Positive Access Point By John Baker

Get the right V.I.B.E.S.

In my opinion scratch bowling has gone by the wayside. Most THB’s (typical house bowlers) do not want to compete one on one with others of their caliber or better. Being happy to stay in their home house and park along the ten board shooting telephone numbers, all night long. Ask them to shoot scratch, or heaven forbid a different pattern, or one that might even challenge their ability and they bow out or complain to the manager “its too hard, it sucks”.

Quite often in my travels you can find that one person or group of people that are doing it right or at least trying to get it right. I have bowled in many tournament clubs, and only a select few, I believe, are doing it right. Others have individuals that “sandbag” in order to get more handicap and then when the money is right, shoot the lights out when they bowl their real game.

Recently I decided to bowl a tournament in Las Vegas called V.I.B.E.S. (Vegas Invitational Bowling Event Services). After the tournament I took a few minutes to talk to the directors and ask a few questions.

Q: Why did u start V.I.B.E.S.?

A: We started VIBES because we love bowling, though we’re not very good at it and we thought it might be fun. We felt that there weren’t enough opportunities for scratch bowler to compete. We liked the idea of using different patterns, it makes it more competitive for the better bowlers and still fun for the bowlers who don’t really expect to win but enjoy the challenge of doing something different.

Q: Do you think competitive bowling is hurting?

A: YES. Almost all of the tournament clubs use averages and handicaps. Handicapped bowling is brutal for the scratch bowler. There are not enough opportunities for better bowlers to bowl scratch games and use their actual scores. Bowling is the only sport we know of where the best player with the highest score doesn’t necessarily win. There will be NO sandbaggers at a VIBES tournament!

Q: How would you go about making your tournament bowling fair?

A: The only way we know to keep tournaments fair is to keep them scratch. We keep the shots varied, competitive and tough so the the same handful of bowlers don’t always win.

Q: When are your tournaments and how much do they generally cost?

A: Regular tournaments are held once a month at the Red Rock Casino bowling alleys and generally cost $35.00 with optional sidepots and a 300 sidepot (if your game). We can be reached at 702-835-3227 or email us at [email protected]

Q: How do you decide on the oil patterns?

A: We jumped out and started doing the PBA animal patterns, at the time they were the toughest available. We recently had a special tournament on the US Open pattern. We may be adding more patterns just to mix it up a bit.

Q: Give us a brief background?

A: Sue and Barbara are sisters. As we began participating in more events we found ourselves complaining more and more about how poorly they were run. We all felt that it shouldn’t be that tough to keep the games running smoothly or to start them on time. Sue and Barbara started kicking around the idea of actually running a tournament club. We wanted to do a tournament that was low cost. We came up with the ideal of using the animal patters and running monthly tournaments. Our bowlers enjoy the challenge of the different patterns as well as the format.

What we can get out of this is the only way to learn and get better. Sometimes you gotta get your ass kicked to learn something! So try to get out there and bowl those different patters. The people at VIBES are offering a unique and fun opportunity. We hope that around the country others will follow and start up similar groups to challenge those scratch bowlers or those wishing to compete on another level. We here at Positive Access Point wish to thank everyone at VIBES and hopefully I will be seeing you there.