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Monday, September 26, 2022


Recent News


by Kerm Helmer
Collegiate Fever


Kerm Helmer
August 25, 2001

by Kerm Helmer

Knoblach – Move Over

I have always been a big baseball fan, especially of the NY Yankees. But not a fan of 3 hour plus games caused in most part by batters stepping out after every pitch and going through a very deliberate, time consuming routine before stepping in. Tap the shoes, tighten the wristbands, tug the shirt, look at the bat, take a practice swing, etc.

This summer while working during the Junior Olympic Gold Championships and the Coca-Cola Youth Championships at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, the staff witnessed a select few young bowlers who would put the NY Yankees Chuck Knoblach’s routine to shame. The routines of these select few were so effective the male divisions of these events were finishing as much as 12 frames behind the female division. One player was so programmed that he would step back and start over if everything didn’t go perfect the first time through. As slow and deliberate as Knoblach is, I never saw him step out twice before one delivery.

Just for fun, the staff started timing the amount of time a couple of players took from the time they picked the ball up off the return until they delivered the ball. Conclusion – they took more time to get set and deliver than it does for a world class sprinter to stand behind the blocks, get in the blocks and run 100 meters. Now, no matter how you think, this is ridiculous. Imagine these same players taking up the sport of golf and taking the same amount of time before hitting the ball. I would take 6-7 hours to play 18 holes with a cart.

Do I believe in being focused before every shot, absolutely. Do I believe in mental preparation before every shot, absolutely. In fact, if I could get all the college players to understand the importance of this they would be stunned at their progress. However, this preparation doesn’t need to incorporate wiping the ball 9 times, blowing in each hole 3 time, pulling up the pants, tugging the shirt, then and only then, start thinking about the shot.

The sport of bowling, especially 5 person has the knock of taking too long already. If the process witnessed in Reno ever catches on, the sport will be face with 3-hour blocks of trio competition.

Will our sport eventually see a shot clock rule, I hope not. I really hope youth and college coaches will be able to instruct focus and concentration without the window dressing.


This article originally appeared in Spares & Strikes, a bowling newspaper serving the Greater Buffalo/  Western New York Area. It is reprinted here with the permission of the author.