My PBA Senior Tour debut is set for Aug. 6-9 in Hammond, Ind., with a second Senior Tour stop following Aug. 11-14 in Decatur, Ill.
I have no idea if my wrist will be able to handle that much bowling — far more than I've done in that short period of time since my second and third wrist operations in 1989 — so I planned to rest it for several days before the Hammond event.
Then my good friend and PBA Tour champion Jeff Carter contacted me about a tournament he is holding at King Pin Lanes in his hometown of Springfield, Ill., on Aug. 4-5.
When he told me the Mary Teubner Memorial Team Challenge would be very similar to the old World Team Challenge and benefit the great charity in her name, I had no choice but to ditch those wrist resting plans.
Our Turbo 2-N-1 Grips team — myself, Steve Richter, Gail Myers Jr., Marc McDowell and Mike Shady — plans to be there to compete in what has the potential to be a great tournament.
With 36 5-person teams at a $750 entry ($850 after July 15) and sponsor money, the Teubner Memorial will pay $10,000 for first, $5,000 for second, $3,500 for third, $3,000 for fourth, $2,500 for fifth, $2,000 for sixth, $1,500 for seventh, and $1,000 for eight.
The format is two 5-game blocks of qualifying on Saturday, with the top eight teams returning Sunday for round robin 2-game Baker format matches. Each Baker game win will be worth 25 bonus pins, with a 2-game sweep worth 50 additional pins.
The Saturday blocks will be bowled on Kegel Abbey Road 3540 and Kegel Broadway 4537, with the high qualifying team choosing one of those patterns' for Sunday's competition. The patterns can be found in Kegel's pattern library here.
While not Sport level patterns, those patterns should be relatively challenging on King Pin's oddball lanes, which feature synthetic heads and wood the rest of the way.
With as much bowling as there will be in the format, the teams that bowl the best almost certainly will rise to the top.
And there should be no worry about the patterns falling apart to where the battle is to see who can break up the most splits and carry the most brooklyns, as happened at some Team Challenges I bowled in. That in many ways is as bad as putting out a house shot.
"The decision on the pattern choices was a tough one," Carter said. "I'm the type of bowler that likes the tougher patterns — always have, always will. There's a fine line between making them too easy, where the playing field is unfairly leveled and making them too hard, where interest is lost and you lose a lot of bowlers from ever coming back.
"The beauty of the Kegel patterns is that they offer a wide range of ratios as well as pattern lengths. I think the two that we've chosen offer a certain level of difficulty, as well as scoreability. As a host and tournament director, all I can ask for is total fairness. Hopefully this will allow righties, lefties, straight players and hook players all to have a level of success."
Teams can have PBA members but will be limited to two players with professional titles within the last decade. This includes PBA Tour, Regional, Senior Tour, Senior Regional, or any of the women's pro groups, including the PBA Women's Series.
Our team has five guys with PBA titles, but only Richter and myself have won in the past decade — Steve won a Regional in 2006 and I last won a Regional in 2007.
Youth bowlers are ineligible due to USBC Rule 400.
I would like to have seen some restrictions on Megabucks winners and national team members similar to the rules of the World Team Challenge at the end, but it won't stop us from bowling.
I can imagine a team of young stars who could blow most any team out of the water but just haven't won pro titles yet being put together. Think guys like Dan MacLelland (if he hasn't won a PBA Regional yet — I am not sure) or the great young players on Team USA.
If that happens, it will be a great challenge for the other teams and just add to what promises to be fun and spirited competition.
I also could have seen Carter allowing the top stars of the PBA Tour to bowl, but with a restriction such as one per team with no other pro champions from the last decade.
But all of that is quibbling with details when the big picture is that this is a great team tournament that should be a ton of fun to bowl.
There also will be a pro-am on Friday night to benefit the Mary Teubner Memorial Cancer Fund. Back in the days when King Pin hosted a PBA Regional that Friday night pro-am was one of the best in the Midwest Region.
Mary, who was Carter's coach, died of cancer several years ago.
More information is in the attached PDFs of the entry blank and rules. Or contact Carter at email@example.com.