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What determines an offical scratch bowler designate
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Old 07-13-2017, 10:19 PM
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What determines an offical scratch bowler designate

In golf when you reach a certain score level you are deemed a scratch golfer. What is that level in bowling. At what point should handicap be cut off for bowlers or negative handicap be applied? If you receive handicap, can you seriously be considered a good bowler? If one is able to say they are a scratch golfer it carries weight. If one says they carry a 225 average in the Weds Nite Mixed, not so much. Perception in sport matters. As long as what your handicap is remains the main focus of bowling regardless of average, can one really be designated a scratch bowler?

Re: What determines an offical scratch bowler designate
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Old 07-13-2017, 11:23 PM
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Re: What determines an offical scratch bowler designate

When one can compete and hold their own in scratch tournaments I would consider them a scratch bowler regardless of average. Hcp only keeps going up because averages go up as shots get easier. Avg does not mean much today with easy shots and avg manipulation and tough halls. Lilac city tournament that just finished. Many scores over 800 for singles (hcp). Top 2 or 3 were higher than the no-tap. Over 900 won the singles. Over 1700 won the singles and doubles combine. Easy shot and hcp is based off 225 or 230 . Bet there are few local entries next year as local averages keep going up and tournament likes to re-rate locals. Most top finishers were out of state or Canadian.

Re: What determines an offical scratch bowler designate
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Old 07-14-2017, 12:20 PM
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Re: What determines an offical scratch bowler designate

There never was a "Official" designation of what a scratch bowler is, Other than if you bowl without handicap, then your a scratch bowler.


The old 190-200 average range which was typically used, was pretty much based on that was what it took at the time to be in the PBA which is scratch.

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Old 07-14-2017, 12:45 PM
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Re: What determines an offical scratch bowler designate

A little reality check: there are at least 5-10 guys in my home center who average 220-225 because that's all they bowl. They live in the center, bowling two-three leagues a week and subbing for others. They put up 300+ games a year each.

And they never, ever travel. They never leave. They never appear on a sport shot. Or, when they do, they have no idea where to play and cannot understand why all their bad habits are exposed.

One in particular who has 20+ 300s and at least double digit 800s has never appeared at the USBC Open, has never bowled in a PBA league, has never even attempted a PBA regional, not even a non-winners event. He literally has refused offers from lots of people to pay his entry fees to tournaments on a modified house shot.

Are those guys true scratch bowlers? Not in my opinion.

A scratch bowler, in my opinion, is someone who does all those things and still averages 200 on a variety of patterns. That's it. Anyone else who lives on the THS only just doesn't fit the true bill.

Re: What determines an offical scratch bowler designate
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Old 07-14-2017, 01:10 PM
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Re: What determines an offical scratch bowler designate

Those guys are typical 'house rats'! They are everywhere, have every excuse in the book why they won't/can't leave their realm where they are the 'bowling god' . The only thing they scratch is their own a$$es.
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Re: What determines an offical scratch bowler designate
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Old 07-15-2017, 07:41 AM
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Re: What determines an offical scratch bowler designate

To me, the definition of a true scratch bowler, is a bowler who PREFERS to bowl straight heads up scratch scoring anytime, anyplace, anywhere, and anybody.

House average be damned.

I've seen some pretty salty guys in my day, with house averages way lower than you would expect.

Brian Voss, when he qualified for the PBA, only had an average in the 190's, but he bowled in a lot of tough houses while in the military. His average was NO reflection of his skill.

Don't base a scratch bowler on his average. You will lose lots of money at times if you do.

Re: What determines an offical scratch bowler designate
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Old 07-15-2017, 11:26 PM
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Re: What determines an offical scratch bowler designate

There is no set average for a scratch bowler. Too many variables.

Just because bowlers don't wish to bowl on "sport patterns" doesn't make them more or less of a bowler. You have different options in bowling just like you do in golf for how difficult or easy you want things to be.

The best bowlers will always be in the mix at any given event. No matter how easy or hard the condition they will more times then not outscore more then half of the field.

No matter the average it is those willing to bowl any time, any place, against anyone for money/bragging rights etc.
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Re: What determines an offical scratch bowler designate
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Old 07-18-2017, 10:09 PM
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Re: What determines an offical scratch bowler designate

Depends on the situation, I think. I was in a mixed summer league a couple seasons ago that had several of us over 230, but also quite a few people below 150 (mostly spouses, friends, etc.). We voted to make it a team handicap, rather than individual, because that big of a discrepancy the scratch bowlers would win pretty much every time. If the handicap is say 80% of 210 and you have a bunch of 230+ averages, it's not fair at all for the handicap bowlers. However, in some leagues, 205 might be right up at the top, so that handicap would be fair to everyone.
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Re: What determines an offical scratch bowler designate
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Old 07-19-2017, 02:01 AM
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Re: What determines an offical scratch bowler designate

There is no longer a standard lane condition, so there is no widely recognized PAR. Any two hacks can bowl for a ten dollar bill without handicap, but that does not make it scratch bowling.

Maybe the real question is what defines an accomplished bowler or an expert bowler. My answer is that someone who has won more than one Regional is an accomplished bowler. Someone who has won a PBA TV title and a Major is an exceptional bowler.

Maybe...

What is your definition?
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Re: What determines an offical scratch bowler designate
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Old 07-19-2017, 11:27 AM
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Re: What determines an offical scratch bowler designate

I think it's really about perception. How good is good? Is it very good or great?

An example would be a little league baseball player who is obviously the best player in the league. Eventually, he makes it all the way to AAA Minors (semi-pro status), he doesn't make it to the big leagues. Perception...how good is he?

I don't think it's different in any other sport. If a person is good at whatever they do, the reason they don't make it to the very top is because they have a weakness in their game. But, on any given day, when the moon and stars are all in alignment, a person will see just how good a person really is. So, we're right back to the original question, are they scratch?

Last edited by TomaHawk; 07-19-2017 at 06:17 PM.
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