Jerry Gurwin, 87, with teammates (from left) Bill Zavier, Joey Schecter and Yale Weiner, make up the Jerry & His Kidz team in the Brotherhood-Eddie Jacobson B’nai B’rith bowling league. Schecter is Gurwin’s grandson. It’s the first time they’ve bowled together on a team.
Jerry Gurwin, 87, with teammates (from left) Bill Zavier, Joey Schecter and Yale Weiner, make up the Jerry & His Kidz team in the Brotherhood-Eddie Jacobson B’nai B’rith bowling league. Schecter is Gurwin’s grandson. It’s the first time they’ve bowled together on a team. (Gary Klinger)

Nobody left the league because of the mandate, said league spokesman Gary Klinger.

After a 1½-year hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the weekly Brotherhood-Eddie Jacobson B’nai B’rith bowling league is up and running again.

And, of course, COVID-19 is part of the story.

Each league bowler must be vaccinated for the coronavirus and provide proof of vaccination. That was a decision made by the league’s executive board.

Nobody left the league because of the mandate, said league spokesman Gary Klinger.

To the contrary, Klinger said, “some guys said they wouldn’t bowl if people weren’t vaccinated,” he said.

“I’d say about 10% of the guys are wearing masks during league nights. That’s their decision,” Klinger said. “We aren’t requiring masks.”

The league is bowling at 7:30 p.m. Mondays at Country Lanes in Farmington Hills.

Week No. 7 of a 26-week regular season was completed this week. There will be three weeks of playoffs.

There are 22 teams in the league. That’s up four teams from the 2019-20 season, the last time the league was in operation.

Three teams have moved to Brotherhood-Eddie Jacobson from the Downtown Fox-MLZG B’nai B’rith league, which disbanded. And there are two new teams.

“We’ve had around 16-18 teams in our league the last 10-15 years,” Klinger said. “Having 22 teams gets us closer to a heyday in the 1990’s when we had 28 to 32 teams.”

Most of the 22 Brotherhood-Eddie Jacobson teams have four bowlers. Some teams have a fifth bowler who fills in as a substitute.

Scores haven’t been great so far, Klinger said, most likely because bowlers are shaking off the rust that has accumulated over the past 1 1/2 years.

“Averages are down considerably,” Klinger said. “Some guys are higher, but not many.”

The division leaders through six weeks of the season were the Rolling Stoned in the Pistons Division, Yogi’s Rollers in the Tigers Division, Mix-N-Match in the Red Wings Division and the Holy Rollers in the Lions Division.

Klinger has yet to bowl this season. He’s recovering from Sept. 28 back surgery and plans to return to bowling after the first of the year.

He’s bowling for the MIA team, an appropriate name considering his condition.

Country Lanes is the Brotherhood-Eddie Jacobson league’s longtime home. The league was supposed to return there in the 2020-21 season after bowling for two years at 300 Bowl in Waterford.

The Brotherhood-Eddie Jacobson and Downtown Fox-MLZG leagues each saw its 2019-2020 season end early because of the pandemic.

The last Brotherhood-Eddie Jacobson bowling night of the season was March 9, 2020. 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 for the season in March 2020.

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

The 2020-21 seasons never began for the leagues. After waiting a few months following what would have been the start of the league seasons, the seasons were canceled because of the pandemic.

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

Several bowlers in each league had been infected by the virus.

“Too much risk,” Klinger said when asked why the Brotherhood-Eddie Jacobson executive board canceled the season in December 2020.

Brotherhood-Eddie Jacobson competition for the 2020-21 season was scheduled to begin Jan. 4, 2021.

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

Please send sports news to stevestein502004@yahoo.com.

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