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The Right Approach...Views on the world of bowling.

Volume 5, Issue 2, The 130th Edition
By Angel Zobel-Rodriguez


      Wow, was I wrong. In a stunning move that defies logic, the powers that be have turned to Dead Poet's Society for inspiration. Remember the scene where Robin Williams inspires his students with "Carpe Diem (seize the day)"?

      The national board of directors for the Women's International Bowling Congress isn't trying to seize the day, rather they're trying to seize the entire sport. Press releases sent out within a week of the men's historic "no" vote indicated that WIBC's board will encourage the delegates to first rescind their vote from last year to table the single membership proposal. Then if successful, WIBC will vote to merge with YABA and USA Bowling, forming a super organization. Isn't it more than slightly ironic that WIBC, that for years has harped on serving the needs of women bowlers, suddenly wants to dictate where the entire sport goes?

      And the word dictate? It came right from the press release and the mouth of executive director Roseann Kuhn. A year ago the WIBC board was so worried that they might be left behind WIBC ignored the mandate of its delegates and announced they would try to untable the motion to delay. Fast forward eleven months and the WIBC folks are trying to pass this proposal without the "other" bowling organization.

      ABC delegates voted it down 630-628, in a vote that needed 2/3 majority to pass. It didn't even get 50% when a large part of the proposal would be cost savings by merging duplication between the largest organizations. But cost savings when you're talking about an ugly divorce? It's not the analogy I would want to make. I mean, who gets the kids? Oh, wait. WIBC wants the kids. And suddenly they want to admit men, something they've refused to do even after ABC opened their doors to women.

      After the whistle stops ABC seemed confident that they would have the votes to pass. One look at the many message board debates should have shown them the vote was split at best. And the delegates voted nearly down the middle. WIBC has sent out numerous press releases and held additional chats, but they have an additional hurdle. Before ABC voted no, the vision was for unifying the sport with all the acronyms coming together under one organization. Now, the two largest organizations would be on opposite sides of the merger fence, essentially fighting for members. Is this what WIBC thinks is good for the sport?

      I have faith in the delegates, just as I did with the ABC vote. The women in WIBC do not want a free for all over members, nor do they want a divided sport where leagues would be forced to choose between sanctioning ABC or the new USBC. Despite what the supporters say, bowling will still exist the day after this merger fails. I can not imagine any delegate saying that they will give up voting rights so that board disputes could be handled in a Wisconsin courthouse. If bowlers don't want sanction increases, can you imagine what happens when the lawyers get involved?

      I'll say it again. "A" merger yes, when the proposal is finished. Give the bowlers back what they have been asking for--a right to vote on everything including rate increases. Don't ask bowlers to sign a blank contract and fill in the details later. Bowling is a sport, not a corporation. Bowlers are athletes, not litigators.

Gotta Split,

Angel


Ed. Note: Angel Zobel-Rodriguez came out of self-imposed semi-retirement to write this article. She currently is enjoying teaching her 2-year-old to bowl.


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