News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Kegler's Korner

December 10, 2006

Kegler's Korner: Get the professional experience with a sport league

TERRE HAUTE — You may have seen this week that DirecTV will offer NASCAR fans an opportunity to watch an entire race from the driver’s perspective in all their races next season.

Subscribers will have access to five channels for five different drivers, which will change every week. This feature debuts with the Daytona 500 in February.

Well, bowling — always on the cutting edge — has already taken this one step further.

If you want to experience what it feels like to be a professional bowler — to bowl on lane conditions they face each week on tour — a “PBA Experience” or “Sport Bowling” league is the answer.

This is better than sitting in front of a TV or computer screen for a stock car race, much like in a video game driving a car. This would be more analogous to driving the car in the actual race.

Many bowlers have mastered their usual bowling establishment, but have them bowl at other facilities, especially in tournaments, many times they fall flat on their faces … vowing never to return. Yet, the competitive bowler is always looking for a new challenge.

In the past, the local 700 Club has been the best opportunity of “varying” conditions, hitting all the area bowling centers during its season.

But in “Sport Bowling”, this is done in a weekly league … and best of all, it’s all done at one location.

The five lane/oil patterns utilized on the PBA Tour are colorfully and aptly named: Chameleon, Cheetah, Shark, Scorpion and Viper. Men and women PBA professionals that you watch face these conditions each Sunday on ESPN.

The Terre Haute Bowling Center offered a version of this option last summer, in a 12-week league. According to league organizer Jerry Wence, the head mechanic at THBC, about 20 bowlers competed in this league.

“Our [oiling] machine is a Phoenix S which holds seven different oil patterns,” Wence said shortly after a busy Saturday morning of junior bowling he spent behind the THBC’s 40 lanes. “We put our house shot in one, then the other six patterns [noted above].

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