I posted this in the main forum but I was curious to get a local reaction or feedback to the idea. Let me know what you think........
Bowling as a whole (especially in my area) has been dropping the ball when it comes to youth bowling over the last 10yrs. It is really starting to significantly hurt the adult leagues in the area now because there is no one to replace bowlers who are retiring from the leagues. When I was young, roughly 25yrs ago, my parents ran the youth bowling leagues at AMF Dundalk(back then it was Fair Lanes Dundalk and its nickname was "the Old Colt Lanes" because of the Baltimore Colt players would frequent there) and there was two shifts for the kids, a 9:00am and 12:00pm. It was necessary because the both shifts filled all 48 lanes with teams of 3-5 bowlers depending on age. I recently inquired about the youth leagues for my children and it just so happen the youth leagues were going on while we were there. I didn't recognize it because the league was on 2 pair of lanes with all ages together. Very depressing to see!!!
Bowling as a whole, the PBA, and the USBC needs to invest more time, energy, and money into youth bowling instead of all the technology that the majority of regular league bowlers are not that in to. Let the ball manufacturers do that.
This will never happen I know but I have an idea that I think would bring costs down across the sport and also generate more revenue for the centers and bring more people in. Bowling centers should be separated into 2 categories, Sport bowling and Recreational Bowling. Leagues would carry one of these labels and their would be a separate rules pertaining to equipment. In Recreational Leagues, the low volume oil patterns that were used in the 80's would be put down to save the centers expense allowing linage to be lowered. However in these leagues only non-tech equipment could be used like polyester, rubber, and maybe urethane. In the Sport Leagues, a sport oil pattern would be selected in the initial league meeting to be used all season allowing bowlers to select the difficulty level. In this league any kind of equipment is allowed.
For open play the center could set up some of the lanes for Sport and the rest for Recreational. This would again save the center money on laying oil down and could bring the price of open play down, at least for those bowling on the Recreational lanes.
I am curious of the feedback I am going to get on the last part of this post and will be creating a seperate topic for it so if you are curious about it as I am look for it.