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Posts: 77
Reply with quote  #1 
Greetings to All:

From the proposed six point USBCII Strategic Plan:

4. Allow unsanctioned leagues to enroll with the USBC as associate members.

Require payment of only the national dues for members of the unsanctioned league that are not members of any other USBC league. Charge a nominal amount (to cover the cost of bonding and administration) for bowlers that are members of another USBC league for each unsanctioned league enrolled in and require 100% player participation for the unsanctioned league to be enrolled.
In return, the associate members are extended all the features of both the financial and legal aspects of membership. As long as all the rules are followed, bond the league. As long as the proper procedures are followed, allow individuals the same process for grievance as exists for sanctioned league members with regard to financial and discriminatory matters only. (Civil rights)
Unsanctioned leagues must bowl on USBC certified lanes. As long as all of the eligibility requirements are met, allow associate members to participate In any and all USBC national, state and local tournaments. Issue associate membership identification cards.
The unsanctioned league bylaws dictate the playing rules, lane conditions and equipment specifications the league members will play under. Any grievance that pertains solely to these matters will be referred back to the league officers for adjudication. No averages will be submitted to the USBC.
Associate members will be eligible for a separate awards program, based on their level of play. Any unsanctioned league that wishes to continue its affiliation with the USBC as such must enroll by the start of each season. Any league that wishes to sanction will be allowed to upgrade their membership at any time by following the normal sanctioning procedures and paying the appropriate fees.

The associate membership proposal is the linchpin making the USBCII strategic plan click. By giving the consumer the
choice of the competitive level to play to, we allow the separation of the purely competitive player from the
recreationally competitive player. It is this separation that distinguishes this plan from others that have been proposed. It is this failure to separate that has contributed to the decline of membership and the watering down of the sport over the last three decades.
Since the inception of the Congress over 100 years ago, the amateur competitive bowling population in this country has been this homogeneous blend of the purely competitive, recreationally competitive (typical league bowler) and the
recreational bowler competing together. We have seen this conglomeration fielded at every sanctioned level, from the
Nationals and state tournaments down into the low handicap and traditional mixed leagues.
We can see from this years Nationals just how difficult it has been to try to placate certain levels of this homogenized group of bowlers within the single venue. In an attempt to retain participants and give the players who wish to treat the nationals as a form of recreational bowling, the USBC made the decision to allow alcoholic beverage consumption during competition at Reno. But since we have no separation of the recreationally competitive bowlers from those who are there to purely compete, and since we are holding those recreationally competitive bowlers to the standard set by the highest competitive level in the group, (purely competitive bowlers) we run afoul of the rules.
Whether or not your are a traditionalist, a purest or a recreational bowler who doesn't see the harm in the allowance of such, this decision has repercussions that will be felt for years to come on the purely competitive level of the sport. Whether or not you agree or disagree with the decision, we all will have to deal with the consequences of that decision.
One possible solution is to return the classic division to the Nationals and have that division conform to the rules
and regulations in place for the purely competitive players at the site. But why just this one venue? Why not separate the purely competitive from the recreationally competitive by installing a new class of membership? Then this solution would not just cover this one venue but all sanctioned venues from Nationals on down to the traditional mixed leagues.
By separating the membership classes, we allow for the creation of two independent markets- the purely competitive and the recreationally competitive. Both these markets have ample opportunity to grow and create profit potential. We can plan for the development and availability of products and services tailored to the individual membership classes. It is an opportunity to re-brand and renew sales strategies.
We also allow for the return of integrity of the purely competitive segment by the institution of reform of the sport through the enactment of the other parts of the USBCII strategic plan. We can reform the sport, raising the bar back up to the level that a worthy sport demands, while not impinging upon the players who are there for the recreation and not the pure sport.
We have already seen how successful separating the purely recreational bowlers out of the blend by the growth of the
family fun centers, glow bowling, corporate and other outings and yes, even the traditional birthday parties and other
bowling parties. The proprietors themselves have been at the forefront of this successful movement in the recreational
direction. They are the best promoters of the sport and the best at new bowler recruitment and retention. They own the
playing field and have the most at stake at seeing them filled.
That is why the associate membership proposal is a proprietor administered program. They are the best at new player
development and recreationally competitive player retention. Their livelihoods depend on their ability to sell not just the game but the sport as well. They will be the ones to make the USBCII plan work and they will be the ones, along with all of the elements of the bowling industry as well as the sport itself, to flourish.

Founder & Executive Director
The American Bowling Consortium, Inc.

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Posts: 3,870
Reply with quote  #2 
The USBC is on its deathbed...trying to make changes at this point is a fruitless effort. They allow drinking at the Nationals, and now I hear that they're going to certify bumper bowling leagues. Stick a fork in 'em...they're done.

More and more leagues aren't seeing the value in being USBC-certified and are going it alone. Good for them, I say. My team won our league this past season, and my award from the USBC was an effing refrigerator the free ones you get from the pizza place.

I would personally love to see local governing bodies replace the USBC in areas with enough league bowlers to make it feasible (like Detroit or here in Rochester/Western NY). Such organizations will be able to better serve their bowling community, as they can tailor themselves to meet their community's specific needs.


Posts: 3,567
Reply with quote  #3 

I do believe that Detroit could do better than Texas.

Shake a Vets hand you owe them.
Dearborn Mi. Home town of Henry Ford

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Posts: 11,770
Reply with quote  #4 

I agree, Fordman!

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