Volume 2, Issue 39, The 91th Edition
By Angel Zobel-Rodriguez
Bowling is a sport with a rich history and an exciting future, and I was proud to represent my association as a delegate to the 2000 convention and annual meeting in Reno, NV this month. Some people want to go to Convention for power, or glory. Some people aspire to higher office. Not me--I'm just nosy. I wanted to see what goes on, and I figured I could represent bowling as well as anyone else.
Having a week in Reno seems like a lot of time, but between convention and bowling, it's a challenge to keep on top of everything that's going on. Thankfully we had a car which sped things up, but there was a shuttle for those who chose not to rent a vehicle (or drive up). I didn't make any of the seminars--the lane certification seminar I did want to go to was held Thursday before Convention. I wonder how so many people can take off so much time. I took work with me (thanks Fed Ex), and it will still tough.
Before the convention, delegates were given an opportunity to bowl on the new "Sport Bowling" lane condition at AMF Starlite Lanes in Reno. ABC and WIBC are testing oil patterns and bowling equipment specifications in an attempt to restore credibility to the scoring environment of our sport. The oil pattern was longer, and definitely flatter, meaning there was less dry to the outside boards, say outside 10. Sparemaking was critical, and good shots were rewarded, and poor shots paid the penalty. Scores may go down, but this would be a league-wide phenomenon and considering the integrity of our scores are at stake, it's something to consider. Leagues are currently being sought to participate in the trial phase of this test, so if anyone is interested, contact [email protected].
Being in Reno, I hit some slots. I got ahead Sunday, on a two-nickel slot,and in my book that means quit. So I did, and nursed my $120 winnings during the week. It certainly didn't compare to the Big Game lottery winners, but anytime I take home money is a good thing.
Convention started Monday morning, and I'll admit I don't do mornings well. But there I was, ready and eager, with coffee in hand and my "New Delegate" ribbon on. I was afraid there would be some hazing ritual to go along with the ribbon, but thankfully there was none. Everyone was treated to the no food or beverage rule, so I chugged my coffee only to realize the lucky people on the stage got PITCHERS of water. I guess there are some serious perks to being in charge.
One thing to mention is the trading of pins. Women collect these pins religiously, and move through the stands during breaks to swap pins from every possible association. It becomes a form of ice breaker as the transactions take place. Hats off to the ladies from Louisiana who bring Mardi Gras beads instead. By the end of the week, I had them up and down my arm like bracelets, and one happy neighbor child when I got home. Note to self: remember some of the beads for the boy next time, too. Who knew they'd be considered THAT cool?
During the first day and a half of convention, awards were presented for both service to the sport of bowling and bowling performance. It's this type of bowling history I'm behind on, so I listened up, but I happily checked off each item on the agenda as we moved on.
Then it was finally on to the part that I'd been waiting for because I got to DO something-- voting for the proposed amendments. Thankfully, the amendments proposed regarding banning WIBC directors (on a local, state, and national level) from carrying an ABC card were withdrawn. These amendments would have dramatically affected many WIBC members who currently serve their members, yet also carry an ABC card. By withdrawing them, the proposers saved themselves a very tersely worded statement from me, and saved me from having to speak in front of a group of 3,000 people.
The most heated debate among the proposals was for a sanction fee increase. Regardless on my opinion on the increase itself, it's amazing what you learn about other people and their views. WIBC has local associations of less than 100 women. Our association is just over 4,000 and I keep thinking we're small. We went on to vote for directors and officers, and many of the offices were unopposed, so that went quickly as well.
Convention was over, and it was on to the bowling. I've never proven myself to be much of a bowler in Reno. Something about the National Bowling Stadium just kills me--I've always thought it was the high ceiling. But I love the center, and I keep coming back, so eventually the odds had to be in my favor, right? My scores are available via bowl.com, but my series were 562-525-638/1725, my best tournament finish ever.
After a week, even after bowling well and coming out ahead, I was ready to go home and be just a bowler. Judging by the faces at home, they missed me too. If you ever get the opportunity to represent your association, do it. There's so much going on, you'll miss a lot, but with a little perserverance, you'll get through. I'd be happy to represent my associations again in the future. Maybe from the ABC side--just to compare :) I'm sure there's a column in that.