Tournament Spotlight, The Pattern, The Player and The Price

West Coast Seniors Dec. 10th tournament

Riverside lanes, Laughlin NV.

“The West coast seniors are one of the better events here at the Riverside, you get to showcase a lot of good talent that this area wouldn’t necessarily get to see. It is one of the better clubs in the southwest region” Brian Markowitz. The West Coast Seniors banners overflow this 34 lane house and are strewn not only across the lanes but invading the wall space at its sides as well. Well kept and impressive, they definitely evoke questions about the players; Are they here?, what did they accomplish?, where are they?, as eyes glare to the lettering on the back of embroidered shirts. Surprising was the turnout of spectators, they seem to be coming to events less and less. However we did get to speak with Alex Bosze, which is a local in this area who said, “I enjoy it quite a bit, I like to see how people are throwing, especially the left handers”. Q: do you learn anything by watching? “Ya, I always learn something while watching them shoot, and try to apply it to my own games in league”.

The shot was ‘Middle of the Road’ a Kegel navigation pattern, from their challenge series is aptly named. The key to this pattern lies between the extremes. Playing too far to the right or left will leave you wishing for a house shot. Alan Fredricks says “You’ve gotta make your shots here today, no gimme’s at all”, as far as the lane conditions “they’re scorable if you throw it well, if your not throwing it well, like I said your not gonna get any breaks”. This 39 foot pattern is not too easy and it’s not too tough. The best mind set and line for this pattern is (like its name) somewhere near the middle of the road. When speaking with the Director of bowling operations, Brian Markowitz, he explain that “it takes a day for the lanes to show what the pattern really is. It seems a little flatter on the first day and starts showing what it really is on the second, with scores improving to the 200’s”. Bowlers here are having a hard time picking up their spares. As the ball zooms toward the pins, splits and opens abound. A calculated throw aims towards that lonely single pin, the ball side swipes it with a glancing whisper, just barely enough to topple the pin. The bowler walks off the lane with a sigh, thankful it wasn’t another open. The tournament players names are just as colorful as some of their styles. Rick van der Haar, a lefty that can rip the cover off the ball, uses his height to its full potential and says “playing it up ten seems to work the best for me”. Art Garcia relies on placement and coverstock, “i was playing inside the first couple of games, didn’t have a shot in there, so I switched to a weaker ball and I have a lot better look”. Art was in second place at game #4 when we spoke with him. Art placed 5th over all.

Is the risk worth the reward? We ask that in looking at the prize fund breakdown, wouldn’t it be more advantageous to lower the entry fee and restructure in order to rebuild this tournament club?. An entry fee of $180.00 is a big risk for the winner to pocket $1500. There are tournaments and other clubs, where the entry fee is less than $100.00 dollars, with the same if not higher prize. We here at Positive Access Point applaud Richard Sanders in running such a premier scratch tournament for years, we need these types of tournaments. Yet, in these economic times, we still ask the question, is the lack of entries due to the price?.

Check out the winner list and prize payments on