Twelve strikes on 12 balls equals 300 – a perfect game in bowling.
It’s a deceptively simple formula for something so difficult to achieve.
Yet, it not only happened once recently in Saskatoon, but three times in a matter of weeks for a pair of bowlers.
T.J. Bilan wasn’t feeling 100 per cent when he rolled the third perfect game of his bowling career.
“I was actually just coming down with a cold so I was actually pretty groggy that day and maybe that was a good thing,” Bilan said.
“I just turned my brain off and went out there and threw.”
Bilan said it’s not just a matter of throwing the ball down the lane.
“It’s all ball reaction, reading the lanes and the oil pattern that’s out there,” Bilan said.
“From there on, it’s just watching pin action and how everything’s changing and just adjusting along with it so it’s pretty tough to do from day-to-day.”
So you can imagine the excitement when one of Bilan’s fellow bowlers accomplished the rare feat soon after he did — not once but twice.
“It all starts in the ninth frame. If you throw the one in the ninth, in the tenth frame you know you have three more to go,” Stace Popoff said.
“That’s when you really start to think about it — your nerves start, your knees start to wobble.”
It’s not the first time Popoff has had a perfect came – his only other one came way back in 2001.
“During those 18 years I was close, but just this year something clicked and I shot two,” Popoff said.
Hunter’s Fairhaven Bowl owner Dave Whitehead said the atmosphere in the bowling alley changes when someone is close to rolling a perfect game.
“The bowlers that are here stop what they’re doing, they’re completely silent,” Whitehead said.
“They give the bowler the concentration and the space that he needs to concentrate to accomplish it and it’s no small feat.”
The odds of bowling a perfect game are listed at 11,500 to one.