Friday, July 23, 2004

Skinny pins and mini balls 

Went candlepin bowling tonight.  It's a popular thing in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, and Eastern Canada and I've always been frustrated by it.  But I hadn't played in several years and it was far more enjoyable than I remembered.

For those who don't know:  Candlepin bowling is like normal bowling, except the ball has no holes and is the approximate size of a gobstopper.  OK, it's not quite that small.  It's like an oversized Skee Ball or a softball.  Other differences from regular bowling:  you get three shots per frame, the pins are skinny, and they don't get swept away between shots.

Because of all the differences, you can hit a seemingly good shot and the ball will plow straight through two pins and not hit anything else.  That's when it gets frustrating.  But the fun part is using the pins that are lying there to whack the ones that are still standing.  It's a big part of the strategy.  If, for instance, the center pin is the only one left standing, you'd probably have a better chance of knocking it down using the pin carcasses than you would aiming right for it with your shrunken ball.

I shot a 94 in my first game and a 95 in the second.  From a quick perusal of the scores on the other lanes, that seemed better than average.  I might actually check and see if there is a random candlepin lane at home.

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