DISCLAIMER: I love bowling. I love everything about it. This post is about the politics of bowling. Let us just get that out of the way.
Let me start off by saying that I have taken the last 3 years off of league and tournament bowling. Last league was in summer 2009, just before my daughter was born. I open bowled a little when I got time between being a student, husband, and daddy.
I started bowling in a Kegel league this last Tuesday. I walked in without a lick of practice for the last 2 months, and shoed up. First 3 weeks is the USBC pattern. Was super stoked about it. Knew I couldn't just fling it to the ditch and watch it scream back.
I averaged 140 for 4. I moved all over the lane, switched balls 4 times, and couldn't make a spare.
I was still stoked. The thought of working on things to actually get better excited me.
This is what the sport of bowling should be. Hence, the word sport. This got me thinking about how other sports view themselves.
How many pro golfers go and only golf at mini golf courses? How many pro baseball players play T Ball?
You never hear about someone playing sport golf, or sport baseball, or sport football. The activity implies that it's a sport. Only kiddie versions of the sport have another word attached to it. Pee Wee Football, T Ball, Mini Golf.
We need to make the hard decisions, and quit worrying about who leaves the game, and who goes out of business. It's a hole which we as a bowling community have dug for ourselves.
USBC is garbage. We need a governing body willing to take 3 steps back to take 1 step forward. If toughening up conditions will make bowlers leave, let them leave. Integrity doesn't have a member number attached to it.
People will go out of business. Bowlers will leave the sport. It happens. It's HAPPENING. If you don't evolve, your business will die.
Stop calling this little offshoot of bowling "sport bowling". Bowling is a sport.
If you don't want to play the sport, and just pretend you're good, let's call the THS "child's play". Also, go play T Ball at your local park district. Brag about that to your friends. Leave the real bowling to the bowlers. You know, people willing to work for it.
If you're not willing to work at bowling, leave. Bowling doesn't need you. It needs skilled athletes willing to showcase their skills that they've honed by hard work, practice and sacrifice. Everyone that just wants to play like they're good without actually putting in the effort to become good can GTFO for all I care.
I know this will somehow become a rant about equipment, but there are ways to regulate that. It will just take a couple of years to put into effect. Let's take care of one problem at a time.