A 300 game in bowling requires consistency in the bowler’s stroke and ball movement along with the mental toughness requisite in a good game going great.
Conditions outside the lane are equally important, according to Doug Cairns.
“When you know you have a chance to shoot a game like that, you just hope people stay away,” Cairns said.
“Most people didn’t know what was going on.”
Cairns, a commercial fisherman from Crescent City, bowled the second 300 of his life March 27 at Tsunami Lanes in Crescent City. It is the first 300 game bowled at Tsunami Lanes in the league season, which began in September.
Cairns, who has been bowling for “at least 40 years” and is a decorated tournament player, bowled his first 300 game at Tsunami Lanes “about six years ago.” He used a 16-pound ball for the 300 game on March 27.
“It’s hard to shoot 300s here on the coast because of the humidity,” he said. “The pins don’t fall easier here.”
Cairns is a member of the “What’s Wild?” team in Tsunami Lanes’ OIL League, and the 300 game occurred during league play. It was the second game in a 736 series for Cairns, who scored 246 in the first game and 190 in the third.
As all good tales do, the 300 game came about with a setback to be overcome. Cairns jammed the middle finger on his left (bowling) hand in the days before the match.
The injury had little effect on his throws, particularly in the first game, which Cairns concluded with five consecutive strikes. He would also throw a strike in the first frame of the third game, for 18 in a row.
The “What’s Wild?” league match was being conducted on Tsunami Lanes’ 3 and 4 — away from the usual crowd of onlookers that inevitably gather toward greatness. That afforded Cairns the privacy and sense of mind he needed to consistently throw strikes.
Cairns said that, in the 10th frame, the first two bowlers ahead of him threw strikes.
“It’s easier to bowl after strikes,” he said. “Strikes are contagious.”
Cairns finished off the perfect game to cheers and a photo opportunity to preserve the moment.
The milestone is notable within the Cairns household for another reason: Travis Cairns, Doug’s son, has bowled two 300 games as well.
“I’m now tied with him,” Doug Cairns said. “Ha ha.”