Southern Lanes

by Paige Pennington

We, at would like to welcome Norman Simard to our website. We appreciate the fact that he is willing to take the time to provide us with so much interesting information regarding lane conditions. Thanks Norm, for helping us understand the "Southern Lanes"

Bowling has been a part of Norman Simard's life for a long time. This forty five year old joined the YABA organization at the tender age of eight has been involved with bowling ever since. Norman started working at Star Lanes in Greenville, SC when he was 14 years old. He must have been pretty good at it, since he was made assistant manager when he was only 20. When he was just 25, he was made the manager at one of Star Lanes sister centers in Asheville, NC. After a couple of years in Asheville, he moved back to Greenville to take another management position. If that wasn't enough to keep Norman busy, he was also a partner in a Pro Shop in Greenville and has been drilling balls since the age of 18. In addition to all of the bowling related work, Norman and his wife started their own cleaning business and have had it for seven years.

Norman was first introduced to the issue of "Lane Conditioning" when he was as assistant manager. One of his responsibilities then was to see that the lanes were always in the best possible scoring condition. At that time "good" conditions translated as "easy" conditions. Norman feels that many players leave the sport because the "easy" scoring conditions don't provide enough of a challenge.

Since young Ken Simard basically grew up in a bowling center it is not a big surprise to find out that he has been bowling since the age of four. When he was just eighteen he decided to try his hand at the PBA tour. Running their own business allowed Norman the freedom to travel with his son. Ken has done quite well and is currently the reigning Southern Region Player Of The Year.

When Ken and Norman first started attending PBA tournaments, Steve Cross (from Kegel) was taking care of lane maintenance for the Southern Region. Steve's duties at Kegel became more demanding of his time and Harry O'Neale (Southern Regional Director) started looking for someone to take over for him. Harry approached Norman about taking on the responsibility and Norman agreed. After training for a week at Kegel to learn how to work the Sanction machine, and a few week of "on the job training" with Steve at tournaments, Norman was ready to take over. He has now been handling lane conditioning for a year.

Norman believes that the regional program is the place that players can prepare themselves for the National tour. Additionally, he feels that one of the lane man's responsibilities is to make available as much information as possible in an effort to help the bowlers understand the condition they are bowling on. Since the conditions in bowling are invisible, it is imperative that a bowler learns as much as he can to improve his chance of scoring well.

norm at work
Visit the Archives for past analyses

Comparison Graphs

Partial Schedule

Jan 26, 2003
Rockledge, FL

Mar 29, 2003
Palm Coast, FL

April 4-6
Tampa, FL

April 11-13
Lakeland, FL

April 18-20
Canton, GA

May 4,
Rocky Mount, NC

May 10-12
Matthews, NC

June 22
Chesapeake, VA

June 29
Cleveland, GA

July 6
Florence, SC

July 13
Gastonia, NC

July 27
Spring Hills, FL

August 3
Ft Stewart, GA

August 10
FL Doubles Open, FL

August 17
Cary, NC

the tapes I pulled at the last tournament got corrupted some how and were not readable. The 2 tournaments before that were single squad tournaments and I do not take tapes at single squad tournaments. The 3 tournaments prior to that are shown in the comparison graphs.

November 16
Newport News, VA

November 23
Surfside, SC

November 30
Ft Walton Beach, FL

December 21
Norfolk, VA

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