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

Volume 3, Issue 5, The 109th Edition
By Angel Zobel-Rodriguez

      When is an average not an average? We bowl, we book. So often we take for granted that simple notion that when something flies in the face of common sense, I cringe.

      Recently I competed in the 2000 Festival of Bowling in Reno, NV with 25 or so folks who frequent AOL's Bowling Forum. It's a chance to bowl, and of course, visit with people from all over the world. That's right, we actually had someone from England come this year.

      I invited Robert last year when we were competing in Albuquerque, NM during the 2000 ABCs. Robert is the type of guy who doesn't think twice about "hopping the pond" to visit his friends and bowl. When he heard of a tournament with a slightly less-serious atmosphere than ABC, he jumped at the chance.

      But I warned him, it was a handicap tournament, and unlike his ABC events where he doesn't need an ABC league average (because there are only two divisions), he'd want some sort of proof so he wouldn't be asked to bowl scratch.

      No problem, he thought, checking with the ABC officials at the ABC Tournament. They said as a member of the British Tenpin Bowling Association, he could use that average. Just to be sure, Robert brought along his last three ABC tournament sheets, and ironically, his average in ABC Nationals only differed from his British average by one-tenth of a point. Either way, Robert is a 193 average.

      We flew into Reno the first week in November. Imagine my horror when Robert returned from the National Bowling Stadium telling me that ABC demanded he bowl scratch--at 220.

      Now mind you, Robert didn't come to win money. If he did, he came to the wrong event. Last year, one of the gentlemen in our group won marathon all events and placed very high in several other scratch events and won under $500--certainly not what it cost him to fly across country and stay in a hotel for a week. Robert knew that going in. What Robert wanted was a chance. He even went so far as saying he'd split the difference with ABC, and come in at 200 or 205.

      Now before folks say, "Well he didn't have an ABC average," think about it. When I bowl ABC Nationals, they HAPPILY use my WIBC book. In fact this year, I've seen ABC advertising to league secretaries to promote the ABC National event as a potential "couples" event. Obviously, they're recruiting WIBC members to dual sanction and bowl ABC. If they're new to ABC, they won't have a book average, and will come in with a WIBC average. Certainly if I booked 180 in an ABC league and 190 in a WIBC league, they wouldn't let me bowl in the lower Classified Division.

      Thankfully, we had a lot of fun, but I really think ABC needs to rethink its proverbial drink. Instead of utilizing the publicity of a British bowling instructor joining them at their Festival of Bowling event, they chose to punish him. It makes him seriously reconsider his support of ABC for future events--ABC Nationals included. Really, why should someone "donate" $20 to join an American bowling organization when that organization doesn't recognize other international bowling organizations.

      People often wonder why we can't get bowling into the Olympics. If the ABC and WIBC can't even recognize the contributions of other countries belonging to the international sanctioning body, FIQ, then we have a LONG way to go.

Gotta Split,


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