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#6539 - 08/03/05 01:45 AM Re: League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline!
Atochabsh Offline
USBC Bronze Coach

Registered: 02/13/01
Posts: 6567
A/S/L: 50/F/California
We only floor one league a week at 9pm. Its the one we bowl in on Friday nights. All other nights, the 6:30 league ends and the open bowling frenzy starts. I think if they could just push back a couple of those 6:30 leagues to 7, maybe they'd get a few more bowlers?

I've been doing the Jr league promo calling for the upcoming winter league and you are right......they are busy. Especially the older kids. Soccer, baseball, football etc......are all on the schedule. Bowling seems to come last if they have time.

Erin

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Registered: Fri Aug 27 2004
Posts: 10100
A/S/L: Mountain View, CA
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#6540 - 08/03/05 02:19 AM Re: League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline!
Angel Offline


Registered: 02/02/01
Posts: 401
A/S/L: F/So Cal
We don't have a problem with a lot of open play during the week after leagues here, so maybe that's why some houses do go to 6:30 or 7. If they can't floor a 9 pm league, they do move to a little bit later start time.

I've got a bunch of drama kids--some are interrelated. And I've had a good share of bar/bat mitzvah final pushes that kept kids out of a season or so. I lose only a couple for football, but I will lose a TON of my bumpers to soccer the fall season.

I'm a BIG proponent of 3 seasons--Jan to May, June to August, and Sept to December. It allows for busy people to make shorter commitments and then "re-up" when they realize they can fit it in. I used to think it was just good for the kids, but I'm beginning to believe it wouldn't hurt for the adult leagues either.
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#6541 - 08/03/05 01:06 PM Re: League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline!
VtwinPodec Offline
Junior Master

Registered: 07/11/05
Posts: 36
A/S/L: 34 / M / Geneva, Oh
Darrell, sorry I have never heard of those names, I have heard of the travelling teams of that era though. Of course they would attract and only want the very best, that only makes sense. My question would be what type of leagues they bowled in? Did they dominate all categories of their home alley? If so, did it discourage people from joining that league?
At the house I was referring to, the teams I was talking about were always there, practicing many times a week (as was I, but seems practicing mistakes only keeps you making mistakes). I never meant to insinuate they did not deserve to win.
But, they were always there, in every league, wives or girlfriends were there, so they had mixed leagues covered. Some of the 'better halfs' were actually the better bowling half. Again, I am not knocking anyone who works hard and succeeds. But when you have kind of talent in a single house, always on the same teams and making a show on every adult league night it takes away the 'spirit' of competition.
Divorce is serious, and I am not making light of it here but when one couple got a divorce that killed the team and the mixed league almost doubled it's members the following season. That has to tell you something.
Again, I would never suggest the best teams or players should 'not be allowed to win' but if year after year the same teams are formed and dominate, it will decline membership of the league.

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#6542 - 08/03/05 02:22 PM Re: League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline!
Atochabsh Offline
USBC Bronze Coach

Registered: 02/13/01
Posts: 6567
A/S/L: 50/F/California
Vtwin,

I think you hit on something yourself. Those teams are out practising. They are working together, helping each other out. Not just one powerhouse bowler per team.

One reason our teams do so well is that we pick people that want to bowl. Not just people that want to socialize. We work together throughout the set. Helping each other stay lined up. Spotting each other if potential problems arise. And when one of us is having a bad night, the others know they have to step up. Its a team effort. We communicate about how the lanes are playing, how the oil is breaking down. Its a constant flow of information for three games. When you have a whole team pulling together its pretty hard to beat them.

People that want to win, need to step up and start getting the tools they need to win. Start taking lessons, practising effectively and if possible together. Gather bowlers around you that want to win, not just bowl. People that can and will help each other out every league night.

Erin

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#6543 - 08/04/05 12:41 AM Re: League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline!
VtwinPodec Offline
Junior Master

Registered: 07/11/05
Posts: 36
A/S/L: 34 / M / Geneva, Oh
I agree 100%. Sad part is I know they were there because I was there. And while they would help each other, they would not offer any advice or honor a request for help from someone 'outside' their team. For me, that is too serious for an amateur league.
Picture if you can someone who eats at your home regularly, rides to work with you daily, and invites you to their home several times a week. And when you are with them at the alley, ask for some advice and they barely acknowledge you spoke to them. This was a very good friend of mine, but these teams did not allow 'helping' anyone who might become competition. Sad it could get to that extent, and since I am planning on joining a league real soon I hope it is not like that in this area.

I felt the need to edit this post to include the fact that some of the players I referred to are no longer 'amateur'. All of their hard work has paid off and I respect what they have earned. Since I was there in the beginning, I know they have earned it. Hard work and practice does pay off.

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#6544 - 08/04/05 02:36 AM Re: League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline!
Atochabsh Offline
USBC Bronze Coach

Registered: 02/13/01
Posts: 6567
A/S/L: 50/F/California
LOL I myself am pretty tough when it comes to giving valuable information to the competition. I've even been chided for giving too much free information to THIS forum. Though I may like those folks very well, bowl with them on different occasions, if they are on the opposing team, I cannot spend my mental energy helping them when I need to consentrate on my game and my teammates' game. That's competition. It has nothing to do with friendship off the lanes and it has nothing to do with the level of league the majority of bowlers want it to be. If a team has risen to the top from skill and communication then you have seen league team bowling at its best. Doesn't matter that others have not risen to the same battle.

In fact I may have stabbed my team in the foot for this Friday. I know one lady is struggling, her fit is not right. I've finally gotten her to our Pro Shop to have her grip re evaluated. The ball was drilled for her (at another shop), but the pitches are for a right handed bowler (she's left handed), not only her thumb but her fingers too. Her grips are too large. We're totally plugging and redrilling her ball this week. She'll finally have a ball that fits come Friday night. And low and behold, we bowl against them this week.

VTwin, you gotta get a clue. Competition is just that and friendship is another thing. If they happen to go together all the better. Teams are teams and they help each other during competition. If I meet you on the lanes I'm out there to win. I don't care how easy it would be for me to tweak your current few frames. In fact given my mood on that particular day, I might send a few mental bugs your way. Don't take it personally. They probably treat all their opponents the same, you are not special.

Teams work together in a league situation. You have to in order to get to the top. You may not win the league, but you will be towards the top. A team not communicating and not helping and supporting each other constantly has no where else to go but down. No team can survive on a "one man band" player.

Erin

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#6545 - 08/04/05 03:05 AM Re: League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline!
VtwinPodec Offline
Junior Master

Registered: 07/11/05
Posts: 36
A/S/L: 34 / M / Geneva, Oh
Atoch, seems I have mislead you in some way. I am full aware of competition. I was never a member of any league, and this was primarily during 'Midnight bowling' or other open bowling times.

The point I believe I failed to get across is this happened only when more than one team member was present. I was always invited to bowl with them, and if only one person was present, they would gladly discuss bowling issues/tips/etc. If another team member walked in, it was like flipping a switch. To me that is a sad case. It seems obvious that none of them truly felt that way, they just performed when another one was watching. Did I say that seems sad?

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#6546 - 08/04/05 08:39 AM Re: League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline!
Filos Offline
League Bowler

Registered: 07/16/03
Posts: 74
A/S/L: 35/M/UK/Right-Handed
This may be a bit of a rambleÖ.

Iím not too sure about the same people being on top year in year out in handicap leagues. If this is happening then it suggest that them method of handicap needs to be reviewed to level the playing field a bit, but not to 100%.

I know Iím relatively inexperienced with bowling after only completing two winter seasons so far, but from what I have seen with the handicap leagues Iíve been in; it is the bowlers who are improving week-in-week-out.
The higher average bowler gets punished if they bowl below there average, this to some degree is less of an impact for the lower averaging. But when the lower averaging bowler has one of them nights were everything clicks then the higher bowlers really need to be on form and then some.

I agree that the more consistent have a better chance to ride the waves, but if you are working of a fair handicap then each week the games should be tight and challenging.

Iíve only made it to a 160íish average this season, and not had much in the way of success in the leagues. But my first season with a rookie doubles team we came thirdÖit could have been first but we choked in the finial game. That was our inexperience showing.

Last night my friend bowled a 192 and got panned by a bowler with a 100 average. I had a terrible evening an only just managed to win two out of the three games, trying to claw back 35 pins isnít as easy as it looks and I think it will get harder as I improve, but that is in itself a challenge.

I donít know about you but I bowl to win and if there is a team to beat then they have set themselves up to be beaten. Each week I want to improve my average, each week Iím trying to get my name on the highest league game, series, team game, team series, most improved, progressing through the knock-outs that some leagues have. There are lots to aim for, each a different challenge and with practice there is a greater chance for meeting that challenge.

You have already said that the teams are formed by the people themselves, so if you want to win you need to form a team with other like minded people. Who will help lift you game and push you as well as you doing the same for them.

If the teams were formed for you, which is something your posts suggests that you would like, you have no idea who you would be bowling with and that could just lead to a disaster, which could lead to less participation. Sorry if I have misunderstood you view on this one.

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#6547 - 08/04/05 01:04 PM Re: League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline!
VtwinPodec Offline
Junior Master

Registered: 07/11/05
Posts: 36
A/S/L: 34 / M / Geneva, Oh
Filos, I do not believe you have misunderstood my view. I was just tossing in my 2 cents as to why I thought leagues were not attractive, based on what I have seen in one house. I have no idea is this was/is normal for leagues everywhere.

Conversations with league members and past league members influenced my decision to this point. The most common reason given for dropping out of a league, or not signing back up at the next season had to do with unlevel playing field.

In reference to the handicap system, my remark about that aspect was based on 50% observation, 50% hearsay from league players, the same players either quitting or stating they were not signing back up. I do not have full knowledge of how the handicap system works, so I do not know personally if the system is fair/unfair or creates a level field. It was suggested in this thread that 100% could be the reason for league decline, because it could allow someone who doesn't deserve to win, a win. I can understand how that would hurt the 'better' player, and make him decide to leave, but sounds like it would attract players who are dependent on the handicap. ??

As it relates to this thread, I bowled at the same house for over 10 years, sometimes off and on but always the same house. I was approached several times, suggesting I should join one of their leagues, as I was always there anyway. The reason I always declined is because of what I have stated here. One person's opinion based on outside observation and hearsay....

I have moved to a new area, getting back into bowling after a 5 year vacation?? and will be joining a league this fall, so I will find out 1. if this happens at another house
2. what I think about leagues, from first hand experience

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#6548 - 08/04/05 01:55 PM Re: League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline!
Angel Offline


Registered: 02/02/01
Posts: 401
A/S/L: F/So Cal
I really don't see uneven competition playing a part in our leagues. We run three league seasons per year and we have a different champion nearly every session. Some teams can compete better than others, but we have the luxury of being an adult/junior league and we truly are there for the experience of it.

If I were to throw another iron in the fire, one of the problems I see is how much an evening of bowling out costs multiplied by a 30+ week season. For an average couple, with food, etc., that evening is in the $75 or more range.

In another message board forum, a gentleman was asking for help getting ideas for a fundraising league for a well-established charity. When asked for details, he mentioned that the league fees were $26 a week with only ONE dollar going to the charity. Now in my area our most competitive sport bowling league only charges $26 out here, so to ask people to pay that in a handicap league is silly.
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