As 2022 begins, and before the student-athletes return to their classrooms, the high school bowlers of the Southeastern Indiana Conference will square off in sectional competition on Jan. 8 at Columbus Bowling Center.
After a hard fought battle at the conference finals that ended with a 3-way Co-Championship between Seymour, Columbus and South Ripley, these same bowlers, along with bowlers from Madison and Switzerland County schools, will be bowling for a chance to be the SEIC sectional champs and individual qualifiers for the regional finals on Jan. 15th at Rose City Bowl. The SEIC will be able to send two boys teams, one girls team, as well as six individual boys and six individual girls.
At the conference finals, the SEIC also identified the top bowlers for the conference in high game bowled and high 2-game series bowled.
The schools will field a team of seven bowlers that will bowl in what’s called a Baker Format. In this format, the five-person teams will bowl two frames each to create a team score. They will also bowl two individual games for their singles rankings.
The first bowler will bowl frames one and six, the second bowler bowls frames two and seven and so forth, with the fifth bowler bowling frames five and ten. The team lineup is crucial based on the skill level of each team. The bowlers will not only bowl as a team for total pin fall, but also against the bowler in the same lineup position on the other team in individual pin fall.
The individual that has a higher game pin fall wins a point with the team having a possibility of five points for the match.
Then, the team with the higher total pin fall will win five additional points for a possible score of 10 points. This is done for two matches of 10 baker games each match. While one team could win 3-2 based on the individual scores, the team with two wins could have a higher pin fall and win the match 7-3. This is why the competition is not only a test of the bowler’s skill but team work as well.
When the competition is over, they all have to wait for agonizing minutes, that seem like hours to find out which teams advance and which individuals will advance. During this time, bowlers talk with their teams and other competitors about the competition, the fun they have had throughout the years and wishing each other all the best.
For the seniors from all of the schools, this could be their last bowling competition with teammates and competitors they have bowled against throughout their school years. Each bowler understands that their individual effort not only increases their chances to move on but their teams as well.
Friendships were made, bowling nemeses were created and future leaders were born. Parents and coaches have watched these kids grow up from young children to young adults. All with the confidence and knowledge that nothing is easy and every day is a day to learn. Bowling makes you understand that, just like in life, even if you know pattern put in front of you that you may excel or you may struggle. And in either case they learned to never give up, ask for help, give help to others and to rely on your teammates.
Bowling is not only a sport; it is a lifetime of fun. Bowling is one of the only sports that you can participate in throughout your entire lifetime, and we hope these bowlers remember that.