Asian Games 2018: Excel sheet in hand, Hong Kong’s tenpin bowlers ready to unravel new scoring system
The Palembang tournament is the first in the world in which a strike will automatically be counted as 30 points
Instead of a computer scoreboard, they are using an excel sheet to keep score. That’s because their software has yet to be updated as Hong Kong’s Asian Games bowlers take part in an experiment that may change the way games are scored around the world.
The scoring system being used at the Asian Games in Palembang will be a world first, with a strike counting for 30 points irrespective of what a bowler does in his or her next two deliveries.
“There is less pressure on the bowlers because they do not have to bowl three strikes in a row,” said Hong Kong coach Nick Bohanan. “It will be the first time in the world this system will be used, with a view to implementing it world wide.
“It’s meant to be a bit more spectator-friendly and we are adapting to it. Our scoreboards can’t cope with it at the moment so we have to keep score using an excel sheet.”
Hong Kong will be represented by nine bowlers at the Asian Games – six men and three women. The tenpin bowling competition is being held from August 22-27 and, while Hong Kong have always been medal contenders at the regional event, the format in 2018 may work against them.
This year’s Asian Games will only feature trio and six-person formats, and Hong Kong Tenpin Bowling Congress chief Vivian Lau Chiang-chu said it reduces medal chances for all countries.
“The chances are not as good as in previous games because three events have been taken away,” said Lau. “There is no singles, doubles or team event and we are only left with the trios and six-person team.
“Without singles and doubles our medal chances have been cut by half, so they have to really bowl well in the trios and six-person team.”
There are two medal opportunities in each event. Medals will be awarded to the top three after 12 games. The best teams will qualify for the masters competition, which also awards medals.
Veteran Hong Kong bowlers Wu Siu-hong and Michael Mak are likely to be joined by Eric Tseng in one trio while 18-year-old Ivan Tse Chun-hin will probably combine with Tony Wong and Lau Kwun-ho in “trio B”.
All six will represent Hong Kong in the team competition.
The women’s team of Chan Shuk-han, Milki Ng and Joan Cheng will only compete in the trios event.
Tse is one of Hong Kong’s future stars and proved his worth by winning a bronze medal in singles at the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.
“I feel very excited to be at the Asian Games, I hope I can be part of the medals with my teammates,” said Tse. “It’s very different playing singles and with a team. In singles, you are fighting for yourself but in the team, you have to think about your teammates and cannot be too selfish.
“Playing with the likes of Wu Siu-hong and Michael Mak has really helped. They have a lot of experience and they teach me how to play and face the pressure.”