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mrbowling300

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Pezzano: PBA rules are kid friendly
Monday, June 28, 2010
By CHUCK PEZZANO
COLUMNIST

Kamron Doyle of Brentwood, Tenn., finished 30th in a field of 94 to cash in at a Professional Bowlers Association tournament in Canton, Ga.

Doyle became the youngest player to earn money at a pro event. He is 12 years old.

The feat is a tribute to the young man and his talent. Whether it’s good for the sport is another question. Every sport has child prodigies, but physical barriers and other obstacles prevent 12-year-olds from making early impressions in pro football, baseball, basketball and many other activities. Participation rules also limit youngsters.

Bowling has been heading the other way. Rules have become less and less restrictive, because tournament groups and organizations don’t want to face criticism and possible lawsuits. Many welcome the additional entries they can obtain.

I remember when bowling centers wouldn’t allow young people into an establishment when tournaments were being conducted, and when a young bowler was a star on an adult team, the parents and/or an adult team member had to assume certain responsibilities.

Doyle is a true marvel. He is the youngest bowler to roll a certified 800 or better series, racking up an 803 when he had just turned 11. He also is the third youngest to record a 300.

The $400 he earned in the regional pro tourney has been placed in a scholarship account.

Should a 12-year-old or a youngster of any age be allowed in major competitions? More and more they are accepted, because most feel it’s OK as long as the appearances are limited. The PBA, once the most difficult tournament to enter, has become one of the most relaxed.

The pro tourney in which Doyle made history was won by a man who makes history almost every time he competes. It was Walter Ray Williams Jr., who has won the most player of the year honors. Williams, 50, is old enough to be Doyle’s grandfather.

Doyle has no great secrets about his success. He started bowling at a friend’s birthday party and was hooked.

"I just practice as much as I can and bowl in a lot of tournaments," he said. Easier lane conditions and more sophisticated balls are among the reasons young stars — who also receive expert instruction as early as age 2 — excel.

There’s a mixed bag of rules regarding youth bowling, and most feel some limits should be firmly in place, but the jury still is out.

It reminded me that over the years, I have seen chickens, elephants, chimps, dolphins and dogs bowl. The chicken was a phony. He had to peck a lever that released a ball. The elephant did the same. The chimp bowled on a lane and was very cocky. The dolphin was the best, because he used a plastic ball and slid it at pins on a small dock.

The big star was the dog. His owner trained him so well that he knew etiquette well enough to bowl in a league. He posted a 54 average. I’d love to see child bowlers receive all the opportunities they can at the youngest possible age, but only if they’re good students.

Kamron Doyle of Brentwood, Tenn., finished 30th in a field of 94 to cash in at a Professional Bowlers Association tournament in Canton, Ga.

Doyle became the youngest player to earn money at a pro event. He is 12 years old.

The feat is a tribute to the young man and his talent. Whether it’s good for the sport is another question. Every sport has child prodigies, but physical barriers and other obstacles prevent 12-year-olds from making early impressions in pro football, baseball, basketball and many other activities. Participation rules also limit youngsters.

Bowling has been heading the other way. Rules have become less and less restrictive, because tournament groups and organizations don’t want to face criticism and possible lawsuits. Many welcome the additional entries they can obtain.

I remember when bowling centers wouldn’t allow young people into an establishment when tournaments were being conducted, and when a young bowler was a star on an adult team, the parents and/or an adult team member had to assume certain responsibilities.

Doyle is a true marvel. He is the youngest bowler to roll a certified 800 or better series, racking up an 803 when he had just turned 11. He also is the third youngest to record a 300.

The $400 he earned in the regional pro tourney has been placed in a scholarship account.

Should a 12-year-old or a youngster of any age be allowed in major competitions? More and more they are accepted, because most feel it’s OK as long as the appearances are limited. The PBA, once the most difficult tournament to enter, has become one of the most relaxed.

The pro tourney in which Doyle made history was won by a man who makes history almost every time he competes. It was Walter Ray Williams Jr., who has won the most player of the year honors. Williams, 50, is old enough to be Doyle’s grandfather.

Doyle has no great secrets about his success. He started bowling at a friend’s birthday party and was hooked.

"I just practice as much as I can and bowl in a lot of tournaments," he said. Easier lane conditions and more sophisticated balls are among the reasons young stars — who also receive expert instruction as early as age 2 — excel.

There’s a mixed bag of rules regarding youth bowling, and most feel some limits should be firmly in place, but the jury still is out.

It reminded me that over the years, I have seen chickens, elephants, chimps, dolphins and dogs bowl. The chicken was a phony. He had to peck a lever that released a ball. The elephant did the same. The chimp bowled on a lane and was very cocky. The dolphin was the best, because he used a plastic ball and slid it at pins on a small dock.

The big star was the dog. His owner trained him so well that he knew etiquette well enough to bowl in a league. He posted a 54 average. I’d love to see child bowlers receive all the opportunities they can at the youngest possible age, but only if they’re good students.

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