900s AREN’T EASY!

900s AREN’T EASY!

By Michael Cousins

Do you know how I know that? Do you have one?

I don’t.

And odds are, unless you’re one of 31 people to have ever bowled one, you haven’t either.

So let’s stop pretending and telling ourselves and others that it is.

It’s just getting silly. Yes, another 900 has been bowled. Yes, that’s multiple this year. Yes, that’s several within the last few years. But what does that mean?

Are they happening more often? Obviously.

Are they getting “easier?” Hardly.

To me, the thought of carrying 36 shots in a row is insane. Truly. I mean, yes, I get it, today’s balls definitely hit harder than balls in past generations. I get that.

So, yes, carry percentages are at an all-time high. So, I guess, “technically” 900s are easier today than they would have been in, say, 1945. I get that, as well.

I am not arguing against that. What I’m arguing is that they’re not “easy.”

Saying something is easy and/or easier are not the same thing. For example, if you play the lottery, it is “easier” to win than if you don’t play that lottery. Does that make it “easy?”

I think not.

And before you say “well, those aren’t at all the same thing,” think again.

At this point in time, there are roughly 2,000,000 members sanctioned by the USBC in 2017. There have now been 31 900s bowled. Ever. In the history of the ABC/USBC.

So if you average out 2,000,000 sanctioned bowlers every year from 1997 — the year Jeremy Sonnenfeld bowled the first sanctioned 900 series — to now, that’s 2,000,000 x 20, which equals 40,000,000. So out of 40,000,000 members (estimated) over the last 20 years, 31 bowlers have bowled a 900 series. So the odds are hardly in your favor.

It is still the rarest occurrence in our sport. Technically speaking, if you enter every Major Championship next year, from a mathematical standpoint, your odds are significantly greater at winning a Major Title than they are of ever bowling a 900 series.

Easy my ass.

Bowling 900 is incredible because it not only requires you to make 36 decent shots, but it also requires you to carry each one of those shots.

I bowled league last night, too. I hit the pocket 36 times. So, technically, I hit the pocket the same amount of times as Joey. I bowled 702. I technically had a chance of striking just as many times as he did. But I didn’t. Not even close. He beat my by 200 pins.

Now I’m not at all saying I bowled as well as he did or threw it anywhere near as well as he did. Obviously I didn’t even come close. But I’m just trying to illustrate all of the variables that have to go your way for you to even have a chance at shooting 900.

There are just so many factors at work. So many odds that you have to beat. So many challenges you have to overcome.

Are they happening more often? Yes, I get it. And I get the purist in some of you might not like that. But pretending they’re now all of a sudden easy is absurd. And it needs to stop.

Congrats, Joe! Great bowling.

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