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JamesSalisbury

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No Going Back
   
    It was a wonderful and unselfish gift this talented 32 year old player from Union NJ gave to all of us who happened to be watching this winter day.  As her march into the history books gathered its unstoppable momentum, Sunday became Saturday afternoon. The faces of Rhino, Mika and Chris slowly morphed, becoming the images of Johnny, Mark and Earl. The staccato cheerleading of the announcers comfortably changed into the steady and soothing croon of Chris, Billy and Bo. The picture appeared a little grainy, the edges tinged in black and white. We were taken back to the golden age of bowling on television where it seemed that "Wild World" would follow. From somewhere up there, the giants of the sport who have gone before us were nodding their heads in approval.
   Ever since the introduction of woman participants at the highest competitive and professional levels of bowling, we in the industry knew that eventually this day would come. That a woman would reach for and triumph over a distinguished field to grasp the highest ring offered- a major championship!
   We have witnessed a watershed moment in the world of competitive bowling. The performance of Kelly Kulick in winning the Tournament of Champions marks the end of an era in our sport and the beginning of a period of time where tough issues must be confronted head on to insure the continued viability of our sport and the venues that produce it.
   How do we reconcile the fact that competitive bowling at its highest level is no longer gender specific?
   It is a question that the industry has overlooked for so long. How will we structure a reformed sport to take this new reality into account?
   The major impact of this will undoubtedly be in young player development. As competition continues to separate the men from the boys, do we continue to separate the girls from the boys? What will be the impact of this on both high school and collegiate teams? On coaching philosophy? Will it have an effect on the mandates of Title IX?
   The efforts of bowling to succeed in the Olympic movement must also be revisited. It is the very question of just what it means for the USBC to be a national governing body. Is it a waste of money to continue to pursue olympic status or even remain the shadow of both the USOC and the IOC?
   But for the moment, let's just relish this accomplishment for what it is- a triumph of a skilled and dedicated player over long odds and her gift of a memorable moment for all of us.

   We are running out of places to play!

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Founder & Executive Director
The American Bowling Consortium, Inc.
JamesSalisbury

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Posts: 77
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a copy of this article may be found on pg 7 of the 2/10 issue of Stars and Strikes.

__________________
Founder & Executive Director
The American Bowling Consortium, Inc.
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