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Preparing for tournament


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  • Preparing for tournament

    We are hosting the men's state seniors tournament the next two weekends.

    My question is..

    What do I need to look at to prepare for this. I know the basic things to look for like weak belts, loose bolts, and obviously worn parts, but are there any hidden problems that could crop up that I might miss? Just parts that seem to fail at the wrong time.

    Everything seems to have been running a bit TOO well lately, kind of like a major breakdown is building up. That's what usually happens here anyway.

    These machines are not in excellent condition, but I'm working on that. Most of the GB's and decks are black with grease and oil. I have them running fairly well right now, but am in the slow process of rebuilding everything and cleaning.

    This may seem like a kind of dumb question, but the owners want everything to be perfect.
    <span style="font-style: italic">Sometimes it is best to use good advice from many individuals to achieve the ultimate result.</span>

  • #2
    Re: Preparing for tournament


    Here is my basic checklist before any major tourneys..

    1) The most important, make sure your lane machines are working correctly, and that your crew know how to put out the conditions without supervision. I still catch my guys cutting corners on lane conditioning procedures.

    2) My checklist covers deck cables, scissor pads, belts, and the hand dryers on the return racks, and foul lights.

    There are probably a million things you want to go over before the tourney. I always feel that way too, when I know one is coming up.

    Make a list of what you want to have done, then take a few minutes to list them by priority, and work on the highest ones first, on down the list.
    Even if you dont get to all of them, at least you know that you got the "major" jobs completed.

    Good Luck,


    • #3
      Re: Preparing for tournament

      Great list Wookie. I Have hosted several senior tournaments. The first thing I start checking is lift rods,condition of the rod cover and adjustments. Next I would install all new kicker strips on the ball wheels.I found that it is a real pain to have to chase all those Mineralites and Ebonite Tornados!! Check your triggering also, don't need a bunch of old folks punching on the reset buttons all day long. A quick check of your HVAC would not be a bad idea. A look around the center might be a great idea also....check for trip hazzards, are all exit signs in working order, ect.
      Hope this helps, billman
      let me be myself


      • #4
        Re: Preparing for tournament

        Hey Ace
        A good tip there on checking your lane machine and who does the lanes.
        The majority of tournament bowlers will be new to your house and if they bowl well they will remember it.
        Even if a lane should breakdown you have 1 pair of bowlers who might have to wait.
        But if the lanes are bad you have a whole center worth of bowlers walking out with a bad experience.
        I agree in the habd dryers, clean out the squirrel cages and make sure you have a spare assy on hand for the tourn.
        Check your power lifts for bad tires on lift track, you do not want to be up front working on something while the tourn. is going on.
        Check all the interior lights and have the manager make sure the parking lot is clean as well as the restrooms stay clean ALL day.
        Most bowlers judge a center on appearance and cleanliness.
        I would start cleaning the machines and oiling all the pivot points.
        Get yourself a notebook and write down everything you see wrong while cleaning, cleaning and oiling will get your eyes looking over the whole machine.
        Good luck on your tourn.


        • #5
          Re: Preparing for tournament

          I'd also do a check of all kickbacks and gutters for nails/screws hanging out...

          Nothing like a visitor getting a ding in the ball to make for an unpleasant experience.

          If Amf machines, be sure you check those bolts in the PBL that cause the nasty whacks, had a good chunk taken out of one of mine at last year's Elk's state tourney, I was NOT happy:



          • #6
            Re: Preparing for tournament


            The previous posters have given you excellent advice. One thing I might ad to the list:
            seeing this is a mens senior citizen tournament,
            have the manager hire beautiful well built young ladies to wait tables and some of the bowlers
            won't care about break downs. [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif[/img]

            retired &amp; still learning



            • #7
              Re: Preparing for tournament

              I have run PBA Seniors, Ladie's Pro, State and fraternal national tournaments here... (Elk's, Knights of Columbus, etc...) After all these years, I realize that these are strictly profit ventures that directly enhance the bottom line. My philosophy is that it is just another league shift and if you are taking care of your leagues, the tournaments will be just fine. I don't do anything extra for the tournament as far as maintenance that I wouldn't do for my leagues.
              (the opinion expressed may not necessarily be the policy of the management) [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif[/img]
              41 years and still learning....


              • #8
                Re: Preparing for tournament

                Before any one day tourney, run the decks down and rub the five pin rubber deck chutes out with a rag coated with lane oil. Especially if humidity is high.
                Just an addition.


                • #9
                  Re: Preparing for tournament

                  Thanks for all the tips guys!! Everything ran quite well.

                  I had 6 stops during the tourney. One of them was the roll pin in the pin gate just had to fail today. I replaced it between squads and all was well!!

                  Roscoe, I thought adout that but never did it. Thanks!!

                  I thought I was in trouble earlier though. The Accel belt on one pair decided that it would wait til this morning (junior league) to start popping the short belt off. Also lane 5 wanted to double up the 5 pin. I got both fixed before the tourney started. BTW FYI.. lane 5 was due to the turret belt being too lose causing the turret to hesitate after dropping the pins. How it got that way all of the sudden [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/confused.gif[/img] I don't know??

                  Thanks again!!

                  Adam D.

                  PS..excuse any typos..I'm really tired and am going to bed!! [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif[/img]
                  <span style="font-style: italic">Sometimes it is best to use good advice from many individuals to achieve the ultimate result.</span>


                  • #10
                    Re: Preparing for tournament

                    Hey Guys, I'm kinda disappointed in y'all, forgot three big ones:
                    check coffee supply,
                    check donut supply,
                    make sure to fix all machines before they break!!!

                    gotta remember its the pay too much and don't get anything for it, and don't forget I was in WW II, and they all used to set pins by hand...Seniors Tourney!!!!!!!!!!



                    • #11
                      Re: Preparing for tournament

                      I have hosted a few tournaments over the past few years...US Open, Western Regional every year in March, Mens City, Mens State...well, you get the idea. My prep for any tournament begins a year in advance and every day. As lanedoctor has pointed out, you should treat any tournament as if it was your everyday leagues...or more precise, treat your leagues as if they weere a tournament every day. I use an inspection program that covers every part of the machine and perform this inspection once a year on every machine. For my center, that is 1 machine per week - every week. This is the only way to be sure your machines will operate as you would want them to. Get started on the program now, and the next tournament you host will not have you scrambling at the last minute to fix potential problems. You will have already found them and fixed them or scheduled them for repair. For now...lubricate everything you can and keep your eyes open for anything that appears wrong. Oh...and keep your fingers crossed. [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif[/img] LOL

                      I kept mine crossed the whole time the US Open was here and surprisingly everything ended up going very smooth.

                      Good Luck...
                      TSM & TSM Training Development
                      Main Event Entertainment
                      480-620-6758 for help or information


                      • #12
                        Re: Preparing for tournament

                        Jbeez, Mesa Az?? would that possibly be in one of Pete Tountas's houses?? I took a lesson there way back around 1980 or so... He switched me to a 5 step approach. I still use that.
                        41 years and still learning....


                        • #13
                          Re: Preparing for tournament

                          Here's how things have been going.

                          As I expected, we have had a breakdown per day for 3 days (one more day to go)

                          The problems were the type that no amount of PM could spot (I guess). They were:

                          Un obviously worn pin gate strap that started failing (locking on the 5 pin)

                          Bearing on reset lever broken (continuous cycle) fixed with roll pin.

                          Ball detect failure (Dual type) Recycling/mis scoring.

                          All problems were fixed without interrupting tournament play (except for the bearing which broke during practice - moved to an open pair), and none of them had occured before the tourney.

                          We'll see what tomorrow brings...Hopefully nothing. [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif[/img]

                          See Ya!!

                          Adam D.
                          <span style="font-style: italic">Sometimes it is best to use good advice from many individuals to achieve the ultimate result.</span>


                          • #14
                            Re: Preparing for tournament

                            Just another hint......

                            We have electronic scoring/triggering. I walk all decks and check the mounting screws on the reflectors and detects (eyes) once a week. It can be frustrating for both bowlers and mechs to have to do unnecessary setups and to listen to a ball hit the rake just because a simple screw is loose. Damn those vibrations!!

                            You would be surprised at the amount of loose screws that exist that are just a moment from causing problems.

                            Space is the Place!


                            • #15
                              Re: Preparing for tournament

                              Hey Ace
                              There is some checks you can do on your roll pin latch to spot problems.
                              First is you should be able to slide it from side to side, if it has some resistance the roll pin or new type latch bolt is getting a grooved worn in it.
                              Also you should be able to lift up the lever that the roll pin goes through and drop it back down,the pin gate should not lock, if it does the strap could be getting rounded or a bad roll pin or new type bolt.
                              Just ssome things to keep an eye on for next time.
                              Also check for the tell tail signs of rust starting to form around the roll pin.


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