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Author Topic: "Sport" bowling must die.  (Read 13834 times)

Impending Doom

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"Sport" bowling must die.
« on: May 10, 2012, 12:30:54 PM »
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.

Go Global or Go Home!

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qstick777

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Re: "Sport" bowling must die.
« Reply #31 on: May 11, 2012, 09:53:42 AM »
@Qstick As far as I know, there are only a million or so USBC members at present.  I think it is fair to say there are no longer, sanctioned or unsanctioned, "millions of league bowlers."

I don't think it it elitist to want to compete at a higher level with a more level playing field than what is offered in most league environments.  That doesn't mean proponents of Sport Bowling are ready for the PBA or should have to bowl the PBA in order to be more challenged.

I don't have a problem with folks who want to shoot their big sets and have a good time but for players that want something else we shouldn't have to beg proprietors to offer something other than cake on the menu.

Sorry if that comes across to you as elitist.




Elitist or not, if these guys want to bowl on "sport" or PBA conditions it really is quite simple.  Go out and grab 100 or so people that want it and are willing to commit to a full season at $20 (or more) per week.  I'm sure they won't have a problem finding a center that will cater to their wants.

Don't come hear and complain about the conditions that the "average" center is putting out for their "average" customer.

If there was truly a demand for tougher conditions the centers would be putting them out.

Or, if you have a couple million dollars, go out and get your own center and you can put out whatever conditions you like. 

And I'm really tired of people complaining about how bowling is perceived.  If you like to bowl then do it - who cares what other people think?

I can go to the school playground and drain 3 pointers all day long - it doesn't mean I'm ready for the NBA.

Again, leagues are "recreation."  You don't need any special skills to participate.....you simply have to be able to pay the fees.

Sorry that us 180 average guys are showing up each week to hang out with friends, eat some food, drink some beers, and donate to your prize fund.  We didn't realize we were causing you so much grief.

At the end of the day it's just rolling a ball 60 feet at some wooden pins.  Anybody can do it.

TheGame300

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Re: "Sport" bowling must die.
« Reply #32 on: May 11, 2012, 10:17:30 AM »
By reading the above comment, someone like yourself should then have no problem bowling in a non sanctioned league.  You just want to go to the lanes and have fun with friends.

That is my solution. Any USBC sanctioned league should have to be sport compliant.  If you want a fun league, then just bowl in something the house puts together for you.

If you want an award of any kind, you should have to earn it.

qstick777

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Re: "Sport" bowling must die.
« Reply #33 on: May 11, 2012, 10:18:06 AM »
Just another note of the subject:

I love how everybody talks about the "THS" as if it's some established pattern.  Every center is different.  Your THS might be bone dry, while somebody else's would be considered "heavy oil."  Anvilane is different than HPL, which is different than wood.

And from what I've seen in most of my leagues, throwing a plastic ball at 16+ mph and getting anywhere close to the head pin still has as much of a chance of striking as the "well placed pocket shot" of the most talented stroker.

qstick777

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Re: "Sport" bowling must die.
« Reply #34 on: May 11, 2012, 10:24:27 AM »
By reading the above comment, someone like yourself should then have no problem bowling in a non sanctioned league.  You just want to go to the lanes and have fun with friends.

That is my solution. Any USBC sanctioned league should have to be sport compliant.  If you want a fun league, then just bowl in something the house puts together for you.

If you want an award of any kind, you should have to earn it.

Sanctioned or not, I bowl for the personal enjoyment and the personal challenge.  I don't begrudge any of the "spray and pray" guys for their high sets, averages, or honor scores. 

While I only started bowling 8 years ago, I actually did seek out a "sport" league in an effort to make myself better.  They weren't available - actually found 1 that conflicted with a previous commitment.  I was able to sub in that league about 4 times - bowled within 5 pins of my THS average......apparently it's just as easy to suck on a sport pattern as it is on a THS!

Today (8 years later) there still isn't a demand for PBA or Sport leagues, and I bowl in an area where the centers are full at least 6 days a week with leagues (smallest center is 32 lanes - average is 36 lanes).

ImBackInTheGame

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Re: "Sport" bowling must die.
« Reply #35 on: May 11, 2012, 11:32:18 AM »

That is my solution. Any USBC sanctioned league should have to be sport compliant.  If you want a fun league, then just bowl in something the house puts together for you.

If you want an award of any kind, you should have to earn it.

This speaks loudly in my opinion.  I completely agree! 

spmcgivern

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Re: "Sport" bowling must die.
« Reply #36 on: May 11, 2012, 11:52:23 AM »
From TWOHAND,
Quote
IMO....there is no reason that we cant make a shot that is a little tougher, thats fair to everyone without sacrificing too much of the scoring pace, and yet have enough length and volume for todays bowling balls.  The difference between your high average league bowler dropping from 230+ down to 220 and your 200 bowler dropping to 185-190 is not so significant that I dont think people are going to quit.  However, if your 230 THS drops to 200-210 and your 190 drops to 165-170, then you will start to see people walking.  I think if you take these houses that have 8:1 to 10:1 volume ratios and drop them into the 4:1 area, it toughens the shot without making them unfair.

This is where I think the game should head.  I think the misconception by many is some bowlers want Sport and THS only.  I feel, as does TWOHAND, that there should just be a slightly more difficult shot than THS.

My girlfriend bowled the Women's US Open last year (or as some called it, the US Wide Open).  There were (11) 300 games bowled during qualifying.  My girlfriend bowled next to Lynda Barnes all through qualifying and Lynda shot (2) 299s in one shift.  And yet the shot was a 6.25:1 ratio.  You didn't have to be razor sharp to bowl well, but you did need to understand transitions and ball match-up to succeed.  On top of that, pretty much everyone was upset about the shot because it was TOO EASY!!  Especially for the US Open. 

And for those who are concerned about the owners putting out whatever they want.  You can implement random testing.  You can actually not tell the owners when you will arrive for certification.  I have seen centers put out a shot for certification (they knew the exact minute the team would arrive to test the lanes) and use a different shot for league. 
« Last Edit: May 11, 2012, 12:07:39 PM by spmcgivern »

TheGame300

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Re: "Sport" bowling must die.
« Reply #37 on: May 11, 2012, 11:53:44 AM »
I always try to explain to people that just because a pattern is "sport" compliant, doesn't mean it is impossible to score on.  It just means it meets the 3-1 ratio.  I have bowled on sport patterns that were easier than most house shots and ones that make you look good to shoot 170.

That is the problem with the PBA leagues and other sport leagues when they try to form.  People right away say that I am not going to do good on it so I don't even want to try.  Perception of not scoring over 200 every game is the problem.

By reading the above comment, someone like yourself should then have no problem bowling in a non sanctioned league.  You just want to go to the lanes and have fun with friends.

That is my solution. Any USBC sanctioned league should have to be sport compliant.  If you want a fun league, then just bowl in something the house puts together for you.

If you want an award of any kind, you should have to earn it.

Sanctioned or not, I bowl for the personal enjoyment and the personal challenge.  I don't begrudge any of the "spray and pray" guys for their high sets, averages, or honor scores. 

While I only started bowling 8 years ago, I actually did seek out a "sport" league in an effort to make myself better.  They weren't available - actually found 1 that conflicted with a previous commitment.  I was able to sub in that league about 4 times - bowled within 5 pins of my THS average......apparently it's just as easy to suck on a sport pattern as it is on a THS!

Today (8 years later) there still isn't a demand for PBA or Sport leagues, and I bowl in an area where the centers are full at least 6 days a week with leagues (smallest center is 32 lanes - average is 36 lanes).

Good Times Good Times

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Re: "Sport" bowling must die.
« Reply #38 on: May 11, 2012, 12:05:40 PM »
We bowled on Viper last night for the 1st night of our PBAX league.  I shot 599 by making spares (AGAIN making my point that my plastic is THE MOST important ball in my arsenal) and managing the pocket and making a huge focus effort on transitioning correctly and making pure shots.  I was keeping the pocket in play but unfortunately leaving a ton of wrap 10 and enough 9 pins.  Good shots and leaving myself in a position to fill frames.  Ya know, the grind...

Earning 599 with 2 opens all night was MORE FUN than going into winter league and shooting the typical 680-720ish on a THS.

That's just me.
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Long Gone Daddy

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Re: "Sport" bowling must die.
« Reply #39 on: May 11, 2012, 01:26:59 PM »
I love how this comes up two or three times a year.  I've talked about the "elitists" or the "tourney hacks" vs the "house hacks" and you are never going to have a center put down a shot that will keep both factions happy.  They must be separate, they have to be separate.  Why do you think this goes in one ear and out the other of the proprietor?  They already know this to be true.

I don't understand what the real deal is, in most sports there are divisions based on skill levels.  Baseball as A ball, AA ball, AAA ball, and the bigs.  Basketball has them, football has them, even golf has them.  Who doesn't understand the difference?  Who feels they have to justify their skill level, or why they bowl, or where they bowl to anybody but themselves?  When did bowlers become so psychologically needy and whiners?     
Long Gone also posts the honest truth which is why i respect him. He posts these things knowing some may not like it.

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TheGame300

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Re: "Sport" bowling must die.
« Reply #40 on: May 11, 2012, 01:39:28 PM »
You can't compare other sports to bowling in that way.  It doesn't matter what level of baseball, football, hockey, etc. you are playing at, the rules are the same. Same ball, bases are the same distance. You get the point.  With bowling you have the x factor known as lane oil.  Changing that changes the level of difficulty.

And yes we know that the proprietors are always going to cater to the majority.  This is just a case of what we would like to see happen.

And I always like when posters on here call other posters "elitists".  Um, we are all on a bowling ball review site, isn't that like the pot calling the kettle black.  Makes me laugh.

I love how this comes up two or three times a year.  I've talked about the "elitists" or the "tourney hacks" vs the "house hacks" and you are never going to have a center put down a shot that will keep both factions happy.  They must be separate, they have to be separate.  Why do you think this goes in one ear and out the other of the proprietor?  They already know this to be true.

I don't understand what the real deal is, in most sports there are divisions based on skill levels.  Baseball as A ball, AA ball, AAA ball, and the bigs.  Basketball has them, football has them, even golf has them.  Who doesn't understand the difference?  Who feels they have to justify their skill level, or why they bowl, or where they bowl to anybody but themselves?  When did bowlers become so psychologically needy and whiners?   

stopncrank

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Re: "Sport" bowling must die.
« Reply #41 on: May 11, 2012, 02:17:49 PM »
What I dont understand is the uproar over "easy" shots...center operators all across the country are not in the business of losing money, and are not going to cater to the 1% out there who feel THS is too easy...

Add to that the one's on here complaining about not having Sport/PBA conditions readily available at every center...and they(the center owners) shouldnt really feel a need to offer them when there is a PBA regional division thats readily available no matter where you live, thats what they are there for.

Wonder how many of the ones on here begging for harder shots support the PBA regional program?? My guess is not too many, because the truth is they want the shots but not the reality check they would receive....which is not much different than those who chose not to participate on harder shots, the divide between the two sides is not as large as many on here want you to beleive.....

TheGame300

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Re: "Sport" bowling must die.
« Reply #42 on: May 11, 2012, 02:32:49 PM »
I bowl in a PBA Experience league in the winter and I used to bowl some regional events, but $350 for one tournament is a little expensive when you are just trying to get experience bowling on tougher conditions.

What I dont understand is the uproar over "easy" shots...center operators all across the country are not in the business of losing money, and are not going to cater to the 1% out there who feel THS is too easy...

Add to that the one's on here complaining about not having Sport/PBA conditions readily available at every center...and they(the center owners) shouldnt really feel a need to offer them when there is a PBA regional division thats readily available no matter where you live, thats what they are there for.

Wonder how many of the ones on here begging for harder shots support the PBA regional program?? My guess is not too many, because the truth is they want the shots but not the reality check they would receive....which is not much different than those who chose not to participate on harder shots, the divide between the two sides is not as large as many on here want you to beleive.....

Long Gone Daddy

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Re: "Sport" bowling must die.
« Reply #43 on: May 11, 2012, 02:45:02 PM »
You can't compare other sports to bowling in that way.  It doesn't matter what level of baseball, football, hockey, etc. you are playing at, the rules are the same. Same ball, bases are the same distance. You get the point.  With bowling you have the x factor known as lane oil.  Changing that changes the level of difficulty.

And yes we know that the proprietors are always going to cater to the majority.  This is just a case of what we would like to see happen.

And I always like when posters on here call other posters "elitists".  Um, we are all on a bowling ball review site, isn't that like the pot calling the kettle black.  Makes me laugh.

I love how this comes up two or three times a year.  I've talked about the "elitists" or the "tourney hacks" vs the "house hacks" and you are never going to have a center put down a shot that will keep both factions happy.  They must be separate, they have to be separate.  Why do you think this goes in one ear and out the other of the proprietor?  They already know this to be true.

I don't understand what the real deal is, in most sports there are divisions based on skill levels.  Baseball as A ball, AA ball, AAA ball, and the bigs.  Basketball has them, football has them, even golf has them.  Who doesn't understand the difference?  Who feels they have to justify their skill level, or why they bowl, or where they bowl to anybody but themselves?  When did bowlers become so psychologically needy and whiners?   


I definitely beg to differ, sir.  Rules are the same in baseball but there's a helluva big difference facing Justin Verlander vs. some A-Ball pitcher or striking out a Crash Davis in the Southern League and striking out Albert Puhols.  Same rules, very different circumstances.  Minor league hockey is played at about 10 mph slower than the NHL.  PGA plays with the same rules as the weekenders but from the blue tees and in longer roughs.  Same game, same rules but just a bit tougher, eh?

Cream rises to the top.  Even in bowling.  You don't like bowling on China?  Dumb it down, shell it down, or just don't bowl on it.  Can't score on tougher conditions?  Up your game, get some hand, get a coach or just don't bowl on it.   
Long Gone also posts the honest truth which is why i respect him. He posts these things knowing some may not like it.

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TDC57

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Re: "Sport" bowling must die.
« Reply #44 on: May 11, 2012, 02:50:12 PM »
Wow. Name calling... I see some of you have been hanging around with my 12 year old...

Elitist? I prefer purist.
Idiot? Not even close.
Imbecile? Good use of your thesaurus.
Numbnuts? Hey, that's caused by a childhood accid.. er, wait. Nevermind.

Listen, you want your easy house shot? Go ahead. Just call it what it is. It's not bowling. It's the Ray Charles Open. It's Adult Bumper Bowling. It's people that don't want to put any time or effort in, and want the maximum out of it, and if they don't get what they think they deserve, well, gosh darn it, it must be the arrow, not the Indian!

In my line of work, there are 3 kinds of people, and I find that this also applied when I ran my pro shop.

1. The person that knows little to nothing about the specific topic. So, in this instance, a new bowler.
2. The person that knows enough to be dangerous. This would be most of the house bowlers that think that they can coach you, tell you that your stuff is drilled wrong because it doesn't look like his stuff, and could do the pro shops job much better than the owner operator.
3. The person that actually has a clue. Those people hardly speak up anymore, because they let #2 just run their mouths until they run themselves into a corner, and can't explain their way out of it.

Don't sanction the THS leagues. No more rings or plaques or anything like that. You want sanctioning? Make the house follow a baseline oil pattern. If you don't, too bad. You explain it to your customer.

Our numbers are already down. Centers are closing down all over the place already. Don't everyone act like bowling is a booming business right now. Know why there is no one in your centers?

No one needs to practice on the easy shot! Surprise!

You tell bowlers that they are going to have a chance to practice on something other than the house shot, people will show up. If it's just the house shot, what's the point? Everyone can score on the house shot!

When I ran my shop, I had it in a 36 lane house. The GM (what a joke he was) wouldn't do anything different during the day. Not change the shot, not charge less, nothing. He told me that it costs him money, and he wasn't going to give anything away. He told me this as the entire house was empty, and remained empty until 5. Yeah, that's smart.

Equipment... OK. I'll use plastic. Everyone else does too. Bring the loads that the oil machine is putting out down to the level where a plastic ball is going to make some sense. No need for the big puddle in the middle anymore, right? No more big hooking, big flaring balls tearing up our lane beds! We can save money and use less oil!

We can have a handle on equipment as well. USBC just recently reduced the max diff from .080 to .060. With the rate that people replace equipment, everyone being at that level is going to be a reality soon.

Well, let's reduce it to .040. Let's get a handle on RA values. Let's get rid of asymmetricals. It's all doable... It will just take time to have that be the standard.

And if you've heard this all before, what the hell are you doing about the problem? Are you a watercooler kind of person, who talks about all the injustice in the world, or do you actually go out, and try to change things?

Last time I checked, we were all bowlers. You wanna stand by while the powers that be wreck it? That's on you, buddy.

Not me.

P.S. Since this has been posted 1000 times, I am also going to go start a thread about what the hell a ball drilled Rico will do. That topic hasn't been beaten to death.  :o


Another nugget from the all knowing Impending Doom. Now everyone can see that elitist, idiot, imbecile, numb nuts or any other similar adjective fits him perfectly. Make all conditions sport compliant or anyone who doesn't want such conditions must bowl in unsanctioned leagues? OK, that's the answer!! There will be no more sanctioned league bowling under that scenario. This guy knows nothing! He is cut from the same cloth as the Occupy movement morons. They spew what they think everything should be but actually have no clue about what they speak and no reasonable solution. Impending Doom, set down you pot pipe and back away slowly. You have totally fallen out of touch with reality. You speak little or no truth. You are done! It's funny I bowl at a center that lays down a shot that yields good scores but no 800s and only 2 300s this year. If you throw the ball as you should you can score. The place is full. Waiting lists to get a team in any league. I don't know what city your cave is located but you are the most clueless person on the earth at this moment. You can't even comprehend the comparison that was made with golf about different tee boxes. Golf doesn't tell people it's this way or get lost. Elitists like you want bowlers that play on easier shots to switch to tougher shots or become open bowlers. Well that sounds very inclusive, comrade. I think it's time for you to find another sport for a hobby since this one makes you so unhappy. We average league bowlers are enjoying ourselves and the only time we have anything that causes us displeasure is having to hear neanderthals like you tell us what we must do. Stick to voting the left side of the ballot and running with the crowd that thinks they know what is best for us. I'll stay with the people that have no intentions of being pros but just like to enjoy the competition against like thinkers, our THS leagues offer. You can continue to take our league and tournament money. We're fine with that because the one thing you can't take from us is our enjoyment we get from bowling!!!!!


One other thing Doom and Gloom. I remember buying a AMF Angle when they first came out in the early 80s. I stopped a center I had never been in before to try it out. I was a 180 bowler at that time and rented a lane for an hour. I only threw a couple of shots that missed the pocket and averaged about 220. It seemed ungodly easy. What does the "purist" in you say about that condition 30 years ago?
« Last Edit: May 11, 2012, 03:09:22 PM by TDC57 »

MI 2 AZ

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Re: "Sport" bowling must die.
« Reply #45 on: May 11, 2012, 03:08:51 PM »
I appreciate seeing both sides of a bowling discussion because sometimes good points are made from a position that I had not considered.  What I dislike is how quickly or easily almost any discussion degenerates into name-calling.  For those who like to pursue such behavior, could you take it to PMs or start a topic in the Non-Bowling Anything Goes forum?

Again, I think there are good points being made on all sides of this topic and I appreciate seeing this topic from others' point of view. 
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