Bowling Balls
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For this first time in each league’s long existence, the season has been canceled.

History has been made in the Brotherhood-Eddie Jacobson and Downtown Fox-MLZG B’nai B’rith bowling leagues. But it’s not the kind of history the weekly leagues want repeated.

For this first time in each league’s long existence, the season has been canceled.

Blame the COVID-19 pandemic, of course.

Capacity and other restrictions placed on bowling alleys by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to stop the spread of the virus made it impossible for the leagues to operate normally, but there was a more important reason for the cancellations.

Several bowlers in each league — at least eight or nine in Brotherhood-Eddie Jacobson and an undetermined number in Downtown Fox-MLZG — have been infected by the virus.

Gary Klinger
Gary Klinger

Nobody wanted to take the chance of turning a fun, competitive night of bowling into the source of a virus outbreak.

“Too much risk,” said Gary Klinger, spokesman for the Brotherhood-Eddie Jacobson league, when asked why the league’s board canceled the season in December.

“It was absolutely the right decision,” Klinger said about the board’s call.

Justin Kaplan, president of the Downtown Fox-MLZG league, said it would have been highly irresponsible for the league to have 70-plus members of the community bowling weekly inside a building.

“It’s our duty and responsibility to the community to keep everyone safe,” Kaplan said. “As much as I want to be bowling, and I’m sure the league members feel the same, we have to wait until it’s safe to do so. Unfortunately, I’m not sure when that time will be.”

Justin Kaplan
Justin Kaplan

Brotherhood-Eddie Jacobson league competition was tentatively scheduled to begin Jan. 4 and continue each Monday night at Country Lanes in Farmington Hills, the league’s longtime home before moving to the 300 Bowl in Waterford the past two seasons.

No opening date was set for the Downtown Fox-MLZG league. It planned to bowl Tuesday nights at its regular home, Hartfield Lanes in Berkley.

Each league saw its 2019-20 season end early because of the pandemic.

It was the 59th season for the Brotherhood-Eddie Jacobson league. The Downtown Fox league has been around for more than 100 years.

The last Brotherhood-Eddie Jacobson bowling night of the 2019-20 season was March 9. Five weeks of regular-season competition and three weeks of playoffs remained for the 18 teams.

There were 16 teams in the Downtown Fox-MLZG league when it shut down in March.

If all goes well, each league hopes to resume competition in the fall.

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