I’m not sure that it was an accident!
So previously I’m sure I’ve said that we’re the only bowling webcomic I’ve found, well that changed earlier this week! I was trying to see if our site would show up if I typed ‘bowling webcomic’ into google. (hint: it does) And I saw not one, but two other webcomics about bowling! I know I’ve searched before and didn’t find anything, so either google is getting better (possible?) or these two are pretty new. The first I found was Pin Junkies and I love the way it’s drawn. Even better, soon after I found them; they found me as well and initiated a link exchange. You’ll notice the ‘Friends of B.O.W.L.’ thing on the left. I think I might see if the other one I found, Enter Clear Bowl who ironically claim to be, “the only bowling webcomic in the world”, will do some sort of link exchange as well. It’s a small market after all, we’ve got to stick together.
Today is my real life leagues tournament. The top eight teams make it in, we were seventh. We only have to win the first game to be ‘in the money’ but we’re playing against one of our favorite teams in the first round. Which on one hand is good, because even if we loose we know that they move on and we can hang out and cheer for them, on the other hand, we’re not going to loose and I’m going to feel a little bad about putting them out of the tournament. Sorry James. SIN League does tournaments a little different than other leagues. They intentionally try to keep the prize money low so it doesn’t get too competitive. The money that would otherwise go into the prize payouts go instead to free beer for anyone who shows up to the tournament. We’ve got a habit of showing up a little earlier than we need to too get a little loose before things start. It helps if you don’t overdo it, but when it’s free, that’s easier said than done.
Wish us luck in the tourney, and make sure to come back Thursday for my blog. This weeks title is, “Sandbagging Explained.”
I’m not sure that it was an accident!
Just in case anyone was wondering about how we did in the tournament Monday. We were eliminated in the first round. We all bowled close to average, but the other team bowled a little above average. Like I said before though, It was one of our favorite teams that beat us, so it’s not a terrible defeat. We had a lot of fun loosing. Also there was free beer!
Just a quick heads up, Lindsey and I are on vacation in Florida this week. There will still be a Thursday blog post, as well as a new comic Monday, our first guest comic in fact, by the multi-talented Beka Kay. P.S. Monday’s comic is almost certainly Not Safe For Work!
Sandbaggers. The word feels heavy in my mouth, like it’s too thick to spit out. In my opinion there are some people on my league that take it too seriously, but those ones don’t bother me half as much as the sandbaggers. The sandbaggers take it so seriously that they feel the need to cheat the system in order to win. I’ll break it down….
We bowl on a handicap league. You have an average, lets say it’s 150. You then have a handicap, it’s equal to 200 minus your average. In this case: 50. Every game you bowl, your handicap is added to your score, this way, assuming the person your bowling against has an average of 200 or less, no matter how bad you bowl, you can beat someone who is better, as long as you are more above average than they are. All in all it’s a very simply system, but it works. That is until someone decides to abuse it.
Someone who is a decent bowler can intentionally bowl poorly so that they have a low average, and thus a high handicap. Then when they actually need to win they can simply bowl like they normally would when not sandbagging, and easily be well above average. A hands on example would look like this: Lisa is a decent bowler, with an average of 160. But when Lisa bowls on her league, she intentionally bowls around a 120. Because her average for the league is 120, she has a handicap of 80. That means that when Lisa decides she wants to win, she can bowl her actual average of 160 and still get her 80 point handicap, giving her a 240 total, even though she didn’t really bowl any better than she usually would.
What gets tricky for sandbagging teams is to win enough to be in the tournament while still maintaining a low average. This can be done though, by simply winning by as narrow a margin as possible and when you loose make sure you loose by a lot. We’ve bowled teams before that were obviously employing this tactic. They would always bowl after you, and you could actually predict what they would do by looking at how you had done. They made sure to keep the game as even as possible until the 10th frame. That’s when it got really obvious. They waited until every one of us had bowled, sat in a huddle and did some math, then bowled just good enough to win. They did this in all three games.
I’m a competitive person, and I understand that you want to win, but don’t cheat to win. And to all the people who say it’s not cheating because it’s part of the system I say no. The system was designed to give everyone a chance, but the system isn’t perfect. Exploiting a flaw or loophole in a system is still cheating. What I really hate though is how knowing that there are sandbaggers out there has made me suspicious of anyone who suddenly bowls way above average. And really for all I know they’re just having a really great night. Lord knows that I’ve had a few days where I was just unstoppable and bowled 40 pins over my average in each game. I’d hate to think that people believe that I’m sandbagging just because I had a few good games.
To wrap things up, sandbaggers, you know who you are, and you’re messing things up for everyone; please stop. What you’re doing is cheating, and all your victories are hollow because of that. My favorite thing is to see you eliminated in the first round of the tournament by a team that’s just doing there best and that’s put in a few extra practice sessions to get there.