Meet the champs. From left are Mitch Cohen, Jason Vieder, Ryan Vieder and Jeff Vieder.
Meet the champs. From left are Mitch Cohen, Jason Vieder, Ryan Vieder and Jeff Vieder. (Gary Klinger)

It was a great season for the House Ballz team, especially considering its humble beginnings.

Brotherhood-Eddie Jacobson B’nai B’rith bowling league champion.

International B’nai B’rith Bowling Association national tournament champion.

It was a great season for the House Ballz team, especially considering its humble beginnings.

“We joined the (Brotherhood-Eddie Jacobson) league seven years ago. We were terrible,” said team captain Ryan Vieder.

“We got our team name because none of us had our bowling ball. We used house balls.”

Being terrible and using house balls didn’t last long. 

House Ballz made the playoffs four times in its first five years in the Brotherhood-Eddie Jacobson league, twice making it to the semifinals.

There were no league playoffs in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, there was no league season in 2020-21.

This league season didn’t start well for House Ballz. The time away from bowling took its toll. The team finished in last place in the five-team Tigers Division in the first half of the season.

“We struggled in the first half. It felt like we were starting over again,” Vieder said.

“But then all four of us on the team got hot in the second half. Each of us raised his average by 10 to 15 pins. We saved our best for last.”

House Ballz qualified for the 2021-22 league playoffs by winning the second-half championship in the Tigers Division.

Then it raced through the playoffs to win the championship of the 22-team league.

It beat first-half Tigers Division champion Yogi’s Rollers 18-6 in the quarterfinals, The Rolling Stoned 17-7 in the semifinals and NHL Property Management 14.5 to 9.5 on April 25 in the title match.

The International B’nai B’rith tournament was held virtually in March, with competing teams using six-game scores from two nights of league bowling.

House Ballz rolled 4437 in its six games. With its handicap score, the team totaled 5796.

Brotherhood-Eddie Jacobson teams swept the top 10 and 13 of the top 14 places in the tournament, quite an accomplishment even though 20 of the 46 teams in the tournament were from the league.

Two brothers and two family members make up the House Ballz team.

The brothers are Ryan Vieder of Farmington Hills and Jeff Vieder of Bloomfield Hills. Their cousin Jason Vieder of Huntington Woods and Mitch Cohen of West Bloomfield also are on the team.

“Mitch is Jason’s wife’s uncle. We call him Uncle Mitch,” Ryan Vieder said.

House Ballz took time out after winning the Brotherhood-Eddie Jacobson and International B’nai B’rith titles to win the traditional Brotherhood-Eddie Jacobson four-man scramble golf outing that precedes the league’s post-season banquet.

Jason Vieder didn’t play in the May 2 golf outing at Mystic Creek Golf Course & Banquet Center in Milford Township. He was replaced by Adam Vieder of West Bloomfield. He’s Ryan’s and Jeff’s brother.

House Ballz shot 7-under-par for 18 holes to win the outing, which had a record 32 golfers.

Three teams tied for second place at 4-under: Gary and Mike Klinger, Dale Taub and Larry Woodberg; Steve Lotzoff, Jeff Berlin, Lyle Schaefer and Howard Mertz; and Mike Weinstock, Jerry Wayne, Tom Endean and Spencer Burke.

House Ballz didn’t learn it had won the International B’nai B’rith tournament until the Brotherhood-Eddie Jacobson banquet at Gino’s Pizzeria & Restaurant in Keego Harbor.

“That information was a nice surprise,” Ryan Vieder said.

“We’re wondering what we can win this summer,” he added with a laugh. 

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