The Senator Bowling Club has been so dominant the rest of the Northern Nevada league has made a rule change designed to make all the other schools more competitive with Carson. But so far the rule change hasn't worked - and one of Carson's coaches say it's not going to work.
In the seven years of high school bowling competition, Carson has never come close to losing a match. The High Desert Interscholastic Bowling Association recently adopted a rule change in the middle of the season to try to end Carson's dominance.
In each match, there's three series of nine games, with three competitors bowling one game in each series. The league has instituted a rule in which the three bowlers in each series can't have a total average above 550. In the past, there was no limit on the average.
The rule affects virtually the entire Carson team since 10 of its 11 bowlers have an average of 162 or higher. Two of Carson's bowlers, Brian Byrne and Brad Mustafa have a 203 average.
"They pulled a fast one on us," said Carson City's Gold Dust West bowling center manager Bill Baker, who's one of the team's coaches. "But I don't think this is going to work. Out of the 10 schools it only affects one school."
Baker said it was just one school who instigated the rule, but that all the other schools went along with it. Baker said he's also been told by the league's administration "It definitely won't be in the rules next year."
But Carson was still able to easily win in its recent quarterfinal match. As the Valley Division's No. 1 seed, Carson beat the No. 4 seed Manogue 37-8. In that match, Carson went without its two bowlers Mustafa and Byrne.
Carson is facing Spanish Springs in the semifinals today at Sparks Coconut Bowl. The winner will face the Mountain Division champion next Wednesday at Reno's Grand Sierra Resort.
Even with freshman Katie Mandoki, who has the lowest average of 142, competing, Carson will always have to go without one of its two best bowlers, Byrne or Mustafa.
"It's having an effect on us," Baker said. "The parents have a right to be upset. They're penalizing some of the best bowlers."
The 550 rule is the equivalent to when golfers compete by handicap in tournaments.
"But even in high school golf they don't have to do that," said Baker, commenting on high school golf tournaments in which all the golfers' scratch scores are counted.
Baker even said the rest of the league could have made a decision to exclude Carson. "We'll fly to Vegas on a weekly basis," said Baker, commenting on the possibility that Carson could compete against Southern Section schools.
Bowling is a Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association sanctioned sport in Southern Nevada, but not in Northern Nevada.
A look at the averages of Carson's bowlers shows how the team is affected: Byrne, Mustafa 203; Joe Bob Johnson 193; Brooks Greenlee 193; J.J. McCain 188; Jared Wells 189; Tami Conn 178; Stephen Gall 176; Will Morrison 169; Michael Montiel 162.
But Baker said the rule shouldn't stop Carson's dominance. "We're not going to lose, put it that way," he said.