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Author Topic: "Sport" bowling must die.  (Read 28901 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.

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Long Gone Daddy

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Re: "Sport" bowling must die.
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2012, 12:32:22 PM »
I like it!   ;D
Long Gone also posts the honest truth which is why i respect him. He posts these things knowing some may not like it.

Mainzer

Polish_Hammer

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Re: "Sport" bowling must die.
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2012, 12:36:27 PM »
Amen brother! I would be the first person to sign the petition for sport pattern only leagues

Steven

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Re: "Sport" bowling must die.
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2012, 01:08:35 PM »
A very nice Utopian vision, except for one small detail -- the USBC has no real power. When all is said and done, the house owners decide on the lane conditions they feel will generate the most revenue. And in most cases, it's a THS that promotes higher scores, repeat business, and subsequently more $$$ spend for alcohol and food.
 
You can do your part by participating in sport leagues and sport tournaments when they're available. Recruit others to do the same. High participation gets attention. Change will be difficult any other way. 

notclay

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Re: "Sport" bowling must die.
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2012, 01:13:56 PM »
Bowling, in my opinion, needs both the easy conditions and the tougher ones. I prefer the challenge of the tougher ones, which is why I'm bowling one this summer.

However, the masses want to have fun and and their self esteem is closely tied to their scores.  They want to show off to the open play people. They want a ball for every possible condition, even though they will only bowl on the THS. They buy beer (or sodas), and contrary to some, they pay the bills so the center you bowl at can keep the doors open.

Sport bowling leagues are great, and for a relatively small portion of us provide a reality check as to our true skill levels. They force us to be accurate and repeat shots with consistency, or pay the price. However, if that were the only thing available, the same center that offers you the sport condition might close it's doors because their customer base went to the competition, who puts out the easier shot.

It has everything to do with human nature, and very little to do with bowling, and the fact that most people will choose the path of least resistance.

Not everyone is a bowling purist. Some do it for recreation, or giggles, or camaraderie with their friends. If you chase away the majority of bowlers (and their revenue) you will have no place to bowl your sport league before long.

On edit: While I was typing, Steven gave the same argument. He probably types faster than this guy...
« Last Edit: May 10, 2012, 01:15:48 PM by notclay »
Lane Carter
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qstick777

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Re: "Sport" bowling must die.
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2012, 01:41:18 PM »
First of all, it's called "league" bowling for a reason.

Secondly, all of these "elitist" bowlers that are upset about the easy "league" conditions shouldn't have any problem averaging enough to be eligible for the PRO tour.

I'm sure that the millions of "recreational" bowlers that bowl in one (or more) league per week wouldn't mind if the elitist bowlers would GTFO.

Thirdly, I'm tired of the comparisons to golf and other "sports" as if league bowling is some regulated sport at the professional level.  It's league bowling, just like church league softball.   I'm sure that the foursome getting together on the course on Sunday afternoon have some illusions of grandeur that they are in the same class as Tiger and Phil.  And I'm positive that the course they are playing is every bit as challenging as TPC Sawgrass!

stopncrank

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Re: "Sport" bowling must die.
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2012, 01:46:27 PM »
I agree that the center owners would never go for that, as quickly as the USBC would implement this regulation on patterns, the owners would pull away from USBC sanction. They are not gonna give up what little business they have these days, which is scraping the bottom already compared to just 10 years ago, and honestly as business owners in this economy can we really expect any less from them? Its easy to have this view that they should just go for the harder conditions,  when we arent the ones making our living running a center. So in regards to the easiest path, its not always the bolwer who chooses it, and sometimes you cant blame the owner, its not that easy.

I ask this-why are the majority of PBA, Sport, and other tougher pattern leagues only offered in the summer? At least in my area, they are. They should be offered year round imo.

Long Gone Daddy

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Re: "Sport" bowling must die.
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2012, 02:15:34 PM »
First of all, it's called "league" bowling for a reason.

Secondly, all of these "elitist" bowlers that are upset about the easy "league" conditions shouldn't have any problem averaging enough to be eligible for the PRO tour.

I'm sure that the millions of "recreational" bowlers that bowl in one (or more) league per week wouldn't mind if the elitist bowlers would GTFO.

Thirdly, I'm tired of the comparisons to golf and other "sports" as if league bowling is some regulated sport at the professional level.  It's league bowling, just like church league softball.   I'm sure that the foursome getting together on the course on Sunday afternoon have some illusions of grandeur that they are in the same class as Tiger and Phil.  And I'm positive that the course they are playing is every bit as challenging as TPC Sawgrass!

I like it!   ;D
Long Gone also posts the honest truth which is why i respect him. He posts these things knowing some may not like it.

Mainzer

Monster Pike

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Re: "Sport" bowling must die.
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2012, 02:22:16 PM »
First of all, it was just the 1st week of sport condition summer league where he said he averaged 140 for the night...  Just so you're clear.

2ndly, he was offering an opinion on bowling... If you want to argue his opinion fine... But the non mod forum is where the insults belong.  God knows I've had my share there, & fired back there as well, LoL!! So if you want people to take your "reply" with an ounce of credibility, you could edit it & maybe, just maybe we could decipher any logic in it if there's any in there... But as of now, TC, it's merely just "troll worthy" spewage...  ;)  ::)

Urethane Game

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Re: "Sport" bowling must die.
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2012, 02:47:20 PM »
@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.


kidlost2000

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Re: "Sport" bowling must die.
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2012, 02:55:28 PM »
No matter what you think there is a few things that will not change.

1. Bowling centers are a business
2. USBC is a business.
3. A businesses goal is to make a profit.

Now yes bowling has taken a hit in integrity and it will not be changing anytime soon. "Save bowling" isn't a movement, it is a bowling manufactures next attempt at a slogan and sales pitch for what they do. (See #3 above)

So as nice as it is for many to have a change and bowl on something challenging, many many more do not feel the same. Golf has the nice advantage of different tee boxes to choose your difficulty level from. Bowling has typical league conditions and sport conditions. More people choose to bowl in their local leagues and tournaments on the easier conditions.

You as your own bowler can make the choice to increase the difficulty level on any condition by using a plastic ball, a pancake weight block reactive resin or urethane ball, or a rubber ball. All will make your house shot more difficult with out needing to do much at all. All of these bowling balls can be found online for $100 or less. Much less in most cases. You have a choice. We all do.
you can't  add a physics term to a bowling term and expect it to mean something.

spmcgivern

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Re: "Sport" bowling must die.
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2012, 03:14:57 PM »
I can understand both sides of the argument.  Some people want a challenge and some people feel making the game more difficult for all bowlers will drive away business. 

However, can there be a middle ground.  I realize center owners will put out the shot that pays the bills.  And they should.  But shouldn't the bowlers, even if it is a small minority, be given the opportunity to challenge themselves in what we all agree is a sport?  Not all cities have sport shot leagues.  Not all bowlers have the opportunity to travel for more challenging conditions.  Does this mean they can't challenge themselves? 

What if USBC offered different levels of sanctioning?  What if there was a level of sanctioning for fun leagues with a THS where everyone averages high and is happy?  It could have the following benefits:
  • prize fund security
  • low level awards (patches, magnets etc..)
  • perhaps a different set of league rules catered to the casual bowler

What if there was another level of sanctioning where bowlers can bowl on a challenging shot and still have fun being beat up by the lanes? Benefits would include:
  • prize fund security
  • higher level awards (rings, plaques etc..)
  • set of league rules catered to the more competitive bowler

I understand making people happy.  But I too want to have good bowlers being recognized for bowling well without having to "go pro" to prove it.  Casual bowlers complain about paying for rings and high end awards when they know they won't get one.  And better bowlers complain when the 150 average bowler shoots 300 and gets a ring to flaunt.

I realize this is similar to the current Sport Bowling Program.  But I'm willing to bet this program isn't performing the way USBC expected.  Anyway, just a thought that came to mind while reading this thread, and as stated before, let's keep this productive.

TDC57

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Re: "Sport" bowling must die.
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2012, 03:20:24 PM »
kidlost2000,

Again right on the money. Golf plays at different tee boxes and bowling is no different. Your point that if the elitists want a tougher challenge they could use equipment that will turn a THS into what they want is something that is fresh and spot on! They don't have the guts for that because they want the average league bowler's money far too much!!

Urethane Game, the author of this thread played the elitist angle whether he intended to or not and he's stuck with starting another thread on this tired tired topic!!

Monster Pike, I'm not taking one word of what I said back. It's the truth and how I feel exactly. If this guy has been around this site for any length of time he knew that this topic has been beaten to death and causes great uproar. I am not a troll unlike many on here but I'm sick of this topic and hope as always we will see the end of such idiotic attempts to keep it going. I'm sure most everyone else on here feels the same!

spmcgivern

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Re: "Sport" bowling must die.
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2012, 03:44:41 PM »
Has this topic been brought up many times before, yes.  Does that mean it is no longer appropriate to bring up?  Should we just let USBC tell us what to do and not question it?  I personally don't think it is ever wrong to discuss what we do and do not like about a sport we are all passionate about.

But at the same time, I realize we have to DO something also.  We can talk and discuss and argue all we want.  But what do we get out of it?  Hopefully someone will have the opportunity to do something about it.  Instead of ignoring it, why can't we discuss it?  If you don't want to, then don't.  Those that visit the many threads on it will continue to live in their own little world.

I do want to change the way it is.  I also don't want to lose bowlers in the process.  Can both be done?  I don't know.  But I don't want to give up either.

And for those that say, "use a plastic ball if you want a challenge," can it also be said that is a form of sandbagging?  I use plastic all year and my average is 15-20 pins lower because of it.  However, for position rounds and tournaments next year I decide to use better suited equipment.  How should that be handled? 

stopncrank

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Re: "Sport" bowling must die.
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2012, 03:53:24 PM »
We have a hard enough time getting enough guys together to run a decent scratch league in my town, much less PBA or sport leagues..

And btw, when I was coming up, it was much simpler, you work your a$$ off to get to scratch, then if you needed/wanted more of a challenge you did PBA regionals...sometimes we try to make things too dificult, and analyze every little thing to death all the while making the game more difficult than it has to be-there lies the real reason behind bowling's decline, at least IMHO....