Are you ready for some bowling!?
Amid the cool autumn air and scenic fall foliage, the Scratch Draft Trios League kicked off its season Monday night at Harvest Park Bowl in Brentwood. However, for millions of rabid fans, the opening week on the lacquered tundra is overshadowed by the promise of the upcoming fantasy-bowling season.
Popularized by smaller cult sports such as football and baseball, the fantasy bowling craze has infected tens of millions of Americans. Research firms project that the upcoming Scratch Draft Trios season will cost employers nearly $40 million in lost productivity due to fantasy participation at work - it makes the $2,000 title rights to the league sound like a drop in the bucket!
For those of you out there looking for a leg-up on your fantasy brethren, never fear. I'm here with your preseason fantasy crib sheet. Most typical Scratch Trios fantasy games will require you to draft a three-man roster as well as an entire team in order to accumulate points. You'll be given an allocation of 609 pins in order to draft your bowlers, the mean of the team averages in the league. Each bowler will, in turn, earn you points as they win matches throughout the year.
The points will mirror those in the league. For the individual bowlers, this means two points for a singles match and one point for a doubles victory. The team you select will earn four points for every game won and two points for a two-game set victory. With the league's four-game format, you can win a potential 56 points per night.
This brings us to the strategy portion of the preview. Since you are limited to a 609 cap, team selection can be tricky. One common strategy is to select three low-200 averages, like George Jones (Team 3) at 201. Others, however, prefer to select one high and one low average in order to fit under the cap. For example, if you selected Lee Patterson (Team 4) at 221, you would need a kegler like Shannon Antczak (Team 4) at 177 in order to squeeze under the number.
Now, had you selected these three bowlers on Monday, you would have had the best of both worlds. With a composite 599 average, this team works with the current cap and would have given you the most bang for your buck. That's because Jones shot games of 189, 228, 258 and 218 for a league-high 893 series. Patterson was next on the list with an 869 four-game set. Antczak led all women by firing only one sub-200 game on Monday, finishing with an 809 total. In the team category, Kinder's Meats, Team 5 and Team 14 finished in a virtual three-way tie for the top spot in the league.
With this preseason guide in hand, you should be well on your way to winning big in your fantasy league - just remember to set your weekly lineup before league play begins at 7:30 p.m. on Monday nights, then check back with the Press to see how your fantasy keglers fared on the hardwood. So grab seven or eight of your closest friends and block off a couple of hours for your draft. Just please, for the sake of the national economy, do your Scratch Draft Trios Fantasy business off of company hours.