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At 82, Stoddard is one busy bowler, with a 600 to boot

Active in six leagues, her first 600 admittedly comes in a nine-pin, no-tap league.

Gloria Stoddard got a late start in bowling, but she's making up for it as much as she can.

Stoddard, who is competing in six leagues this summer, bowled her first career 600 series this week at Mariner Lanes. And while it was helped by the "nine-pin, no-tap" scoring method, it's still impressive, considering she's 82 years old.

"That was just a fun series, so it's not quite as good as it sounds," said Stoddard, who lives in Spring Hill and took up bowling five years ago. The "nine-pin, no-tap" system gives bowlers something like a one-pin mulligan on every ball, so if you knock down only nine pins, you still get credit for a strike.

Stoddard, who bowled games of 200, 167 and 233 for her 600 series, is still trying to figure out how many leagues she'll bowl in this fall. Last year, she was in 10 of them, and she said another three have asked her to join this year.

"I'm not what you'd call a sharp bowler, but we have a lot of fun," she said.

LEAGUE INFORMATION: Mariner's Thursday night 580 Cap league will have a new format this fall, with a tournament-style match-play system that will send the top four teams to the finals for a nightly payoff. The team sponsor fee will be $75, and the weekly fee will be $15. An organizational meeting is set for 8:30 p.m. Thursday.

Mariner's Wednesday night Contractors league has its informational meeting scheduled for 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, and the league will boast a $1,000 added prize fund based on there being 14 teams in the league.

Registration for Mariner's Saturday morning junior bowling program will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. The center's Sunday night youth scratch league is filling up quickly, and while it was reported in last week's notebook that only 11 youth bowlers had the necessary 160 average according to last year's Hernando County YABA yearbook, all of Mariner's youth bowlers are registered with the Citrus County YABA. Only the first 40 bowlers will be accepted into the Sunday league.

Spring Hill Lanes' registration drive also continues this week, and any youths interested in the Saturday morning program can register from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday and pick up five free games.

The center has several other leagues available, including a Monday night NFL Classic league, a mixed handicap league in which each team is named after a team that plays a Monday game this fall. If a team's namesake is leading at halftime, it's good for a free round of drinks.

MARINER'S BEST: Edie Jo Norman bowled 266-245-248 for a 759 series, nearly matching Joe Tanner's 769 for Mariner's high series of the week. Dale Barr also bowled a 759 for his first 700 series, and Jim Umsted Jr. had the high game for the week with a 290.

Other bowlers who had games of 275 or better were John Hendrix (280), Tanner (279), Dan Urban (277) and Todd Brower (276). Shawn McVey had a 757 series, followed by Umsted's 747 and Hendrix's 739. Norman's 759 was the highest women's series by 131 pins, as Trudy Kelly's 628 was the next-highest total. Kelly had a 245 game and Johnnie King scored a 246 for the center's other top scratch scores for the week.

SPRING HILL STARS: Mike Thomas' 279 game edged Scott Beach's 274 for high-game honors in the Wednesday Scratch Trio league and for all of Spring Hill Lanes last week. Thomas had a four-game series total of 1,017 (a 254 average) while Mary Jo Short had the women's high scores in the league with a 255 game and 915 series.

In the Kings and Queens league, Bryan Brown had a 276 game, but Thomas Merwin had the high series with a 724. (224, 639) swept the women's high honors. Larry Wagner (266, 648) paced the Belles and Beaus league last week, and while Carol Ricciardi beat Marcia Amen 194-191 for the high game, Amen got the last word by taking the high series 531-527.

Robert Brand continued to put the youths first in the Flammer Ford Youth-Adult league, as his 267 game and 695 series were better than any adults could manage last week. Brand also had a 246 game, and Bill Waite led the men's scores with a 248 game and 687 series. Liz Ausburn had the high women's scores with a 234 game and 554 series.

Other league leaders were Eugene Godwin (213, 524) and Liz Macomber (169, 457) in the Wednesday Coffee Trio, and Ted Drozd (216, 573) and Doris Vincent (198, 507) in the Thursday Senior Primetimers league. In the Sunday Follies league, Skip Monahan's 215 game was two pins better than that of Todd Morse, who had the high series with a 591, and Angela Rushworth (195, 516) swept the women's high scores.