Playmaker, Gamebreak choice in one-ball tourney
Aug 11, 2009
This is it, it is go time.
You are going in blind, the conditions are unknown, so you better make a decision and hope it is the right one.
This is not a James Bond-esque mission; it is a bowling tournament, but the concepts are the same.
Bowlers on the Junior Bowlers Tour were recently challenged to make this decision: choose one bowling ball and choose carefully, because it is for better or worse, there will be no changing up.
“I had been thinking about this for a few years,” said Chuck Pezzano Jr. “I wanted to give the junior bowlers a chance to test their versatility on the different lane conditions without the benefit of being able to change balls.”
On June 28, at Van Houten Lanes in Clifton, N.J., bowlers were able to test their skill at adjusting and adapting to the lane conditions at the Ebonite One Ball Tournament.
Bowlers were required to use a ball from the Ebonite International, Inc., family — Ebonite, Hammer, Columbia 300 or Track. Participants could choose any ball from the four brands but the choice had to be made before practicing and once the choice was made, it was set in stone. Tournament organizers checked bags as entrants walked through the door to make sure that no one had more than one ball.
“Years ago, bowlers did not have the option of changing balls because everyone only owned one ball,” Pezzano said. “That is all different now as there are balls designed for specific lane conditions. Limiting the bowlers to one ball forced them to make a strategic decision in their selection of equipment.”
The 55 participants were a high-quality field of scratch junior bowlers averaging in the 190-220 range, he said.
Every bowler had to bowl eight games, one game on each pair of the 16 lane center, each pair with a different oil pattern. The top four bowlers advanced to the finals.
“It was very interesting to watch the tournament and see what strategies worked best,” Pezzano said. “We had some very low-scoring lanes where survival was the key, and some high-scoring lanes where bowlers needed to take advantage of their opportunities, and everything in between.”
Pezzano said bowlers averaged 135 on the low scoring lanes.
“Most people chose (Ebonite’s) Playmaker or Gamebreaker,” he said.
This was the first year Pezzano has held the one-ball tournament but he plans to do it again.
“The response was very positive from the bowlers and their families,” he said. “I think everyone left with a greater appreciation and understanding that having the right ball is crucial in order to maximize their scores.”
— Based in Hopkinsville, Ky., Ebonite International is a privately-owned company that currently services bowling centers, distributors and retail outlets both domestically and internationally. The company’s consumer product brands include Ebonite, Hammer, Robby’s, Columbia 300, Track and Powerhouse™. Its commercial product brand is Ebonite Bowling Center Direct.
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