Lanes, University Lanes and Whitehorse Lanes. The ten-pin houses no longer in play include Pla-Mor, Queenston Bowl, Mohawk, Grimsby Pro Bowl, Oakville Bowlerama, Ancaster Country Lanes, Bowlerama Brantford and Hamilton Centre Bowl. The president is Karen Nicol and association manager is Barbara Hollands.

Bill Rowe Jr. now has a shorter commute as he has moved from Pro Shop duties in Mississauga to Burlington Bowl’s Pro Shop.

Canada’s oldest sanctioned league, the City Tenpin returns to Skyway Lanes for its 113th season. Phil Morris is back for his 60th year, just 12 years under Bill Bailey’s one time world record of 72 years in one league.

The six five-pin house are Bowlerama Stoney Creek, University, Mountain, Sherwood, Waterdown and Roseland. The returning five-pin executive include president Norm Macdonald, vice-presidents Sue Burns and Gord Winger, secretary Terry Farrell, and treasurer Brenda Walters.

Another five and ten pin bowling season in Hamilton and District. What will it bring? I will let you know.

— Written by Jim Margueratt