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Tuning In to Season 41

Posted by ScooterJ January 17, 2020 Spring 2020

Welcome to the Spring 2020 bowling season, our 41st season of bowling!

With a late surge of sign-ups we are once again 8 teams strong. Three teams are returning exactly the same, two teams have minor changes, two teams experienced major changes, and one team is entirely new.

We have SIX rookies joining us this season. Please welcome Adam Scherzer, Carolina Mach, Chris Szilagyi, Garrett Von Derluft, Jake Holterman, and Stu Marthers!

START DATE: Tuesday, January 21st 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.

We should continue to be on lanes 3-8 this season, so park in the front lot.


  • Both Aaron Barber and Seth Gunderson have a realistic potential to reach 200 career 200+ games this season, though they will each have to work a little harder than last season to get there.
  • Aaron Barber reached 50 career 600+ series near the end of last season. It will be a long time before anyone else reaches that number.
  • Carl Goetz can also become the first league member to reach double-digit career 700+ series. He got one last season, one more is all he needs.
  • Ken M. Wilson will become the third league member to reach a quarter million career pins, most likely this Tuesday unless he sandbags. Scott Murdock will follow suit later in the season, most likely in late March or early April.
  • Seth Gunderson, not terribly far behind them, will cross 200,000 career pins in late February to early March.
  • And not to be left out, Aaron Barber should cross 100,000 career pins next week, followed by Michael Gordon in March.


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:

    You'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 three biggest individual performances of the evening: the Most Valuable Bowler, the #1 Power Ranked Bowler, and the #1 Head-to-Head 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.
    • #1 Head to Head Bowler – this calculation shows how many games each person would have won if they had been bowling individually against every other person in the league, using the standard handicap formula.

    Another aspect of our league is the Tournament of Champions, which has become so popular that some people track it more than they do the team win records. 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. Computer-generated write-ups are usually posted by 10pm Tuesday, then get fleshed out by a human the following day.

    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 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 by or before Tuesday morning.

  2. We're on Facebook and Twitter
    Big whoop, I know...but we're on both Facebook (which we updated frequently) as well as Twitter (which is rarely updated because we always seem to forget). Like us, follow us, enjoy us.
  3. Rental shoes
    I 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 Etiquette
    This 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. Payment
    Each 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.

    Our standard rate is $15 per week, or $255 for the entire season. However there are several of you this season operating under various employer and sponsorship discounts:

    • Full Time & retired* VMLY&R employees: $8/week or $136/season
    • Decision Insight/TABS Group employees: (Sorry, no discount this season since only members of Management are bowling. That's the breaks.)

    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 $45 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. see the price breakdowns above for the full-season totals.

    You don't want to fall behind with your payments otherwise AJ Hofmann will harass you via creepy stares during league bowling and then through passive-aggressive emails.

    One more thing, we now offer the option to pay your fees online by logging in to this web site and clicking the "Pay Now" button in the right column. There is a small handling fee for this service so it's best used only if you have no other option.

  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 coming down the steps after you arrive. It'll save everyone – including yourself – from possibly wiping out. And in fact, with the removal of carpet entirely last year, you need to watch for water/beer/urine EVERYWHERE!
  7. Smoking is not allowed
    Smoking is not allowed inside the bowling alley. If you need to smoke, please do so QUICKLY outside, and only in-between games. Lag too long and someone will inevitably send Scoot out to get you back onto the lanes.
  8. Being late
    If 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. Absenteeism
    If 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 your full weekly rate as usual. If they bring in a sub, the substitute bowler should pay the usual fees of the person they replace. If the sub doesn't pay, the absent person will need to make it up.
  10. Pre- and Post-Bowling
    Let'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 officers)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

    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 the league officers 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 Ceremony
    At 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. The team that wins the championship get to run the awards ceremony in any style of their choosing!
  12. League Discounts
    All league bowlers are eligible for discounts on snacks and non-alcoholic drinks, as well as free games of bowling. Inquire at the front desk, or just wait for Sandy to come around and sign you up! You do end on AMF's mailing list, but apart from a couple of coupons every once in a while you pretty much never hear from them.

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

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Ken, after missing a 300 by one @%*&ing pin.

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!