If you're a duckpin bowler in Carroll County, it would be unusual for you not to know Joe Rineer. He operates the Mount Airy duckpin center and is one of the better duckpin bowlers in the nation.
In addition, Joe is able to analyze the game as few others can. His philosophy is simple: know your game front to back, and when you're bowling bad you can make an adjustment. Make it LTC while you're bowling, not the next day, not next week, but instantly, while it can still salvage a game or a series.
Does it work?
"I was bowling in tournament at the beginning of August in Hagerstown," Joe said. "It was an eight-game block and the first three games were horrible: a total of 379 [That's a long way from Joe's current average of 148]. It wasn't until the third frame of the fourth game that I realized that I was covering too much distance on my second step. I immediately shortened it."
Did that one small adjustment make a difference?
Joe finished the fourth game with a 165, then threw a 212 and a 227 for a 604 set. That's the best evidence you're ever going to get that knowing your game is the best way out of a slump.
Can you bowl both duckpins and tenpins successfully?
Carroll County bowlers Abey Abend and Dennis Frock teamed up this month to take first place in a tenpin tournament and second place in a duckpin tournament at Thunderhead Taneytown.
Dennis, averaging 121 in ducks and 177 in tenpins, and Abey, averaging 138 in ducks and 200 in tenpins, threw a 1,435 total in the tenpin tournament andan 1,133 in the duckpin event.
* If you had walked into Thunderhead Westminster lanes Aug. 19, you would have found another example of the very best in bowling: grandparents competing with grandchildren, and everyone having a good time.
Jean and Frank Sapp live in Hanover, Pa., and traveled to Westminster to spend some time with daughter Patricia, son-in-law Jody Farver and their grandsons, 11-year-old Nick and 9-year-old Matt.
Nick, a pitcher for the Finksburg baseball club, really isn't a bowler. Neither is Matt, a center-fielder. Frank, a retired Baltimore Sun employee, doesn't bowl either.
How about Jean? "I'm not a bowler either, haven't had a bowling ball in hand for over 40 years," the retired Random House employee said. "But my sisters, Margaret [Czyzewski] and Doris [Ports] have bowled duckpins for more than 20 years in Reisterstown, and they've asked me to join their team this year. So I guess you could say this is practice for the fall league. And it's fun for the grandsons, fun for everyone."
* With the fall/winter season beginning, this is a good time to review some of the rules of bowling etiquette. Bear in mind that sportsmanship is important at all times.
* Don't ignore the foul line. Stay behind it.
* Do not delay the game. After you deliver the ball, walk back to the end of the approach. Maintain a pace and finish the game promptly to allow each bowler and each league adequate time on the lanes.
* During and after delivery, confine your "body English" to your own approach area.
* Respect the approach and delivery, and don't talk while you or other bowlers are there.
* Remember, there's no place in bowling for bad temper or abusive language.
* There's a duckpin rule against waiting for the third ball to return. Enforce it in your league.