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Ideas for a new type of Bowling System
  #1  
Old 12-01-2017, 05:08 PM
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Ideas for a new type of Bowling System

1) Allow people to sanction open scores by having a center employee witness your scores and sign off on them just like golf. You pay a small sanction fee.

2) Eliminate leagues all together. Most Americans cannot commit to a league anymore. With life being so busy, and many working long days and traveling for work, meeting the demands of a committed league is next to impossible.

3) Move competitive bowling strictly to tournaments. How many years I wasted paying into a prize fund, to never get hardly anything back. Unless you have a league with just bowlers averaging 200+, paying into a prize fund is ridiculous. Low average bowlers hate prize fund leagues. To them it's like paying double. For 30 years I wasted thousands of dollars on prize funds that were always weighted to the top four teams. (That same money in a mutual fund, and I am a millionaire.)

4) If you have leagues, eliminate prize funds all together. In any other sport, if you win money you are considered professional. Bowling is the only amateur sport I know of that allows one to win money. League bowling should be a recreational activity. Most young people now go bowling as a group on weekend nights, but they don't join leagues. They don't do it for prize money.

The problem with bowling is the ABC/USBC tried to grow the sport. They tried to hang on to millions of people who would get tired of it and move on after a year or two, and the league commitments became too much, especially with children, careers, and other things to worry about.

The industry tried to focus the sport on the blue collar income, whereas Golf did the opposite. The sport focused on people who had less disposable income, so when times get tough, they quit to save money.

There may be golf leagues, I don't know, but I always hear of the local tournaments advertised on local sports radio.

Bowling became the everyman/woman sport rather than be selective and take only the best, or the most committed. Bowling should have marketed itself differently.

There are several of new centers coming along like King Bowl, Tenpin Lounge, Lucky Strikes, and others that focus on two things:

1) 12-18 hours a day of recreational bowling for groups and corporate events like Top Golf is doing. No leagues. None of the BS to worry about. They are not targeting bowlers, they are targeting recreational consumers. Top Golf has been genius at doing this. The one now here in Nashville is so popular, there is a waiting list.

2) Host a competitive tournaments a few times a year for the high end bowler.

The reason I advocate eliminating the league and average based system is it does not attract bowlers. The best bowlers will practice if there are no leagues, and just focus on tournaments.

The bowling industry needs to right side itself rather than trying to cater to everyone. Billiards has done this for years. Great pool players focus on tournaments. They don't go around looking for the Tuesday Mixers!

I am not sure how else to put this, but instead of trying to increase membership, just make what you have better. I would rather the sport go to the recreational system, and once a week or once a month have a high end tournament.

They will have the best of both worlds. during the week, the recreational families can have fun, the office party can be at the lanes on Friday night, and the young urban professionals can have the lanes on Saturday Night for date night, and the serious professional and scratch bowlers can have Sundays for tournaments.

Just my .02.
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Re: Ideas for a new type of Bowling System
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Old 12-01-2017, 06:28 PM
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What are you smoking? Don't BOGART...! Pass it around. Everyone loves a dreamer though. Well, except for Pres trump, maybe.

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Re: Ideas for a new type of Bowling System
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Old 12-01-2017, 07:07 PM
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Re: Ideas for a new type of Bowling System

Eliminate leagues, and bowling is done. Especially the small town ma and pa centers.
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Re: Ideas for a new type of Bowling System
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Old 12-01-2017, 08:00 PM
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Re: Ideas for a new type of Bowling System

Leave my leagues alone, I like them just fine. And so do thousands of other bowlers for various reasons. League bowling isn't just so you can bowl in tournaments, it's a social event for most bowlers.

If you want to "just bowl tournaments"and otherwise open play, then by all means have at it. With no average, you go in scratch, no need to have anything more than a USBC card usually, and for a lot of tournaments, you don't even need that.

Here is an idea for you, start a league where there is no prize fund, just linage. You should be able to get a reduced price for the games bowled. There are leagues in my area that are pretty much just that. No place or pin money at the end, just a weekly cheap fee for the bowling. Some of these leagues are very popular.


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Re: Ideas for a new type of Bowling System
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Old 12-01-2017, 08:18 PM
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Re: Ideas for a new type of Bowling System

First off, thank you for caring!

People who park in handicap spaces have no business bowling for money. My opinion is that handicap bowling and prize funds should not mix, but bowlers want it. Let the customer have what they want and don't turn them away.
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Re: Ideas for a new type of Bowling System
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Old 12-02-2017, 02:51 PM
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Re: Ideas for a new type of Bowling System

Fixing the sandbagging problem is the biggest step that needs to be made in bowling these days. Perhaps the USBC should mandate that for the first 21 games of every league, the bowlers average during that first 21 games should be their ending average from last season, or if no average for that league their composite average. If they are a new bowler with no sanctioned average at all, the USBC could establish an official entering average to be used for all brand new bowlers (150-175). After 21 games, the bowler's league average gets adjusted to their actual current average after 21 games of bowling on the league.

This would help discourage bowlers from bowling low at the start of the league in the hopes of sniping some wins and getting extra handicap they otherwise really shouldn't be getting. Bowlers freely admit to using this tactic at the beginning of every season. It would also make it easier to identify the potential sandbaggers. If they ended last season at 200, or have a composite of 196, and then after 21 games have 160-170 it would be easier to flag them as a potential sandbagger (aside from legitimate reasons for a lower average such as extended illness, injury, recent surgery or other reasons their average may be legitimately suffering.)

It is time for the USBC to take steps to discourage "average management" and make it such that it doesn't pay to even try to do it.

Sanctioning open scores will add to the average management problem. Bowlers will go in, bowl 5 or 6 low games every week or so ("trying something new", "breaking in a new ball/shoes", "just staying loose", etc.) and then certify those lower scores which will go towards dropping their overall average. If they have a good practice session, they simply will not certify the scores to prevent it from impacting their average.

There is no perfect solution, but thinking outside the box is the first step in finding something that will make a positive change.
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Re: Ideas for a new type of Bowling System
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Old 12-14-2017, 11:45 AM
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Re: Ideas for a new type of Bowling System

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Originally Posted by milorafferty View Post
Leave my leagues alone, I like them just fine. And so do thousands of other bowlers for various reasons. League bowling isn't just so you can bowl in tournaments, it's a social event for most bowlers.

If you want to "just bowl tournaments"and otherwise open play, then by all means have at it. With no average, you go in scratch, no need to have anything more than a USBC card usually, and for a lot of tournaments, you don't even need that.

Here is an idea for you, start a league where there is no prize fund, just linage. You should be able to get a reduced price for the games bowled. There are leagues in my area that are pretty much just that. No place or pin money at the end, just a weekly cheap fee for the bowling. Some of these leagues are very popular.


They were popular back in the 1970's. You got a trophy, and a sponsor gave us an awards banquet every year.
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Re: Ideas for a new type of Bowling System
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Old 12-14-2017, 12:37 PM
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Re: Ideas for a new type of Bowling System

Quote:
Originally Posted by EastNashvilleOldTimer View Post
They were popular back in the 1970's. You got a trophy, and a sponsor gave us an awards banquet every year.
They are still popular in some areas. Not every league is about money.

Re: Ideas for a new type of Bowling System
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Old 12-15-2017, 12:20 PM
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Re: Ideas for a new type of Bowling System

I'm searching for a league with no prize fund, discounted lineage, and a lot of side action. Then the social bowlers can socialize. The money bowlers can bowl for money and get paid out nightly. If there's no prize fund, there doesn't need to be handicap.

Which means no one would have a handicap for tournaments. Amen. Tournaments aren't for socializing. They're for competing. The best bowlers should win. That might decrease prize funds. Oh well.

I also want the USBC to increase its dues. A lot. They can't provide us with the services and perks we want for the pittance we send them. The people complaining about the 50 cent increase in dues are the same people buying several $180 bowling balls a year, bowling in multiple leagues, traveling for tournaments, etc. Yet you can send them $50 a year so we can start getting something out of our membership dues? I'm a member of other national organizations...I pay A LOT more in dues, and get a lot less in return.

And no post is complete without a jab at the USBC for hiding the Open Championships lane patterns which in turn killed the livestreams. Those were fantastic resource and excellent entertainment. I considered them the best perk of the USBC. Now they don't exist, their crown jewel tournament gets even less exposure and coverage, we lose on a service, and history is no longer documented the way it should be in the 21st century.
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Re: Ideas for a new type of Bowling System
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Old 12-15-2017, 12:45 PM
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Re: Ideas for a new type of Bowling System

Quote:
Originally Posted by champ View Post
I'm searching for a league with no prize fund, discounted lineage, and a lot of side action. Then the social bowlers can socialize. The money bowlers can bowl for money and get paid out nightly. If there's no prize fund, there doesn't need to be handicap.

Which means no one would have a handicap for tournaments. Amen. Tournaments aren't for socializing. They're for competing. The best bowlers should win. That might decrease prize funds. Oh well.

I also want the USBC to increase its dues. A lot. They can't provide us with the services and perks we want for the pittance we send them. The people complaining about the 50 cent increase in dues are the same people buying several $180 bowling balls a year, bowling in multiple leagues, traveling for tournaments, etc. Yet you can send them $50 a year so we can start getting something out of our membership dues? I'm a member of other national organizations...I pay A LOT more in dues, and get a lot less in return.

And no post is complete without a jab at the USBC for hiding the Open Championships lane patterns which in turn killed the livestreams. Those were fantastic resource and excellent entertainment. I considered them the best perk of the USBC. Now they don't exist, their crown jewel tournament gets even less exposure and coverage, we lose on a service, and history is no longer documented the way it should be in the 21st century.
Increase the dues??? Good god man, I have to put shoes on my kids feet!

Now, when is that next $200 Storm ball being released? I just have to have that one.

Have you tried starting this type of league? Talk to your local house and they might have a space during the week for it. If it will make them money, they will probably jump at the idea.

Re: Ideas for a new type of Bowling System
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Old 12-16-2017, 01:04 AM
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Re: Ideas for a new type of Bowling System

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Originally Posted by EastNashvilleOldTimer View Post
They were popular back in the 1970's. You got a trophy, and a sponsor gave us an awards banquet every year.
I know you think that stuff is still a draw but I can tell you this, alot of guys really don't care about that stuff...just make it a good payout no banquet put that money in the prize fund no trophy either put that money into the prize fund as well.

This is what is dangerous. Just because this is how it was done 50 years ago DOESN'T mean it can be done the same way now. It may sound good to you but times and people have changed Bowling has changed.
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Re: Ideas for a new type of Bowling System
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Old 12-20-2017, 01:02 PM
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Re: Ideas for a new type of Bowling System

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I know you think that stuff is still a draw but I can tell you this, alot of guys really don't care about that stuff...just make it a good payout no banquet put that money in the prize fund no trophy either put that money into the prize fund as well.

This is what is dangerous. Just because this is how it was done 50 years ago DOESN'T mean it can be done the same way now. It may sound good to you but times and people have changed Bowling has changed.

Sorry my friend, you miss my point.

90%+ bowlers in competitive leagues lose money every season. If they bowl a 35 week league at $20 per week, the fee to bowl one league is $750. That does not include a couple of balls a year, food , beverage, gas, and sanction fee. The average bowler spends about $1500 a year to bowl one league. Try being a middle class family today, and tell your wife you are going to spend a minimum of $1500 in a year just on bowling. If you bowl a second day a week, add $1000. $2500 a year for two leagues when you are making maybe 50K. After taxes you have 40K, so 5% of your family income goes to a "hobby" every year. Does not make a lot of sense.

Just an example. I don't mean to pull a Dave Ramsey here, but that same money dropped into a Mutual Fund over time can make you thousands, if not 100's of thousands of dollars. "Donating" prize funds to a few teams at the top does not make good financial sense, especially during a time when Congress cannot agree on anything, and the world economy has radically changed.

My point is also this. If you use prize funds to try to make some extra money, that is also not too financially smart because over time, you still lose money. Too many bowlers try to "win" money instead of getting a second job. In reality, you don't win anything if you calculate how much it cost you to "win" money.

The pressure to keep these "prize" fund leagues going is what is driving people away, and there is not enough competitive bowling left to save the industry. That is a cold hard fact one must face. The future of the sport is birthday parties, corporate events, bachelorette parties, fund raising events, and other events. The Top Golf model in bowling has exploded. It's a recreation for 99% of America.

If I could partner in a center, I would do the same thing. Hire a good marketing and PR team, host special events, and charge $20 for an apple martini. It works in Nashville. Prize fund leagues are dead.
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Re: Ideas for a new type of Bowling System
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Old 12-20-2017, 01:43 PM
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Re: Ideas for a new type of Bowling System

Quote:
Originally Posted by EastNashvilleOldTimer View Post
Sorry my friend, you miss my point.

90%+ bowlers in competitive leagues lose money every season. If they bowl a 35 week league at $20 per week, the fee to bowl one league is $750. That does not include a couple of balls a year, food , beverage, gas, and sanction fee. The average bowler spends about $1500 a year to bowl one league. Try being a middle class family today, and tell your wife you are going to spend a minimum of $1500 in a year just on bowling. If you bowl a second day a week, add $1000. $2500 a year for two leagues when you are making maybe 50K. After taxes you have 40K, so 5% of your family income goes to a "hobby" every year. Does not make a lot of sense.

Just an example. I don't mean to pull a Dave Ramsey here, but that same money dropped into a Mutual Fund over time can make you thousands, if not 100's of thousands of dollars. "Donating" prize funds to a few teams at the top does not make good financial sense, especially during a time when Congress cannot agree on anything, and the world economy has radically changed.

My point is also this. If you use prize funds to try to make some extra money, that is also not too financially smart because over time, you still lose money. Too many bowlers try to "win" money instead of getting a second job. In reality, you don't win anything if you calculate how much it cost you to "win" money.

The pressure to keep these "prize" fund leagues going is what is driving people away, and there is not enough competitive bowling left to save the industry. That is a cold hard fact one must face. The future of the sport is birthday parties, corporate events, bachelorette parties, fund raising events, and other events. The Top Golf model in bowling has exploded. It's a recreation for 99% of America.

If I could partner in a center, I would do the same thing. Hire a good marketing and PR team, host special events, and charge $20 for an apple martini. It works in Nashville. Prize fund leagues are dead.
And what do you pay for cable TV? The average is $99 a month. Take that $99 a month and put it mutual funds... etc, etc

I have to believe that since almost EVERY league has a cash prize at the end of the season, that that can't be the reason bowling is slowly dying.

You want to know the reason league bowling is slowly dying? Because us old farts are slowly dying. I look around during league and there are usually more people older than me than younger than me. I'm 55 and the fact that most of the leagues have the majority of their members over 55 points toward poor long term viability.

Re: Ideas for a new type of Bowling System
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Old 12-28-2017, 05:42 PM
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Re: Ideas for a new type of Bowling System

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Originally Posted by milorafferty View Post
And what do you pay for cable TV? The average is $99 a month. Take that $99 a month and put it mutual funds... etc, etc

I have to believe that since almost EVERY league has a cash prize at the end of the season, that that can't be the reason bowling is slowly dying.

You want to know the reason league bowling is slowly dying? Because us old farts are slowly dying. I look around during league and there are usually more people older than me than younger than me. I'm 55 and the fact that most of the leagues have the majority of their members over 55 points toward poor long term viability.
Excellent point!

The last league I was in was 50+ and that was 6 1/2 years ago, so all those people are close too if not 60 now. We had maybe a handful of people under 40.

Ill be 55 in 2018 and a lot of the guys I bowled with are 65-80+ now.

You cannot get anyone under 30 with an attention span! Today's youth does not have the experience of physical activity, not as many play sports, and If they to exercise, they go to a gym and work out or they run. For many, a league bowling season lasts longer that a job for them. They change jobs and addresses so fast, they in no way have the time to commit to a bowling league.

People buy technology now, they don't buy bowling balls, tennis rackets, or golf clubs anymore.

The future of the sport is the youth, but they are not interested.

The Eleague, which are the pro-gamers, make more than the PBA!

What we knew is now gone.
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Re: Ideas for a new type of Bowling System
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Old 12-28-2017, 07:43 PM
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Red face Re: Ideas for a new type of Bowling System

Quote:
Originally Posted by EastNashvilleOldTimer View Post
Excellent point!

The last league I was in was 50+ and that was 6 1/2 years ago, so all those people are close too if not 60 now. We had maybe a handful of people under 40.

Ill be 55 in 2018 and a lot of the guys I bowled with are 65-80+ now.

You cannot get anyone under 30 with an attention span! Today's youth does not have the experience of physical activity, not as many play sports, and If they to exercise, they go to a gym and work out or they run. For many, a league bowling season lasts longer that a job for them. They change jobs and addresses so fast, they in no way have the time to commit to a bowling league.

People buy technology now, they don't buy bowling balls, tennis rackets, or golf clubs anymore.

The future of the sport is the youth, but they are not interested.

The Eleague, which are the pro-gamers, make more than the PBA!

What we knew is now gone.
True Dat. Your (& I quote) "People buy technology now, they don't buy bowling balls, tennis rackets, or golf clubs anymore." is right on, except maybe for a "Most younger" being placed as the first word(s) in said sentence. Us oldies buy most bowling equipment these days I figure. Myself, bowling is a great and fun time enjoyed with friend & buddies twice a week or more with a tournament thrown in every once in awhile. Have been doing so for around 60 years now.
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