Volume 2, Issue 30, The 82nd Edition
By Angel Zobel-Rodriguez
The folks at Bowl.com have so nicely posted the proposed amendments to the bylaws on which WIBC delegates will vote during the convention in Reno next May. Being a first-time delegate, I wanted to read what I would be voting on. Among the amendments were several I'd already heard about, such as the raising of membership dues, but then I got to W-4, and it was like someone knocked the breath out of me.
Amendment No. W-4. Article VIII, Section E, WIBC Bylaws. To be eligible to be a WIBC officer or director, a candidate cannot be a member of the ABC.
I really didn't like where that particular amendment was heading, but I'm not aspiring to hold national office anytime soon. Reading down a few more, I found the sucker punch.
Amendment No. W-7. Article VI, Section E, Candidate Eligibility Requirements, Local Association Bylaws. To be eligible for nomination to be a local association officer or director, a candidate cannot be a member of ABC.
OK, they covered local and they covered national, could it get worse?
Amendment No. W-9. Article VI, Section C, Candidate Eligibility Requirements, State/Provincial Association Bylaws. To be eligible for nomination to be a state/provincial association officer or director, a candidate cannot be a member of ABC.
You know, a lot of women don't like when I use the term "bluehair" to describe the WIBC directors and officers, but after reading about this proposal, I can't help but think that there must be a whole lot of chemicals in that blue-colored hair rinse affecting the brain cells of the aging WIBC electorate. Didn't WIBC just appoint a committee to investigate the feasibility of WIBC and ABC becoming one organization?
I wasn't aware that holding dual-sanction cards was blasphemy. Most of the men are coming to accept it, so what trouble should it pose to the WIBC? Apparently, to some of the women holding positions of power in the ranks of WIBC, women with both ABC and WIBC cards are a threat to the very power bases they have built up over the years.
This is precisely the kind of infighting that turns people off from serving their respective organizations, and honestly I would be no different. Someone in Eugene, Oregon has decided that in order to serve local WIBC bowlers, I must forgo bowling a yearly tournament with friends I dearly love? As my mother once said, don't ever issue an ultimatum unless you're fully prepared to accept the outcome of either choice.
I've already made my position clearly known to all I bowl with and all that I serve. I am a dual-sanctioned bowler who supports BOTH organizations and bowls in BOTH national tournaments. Yes, there are women who choose to join the predominantly male ABC, and not pull a WIBC card, but I believe that is far more rare than the higher average women who pull both cards to bowl high-end scratch leagues, and compete in ABC tournaments.
The reality is if such a proposal were to pass, I would turn in my resignation. I would probably hand it in right on the floor of the convention in Reno. Sure, I would be very disappointed I couldn't serve, but I will not have one organization dictate how I spend the rest of my hours promoting the sport I love. If I went into service withdrawal, the very irony is that ABC would accept me to be on just the committees I want to serve on without the politics, without the prejudice.
Thankfully, I know that there are MANY amendments brought before the delegation each year during convention, and only some pass. But this is truly one that will have a lasting outcome on the sport of bowling. One sport, one organization? Not as long as we have people more concerned over the other cards its members carry than the content of those members' character.