The most important issue facing the bowling industry today

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The most important issue facing the bowling industry today

Post by coolerman » October 21st, 2012, 2:42 pm

The article is about 2 years old.

Paul Kreins' Bowling
The following is an exerpt from Paul Kreins' newsletter. Paul is a former PBA tour player, proprietor, lecturer, writer, and bowling center marketing guru, as well as one of the most respected people in the bowling industry.
THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE FACING THE BOWLING INDUSTRY TODAY

It’s not advertising, it’s not branding, it’s not the pro tours, it’s not industry consolidation, it’s not modernizing our centers, it’s not high scores, it’s not lane conditions, it’s not bowling balls, it’s not even database management.. It’s getting down to the heart of the matter, the ground level, and the FOUNDATION of any successful enterprise. It’s developing entry-level customers and taking care of them once we have them. All those other issues will begin to fall into place once this core problem is successfully addressed.
GRASS-ROOTS MARKETING

Why do you suppose Apple Computer’s Steve Jobs tried to put Macintosh computers into every schoolroom in America? Why do you suppose Pepsi and Coca-Cola fight for vending space in public schools? Forgive the capitalistic connotation, but these companies understand the importance of “hooking” a consumer at a young age. They understand that brand loyalty happens over a long period of time, not in a 30-second television commercial. TV commercials simply don’t drive people through the doors of our bowling centers.

The bowling industry does not have the resources (advertising dollars) necessary to make a powerful enough impact with generic mass-media advertising. But, it’s not even about a sufficient marketing budget. It’s about a strategic priority. No amount of money spent on TV commercials will be effective until we build a solid base of interested and informed consumers. In the end, generic advertising just doesn’t work for a commodity like bowling.
BOWLING IS A COMMODITY?

Yes, bowling is a commodity. It is the same no matter where you play it. A lane is 60-feet long. There are 10 pins set up in a triangle at the end. You throw the ball, it comes back to you. There are 10 frames. The maximum score is 300. It is the same everywhere.

The only thing that distinguishes one bowling center from another is the experience the customer has while doing it. It is the bowling center itself – and to a great degree, the player’s skill level -- that is the unique component of bowling. It is the customer’s experience and, ultimately, the relationship they develop with the center’s management and staff that determines whether or not they’ll be back.

A major part of that relationship is the center’s ability to TEACH the game effectively, because a more-skilled participant becomes a more committed participant, and it is upon this base that Madison Avenue can build its ad campaigns.
GOT BOWLING?

Bowlers are developed, cultivated and nurtured. They do not simply exist. People are not born as bowlers. We cannot expect a non-bowler to suddenly get up off the couch and go bowling after watching a television commercial. Got milk? Got bowling? Got a clue? It’s not going to happen.

Will TV commercials and “marketing” create bowlers? No. We are all here today because the World War II generation embraced bowling. It met their needs. That generation built the bowling industry, Madison Avenue didn’t create those bowlers.

The best hope for the bowling industry today is that the tidal wave of Y-Gens will embrace bowling, and if that is to happen, our attention must be on the most fundamental level – the schools.
IT’S EDUCATION, EDUCATION, EDUCATION

Imagine a world where children are taught about bowling -- in a structured, methodical manner as part of their educational curriculum -- beginning in the first grade and continuing all the way through high school. Would anyone who was taught how to bowl, every year for 12 years, be more inclined to bowl than someone who has seen bowling in commercials?

How can any of this become a reality? Making it happen will not be difficult, but it will require a comprehensive, executable plan, a sufficient budget and a lot of hard work. And there lies the biggest obstacle to ever making this concept an actuality.
NO MAGIC POTIONS

For years our industry has preached magic solutions and quick-fixes to our perceived problems. It has always been easier to deal with the SYMPTOMS rather than the underlying CAUSES. It has always been easier to throw money and grand ideas at the problems -- to use a Band-aid approach -- rather than take the necessary steps to fix the problems at the source -- the ground level; the center level; the local association level; the customer level.

None of the decision-makers or purse-string holders in Greendale or Arlington has ever been accountable for results at the grassroots level. These are not bad people; they are intelligent; their hearts are in the right place; they simply have no idea how to actually implement programs at the center level, and they are not held accountable to do so. Who remembers the ill-fated Bowler’s Club?

With regard to the issue of bowling instruction, we must interface with the schools, then [simultaneously] train the personnel at the bowling centers.
EXECUTION AT THE CENTER LEVEL

Our fundamental problem is that we do not have a grassroots support system. Most proprietors simply WILL NOT implement a teaching or coaching program on their own -- regardless of how great the materials might be.

Even with newly revised USBC materials, the current state of coaching development – although better than it has been in many years -- is still inadequate, and will remain so until there is a system to provide coaches (and P.E. teachers) constant mentoring and skill development and proprietors with the field support system necessary to actually implement those programs.

And, until Greendale and Arlington stop trying to re-invent the wheel, stop putting out watered-down, but politically-correct training materials and certification programs and stop ignoring existing programs that have been effective for more than 25 years, we will continue to fight a losing battle in the quest of bowler development.
WHITHER THE PRO SHOP OPERATOR?

We have the same problem with ball drillers. A guy reads a magazine article and attends a two-hour seminar and thinks he’s the next Billy Hall, Tom Laskow or Jerry Francomano. Then he goes out and mis-drills every ball he touches, consequently driving bowlers away from the game. The issue of training certified pro shop operators goes hand-in-hand with properly training bowling instructors.
DEVELOPING LIFETIME CUSTOMERS
With my urging, the BPAA hired Bob Rea to lead and develop their In-school bowling program. But, as good a Bob’s programs are, he always recognized they had a fundamental weakness – there was never a component to help the proprietor convert “In-School” bowlers into REGULAR, frequent customers.

Bob always knew that marketing and training materials needed to be developed to support the coaching initiative to help PROPRIETORS retain entry-level players and convert them into lifetime customers. For instance, a Have-a-Ball league should never be run without 2-4 weeks of instruction on the front end. Have-a-Ball leagues attract entry level bowlers with those cool bowling balls, but if we don’t want Sponge Bob to end up sitting on a shelf gathering dust as a conversation-piece, we better teach these people how to bowl from the outset. Birthday party guests should NEVER leave the bowling center without a “Youth Bowler’s Guide” in their hot little hands and an invitation to return to a future Learn-to-Bowl class.

Bob knew that BowlingMarketing.com specializes in designing turnkey promotional materials that promote bowler development and retention. That’s why he asked us to design a marketing “package” that could be included with every In-School bowling kit.
NO NEED TO RE-INVENT THE WHEEL

Our materials are tried-and-proven in the field. They work. And, being programs specifically designed to integrate with Bob Rea’s In-School Bowling curriculum, they are the perfect tool for proprietors to maximize their investment in this program. Yet, the BPAA is still considering re-inventing the wheel or farming out this task to connected insiders. I’ll ask again: Does anyone remember the Bowler’s Club fiasco? When will this industry learn?
A CALL FOR UNITY. NO, REALLY.

I know we’ve talked about industry unity for 30 years – to the point it has become its own punch line – but for the sake of the sport’s future, we must come together on this one important issue and do it right. Egos, personal agendas, personality clashes, greed and turf wars must be put aside for the greater good of the game.

This project will be an enormous undertaking with massive ramifications. It will not be easy. It will not be quick. It will not be inexpensive. But, absolutely everyone – from the proprietors to the manufacturers to the membership groups -- stand to benefit enormously. There is no other initiative as important as this in our sport.
SHIFTING A PARADIGM AND ESTABLISHING PRIORITIES

The entire industry should place INTEGRATING BOWLING WITHIN THE EDUCATION SYSTEMS of this country at the top of their “To-Do” list. This would demand a huge shift in thinking that would require creating an organization that functions from the bottom up -- an organization that holds itself accountable for quantitative results.

This is not a glamorous concept. It is has no Madison Avenue glitter or sex appeal. It is down-and-dirty, in-the-trenches, guerrilla marketing and long-term thinking. As such, it is exactly why the CBA, USBC and PBA may not be interested.

But, it is exactly why they SHOULD BE interested.

In the end, we should not expect that these programs would be self-funded. They should be heavily subsidized by the bowling industry and made affordable for proprietors, educators and volunteers. The objective should be to provide basic [high quality] training to thousands of “Assistant Coaches,” advanced level training for ambitious “Coaches,” continuing education for “Instructors,” Train-the-Trainer sessions for “Area Trainers,” and an advanced certification program for “Teaching Professionals.”


So, if there is an important lesson to be learned from the PGA of America, it is the level of importance they place on instruction and of developing “teaching pros.”

Are you a golfer? Would you like to become a PGA certified teaching pro? Are you ready to devote eight years to the task? That’s right, the typical length of time required to become a PGA Teaching Pro is eight years of intensive study and training.
FROM THE PGA WEBSITE:

The following is from the PGA website. I have substituted “PBA” for PGA and “bowling” for golf…

“PBA Professionals are universally recognized as the experts and teachers of bowling. There is no quick and easy way to achieve PBA certification. PBA Members earn their status only by undergoing a multi-year series of work, study and training in every aspect of bowling ranging from teaching to tournament management to pro shop operations, and must maintain their expertise through a variety of continuing education programs. They also must pass a Playing Aptitude Test, furthering ensuring that they are uniquely qualified to teach the game of bowling.

The program emphasizes the practical application of state-of-the-art skills and knowledge along with sophisticated work activities, and is designed to give apprentices the skills to add value to their bowling facilities. When you graduate from the program, you will be ready to provide exceptional service to customers, employers, fellow professionals and the game of bowling.”
HOW ABOUT A PBA CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL TRAINING PROGRAM?

We need this program in bowling. An important part of this proposal would be to develop PBA-certified teaching pros. Such a program would give aspiring young bowlers something to strive for should they not “make it” on the PBA Tour and would give veteran PBA players an opportunity to make a living and share their expertise after their bowling careers have ended.
TRAINING THOSE WHO IMPACT BOWLING’S FUTURE

But, not everyone will aspire to the “Teaching Pro” level, so our primary objective should be to train thousands of qualified bowling coaches and P.E. teachers who are truly capable of teaching the sport in a UNIVERSALLY CONSISTENT and structured manner in our centers and in our schools.

To that end, we will need to integrate the USABC and the International Bowling Pro Shop and Instructors Association (IBPSIA) into one umbrella organization similar to the National Association for Golf Coaches and Educators (NAGCE). The what?
FROM THE NAGCE WEBSITE:

Again, I have substituted the word “bowling” for golf…

“Welcome to the National Association for Bowling Coaches and Educators. NABCE was created to serve as a valuable resource that will make a coach's, PE teacher's and youth counselor's jobs easier and more productive. The real winners in this program are the thousands of boys and girls positively affected via their first exposure to the game of bowling through a NABCE Certified Coach. Our motto, "training those who impact bowling’s future," specifically pertains to developing a child's character, integrity, honesty, and respect for others by promoting the intrinsic values found in this great game.”
THE $64 BILLION QUESTION – DOING THE MATH

* Should the bowling industry be interested in what the PGA is doing regarding instruction?
* Should the bowling industry be interested in implementing a grass-roots level teaching program?
* Should the bowling industry be interested in generating billions of dollars in additional revenue?
* Should the bowling industry be interested in its own survival?

The connection between bowling instruction, bowler development and customer retention is undeniable. Here are few facts and figures to chew on:

* About 70 million people go bowling at least one time each year.
* At least 20% of them (14 million) never return.
* Most casual bowlers are never introduced to proper bowling techniques.
* Even Cosmic bowlers get tired of throwing the ball in the gutter every time.
* If we could retain just 5% of the casual bowlers we lose every year, we would have 3.5 million more customers next year alone. At $20 per visit, that represents $70 million in additional revenue. Each subsequent year that figure would grow exponentially.
* A significant reason given by people who quit bowling is that it was no longer fun.
* People who improve their skills have more fun.
* We lose FIRST-TIME league bowlers at the rate of about 70% each year.
* We have 7 million fewer sanctioned league bowlers than 25 years ago.
* A league bowler’s value is estimated at a minimum of $400 per year.
* Those 7 million lost league bowlers represent a $2.8 billion negative impact on the industry – EVERY YEAR!

IN CONCLUSION

All of the foregoing commentary addresses the concept of teaching bowling to the masses, from beginning to end and providing a support mechanism for integration, follow up and perpetuation. These suggestions assume that such a program would:

1. Introduce children to the sport -- in our school systems -- and teach the game in an organized, structured manner from the first grade through high school.
2. Provide bowling centers with a means of teaching entry-level adults through organized classes and/or in one-on-one sessions.
3. Create a meaningful certification and continuing educational program for in-house instructors and teaching pros.
4. Provide a network of full-time, qualified master instructors and field representatives dedicated to training coaches and bowling center personnel and helping proprietors implement follow-up marketing programs designed to put money in their cash registers.
5. Provide proprietors with turnkey marketing materials designed to convert entry-level bowlers to regular, lifetime customers.

It’s time for the bowling organizations and manufacturer to do what is right for bowling and combine resources to truly expand the efforts to teach bowling at the grass roots level.

Doing so will require a substantial commitment of funds and resources but, in the end, it would be the most revolutionary and productive initiative our sport has ever undertaken.

I hope I’ve sparked something in you and that you agree this issue deserves our utmost attention. If so, let your association leaders know how you feel. The time is now.

Have a great week!
Paul & Patti Kreins
Last edited by MegaMav on October 21st, 2012, 3:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: CAPS in the title isnt necessary
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Re: The most important issue facing the bowling industry tod

Post by guruU2 » October 22nd, 2012, 1:05 am

Reread the article again and again. Paul and I are on the same wave length. We have advocating this type of program for years. Talked to Norm Duke for an extended period about this very subject this past Wednesday at the ECBPA fall get together in Atlantic City. We are in the same camp. Trouble is, Arlington wants power and control so any program offered by them or run by them is hightly suspect. The PBA "leadership" is blinded by the glitter of commericalism and technology. The PBA could do it, and save bowling-the-institution, by allowing the right people, those who care for the game not their egos or special projects, come in and set up the program and via a strong pedogical model and make it successful based on strong fundamentals not superficial gimmicks. I wish Paul the most luck as he will need it.
-Gary Parsons
If one does not know one's product, one can not manage nor promote the product one does not know.

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Re: The most important issue facing the bowling industry tod

Post by kajmk » October 22nd, 2012, 2:00 am

Paul's article belongs on a Must Read list.
Thanks to coolerman for sharing this.
Capture.JPG
Paul conveyed lot of what seems to be good sense and logic. Hopefully the will and wherewithal will materialize to "make it so".
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Re: The most important issue facing the bowling industry tod

Post by smokymountain » October 22nd, 2012, 2:19 am

Makes more sense than anything I have seen on the subject. Too many first timers are given nothing more than how to start the scoring machine.

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Re: The most important issue facing the bowling industry tod

Post by Qman » October 22nd, 2012, 3:39 am

I was fortunate enough to have parents who loved to bowl, started when I was 3. I'm now 47 and am still obsessed with the game. You have to have a passion for the game like any other sport. But the biggest problem I see with bowling is numbers. When I was growing up back in the late 60's and through the 70's bowling was huge. Centers had two or three shifts they could count on for leagues because of the numbers of bowlers. That isn't the case anymore. We had up until I'd say 2004 or 05 full 3 nights 5 man leagues in my town be it a small town with a 10 lane house. Now there are no full leagues because there are no numbers to keep full leagues or I should say not enough interest. I have been trying to advocate to push for 4 man team leagues but have been scorned by my bowling brethren for the last 10 years. When I left Rapid City back in 1992 there was only 1 night a week that had a full 5 man league otherwise it was all 4 man teams. I love bowling 4 man gets done faster and you bowl better when you in a rhythm. There are so many other things competing for entertainment dollars these days that bowling gets pushed to the back burner. Plus the economy as tough as it is is another factor in deciding where money gets spent. My 2 cents worth cause that's all I got till Wed. :lol:
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Re: The most important issue facing the bowling industry tod

Post by LookingForALeftyWall » October 22nd, 2012, 3:12 pm

smokymountain wrote:Makes more sense than anything I have seen on the subject. Too many first timers are given nothing more than how to start the scoring machine.
Exactly.

I have said it before. I think more centers need an "instructor" on hand to walk around to help novice/casual bowlers. It doesn't have to be a pro. It could be an energetic kid who has decent knowledge and can point out all the markers (arrows, dots, aiming, etc.).

A lot of non-bowlers I've talked to said this would be awesome and I agree.

Bowling's problem is more than just the the tour and the USBC. Big changes need to happen at the grass roots level.

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Re: The most important issue facing the bowling industry tod

Post by kajmk » October 22nd, 2012, 4:49 pm

LookingForALeftyWall wrote: Exactly.

I have said it before. I think more centers need an "instructor" on hand to walk around to help novice/casual bowlers. It doesn't have to be a pro. It could be an energetic kid who has decent knowledge and can point out all the markers (arrows, dots, aiming, etc.).

A lot of non-bowlers I've talked to said this would be awesome and I agree.

Bowling's problem is more than just the the tour and the USBC. Big changes need to happen at the grass roots level.
Paul's suggestion
We need this program in bowling. An important part of this proposal would be to develop PBA-certified teaching pros. Such a program would give aspiring young bowlers something to strive for should they not “make it” on the PBA Tour and would give veteran PBA players an opportunity to make a living and share their expertise after their bowling careers have ended.
TRAINING THOSE WHO IMPACT BOWLING’S FUTURE
I similar to one I had about Football Officials, that is that only a precious few players make it at the NFL level. Players that are not quite good enough for the NFL are still elite athletes.
The NFL/NCAA could create a professional pathway for athletes to become officials.
They are already "in shape" physically and mentally for the game.

Having house pros in bowling centers is a good start and hopefully a bona fide program could emerge where the caliber of instruction rises. The Instructor is the water trough, the charge for the center would be to convince the horse to drink. Both of these are "boots on the ground" grassroots issues.

Weaving the bowling culture into the education system is another good suggestion, but the funding and commitment has to come from the industry and the community.

Paul laid down a lot of good ideas, the current economic climate is an additional hurdle to overcome.

Obstacles and challenges no matter how imposing can be eroded and conquered by passion.

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It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so

There should be a rule of war saying you have to see someone up close and get to know 'em before it's ok to shoot 'em

Empathize

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Re: The most important issue facing the bowling industry tod

Post by guruU2 » October 22nd, 2012, 8:17 pm

I consider these posts to be vital for the salvation of bowling-as-an-institution in this country. As the readers of this this site know I have long advocated developement of a PBA "bowling professional" division devoted to the development of fully educated bowling professionals. My program was laid down years ago and can be referenced in the archieves of Phantom Radio. Not having this type of program was Eddie Ellias' biggest mistake. The "touring player" now is better educated and understands a bigger picture as they are not just a bunch of traveling pot game bowlers. The PBA is in a position to developed trained and cross trained bowling professionals who have the interest and enthusasium for the sport. WE CAN DO THIS, at minium cost, and in doing so save the industry and the sport. It is up to us to keep the pressure on and the buzz going. PBA leadership must understand that they have a very incomplete understanding of the nature of the sport, the industry and how to market the game. WE CAN DO THIS.
-Gary Parsons
If one does not know one's product, one can not manage nor promote the product one does not know.

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Re: The most important issue facing the bowling industry tod

Post by kajmk » October 22nd, 2012, 8:38 pm

The PBA is in a position to developed trained and cross trained bowling professionals who have the interest and enthusasium for the sport. WE CAN DO THIS, at minium cost, and in doing so save the industry and the sport. It is up to us to keep the pressure on and the buzz going. PBA leadership must understand that they have a very incomplete understanding of the nature of the sport, the industry and how to market the game. WE CAN DO THIS.

_________________
-Gary Parsons
If one does not know one's product, one can not manage nor promote the product one does not know.


Imagine people strolling in to the local bowling establishments asking them to see their house pro. Upon hearing they do not have one, say well contact me when you have one and I may come back ...

You can get anything you want
At Alice's restaurant ...

Change a word here and there to be germane to bowling for a grassroots approach.
Chat it up at your local center and at leagues, talk to your league officers, start your own
Alice's Restaurant Anti-Bowling-Massacre Movement and sing it with feelin'

And friends, somewhere in Washington enshrined in some little folder, is a
study in black and white of my fingerprints. And the only reason I'm
singing you this song now is cause you may know somebody in a similar
situation, or you may be in a similar situation, and if your in a
situation like that there's only one thing you can do and that's walk into
the shrink wherever you are ,just walk in say "Shrink, You can get
anything you want, at Alice's restaurant.". And walk out. You know, if
one person, just one person does it they may think he's really sick and
they won't take him. And if two people, two people do it, in harmony,
they may think they're both (removed a term that might be offensive) and they won't take either of them.
And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in
singin a bar of Alice's Restaurant and walking out. They may think it's an
organization. And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day,I said
fifty people a day walking in singin a bar of Alice's Restaurant and
walking out. And friends they may thinks it's a movement.

And that's what it is , the Alice's Restaurant Anti-Massacre Movement, and
all you got to do to join is sing it the next time it come's around on the
guitar.

With feeling. So we'll wait for it to come around on the guitar, here and
sing it when it does. Here it comes.
--- Arlo Guthrie
http://www.arlo.net/resources/lyrics/alices.shtml" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so

There should be a rule of war saying you have to see someone up close and get to know 'em before it's ok to shoot 'em

Empathize

John

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Re: The most important issue facing the bowling industry tod

Post by coolerman » October 22nd, 2012, 9:01 pm

A quote from Paul that just about says it all.

If you think training is expensive, try ignorance.
SomNerve

"Today's scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality."
~ Nikola Tesla~

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Re: The most important issue facing the bowling industry tod

Post by kajmk » October 22nd, 2012, 9:22 pm

The Girl's name is Want and the Boy's name is Ignorance.
Fear them both, but fear the Boy more ...
Want and Fear.JPG

From Dickens "A Christmas Carol"
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It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so

There should be a rule of war saying you have to see someone up close and get to know 'em before it's ok to shoot 'em

Empathize

John

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Re: The most important issue facing the bowling industry tod

Post by billw212 » November 1st, 2012, 12:41 am

New bowlers will not hang around when there are no leagues for them to be in. Why do we lose 70% of first time league bowlers, as the article states? Because the first time league bowler usually gets thrown onto a team with whatever other "leftover" bowlers need a person. They end up on a 500 average team in a league where there are house pros and tournament bowlers who average over 200 and they find themselves bowling against other teams who average 800. That's encouraging right?

I always tell the stories of my first few leagues, when I was a 100 - 120 average bowler learning to bowl and I always got put on the team with another young kid learning to bowl who threw every other ball down the gutter and an old lady who could barely make it to the end of the approach who averaged about 112. We were always the dead last place team. Its a wonder I ever bowled more than one year.

So you need to add:

6. Create capped leagues for new and lower average bowlers where they can bowl against each other and not have to bowl against the 200 average house pros and other teams that are way better than they are.
- “We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” - Albert Einstein

- "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result." - Albert Einstein

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Re: The most important issue facing the bowling industry tod

Post by kajmk » November 1st, 2012, 2:19 am

Its a wonder I ever bowled more than one year.
I don't think so, it's not in your make up to give up. You persisted, learned and improved.
I'll bet you've even mentored. If so, you are part of the solution.

Some houses do use a strategy such as you described.

Everyone does not bowl for the same reason though.

I do think that management does need do more to educate and build bowling skills and knowledge.

Suppose in the scenario you described the management looked at the league sheets.
Those doormat teams are targets for learn to bowl and so on.

Most of us started off at the bottom so we can empathize and having been there we can offer our hand and our ideas. I hope you ran this idea past your local centers, league officers, associations etc.

Write a letter to your local bowling papers, to Bowlers Journal etc.
It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so

There should be a rule of war saying you have to see someone up close and get to know 'em before it's ok to shoot 'em

Empathize

John

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Re: The most important issue facing the bowling industry tod

Post by elgavachon » November 1st, 2012, 12:23 pm

I think we also lose a lot of bowlers because the league they are put on has too many teams with bowlers who are not up when it is their turn. If you are competitive & the first league you join is on a night when you have to get up early in the morning, and you are just sitting there waiting for some recreational bowler to come back from wherever they are, you may not realize that another league might be any different.
The opposite can happen too. You might be a recreational first time bowler, and be on a league where everyone is too serious (although for me such a league does no exist).

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Re: The most important issue facing the bowling industry tod

Post by kajmk » November 6th, 2012, 5:53 pm

elgavachon wrote:I think we also lose a lot of bowlers because the league they are put on has too many teams with bowlers who are not up when it is their turn. If you are competitive & the first league you join is on a night when you have to get up early in the morning, and you are just sitting there waiting for some recreational bowler to come back from wherever they are, you may not realize that another league might be any different.
The opposite can happen too. You might be a recreational first time bowler, and be on a league where everyone is too serious (although for me such a league does no exist).
Golden Rule Opp.
Part Human Relations - Courtesy or lack there of, part Education, part communication.
Members should not let issues or perceived issues fester, so that they may be addressed in a civil fashion.

Bowler Ed Opp.
As for the teams that are bottom dwellers. This is an opportunity for the house to provide some bowler education which is a good long term solution as it may just convert folks that bowl to bowlers ... Bowlers that bowl and will become pro shop customers too.
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There should be a rule of war saying you have to see someone up close and get to know 'em before it's ok to shoot 'em

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Re: The most important issue facing the bowling industry tod

Post by LDunn » November 16th, 2012, 7:23 am

Hello Forum -

This being my first official post here I wanted to make it something meaningful, and darned if this thread isn't as close to having the thoughts ripped directly from my brain as any I've seen written. That is when it comes to what is the root cause, and course of action that could save this sport.

I have to offer a little background on myself before proceeding, to either enhance my credibility or allow you to quickly dismiss anything I might say.

I'm not a bowler. I haven't thrown a ball in over two years. I bowled league for 2 or 3 years starting in the 07 - 08 season when Ashley began bowling at Parkside Lanes in Montgomery, IL. I averaged in the 160's, never bowled on a Sport shot, had a few 600 series, and even had a game once with 11 strikes, but I believe it was the 7th frame that resulted in a split I couldn't cover, then off the sheet.

It's important to know that prior to that my involvement in bowling consisted of watching the Pros on TV, when they were, and an extremely rare occasion as a teenager throwing a houseball with friends when we couldn't find any throuble to get into.

The reason the above is important is that it means I have been completely ignorant for all those years of the politics at play among the former governing bodies and eventual merge into the USBC. Being a businessman that has been with the same company for over 23 years now, and been through 8 major re-organizations and 3 very large mergers/acquisitions, it has allowed me to view this sport through a lens not likely shared with most of you.

I'll add more later, but this article is in my opinion at least 95% spot on. The one thing that is just too much is 12 years of being taught about bowling in our school systems. Education is the key, and bowling certainly belongs among the Physical Education curriculum at least. To have it as a Varsity Sport in every State should definitely be a goal, but even that begins with the simpler education process, and the grass roots involvement that the article speaks too. In my next post I want to talk about my perspective on the relationshiip between the BPAA, USBC, PBA, and the most important piece of the puzzle, the bowling centers themselves.

Oh, I skipped right past trying to gain any credibility from you. I armed you with enough to dismiss anything I might say though. Here is all I can offer that might have you take the time to ever read anything I post here again. I have been studying this game from the ground level in bowling centers across the nation ever since Ashley got involved with the sport at age 8. I have spent hours upon hours late night researching online. I have been involved with centers that have programs that work, and those that don't. I have seen State Associations that work, and those that don't. When it comes to Local Associations, well if you think the USBC has it's problems working with the States, some of the States have thrown their hands up in the air trying to get their Local Associations to act. I have also been fotunate enough to run in some circles with some of the best male & female talents to have ever participated in the sport. Lastly, when it comes to youth, I'm at a tournament at least 40 or more weekends per year with Ashley, and league another 2 days per week, and coaching sessions twice monthly with a relatively well known coach. Then there is Ashley as evidence of this involvement. She has a lot of room for improving her game, but as the article suggest bowlers don't just happen. Some might be prone to have more natural talent than others, but competitive bowlers are developed, and it begins at an early age.

As I close out my first post/introduction I ask that you take 39 seconds to watch a video produced by the Teen Masters introducing the finalist this year. This video is only Ashley's introduction, but listen carefully to the few words she says. I believe although easily missed, they speak directly to the heart of this wonderful article.

Thanks to everyone that has worked with and supported Ashley on this forum. She was so excited when she stumbled on it. We spent hours together reading posts, studying Mo's material, and working with her many times to put her thoughts into words. I sincerely appreciate how you welcomed her, and she hopes life will allow her time to get back soon.

Listen carefully.

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Larry Dunn
Proud Father of Ashley N. Dunn
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Re: The most important issue facing the bowling industry tod

Post by guruU2 » November 16th, 2012, 4:35 pm

Mr. Dunn-
I look forward to reading your comments. I have been involved in this game, on nearly every level, since 1956. I have bowling-as-an-American institution nearly destroy itself largely due to it being "taken over" by corporate technocrats and breaucrats and by those who want to change bowling from a sport to a escapists recreational activity. If one wants to become successful in the sport and/or business it is best to have as limited contact with the power bases as much as possible because they are parasites who soon will consume the host leaving themselves open to their own destruction. Incidently,I know Gary Beck very well as I coached him in college and FULLY support what ihe is trying to accomplished. Instead of getting support from the powers-that-are he has always meant with resistence and open hositilty. To bad, because he wants only the very best for bowling-the-sport and the youth who play the sport. I look forward to your non self serving comments.
In addition, we all wish your daughter the best.
-Gary Parsons
If one does not know one's product, one can not manage nor promote the product one does not know.

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Re: The most important issue facing the bowling industry tod

Post by kajmk » April 11th, 2015, 5:02 pm

An interesting piece by Ty Rose

Bowling’s Inferiority Complex
http://goldmedalbowling.ca/archives/1279" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Comments?
It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so

There should be a rule of war saying you have to see someone up close and get to know 'em before it's ok to shoot 'em

Empathize

John

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Re: The most important issue facing the bowling industry tod

Post by snick » April 11th, 2015, 8:06 pm

Link is broken for me.
Bowling's Inferiority Complex
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Re: The most important issue facing the bowling industry tod

Post by Viper » April 12th, 2015, 12:08 am

Interesting thread. I think bowling is a great sport/activity but from what I see in my area (and I have only been bowling now for six years or so (and I'm 62 now, a late start although I threw duck pins when a youth) is this:

1. Kids come in from the high schools on a regular basis, during the day, usually toward the end of the year when standardized testing is being done, with a couple of the PE instructors to watch them, and what do think happens? Anything to further the sport or the kids interest in it? Nope. Eating french fries and gossiping is what they do, between throwing a few balls (with six kids a lane it's hard to get much of a game in), while the PE instructors sit around talking amongst themselves. Do you think the bowling alley manager (an accomplished bowler himself) approaches the PE instructors either to instruct them or maybe a few of the kids who are more interested than the others? Or to offer them the "Learn to Bowl" class package that is available? Or offer the services of some of the better bowlers who might enjoy teaching them a few things? No-no-no-no. Nothing is done. Does the local USBC chapter approach the schools along with proprietors to try and start anything involving the sport of bowling? I see no evidence of this. One would hope that bowling etiquette would be covered at a minimum, but it is not. Consequently, the only youth being developed in this area are the kids of league bowlers. Very, very few are truly new to the sport.

And this leads me to #2. This sport has a bad rep. I happened to meet up at the lanes with another senior bowler who was learning the sport (even used the same coach I use), along with his wife. After about a year, I didn't see much of him, but I did bump into him awhile back and asked him why I hadn't seen him of late. He told me the sport was "too red-neck" for him (and his wife). Imagine. Why would he say that? I think it went back to the last time I bowled with him, in a fund-raising tournament, where he was on a lane with someone who is known to be both a loud and foul mouthed bowler. I know his wife was shocked at the language and the over-the-top demeanor. I, too, am a little upset at times with the bad language, the poor sportsmanship (kicking ball returns, etc.), intoxication, generally poor dress, and kids running around (what happened to baby sitters?). I do my best to avoid leagues and/or houses that cater to these types. Fortunately, there are not many.

I remain devoted to the sport (as I think there are more positives than negatives) and would love to see more folks bowling, whether it be youth or adult. I wish I knew what the answer is but I think it might start with those large group of kids coming off of those buses.
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