Tired of that same old bowling league format? While you're thinking of signing up for fall bowling leagues, consider the match point system of scoring.
Match point scoring adds an element of individual competition to team bowling that can make for more interesting team matches.
In your traditional bowling league, the team with the most pins for each game wins one point. With another point awarded for total pins for three games, there's a possible four points to be won on a given night.
In the match point system, each bowler on a team is paired against a bowler on the other team. Whoever has the highest score for a particular game wins a point. At the same time, the team with the most total pins for a particular game also wins a point.
At the beginning of the night, the team higher in the standings, or with the higher team average, plugs in its lineup. Then the other team decides who will bowl against whom. Strategy becomes important.
If you're in a handicap league, should you send your best bowler -- a 190-average guy -- against their best bowler -- a 210 average -- or should you pit your 175-average player against their best bowler and benefit from more pins handicap?
Dick Davis, a former bowling proprietor and Fair Lanes executive who now operates a consulting business out of his Timonium home, says the match point scoring system is an easy, no-cost way to add fun and excitement to league play.
Because it's rare that a team gets shut out in match point scoring, team races are more interesting. More teams stay competitive longer, giving teams lower down in the standings a reason to keep bowling.
"There's a lot of pluses to it," said Davis. "What we're talking about is how much fun the game of bowling can be."
If you've never tried the match point system, it can be confusing at first.
And you may not like the added pressure of trying to beat your individual opponent. But after a few weeks, you may get to like it.
If you know an interesting bowler, or have a good bowling story to tell, please call me at (410) 494-2944, or write to The Sun, 1300 Bellona Ave., Lutherville, 21093. You also can fax letters or scores to (410) 494-2916. Please enclose a name and phone number for verification.