After the Swedish playoffs last weekend the Irish twohanded player Chris Sloan said:
- This is the most amazing event I have ever played in, nothing even comes close. This will be the best experience of my life and I will be very surprised if anything can top this.
For those who don’t know the Swedish playoffs are something very exciting. Our league is based on 8-player teams who play four games against each other. They are fighting for five points every game, one per two-man team playing on the same pair of lanes, and one for the combined score of all eight. First to eleven points wins the match. We play an entire season of this to determine who will have the honours of playing in the playoffs.
This year the playoffs were held in Jönköping, and it was the most exciting playoffs we have ever seen. The playoffs are played in best of three and both the mens and womens finals went the distance. The tension was incredible, even the neutral fans in the stands got nervous.
On the womens side the champions from the last two years: Team X-Calibur from Gothenburg met the losers from the last final, the young challenger, Spader Dam from Helsingborg. Both teams each won one match and the third final ended 10-10, the gold had to be determined by a one game roll-off between the teams. There Spader Dam, with an average age of just over 21, won their 13th National championships.
The last three years the mens championsships had gone to Team Pergamon from Gothenburg. The team is full of worldclass bowlers, Martin Larsen, Osku Palermaa and Jesper Svensson to name the biggest stars. In the final they met Team Clan from Nässjö, also a young challenger. The first match went to Team Clan, the second to Team Pergamon. After three games of the third match the score was 7-7 and the last game was to decide. After all frames were thrown no one knew who had won, both teams were looking at the TV-screens watching it totalling up for the last point. The entire place erupted when it showed a surprise victory for Team Clan with just 14 pins.
We who witnessed this will never forget the excitement. The bowling was so memorable that it will be written down in the history books. In the third and deciding games of the finals two Swedish records were set. The women champions junior Filippa Persson bowled 1023 under immense pressure. The reigning PBA Rookie of the year Jesper Svensson bowled an amazing 1106 on the 45 foot Rome-pattern with his trusted Urethane-ball from the left side, he even finished with a 300 when everything was on the line.
All of this fantastic bowling was framed by a crowd that gave us all a very special weekend. From the first game on Friday evening until the last games of the finals on Sunday there was singing, cheering and drumming. A reporter from a local newspaper said that these fans beat all the attempts of cheering he saw in football, hockey and all sports he covered. During the finals the RC Bowl in Jönköping literally shook since there were two groups of fans who jumped up and down and sang.
Martin Larsen is first on World Bowlings ranking and plays all over the world. During the weekend in Jönköping he said:
- This has to be best marketing bowling can get. If this can’t get people interested in bowling, nothing will.
You can see a video of the last frames of the mens final at the local newspaper Vetlanda Posten: