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Ideas for a new type of Bowling System
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.
"Be Bold and Mighty Forces will come to your aid."
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Re: Ideas for a new type of Bowling System
Old 12-01-2017, 06:28 PM
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Cool Re: Ideas for a new type of Bowling System

What are you smoking? Don't BOGART...! Pass it around. Everyone loves a dreamer though. Well, except for Pres trump, maybe.

Last edited by jimjames; 12-01-2017 at 10:13 PM.

Re: Ideas for a new type of Bowling System
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
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
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.

..Victory Is An Addiction

Re: Ideas for a new type of Bowling System
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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