Volume 1, Issue 40
By Angel Zobel-Rodriguez
It's finally time. I'm packing my bags and heading out to Syracuse to bowl in my second ABC tournament. I love these tournaments, I love the time spent bowling with friends from all across the country, and the time we spend NOT bowling. When it comes to rules, I'm a laid-back sort of person, who thinks don't fix it if it ain't broke. But then you go to Nationals, I wonder who sits around all year coming up with the rules. Before anyone gets on my case, I do understand there are some rules that are valid and very understandable. People using Easy Slide on their shoes should be taken out back and shot. That's a safety issue, not a social one.
On the ABC side, I have to laugh at the dress code. This year, they've limited bottom apparel to dress slacks--the Dockers type. The price of a new pair of Levi's will exceed a comparable pair of no-name "slacks," but far be it from ABC to leave it to the individual bowlers to dress themselves. Never mind the fact that PWBA bowlers, bowling professionals, can wear "walking shorts" and look fine. Last year women were given the option of wearing skirts, but the ABC fashion police were there to accost women and make sure that skirts were skirts, and not the dreaded skorts. For that matter, what would be the problem with anyone wearing Dockers-type shorts?
And as for the "butterfly collar," that means that a man in a dress shirt with a Mandarin collar is out of compliance. If we're going for a clean-cut, dressed look, that's not it? OK, someone from Vogue explain this to me, please.
At least as of this writing, ABC has finally allowed wheeled bowling bags. I was wondering when anyone was going to threaten ABC with the Americans with Disabilities Act to get them to reconsider. I don't think that carrying 2 bowling balls the length of a football field, down the ramp and back to the lanes has anything to do with bowling ability. More importantly, I see some of the older folks really struggling with this. It meant that younger, healthy guys who could carry six or eight balls were at an advantage of someone who could only carry one or two. ABC has threatened to withdraw the offer to allow wheeled bags if anyone is injured, but I wonder if they ever figured out how many people were injured lugging their equipment out to their lanes?
WIBC isn't immune from really dumb rules either. While they thankfully leave apparel to the bowler's discretion, two years ago they had this neat idea to make everyone stand and do the Macarena in the squad room. A year later, our state tournament chose to do the YMCA. My team was the only group who seemed to fear that the Chicken Dance was not far behind. At least they allow bowlers to check in their equipment and store it on racks behind the lanes. So wheels are not an issue.
ABC and WIBC both kind of blow it in the food area. In my first Nationals, I had a 10 PM squad and flew in right before. Not realizing that I wouldn't be able to consume any food during the event, I got to the tournament, and I found out the hard way. Someone asked if I had a doctor's note, and of course I said no. I don't think to check with my doctor before I attend a sporting event. But it doesn't take a brain surgeon to realize that asking someone to go several hours while participating in a sport without some form of nutritional intake isn't brilliant.
The rules are never going to keep me from bowling, because, I go for friends, fun, and to support my sport. So Syracuse here I come. Have Dockers, will bowl. But come June, I'm bringing a doctor's note just in case. Patient should not participate in humiliating dances that impede concentration.