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Welcome to the Spring 2015 Season!

Posted by Ken January 20, 2015 Spring 2015

The holiday season is behind us and it's already that time again – dust off your balls and say goodbye to the wife and kids as it's time to head back onto the battlefields as the 31st season of GutterAlley actions begins this evening. This season will feature three new recruits making their debut this season! A special welcome to rookies Dennis Cummings, Josh Eithun, and Russell Bingham who honestly have no idea what in the hell they have gotten themselves into over the next 17 Tuesdays of their lives.START DATE: Tuesday, January 20th (aka TODAY) at 6:20PM (league bowling starts at 6:30 after ten minutes of practice)LOCATION: NKC Pro Bowl, 505 East 18th Avenue, North Kansas City, MO 64116. For you new bowlers, we will be down on lanes 41-48 so you're best off parking behind the bowling alley. The rear parking lot is accessible only from the west side of the building from either 18th Ave or Erie St.Anyone that has been in the league pretty much knows everything else that's about to be told but, just in case you are bored and/or need a refresher, here's the GutterAlley 101 so that you know what to expect in our league:

  1. GutterAlley.comYou're currently on it...the official web site of the league. Every week after bowling, the scores from earlier in the evening will be entered and a write-up will be crafted to keep everyone up to date with the latest standings, averages, etc. In the write-up we also call attention to the two biggest individual performances of the evening: the Most Valuable Bowler and the #1 Power Ranked Bowler.

    • Most Valuable Bowler – each week we run a calculation that will determine which individual's above-average scores affected his or her team to single-handedly earn the most victories that night. Simply put, without this bowler's individual performance, their team would not have earned as many wins as they did on that particular Tuesday. We call this person the MVB.

    • #1 Power Ranked Bowler – we also wanted to call out the all-around best individual weekly performance, regardless of whether or not the bowler's team won the games or not. Any games that you bowl above your average earn you points in the equation while any games that you bowl below your average will penalize you. In the end, the person that puts up the best series of above-average games will come away with this weekly honor. For fun we also keep the scores for teams as well and tally them up cumulatively as the season progresses (here's how last season ended up). Miss a week and your score will suffer because, hey, you can't earn points when you don't show up.

    Another aspect of the site we've introduced in recent seasons is called the Tournament of Champions, which has grown in popularity. The easiest way to put it? Each week your scores will go up against other people in the league, earning you points if you win. Earn enough points by the end of the season and you qualify for the big event that uses your scores rolled in the Finals for a side-pot that pays out to the 1st and 2nd place finishers. Although we're pretty confident you'll pick up on this each week as people walk around with white sheets of paper after each game to see how others bowled, you can always check out the full explanation on the site.Lastly, we also post the funniest/dirtiest/most wrong comment we hear all night, which we've deemed "The Gutter Quote" (and, for those of you that are curious, most of the time these are just made up).Here's an example write-up. You can always go back and read any past write-up for previous seasons as well by choosing one and then scrolling to the bottom to find links to every article associated with that particular season. We also provide a recap of each season, although we still have many of the ancient seasons to still pen. Another goofy thing we do each week is to take our best stab at next week's results via our predictions, compliments of everyone's favorite soothsayer Murdock the Kinda Good at Times. It, too, takes into consideration a wide range of factors to try to accurately guess how you will bowl and, in turn, how your team will do against your competition. You can see an example of how the Finals were predicted to play out – as well as how it truly came out – by hitting up the predictions for Week 16 of last season.You'll also want to always be logged in when you come to the site as the system will keep you abreast of your personal information (best/worst games, current average, how much you owe for league dues, etc.) as well as highlighting you and your team on various things such as league standings and power rankings. Log into your account via Facebook or with your GutterAlley username/password in that first pod in the right-hand column. If you have any problems logging in, just shoot Scoot an email and he'll get it taken care of for you. For those of you who are new to the site, we will email your usernames and passwords to you directly today.

  2. We're on Facebook and TwitterBig whoop, I know...but we're on both Facebook as well as Twitter (which is rarely updated because we always seem to forget). Like us, follow us, enjoy us.

  3. Rental shoesI ask you, what's a bowling alley without foul smelling rental shoes? If you do not have your own bowling shoes (and we HIGHLY recommend that you pay $30-$40 and buy your own bowling shoes as it is much cheaper in the long run), you'll need to go up to the counter and get some. The last I heard, they are something like $4.75 to rent for the night...which is insane. Back to our hint earlier about buying your own bowling shoes? If you pay to rent shoes each week, you'll incur an extra $80.75 over the course of the season. Be smart and buy your own pair of bowling shoes. You can get them in the pro shop located at the south end of the building, order 'em online or even find them at sporting good stores.

  4. Bowler's EtiquetteThis is a fairly simple rule to remember -- if someone is up to bowl on the lane immediately to your left or your right, please wait for them to begin bowling before stepping up onto your lane to roll. That's it. See? Simple. The other no brainer portion of this? Do not ever shout up at the person that is currently in the act of bowling. We've condoned beheadings when this has happened in the past.

  5. PaymentEach week you'll find white envelopes down on your lanes before you start with your team's name on it. This is where you'll slip your money each week to bowl. If you are a full-time VMLer you will only need to pay $8 per week. Everyone else will need to put in $14 per week. If you are going to write a check, please make it out to AMF. Once you've placed your payment in the envelope, write how much you have paid for that particular week only next to your name in the appropriate dated column. So, for example, if Tuesday night you are going to pay for three weeks you would write $42 in the column for Week #1 and you're done. Some people prefer to just pay out the entire season on the first night. If you'd like to do this it's $138 ($136 for regular fees + $2 for the Tournament of Champions) if you are a full-time VMLer or $240 ($238 for regular fees and then the $2 for the ToC) if you aren't. You don't want to fall behind with your payments otherwise Scott "Scooter J" Murdock will harass you via creepy stares during league bowling and then through passive-aggressive emails.

  6. Remove those wet shoes!There's nothing we enjoy more than seeing someone step up to bowl with something wet on the bottom of their bowling shoes from rain or, if winter weather hits us, snow tracked in by someone else. Why? Well, when they go to slide they are going to stop abruptly and possibly fall. There's even a chance for serious injury. It's so funny to watch that happen! In all reality, it's not fun at all...and with us bowling into the beginning of winter, please remove your shoes before stepping off of the carpeted area after you arrive. It'll save everyone – including yourself – from possibly wiping out.

  7. Smoking is not allowedStupid ordinances. Smoking is not allowed inside the bowling alley. If you need to smoke, please do so QUICKLY outside in-between games. Lag too long and someone will inevitably send Ken out to get you back onto the lanes.

  8. Being lateIf you are running late to the bowling alley and will be past 6:30 when we officially start, please do us all a favor and call someone on your team to let them know. According to the league rules, "any bowler who arrives late may enter any game provided the anchor bowler of the opposing team has not completed the fifth (5th) frame. Frames missed may be made up." If you don't make it by that time, your average will be carried for the game that you missed and you can then jump in and bowl the remaining games that evening. The ONLY exception is the very first week. If you can't make it then you are SOL as we need people to bowl three games to set their average and you can't do that if you're late on the first night.

  9. AbsenteeismIf you are going to miss a Tuesday there are just a couple of things you'll need to do. Firstly, let your team know that you'll be absent. Secondly, you can make arrangements to have someone bowl in your place (a substitute) or your team can opt to simply carry your average that night. Lastly, you'll still be responsible for payment that night -- if your team opts to carry your average you'll owe the full $14 (or $8 if you're a full-time VMLer) as usual. If they bring in a sub, the substitute bowler should pay the fees of the person they replace (either $8 or $14). If the sub doesn't pay, the absent person will need to make it up.

  10. Pre- and Post-BowlingLet's face it...sometimes life gets in the way of bowling (shocking to fathom, I know) and there may be times when at least two of the people on your team cannot make it. Since you need at least two core members of your team to form a "legal lineup" (see the league rules) in order to bowl, if your team finds itself in a position where people simply can't make it you have three options: 1) You can pre-bowl, 2) post-bowl or 3) forfeit. Forfeiting should always be the last option and avoided at all costs because, hey, you lose all four games straight up. Pre-bowling is when your team can make arrangements BEFORE the Tuesday you'll be absent and get your games in. You'll need to make arrangements with the league president (Ken) as well as with NKC Pro-Bowl (816.221.8844, so that they can set up a time when you could bowl). Once you are finished, write down your scores and email them to Ken. Post-bowling, which we only allow a team to do two times per season, is when you are granted time to make up your games BEFORE the following Tuesday – no later than the Monday before. Again, you'll need to let Ken know as well as calling NKC Pro-Bowl to make arrangements to go up there to bowl. If you do not make up your games BEFORE THE END OF THE DAY ON MONDAY before the next session of bowling you'll forfeit.

  11. Awards CeremonyAt the very end of the season, we all gather together for an awards ceremony. It is here that we will hand out the prize money (and, yes, every single team gets some money in the end – it's all based upon the number of wins your team has accumulated throughout the season) as well as announce who has won the Season Favorites, the overall season's Most Valuable Bowler and induct the newest member to the GutterAlley Hall of Fame. New as of Spring 2014 -- the team that wins the championship get to run the awards ceremony in any style of their choosing!

That's it for starters. Did we scare you away yet? Hopefully not. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask either Ken or Scoot.

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AB strangles Ken while Carl basks in utter defeat.

The bowling alley's operating hours are:

Monday:5PM - 12AM
Tuesday:12PM - 12AM
Wednesday:   4PM - 12AM
Thursday:5PM - 12AM
Friday:5PM - 2AM
Saturday:12PM - 2AM
Sunday:12PM - 2AM

Please keep these hours in mind if you need to pre- or post-bowl! Call (816) 221-8844 to schedule your pre/post bowling session!