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      April 26, 2002:

-WIBC Board Responds To The Action Taken By The WIBC Delegates To Delay Vote On SMO

04/26/2002 - Bowling Newsline
      A motion to delay a vote on the single membership initiative to 2004 was approved by the delegates at the 2002 Women's International Bowling Congress Annual Meeting. The reason given for the motion was the delegates currently did not feel that there was enough new information for an intelligent discussion with their membership related to the single membership organization concept.

      The action taken was not supported by the WIBC Board of Directors due to the vulnerability it places WIBC in with the advancement of this initiative and women's leadership roles in the industry.

      "Our local and state leaders have made countless statements at WIBC Annual Meetings of their fear of being taken over by the American Bowling Congress and they didn't want that to happen," said WIBC Executive Director Roseann Kuhn. "The vote taken by the 2002 delegates to delay the WIBC vote on SMO just dealt ABC the hand it needed to do just that."

      The, ABC, Young American Bowling Alliance and USA Bowling are not bound by this motion and can go forward in the 2002-03 season to present the Resolution and Plan of Merger to their boards of directors and ABC delegates for action. Acknowledging the WIBC delegate decision, ABC stated it would continue to bring action before its delegates in 2003. Under the current proposal, if approved by at least two organizations, those approving organizations can move forward to form a United States Bowling Association without any involvement by WIBC.

      If this is done, the new USBA could apply to be the national governing body for bowling offering membership, programs and services to men, women and youth. As the national governing body, USBA would be in control of the playing rules and governance for the sport of bowling.

      WIBC could continue to operate as a separate organization serving only women. However, WIBC would be in direct competition with USBA for female members and would not have the authority to vote on general and league playing rules and rules governing sanctioned tournament competition.

      "The WIBC Board of Directors is very disappointed with the action taken by the delegates because it believes the majority of the delegates did not fully understand the vulnerability, exposure and negative impact it has on WIBC's bargaining power with this initiative," Kuhn said.

      "The delegate action set in place the fears they hoped would not happen in a single membership: loss of leadership opportunities for women, loss of identity and involvement in the decision-making process. And, since they were aware the USBA report was not a final one, it was premature to assume that the final proposal would not address their concerns or that they would not have enough information by mid-December in order to make a decision at the 2003 Annual meeting."

      In response to the delegate action, at its April 25 Board of Directors' Meeting, the WIBC Board voted to, "take appropriate action, according to Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised, to have the motion to delay the vote on the single membership initiative rescinded at the 2003 WIBC Annual Meeting, provided the WIBC Board votes to accept the final proposal of the Structure and Transition Ad Hoc Committees at the Nov. 1, 2002, joint boards of directors meeting."

      "The delegate vote was to delay action on the SMO to 2004. It was not a motion to cease and desist with the single membership initiative," Kuhn said. "The Board was strong in its opinion to move forward with ABC, YABA and USAB with the development of a single membership organization structure for board and delegate approval.

      "The reason for the Board's action was it firmly believes there will be more than sufficient information for the delegates to make an informed decision in 2003. It is imperative that WIBC be at the same table with ABC, YABA and USAB in making decisions on the development of a single membership organization.

      "If the final proposal is in the best interest of women's bowling and WIBC, the WIBC Board will be prepared to introduce a motion to rescind the 2002 action of the WIBC delegates so the 2003 delegates can make a decision the same year as ABC, YABA and USAB."

      If the WIBC Board of Directors approves the final proposal in November, it will notify its members of the action. It also will serve as notification of its intent to present a motion to rescind the April 2002 motion. With previous notice a motion to rescind only requires a majority vote of the delegates. If the motion to rescind is approved, the 2003 delegates could consider the Resolution and Plan of Merger, which requires a two-thirds vote of the delegates.

      For more information on the single membership organization initiative and reports that were presented to the delegates at the 2002 WIBC Annual Meeting, log on to the bowl.com Web site.


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