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Chris Barnes Chat Log

Touring PBA Pro Chris Barnes joined bowlers on America Online's Grandstand Bowling Forum for an interactive chat on Monday, February 7, 2000. The audience was invited to submit thier questions and they were posed to Chris to answer.

HOSTGSTDSteveMWelcome to this special chat with 1998 PBA Rookie of the Year Chris Barnes ....
HOSTGSTDSteveM:As you know, he is here to talk about and
HOSTGSTDSteveM:answer your questions regarding the PBA tour.
HOSTGSTDSteveM:Tonight we will be taking your questions via a
HOSTGSTDSteveM:special form. Please click on the graphic on
HOSTGSTDSteveM:the right to send your questions.
HOSTGSTDSteveM:Questions will be answered in the ordered they've
HOSTGSTDSteveM:been received.
HOSTGSTDSteveM:*** Our guests will not be able to answer questions
HOSTGSTDSteveM:asked in the room. ***
HOSTGSTDSteveM:Please help me welcome Chris this evening!
HOST GSTD Diva::::applause:::
Chris Barnes:thank you everyone -- I am glad to be here!!!
HOST GSTD Diva:Hiya Chris, before we start grilling you, is there anything you'd like to talk about?
HOST GSTD Diva:We know you've been pretty busy these last few weeks.
Chris Barnes:It has been busy -- for a good reason but I do have a fan club
Chris Barnes:that has started recently
Chris Barnes:the web address is
HOST GSTD Diva:Cool beans. Since Rick brought it up, "Chris"Toe"pher what do you have ?"
HOST GSTD Diva:Chris"Toe"pher what do you have to say about your Toe
Chris Barnes:a broken toe
Chris Barnes:a ball fell off a locker about 3 1/2 ft high
Chris Barnes:and landed on my left big toe breaking it in two places
HOST GSTD Diva:ouch!
Chris Barnes:and after removing the nail, put 5 stitches in it to close the cut to the bone
HOST GSTD Diva:PLEASE no pictures!
Chris Barnes:it is much better now and am able to bowl fairly normally
Chris Barnes:which may or may not be a good thing :)
Chris Barnes:have been able to get on one of my roomier casual shoes for the last two days
Chris Barnes:still using the cut out bowling shoe though
HOSTGSTDSteveM:Okay lets start with a question from Pokemonbowler. He writes what would you do if you
HOSTGSTDSteveM:shot a televised 300 game?
Chris Barnes:smile more than usual..../g
Chris Barnes:I would probably be very excited especially. if it was the title game
HOST GSTD Diva:OK, back to how you've been bowling....
HOST GSTD Diva: How could you POSSIBLY overcome the pain of a double
HOST GSTD Diva:broken toe to come through and jump from 15th to make the telecast?
Chris Barnes:I think sometimes if you get out of the way of your body it is able
Chris Barnes:to do more than we think is possible
Chris Barnes:but the lanes were very slick that week and I had to be slow which was an
Chris Barnes:advantage because that was the only speed at which I could walk/g
HOSTGSTDSteveM:Taz737 asks, Chris, I have been thinking about bowling some regionals in my area, is there
HOSTGSTDSteveM:any advice you can give me before I try this? ga
Chris Barnes:just work on spares -- the conditions will most likely hook more than the league conditions and the spares
Chris Barnes:will be tougher to make especially. if you hook at them
Chris Barnes:find the toughest house in your area and practice there
HOST GSTD Diva:LaninaStorm writes: Chris, so what kinda bowling balls do you throw??
Chris Barnes:Brunswick
Chris Barnes:I am fond of the MVP line that we have as well as the newer proactives
HOSTGSTDSteveM:Strikeup85 asks, how many perfect games did you bowl? ga
Chris Barnes:in tourneys and abc/pba comp. I have around 38-40
HOST GSTD Diva:Squire816 asks Where do you see the PBA in 5 years?
Chris Barnes:With the pending news of our merger it is hard to say...
Chris Barnes:but I believe we will be bowling for larger prize funds and you will see more pros bowling out on the nat. tour
HOSTGSTDSteveM:Bbzbop writes, Chris, I am glad to see you are having a fan club. I would love to see more
HOSTGSTDSteveM:of the bowlers having fan clubs. I also think it would be nice if you guys had T-shirts of
HOSTGSTDSteveM:yourselves that fans could purchase to sport their favorite players like Nascar does so well.
HOSTGSTDSteveM: Do you have any plans in the works to produce and item like this to your fan club
HOSTGSTDSteveM:members? ga
Chris Barnes:there are plans in the works for items like that
Chris Barnes:currently the plan is to get the fan club off the ground
Chris Barnes:and improve everything as we go along
Chris Barnes:for those that don't know the website is
Chris Barnes:take a look and if you have ideas feel free to share
GSTDMaul:MityQuackr asks : First, congratulations on your success thus far. My question is with the number of balls
GSTDMaul: that manufacturers keep shoving out to the public, do you have any advice to the average bowler?
Chris Barnes:first and foremost -- keep it simple
Chris Barnes:find a benchmark ball that works on most everything
Chris Barnes:and fit in balls that hook more and less around it
Chris Barnes:keep it to around 6-8 balls /g
Chris Barnes:and ask your local pro shop lots of questions
HOST GSTD Diva:Pdbenwa writes... Can you get me an autographed pic of Lynda Barnes?
HOST GSTD Diva:(speaking of fan clubs)
Chris Barnes:I just might be able to do that for you pd/g
HOSTGSTDSteveM:Strikeup85 asks, do you feel a difference in your pin action when you bowl on TV with the
HOSTGSTDSteveM:gold pins, then with the regular pins during qualifying? ga
Chris Barnes:sometimes there is a big diff on the show
Chris Barnes:the oil tends to carry down a lot on the show and if that a happens
Chris Barnes:and the entry angle is decreased there can be a big diff.
Chris Barnes:if you still have a lot of entry angle though there is not as much diff. /g
GSTDMaul:Rbenwa asks: Chris the number of fans you seem to have each week is really increasing, did you expect that?
Chris Barnes:not really -- it isn't something I can really control.
Chris Barnes:When I am bowling, what you see is pretty much what you get -- good and bad
HOST GSTD Diva:Squire816 asks, What's the most important thing you've learned in your time on Tour?
Chris Barnes:patience
Chris Barnes:have to be to win out here and control the impulse to have to win the tournament on every shot
HOSTGSTDSteveM:DerekB1057 asks, who do you look up to? ga
Chris Barnes:there have been 4 that have had a great influence on me
Chris Barnes:Marshall for his intensity..
Chris Barnes:Fred Borden, bob Goike, and rick Steelsmith for their talent, knowledge, and leadership by example
GSTDMaul:BIGBOWLR300 asks: can your wife kick your butt on a regular basis? lol go Linda!!!!!
Chris Barnes:she has beaten me on occasion..... I plead the 5th after that
HOST GSTD Diva:Pokemonbowler asks, Are you in the new PBA bowling video game?
Chris Barnes:yes i am pokemon
HOSTGSTDSteveM:Nicstillz asks, Chris, which did you enjoy more, bowling for school or bowling on the pba
HOSTGSTDSteveM:tour ? I know college bowling is very hype
Chris Barnes:bowling for college and team USA has a very big pull for me
Chris Barnes:I enjoy bowling team things a lot and it has always been fun for me
Chris Barnes:bowling on tour offers a different challenge and that has always gotten my adrenaline going
Chris Barnes:not a real answer I guess -- I like both a lot for very different reasons/g
GSTDMaul:BAW 1398 asks: Chris, what is your favorite drilling on a ball?
Chris Barnes:probably 5 1/2 by 3 with a hole on the axis
Chris Barnes:pin under my middle finger
HOST GSTD Diva:DerekB1057 old were you when you started bowling?
Chris Barnes:introduced at 6 started leagues at 7
HOSTGSTDSteveM:Nike759 asks, I have a good amount of hand in the ball....So my question is how do you
HOSTGSTDSteveM:drill your balls so they don't "burn out" down the lane? ga
Chris Barnes:almost all of my pins are 5" or more from my axis
Chris Barnes:and I use surface instead of stronger pins to get it to hook/g
GSTDMaul:MVPBowler asks: Which Brunswick bowling ball is your favorite?
Chris Barnes:all the MVP's and riot zone
HOST GSTD Diva:We're getting quite a few questions on the proposed buyout, can you share your feelings on it?
Chris Barnes:unfortunately I don't know many details
Chris Barnes:but from what I have heard it can be a great thing for the PBA and bowling in general
Chris Barnes:Microsoft name brings automatic credibility to anything they are involved with
HOSTGSTDSteveM:RVanderbil asks, As with any sport the youth are it's foundation and future. What do you
HOSTGSTDSteveM:think the PBA can do to get more youth involved in the sport? ga
Chris Barnes:that should come from the proprietor level as it is in their best interest as well but
Chris Barnes:I think that we can do a better job with youth clinics every week to e\encourage youth
Chris Barnes:I also think high school bowling can do a lot for retention
GSTDMaul:TAZ737 asks: Chris, what league average do you think a woman should have in order to compete on the regional
Chris Barnes:around a 200 average at least
Chris Barnes:on house conditions
HOST GSTD Diva:Rbenwa asks: Who's your room mate and how difficult is it to have a room mate while out on tour
Chris Barnes:my roommate is Bryon Smith and if you get along with each other as well
Chris Barnes:as we do then it is a bonus
Chris Barnes:having a good roommate is essential out here/g
HOSTGSTDSteveM:MityQuackr asks, With all of the travelling you do, do you have any suggestions for
HOSTGSTDSteveM:bowlers who travel across the country for tournaments such as ABC Nationals and the High
HOSTGSTDSteveM:Rollers? ga
Chris Barnes:just have a diverse array of equip since you will be limited to no more than 8 balls
Chris Barnes:spares are always important and practice at the toughest place you can find
Chris Barnes:as well as from every arrow/g
GSTDMaul:Some dork named Maul asks: Do you have any superstitions or pre tournament routine that you stick to from week
GSTDMaul:to week?
Chris Barnes:not too many --- I don't drink at any time during a tourney...
Chris Barnes:and for a while I always wore a yellow shirt for the first day of qualifying/g
HOST GSTD Diva:LaNinaStorm asks, How do you go about getting a sponsor, do they come up to you, or do you have to prove
HOST GSTD Diva:yourself first?
Chris Barnes:i solicited my first sponsor
Chris Barnes:as well as the first time I signed a contract with a ball company
Chris Barnes:you will have to prove yourself to some extent though
HOSTGSTDSteveM:ShockMe300 asks, How is your golf game coming? ga
Chris Barnes:little hard to walk in golf shoes at the moment
Chris Barnes:but I could still beat shock hobbling on one foot....:)/g
GSTDMaul:Rbenwa asks: Do you get a picture of your ball rep if I am a member of your fan club?
GSTDMaul:For darts?
Chris Barnes:LOL I wouldn't subject my members to that kind of punishment/g
HOST GSTD Diva:CJmustangGT asks, how close did you ever come to winning the high roller????
Chris Barnes:I made the top8 in the superbowl the same year I made the won the shootout
Chris Barnes:top 16 a couple of times and the top 32 once\g
HOSTGSTDSteveM:RalphrC asks, What is more difficult for you: Bowling in the Finals, or watching
HOSTGSTDSteveM:your wife in the Finals? ga
Chris Barnes:it is definitely more difficult to watch!!!!!! I would rather throw it for the wheat than watch any day/g
GSTDMaul:YABAMaster asks: what is your opinion on wrist devices that are supposed to help you turn the ball?
Chris Barnes:I think they can be helpful training devices although I haven't ever used one
Chris Barnes:I think they can be shoo tout helpful to those who can use them to provide additional wrist strength
HOST GSTD Diva:From YanksFanJP, Do you have any favorite cities on tour that you look forward to visiting (Besides Wichita)?
Chris Barnes:Erie is always a great stop --- the fan support is 2nd to none
HOSTGSTDSteveM:Baw1398 asks, Chris, what made you decide to go with the Brunswick staff. I mean you all the
HOSTGSTDSteveM:talent in the world and anyone would have been more than happy to have you aboard. What set
HOSTGSTDSteveM:Brunswick apart from all the others? ga
Chris Barnes:the main reason is that although "B" has the rep for early hooking balls, they also have
Chris Barnes:the most lessor hooking options of any company
Chris Barnes:they design equip not only for the majority that wants more hook but also for the competition player that need
GSTDMaul:They got a good ball rep too :)
Chris Barnes:all types of equip. they also had the most to offer internationally where I have some pull/g
GSTDMaul:DerekB1057 asks: Marshall ended his career with 22 titles mark Williams with 7 how many titles would you like
GSTDMaul:at the end of your career?
Chris Barnes:more than anyone... I do not want to put a ceiling on anything at this stage of my career/g
HOST GSTD Diva:CYZone300 asks, What is your best suggestion on flattening out the ball for spares.
HOST GSTD Diva: I use a Blue Dot but still tend to hook at the spare!!!
HOST GSTD Diva:I can't seem to teach myself to "break" my wrist when
HOST GSTD Diva:trying to pick up single pin spares!!
Chris Barnes:break your wrist back and loosen your hand pressure to the same amount it takes to pick up a pencil/g
HOSTGSTDSteveM:LaNina Storm asks, how do you like the new format in the championship matches?? ga
Chris Barnes:lead with your thumb diva
Chris Barnes:I think it favors the higher qualifiers more which is how it should be
Chris Barnes:it also provides more close matches with a faster pace, more exposure for the players and a traditional fin
Chris Barnes:I think it is the best of all options
GSTDMaul:DerekB1057 asks: how does the whole roommate thing work do you get a new roommate every year or do you pick who
GSTDMaul:you want to room with?
Chris Barnes:everyone chooses who they want to room with or if they want to not room with anyone/g
HOST GSTD Diva:Rbenwa would like to know, Chris, what does it take to become a member of your fan club?
Chris Barnes:go to the website at
Chris Barnes:The cost is $20 plus S&H
HOST GSTD Diva:Chris, would you like to take a breather here?
HOST GSTD Diva:You've been typing for an hour straight
Chris Barnes:a couple of minutes to stretch my fingers
HOST GSTD Diva:OK, folks, we're going to take a 5 minute break, so grab a beverage of choice
GSTDMaul:He's like the Energizer bunny, he keeps going and going
HOST GSTD Diva:We have 3 asking the questions, and he's only one person answering :)
HOST GSTD Diva:And for the record, Chris does his own typing.
HOST GSTD Diva:Among the chat guests, that's not the usual.
HOST GSTD Diva:Looks like Barry Asher will be next. You guys need to write to us and tell us who you'd like to
HOST GSTD Diva:chat with!
Chris Barnes:I am ready when you are
GSTDMaul:Andy Varipapa
GSTDMaul:BBzbop asks: Were your parents league bowlers and that is how you were introduced to bowling and do you have
GSTDMaul:brothers or sisters who bowl?
Chris Barnes:my father introduced me to bowling and my mother and sister all bowl
Chris Barnes:as a matter of fact my sister and I shot 300 on the same night 120 miles apart
HOSTGSTDSteveM:Strikeup85 asks, what was your qualifying average when you first entered your first PBA
Chris Barnes:I Varian over 225 for a couple of years before I went out/g
HOST GSTD Diva:Rbenwa asks, Is there any bowler that intimidates you?
Chris Barnes:I am not intimidated by him -- I think that one is the other way around
HOSTGSTDSteveM:PB3WebGuy asks, How will you stay sharp between the winter and fall tours? ga
Chris Barnes:regionals and practice mostly
Chris Barnes:if I get bored I can always bowl and try to beat my wife :) /g
GSTDMaul:YanksFanJP asks, Marshall Holman will be remembered for his competitive intensity, Mark Roth for the way he
GSTDMaul:revolutionized the release, What legacy do you want to leave behind?
Chris Barnes:for the versatility of Norm Duke, the intensity of Holman, and the consistency of Walter intensity
HOST GSTD Diva:RalphC asks, How did you support yourself while you were an amateur?
Chris Barnes:I bowled in money tourneys from my sophomore year in college (89) to pay for college and support myself
Chris Barnes:like the high roller -- superhoinke, holiday tourneys in Dallas, TX challenges, etc.
HOSTGSTDSteveM:MityQuackr asks, what do you think about the Internet being a forum for wholesalers to sell
HOSTGSTDSteveM:their wares to the public? Is that going to help or hurt the sale of equipment, and how do
HOSTGSTDSteveM:you think that will effect pro shops? ga
Chris Barnes:I think it makes it tough on the pro shops -- but the rebound play for them is going to be to charge more for
Chris Barnes:drilling so that the consumer realizes how important the service they perform is./g
GSTDMaul:Taz737 asks, Chris, how do you get through a "slump"?
Chris Barnes:practice, practice, practice,
Chris Barnes:back to the basics
HOST GSTD Diva:DerekB1057 asks, Who is your favorite bowler to play against?
Chris Barnes:I like to bowl the top players out here PBIII, Walter, norm, and lots others
Chris Barnes:the challenge is what drives me
HOSTGSTDSteveM:KLH300GM asks, Money aside which of your two very different careers ( amateur
HOSTGSTDSteveM:representing your country) or now as a pro has provided the most personal
HOSTGSTDSteveM:satisfaction. ga
Chris Barnes:representing my country while bowling with 3-5 other guys is more wholly satisfying
Chris Barnes:I get great enjoyment out of personal success but the best is when your team succeeds
GSTDMaul:Rbenwa asks, :If your balance is not as good as it is now is it alright if I drop a ball on your toe again?
Chris Barnes:NO!!!!!!!!!!!!
HOST GSTD Diva:Bigbwlr300 asks, how did you and Lynda meet?
Chris Barnes:we met in college first
Chris Barnes:then after some years and relationships we were on Team USA together
Chris Barnes:and were "free" and got together then
HOSTGSTDSteveM:Hanibal300 asks, Chris many top professionals throw 15lb equipment for better deflection,
HOSTGSTDSteveM:do you? ga
Chris Barnes:no -- I leave enough 10's without the deflection I believe 16 gives me the best advantage/g
GSTDMaul:LaNineStor, asks, Chris, was it hard for yourself, to get started in the Regionals, and pro tour, and is it
GSTDMaul:hard for someone new to the tour?
Chris Barnes:I think I was as prepared as anyone for the tour, but there is no place to learn some of the things
Chris Barnes:that happen out here
Chris Barnes:there is a learning curve for everyone/g
HOST GSTD Diva:Folks, let's get those last few questions in, so that we can let this guy get some rest
HOST GSTD Diva:BIGBWLR300 asks, what is the best advice you have for a youth with dreams of pba?
Chris Barnes:repetition, and a good STRAIGHT spare game
Chris Barnes:watch the guys on TV -- they are there for a reason/g
GSTDMaul:GSTDMaul asks, Is there anything you would have done differently in your career if you had the chance to do it
GSTDMaul:over again?
Chris Barnes:I would have loved to have won the FIQ masters
Chris Barnes:but most of the things that I would like to change have probably helped make me what I am today/g
HOST GSTD Diva:MityQuackr asks, This is an odd question, but in most of the professional sports
HOST GSTD Diva:the rookies tend to get "hazed." Does anything like that happen
HOST GSTD Diva:in the PBA and if so, can you share any of those experiences?
Chris Barnes:usual amount of kidding and joking and "carry my bags rookie"
Chris Barnes:but nothing that could be considered hazing
HOSTGSTDSteveM:We're going to wrap up the chat with this one last question.
HOSTGSTDSteveM:PB3WebGuy asks, My friends say I show no emotion on the lanes, and I'm terrible at "running out
HOSTGSTDSteveM:shots". Who should I watch to be the best at that? ga
Chris Barnes:I think I am okay at it, but Mike Miller and Weber are probably great examples
HOST GSTD Diva:We'd like to thank Chris Barnes for joining us tonight!
GSTDMaul:Thanks Chris :)
HOST GSTD Diva:And we appreciate all the wonderful fan support!
HOST GSTD Diva::::applause:::
MOBETTA4U:Chris, thanks for joining us again! =)
Chris Barnes:my pleasure ---
HOST GSTD Diva:Watch for the PBA on Sundays on ESPN!
HOST GSTD Diva:Oh, and thank YOU Rick for being Chris' stand in
Chris Barnes:rick is bored and has too much time on his hands
Chris Barnes:I think penny needs to be out here more often
HOSTGSTDSteveM:Thanks again for joining us this evening!

Please note: the log has been edited for content, to reduce its length, and all audience's comments have been removed.

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