Three Dog Night (if you go back that far) suggested that the number '1' was the loneliest number. Well, I don't believe it. There are ones all over the place, ergo they should not be lonely, and I'll prove it to you.
In less than a week the date 11-11-11 will take place. Now how many more ones can you have than that? The answer of course is none. This date won't happen again for one whole century. My wife wanted to know how many people I thought were likely to get married on that date. I suggested six because that's the one number that came into my head. Yeah, I know. My wife thinks I'm one brick short of a load too.
She laughingly suggested that 11 people would probably get married that day. Now we both knew that since marriage involves one person marrying one other person that any answer to the question - that was rhetorical to begin with - could not end in one as that number is not divisible by two. And as the song suggests - two is the loneliest number since the number one!
Now that you're convinced that I have totally lost it, I will explain where this column is headed. A bowling buddy asked me a question a couple of weeks ago. He wanted to know if I had ever done any research on the origin of "111 in the seventh." As any league bowler knows, when one shoots that score in any given game, he or she is required to buy a round of drinks for their teammates.
Not all teams honor that bowling tradition, but many do. So why that score, which includes three ones, in that particular frame? I asked around and hit the internet to see if I could shed some light on this one particular phenomenon. The people I talked to didn't have any information on the origin, suggesting that it has always been that way.
On the web though, I found that someone else had asked the same question and the responses were interesting. Apparently the score and the frame is used because of your chance to shoot a 200 game. If you get 111 in the seventh, and then strike out you break 200. Officially that would be a 201 game begging the question that maybe the score of 110 should be used for the "beer" frame. That of course would leave us one 1 short and well it just wouldn't seem right.
Another bowler remembered the day of keeping score the old fashioned way on paper. When a bowler reached 111 in the seventh frame, a roof was put over the score, symbolizing a house. The reason for that, the writer stated, was that the "house" would buy the bowler a drink for achieving that score.
That isn't likely to happen today as it would be illegal to do so, but I'm guessing that if this tradition did indeed ever take place, bowling establishments stopped the practice early on as you can just imagine bowlers shooting for the score. Hey, everyone likes a freebie. Someone must have suggested making the offending bowler buy drinks since they were losing out on their own chance to get a free drink. Well, it is one more theory!
Another responder said that in her league, a score of 111 for the entire game was called a Chinese outhouse. At the end of the season they would be given a roll of toilet paper for each game of 111 rolled. All right, that's one that I have never heard of and one that I would just as soon forget.
One thing is for sure. I am likely to get more stories concerning the origin of 111 in the seventh and when I do I will pass them along to you. Of course, that will be done one by one.
Robin Dickman had the pins jumping in the Alley Cats League as she rolled a big 637 series. Carla Siebenaller shot 537, Heather Butler 535, Lorrie Williams 512 and Virginia Vanover 475. In the Rocket League Rich Sigler had 638, Roger Coppus 624, Tyson Shope 623, Tim Sturgill 619, Steve Barnes 589, Virginia Vanover 443 and Ellen Ewing 438. Jere Morlock shot 667, Bob Capehart 582, Kevin Reynolds 520, Kerry Wertz 512, Marty Factor 478, Joyce Babcock 474 and Nicole Babcock 426 in the Grange League.
At the K of C Lanes Deb Hoerig had 437, Nerita Streacker 428, Brie Streacker 423, Lela Gaietto 398 and Julie Fortner 394 in the Lady Knights League. Tuesday Night League scores included Chris Johnson 601, Steve Steinmetz, Jr. 582, Aaron Sherman 575, Jim Rainey 558, Kevin Orians 556, Darl Elchert 550, Mark Orians 542 and Hank Collet 541. Bennett Paulus shot 554 and Joe Zirger 548 in the Senior League.
Twilight League scores included Steve Davis 655, Ben Williams 605 and Tim Sturgill 601. For the ladies, Rhonda Fitch rolled a 544 and Robin Brownell 443. Tim Sturgill led the way in the Sunday Night Rock N Roll League with 654. Mark Phillips shot 643, Tom Tiell 641, Bill Biddle 638, Bob Steele 619, Janice Young 506 and Dottie Funk 477. In the Imperial-Majorette League Steve Steinmetz, Jr. had 670, Steve Steinmetz, Sr. 595 and Jeff Peer 589. For the women Rhonda Fitch shot 549, Phyllis Hyde 516 and Deb Nominee 494.
Finally you may recall that I sang the praises of Greg Tiell last week when he shot 756 in the Sportsman League. He suggested that he didn't think he could throw the ball any better than he did that night. Apparently he was mistaken. All he did this week was shoot 267 and 268 in the first two games. He then threw the front eight in game three. His ball went high in the ninth frame leaving double pinochle. The split cost him a shot at an 800 series as his 249 game brought his total for the evening to 784. Leaves one to wonder what he'll shoot next week.
Jim Mason also broke the 700 plateau as he fired a 718 in the same league, while Rich Yates, Jr. shot 661, Ron Yentzer 647, Lance Davis 638, Chris Johnson 624 and Paul Gosche 604.
Al Stephenson is The A-T's bowling columnist.
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