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

Volume 2, Issue 50, The 102th Edition
By Angel Zobel-Rodriguez

      With leagues starting this week, I figured I'd take a stab at the time-honored tradition of the league meeting. I'm always amazed at how many people avoid a league meeting, or stand outside the meeting room and let others make the decisions for them. I've been in too many meetings where we had to literally drag one of the onlookers into the meeting just to make the quorum. Unfortunately, these are often the same people who will be griping when they hear about a rule they didn't vote on.

      Don't get me wrong. Spending an hour disagreeing with people I find normally to be quite pleasant isn't on my "things to do today" list, but the way I figure it, if I have to pay for a league that runs nine months, I really better know what I'm paying for. And in that sense, I should voice my opinion. In all honesty, I've left an organizational meeting for a league realizing I would not be bowling in it. Had I missed it, and just shown up to bowl, I would have been in for a shock at the least and a long, unpleasant experience at the worst.

      In a league meeting, you just might be the person who brings a little perspective to a rule. In a league that was just formed here last week, each of three rounds will have a different oil pattern. Forty-seven people were ready to agree that the rolloff should have a fourth, different oil pattern when one bowler spoke up. A fourth "mystery" pattern might not give any team an advantage on the condition they won on, however, bystanders could question the favoritism of the laneman, especially if one of the teams with employees or league organizers found themself in the rolloff. The bowler went on to suggest using each of the three rounds' oil patterns on a pair and having the three round winners and the wild card move after each match. All three rounds would be used, drawn from a hat. Since everyone will have participated on all three conditions, it's up to the luck of the draw to see who bowls where. Suddenly, THAT idea made so much more sense than the "mystery" condition. Each of us has bowled different leagues and has different perspectives on life. You really might see something differently than anyone else see it.

      Sometimes, there is very little to add to a set of league rules. In a good league, with a tried and tested set of rules, the league meeting might go very quickly. I've been bowling the same daytime travel league for six years on and off, and the league has been around for ages. We go through the motions and read each rule for the benefit any new bowlers, but everyone is quite content with the rules as they are. I think this meeting could be held in 15 minutes flat if not for the pleasantries and greetings that take another 15 minutes.

      The trouble of course is that when bowlers don't review each rule, people tend to forget, until the rule is applied against them. It's always easier to cover a situation hypothetically in a league meeting than it is to have a league meeting right before league. When personalities get into play, it usually becomes ugly. And what takes a simple majority during a meeting held before a league begins will require a 100% consensus among team captains once the league floors.

      So even if it means leaving work a little early, or getting off the couch before you'd normally head over to the center, just do it. Going to the league meeting before the leagues start is a perfect example of an ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure.

Gotta Split,


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