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Author Topic: Roving Sub......... good or bad?  (Read 18045 times)


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Roving Sub......... good or bad?
« on: May 27, 2003, 08:29:15 PM »
With my son active in Scouts, soccer, church, etc., I don't have time to commit to a league on a weekly basis. The local house where I open bowl said I could be a roving substitute. Just show up when I can and make it known to the league secretary that I'm available. Is this a good thing? Has anyone had experience doing this?



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Re: Roving Sub......... good or bad?
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2003, 02:21:57 AM »
I've done it before, it was okay because it was my church league so I knew everyone that bowled in the league.  It was an enjoyable experience but nothing beats your own league.  The major drawbacks that I can see for you are that everytime that you can make it to sub doesn't mean that there are slots available for to sub and if you don't do as good as the person you are subbing for blind than you might have some angry people bowling with you, haha.  But try to get in a league when you know that nothing will be going on, try bowling this summer in a league, the commitment isn't as long.  Just some suggestions

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Re: Roving Sub......... good or bad?
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2003, 06:36:24 AM »
The whole philosophy behind the roving sub deal is that you are available to fill in for an absent bowler.  You aren't attached to any particular team, so you can act as a fill-in for any team on the league who desires a substitute bowler.  I can tell you that over the years, I've used a ton of roving subs, and I've been a roving sub on many an occasion.  The deal is that you simply bowl in the absentee's position, and you do your best and hope that you help out the team that you are bowling with.  There are no guarantees that you will either help or hurt the team that you bowl with, so the team is just going on the hope that you will bowl at least within 10 pins of your average or better....a blind score for an absent bowler is typically the bowler's average minus 10 pins, so if you shoot within 10 pins of your average or better, then you have helped the team out.  

As a roving sub, I've seen situations where I've helped a team win games, and I've seen situations where I cost the team games.  As a team captain, I've had roving subs help my team win, and I've had roving subs cause us to lose.  Basically, you play your game, take your chances, and hope for the best.  I know that I've shot more than 1 279 game as a substitute bowler, and I've seen the extreme opposite happen too.  Some of my highest series have come when I was subbing for someone else.  I even picked up a Triplicate Series award one night while subbing on a team.  I've seen subs shoot 300 games, and I've seen subs shoot 800 series too.  And I've seen subs have some of the worst nights of their career.

Basically, you try to do your best, and you hope for the best.  Let the chips fall where they may.  Myself, as a team captain, I'll usually pick up a roving sub if I need one, rather than giving away an automatic 10 pin markdown on a blind score.  Sometimes I made the right decision, and sometimes I made the wrong decision.....but, I know that my team is at a disadvantage with a blind score.  The one situation where I think twice about putting in a roving sub is when I have a very high averager that case, I might prefer to take the blind score.....but if the roving sub is also a high averager, then I'll roll the dice on the sub.

One new trend that I tend to disagree with is leagues charging sub fees.  If a roving sub bowls on a league that requires sub fees, the roving sub must pay (typically) $3 to bowl in the regular bowler's place.  The sub fee money is directed straight into the league's prize fund, and the sub is not permitted to receive any of the league prize fund money, and the sub fee does not affect the fact that the absent league member is still liable for the full fee for that night.  Basically, the sub pays a dollar a game to bowl, but gets nothing in return other than the opportunity to bowl.  I don't agree with sub charges, but I see a lot of mixed leagues going to this format.