|Perfect scores are hard to come by in any walk of life. They are especially hard to come by though in bowling, where the minutest variation in friction, ball speed and spin can frustrate the bowler from achieving those total strike downs.
At Cliff Lanes, haven for local bowlers and leagues, there had been only three 300 games bowled since opening in 2001. Until last month, that is—when two perfect games were laid down within two weeks.
Tim Allen, who has been bowling a long time, but only at Cliff Lanes for a year, achieved the feat on December 4, bowling in the sanctioned Monday Night Madness league. Two weeks later, December 18, Josh Walden followed suite, bowling in the same league. Walden has been bowling at Cliff Lanes since he was a kid, and just like Allen, this was the first 300 game for him.
“It’s really quite special,” says Cliff Lanes bowling manager Dave Fritz, “to go so long without a perfect score, and then have numbers four and five in 16 years happen within weeks of each other.” Fritz has observed a few 300 games in his time with bowling; when asked about the crowd protocols involved when a perfect game is underway, he noted that rather than hushing down and tensely watching, “You don’t bug the guy, for sure, but you keep on bowlin’!”
So, “Bowl! Bowl!” is the norm, and to have new faces involved in literally racking up a perfect score is great for Cliff Lanes. Congratulations to Allen and Walden, and celebratory high fives to Cliff Lanes for hosting two perfect scores in a sport where that is rare indeed.
– W.A. Ewing