Tonight I was recalling speed bowling. When you rent a lane by the hour and the hour is running out, the nature of bowling changes. The ideal is to have the ball on the way down the lane before the sweeper lifts. Speed bowling requires timing and finesse. You must know your alley. Every once in a while, not often, mind, the sweeper would not lift as quickly as it should have. Then you have to throw extra balls down the alley to knock the rejected ball down into the return mechanism, hoping all the while that the management is not watching.
But all that’s old hat. Tonight I was pondering how to make bowling a team game, and I harkened back to the speed-bowling days, and the accompanying hijinks, and I remembered other sweeper-damaging games. One of them is the foundation for team bowling.
As we all know, there are already bowling teams, but they don’t work as a team. It’s just a bunch of individual bowlers combining their stores. Not in my game. In my game team members must work together, and all that putting-a-spin-on-the-ball-so-it-hits-the-pocket-at-the-best-angle crap is out the window. The concept is simple. The team bowls. At the same time.
You could get pretty fancy with this. You could have one person lead with a lighter ball on one side of the pocket, so the ball deflects and reliably takes out one side of the rack, while another, hotter ball comes in on the other side, to bring kinetic energy and the resulting mayhem. Sweeper balls down the right and left to pick up the rabbit ears and you’re golden.
Of course, once one ball goes through, the sweeper drops. Here we bring in the artistry, the ballet that is team bowling. All the balls have to arrive down there within two seconds or so. Any ball hitting the sweeper is a scratch. So you have four bowlers, all trying to bowl on the same lane at the same time. This is where the teamwork comes in. Left-handed bowlers will be tremendously valuable – every team will want one, and would prefer to have two.
I picture the four gathered at the top of the alley. the first releases a slow but dead-on granny shot which slowly trundles down the lane. The rest of the team sets up, and when the ball reaches a certain point the crasher releases his ball, to be followed moments later by the cleanup team, who are just sending in some extra kinetic energy to make sure that anything that might fall down, will fall down.
The way I see it, a strike is one point. Knocking down all but the head pin is two points. Knocking down all but the five pin, buried in the center of the mayhem, is five points.
May the best team win.