11th Frame


This article is full of shirts.

Decades ago almost every bowling team wore matching shirts or blouses. That spanned all leagues, women’s, men’s and even mixed leagues.

I recall back in the 1960s when my parents along with my mother’s sister and her husband bowled on the same team in a mixed league. They had matching tops. As we were a card-playing family, they called their team the Sharks, as in card sharks. Their team uniform was sea blue with a vivid image of a shark fully across their backs. They were the talk of the league. Especially when they fed on the other teams, often winning the league.  It didn’t hurt that my mother had two state team championships and was selected into the Dayton Women’s Bowling Hall of Fame.

Other teams had matching  tops, but none were as impressive as the Sharks. Most of the men’s and women’s leagues all but required the teams to be in uniform, i.e. matching tops. Unlike the mixed leagues, the teams had corporate sponsors and it was almost a requirement to have matching shirts or blouses. The companies would go all out to promote their product on the shirts.

While most leagues still have sponsors, over the decades, the number of bowling teams in uniform have dwindled somewhat. There have been some creative attire over the years and creativity is endless. I can recall a team sponsored by a sport shop provided a complete uniform for its men’s team that was a complete uniform — shirts and pants that were all camouflage with a target on the back. Another team sponsored by a meat market, emblazoned their slogan, “You can’t beat our meat,” across their shirts.

Before screen printing, the shirts were often embroidered with the business logo. Things have changed, but in the last few years, I have seen many more team sponsors investing in matching tops. It is both welcome and nostalgic. I invite all the readers to share their favorite story about team uniforms. Including women’s teams who often had matching skirts. Send your memories of bowling apparel to bill.ryan55@yahoo.comand some of them may just appear in a future column.

Upcoming events:

  • Bowling for Boobs returns to Al-Mar on Nov. 5, beginning with breakfast 10 a.m. Cost is $25 per person with all proceeds going to the Susan G. Komen charity, Race for the Cure. This charitable event will use a no-tap scoring system where nine pins on the first ball counts as a strike.
  • CJ’s Sports Bar and Restaurant will feature a special this Friday as diners who purchase the locally-famous rib dinner will receive a free piece of cheesecake with it. The offer begins at 5 p.m. and runs until they are sold out.

In the leagues:

This week’s highlight comes from the Ladies Major League where Pancha Melendrez blasted the pins for a 278 high game in herstellar 750 series. Her 250 average on Oct. 2, boosted her league-leading average to 220.  Sandy Naugle bowled a 234 game.

Marsh & Marsh leads Division 1 with a 36-6 record and a 9-point lead over their closest rivals. Ruck & Wright Law Office has a 1-point lead over the second place team in Division 2. They have a 25-17 record; while Or’s Sunoco is 24-18 and Groom Room is 23-29.

In the East division of the Eagles league, five points separate the top five teams.  American Family Insurance, 32-10; Frisch’s Big Boy N. Main, 31-11; Gerdeman Insurance 30-12; Rosenboom, 29-13; and Ryan’s Steak House, 28-14. Naugle leads the West division at 24-18.

Lucas Jenne led the league last week with a 725 series with a high game of 248. Michael Wachter had the high game of 259 for 701.

In the American league the East division tightened up even more as only four points separate all eight teams with just four more weeks remaining in the first third.  Jug’s South and Sundae Station-Brant Ent. are tied at 27-15.  Thayer Ford-Nissan is one point back at 26-16. Al Smith Chrysler is atop the West division with a stellar 33-9 record. Boy’s Nite Out is 13 points back at 20-22.

Last week four bowlers cracked the 700 mark led by Nate Henschen, 267, 715; Brad Simon, 714; Jay Samelak, 267, 708 and Brian Dimick, 704. Dimick had the high game of 279; and Gene Van De Velde, had a 277.

In the Elks league Gary Wachter led the league with a 269 high game for 716. Matt Truman bowled a 702. For the women in the league Mallory Fritz had a 265 high in her 648 series. Sam Wiley was close behind with 225 and 642; while Yogi Wammes shot 224 for 629l

Mills Jewelry leads the East with 114-48; while New Guys have a 1-point lead in the West at 85.5-76.5 over Nine Balls at 84.5-77.5.

The Randy Miller, 4-game league was led by Jeff Sayre with 915. Gene Van De Velde had the high game of 268, Mitchell-Otte leads the league at 79.5-40.5; followed by Smith & Wesson at 70.5-49.5

Teams 3 and 10 are tied at the top of the standings in the Tuesday Coffee league at 15-10. Julie Thayer had the high last week a 191 game and 308 2-game total.

In the Mixed Up Guys and Gals league Stoudinger-Glick leads at 1704 followed by Family Tradition at 15-6.  Tony Iler led the league with his 660. Shane Edwards had the high game of 257 with his 641, For the women, Heidi Haney had the high with 540 and Ashley Iler had the high game of 231 for 539.

A Split Happens leads the Jack and Jill league at 10-2, with VinChar in second at 14-7. Kirk Starkey led the league with 253 and 671, and for the women Robin Starkey was high with 203 and 531.

For the youth in the Bobcat 2 a Days  Team 5 at 25-9 have a 1-point lead over Team 3 and 25-10. Avery Latta had the high series 567 with a 210 game. Brandon Knell had the high game of 229 for a 547. For the girls Kelly Miller bowled a 200 game for 526; and Destiny Garner had the high game of 219.

Teams 3 and 4 are tied at 23-12 to lead the Rally’s Junior All Stars.  Jocelyn Zellers led the girls with 106, 288; while Conner Main led the boys with 132, 356.