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The Right Approach...Views on the world of bowling.

Volume 1, Issue 18

By Angel Zobel-Rodriguez

      In the next six months, I'll be hopping on a plane at least three times. These trips coincide with major bowling tournaments, but the love of my sport is not the main reason I'm willing to fork over a few hundred dollars to bowl the Mixed Doubles in Reno this November, the ABC in Syracuse in March, or the WIBC in Indianapolis come June. From a financial perspective, even if I bowl well, I won't break even. But I will be far ahead in the friendship category.

      Through the contacts I've made bowling and online, I've gained great friendships across this country and throughout the world. Unfortunately we live in a rather large country, and we are peppered throughout the U.S. Considering how busy people are, and how expensive airline travel can be, I've hit upon a sure fire way to make time to see these friends and bowl at the same time. I can't say the idea was mine, I've merely jumped on the bandwagon.

      Several years ago, a bowler who frequented a bowling newsgroup organized the first Team Internet for ABC in Reno. Without having met, they had been reading each others' messages for quite some time, and several of them lacked a team. Mark Curran had the bright idea to round up a few folks, and in turn, he created a phenomenon. Due to the success the first team enjoyed, the next year they had two teams for Salt Lake City, then three teams in Huntsville, and six this year in Reno.

      This year was my first Team Internet tournament. While some of the teams in TI are serious contenders, there was also an all-women's team, and a couple of mixed teams. My team was all AOL members who wanted a chance to meet and be part of something bigger. Bowling my first ABC National Tournament in Reno last March was exciting, but not nearly as fun as talking all night, watching sports, and finding out the coffee bar was open 24 hours with the bowler that has become my best friend.

      So when Mark and his wife mentioned that the Mixed Doubles was scheduled for Reno this fall, I talked to everyone I could think of. However, when the dates were set, I almost had to cancel, because the group voted for the one weekend I really didn't want to go. Yet we're going, because the littlest bowler in this family decided that being in Reno for his birthday wasn't a bad way to spend his eighth birthday, and a plane flight thrown in made it even better.

      What will twenty-odd bowlers and assorted family members do for four days in Reno? Of course, we'll gamble (some of us less than others), we'll break bread together, and some of us will drink white chocolate mochas like they're going out of style. Some of the folks will undoubtedly go golfing, or at least run over to the driving range at the Reno Hilton to hit a bucket of balls. We'll bowl together, and watch others bowl their doubles and singles squads. But most importantly, we'll spend time with friends new and old.

      Early next year, I will be heading to Syracuse to be part of the true TI V, live from Syracuse. I'm truly excited to finally be meeting two of my teammates and friends. I'll be home for a few months--just long enough to cherish the memories--when it will be time to join 9 other women in Indianapolis for WIBC Nationals. So forgive me if we end up in a less sensible division. Long after my scores are forgotten, the friendships endure.

Gotta Split,


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