bowling alley showing bowling ball hitting the pins
Credit: Karla Rivera

Steve Stein  Contributing Writer

Lyle Schaefer - man in bowling shirt smiles for the camera
Lyle Schaefer Jackie Headapohl | Detroit Jewish News

Lyle Schaefer is perhaps the most unlikely bowler to be the first to roll a 300 game in the Brotherhood-Eddie Jacobson B’nai B’rith league since the league switched homes late last season.

Not because Schaefer isn’t a good bowler. He definitely knows what he’s doing on the lanes.

He now has eight 300 games to go along with six 800 series in his bowling career. In 2005, he competed for the U.S. bowling team at the Maccabiah Games in Israel.

Schaefer bowled his latest 300 game Nov. 12, about two months before he will undergo surgery to have his aching right hip replaced.

Somehow, he persevered through his hip pain to throw the perfect game last month at 300 Bowl in Waterford Township, where the Brotherhood-Eddie Jacobson League now bowls.

“Bone on bone” is how Schaefer describes his right hip, which will be replaced Jan. 10. “The hip has been deteriorating, getting progressively worse, for years.”

Schaefer has had cortisone shots so he could continue to play softball, which he’s played for 30-35 years.

“I want to be an active person again. This is really affecting my life,” he said.

Schaefer, 60, a 1976 Oak Park High School grad, said he’s been thinking of scheduling the surgery for a while. He finally relented in September and is looking forward to having the procedure done.

“I wouldn’t say the pain is excruciating. But anytime I take a step, it hurts,” he said.

So how the heck did Schaefer bowl a 300 game last month — his first perfect game since 2012 — with all 12 shots being solid pocket hits?

“I wouldn’t have been able to do it if I was going for my first 300,” the Southfield resident said. “I’d been in that situation before, so I knew how to manage it.

“My approach wasn’t smooth, but I was able to compensate for it. I threw the 300 in my second game of the night, which wasn’t a surprise. I always struggle to get loose in my first game. By the second game, I can get my body lower and get into a good rhythm. I don’t have much left when I get to my third game.”

He’s averaging 198 in the league this season, down from last year’s average of 209.

He plans to be back in action by the end of March, about a month before the season ends.

“It’s like falling off your bike. You have to get back on as soon as you can,” he said.

Schaefer plans to return to work a few weeks after surgery. He’s a real estate broker and property manager.

Maccabi Games Meeting

JCC Maccabi Games & ArtsFest logo showing a star of David with a runner in it, a star of David spelling Detroit, and a star of david with a music sign, film clipboard, and theater mask
JCC Maccabi Games & ArtsFest

Here’s a final reminder about the Detroit JCC Maccabi Games & ArtsFest kickoff celebration at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16, in Handleman Hall at the JCC in West Bloomfield.

There will be information on how to participate as an athlete or artist, volunteer opportunities and on being a host family … and food.

This will be the sixth time Detroit will host the Maccabi Games, the most of any city in the country. About 1,500 visiting athletes and artists are expected to participate in the Aug. 4-9, 2019, event.

Detroit previously hosted in 1984, 1990, 1998, 2008 and 2014.

For information, send an email to, call (248) 934-0889 or visit

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