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#6559 - 08/20/05 11:29 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
We have what you call Sweepers. Its like a mini tournament for all the bowlers in the league. Generally takes place the last week of bowling while the top teams are duking it out for the top places. We have individual awards, handicap and scratch and team awards. In the form of some small $$s. The folks in the top positions are also included in the Sweepers, so everyone participates.


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#6560 - 11/13/05 11:17 AM Re: League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline!
BillinPhilly Offline
Action Bowler

Registered: 11/06/05
Posts: 264
A/S/L: 50 / M / Malvern, PA
This is one of the better topics I've seen on the board so far!

My own experience is that I've been bowling off and on in various leagues for somewhere around 30 years. And when I look back on league I've been in and why I quit or didn't come back the following year, one reason does stand out.

The most common, as others have said, is the same teams winning over and over, or there being such a huge and obvious imbalance that it leaves no one else in the league any chance. While everybody SAYS they bowl for fun, we all know we bowl to WIN.
and if you take away any chance, no one wants to bowl.

My problem has been that in most of the leagues I've been in, I've never signed up "with my own team". I've always had to sign up as an individual, because I don't have any friends who bowl, let alone any who bowl well. And I really never had a forum to meet any. So it always became luck of the draw, and I always got put on whatever team happened to need a bowler at the time, and I never had any say into the matter. And of course, the people who were putting the teams together would always take the best bowlers availabe for THEIR team.

So I usually ended up on a team with the kid just learning to bowl who had a K-Mart bowling ball with 3" finger holes and who threw every other ball in the gutter - and the old lady with the 85 average who threw the ball at 3 mph down the lane. After 3 weeks of getting 100 pins in handicap and still losing every game by 100 pins or more, while seeing another team put huge numbers on the board every week, one comes up with an excuse why they suddenly can't bowl anymore. This has happened to me more than once.

So, yes, the competition factor will make people not want to bowl when they have absolutely no chance.

What can one do? I don't know. Its problematic in my opinion to have such an imbalance that the top 5 or 6 teams will win every game and the bottom 5 or 6 will lose every game, with the teams in the middle going 50-50 and nobody but the top couple teams having any chance.

So my thought was to have a draft league. Use established averages from the previous year, and select team captains based on the highest averages from the previous season, the get everybody together and do an old-fashioned choose-up. Then no one can change teams once picked, except by a 100% captains vote. This would break up the high average teams and make it more fair all around. And if anybody has a bad team, its because they chose poorly, and they're to blame.

The problems with this are:
a) that people will complain friends have to be allowed to bowl together, and some or all of the more experienced players, especially those who've been winning and winning, would not like it and quit. This is bad because these people are going to be your treasurer and secretary, etc, as the most experienced people.

b) What do you do with bowlers who didn't establish an average the previous season?

But this was the only solution I saw to this problem. These teams of heavy-hitters need to be broken up in the average league. Most of those guys should probably be competing in scratch money leagues anyway.

Again, GREAT topic.
"Bowling should be played by bowlers, not physicists." - CoachJim

#6561 - 11/14/05 01:20 AM Re: League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline!
mrsuthern Offline
Bracket Donor

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 116
A/S/L: 30/m/NC/ Right handed
</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="VERDANA,ARIAL,HELVETICA,TAHOMA">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="VERDANA,ARIAL,HELVETICA,TAHOMA">Originally posted by stroker2005:

Going back to the format, lets say your team is in 28th place out of 32 teams in a standard format. Pretty far down huh? Now say that in this "new" format, your league is divided into 4 divisions each having 8 teams, and your teams is in 3rd place, maybe 4 or 5 games out from the first place team in "your" division. Your team is right in the thick of things. Your team has a chance to win the division, and move on to the playoffs. To me that's EXCITING!!! Never mind what your record is, b/c the goal is to get in the playoffs! I could go on and on, but what do you all think? laugh
</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="VERDANA,ARIAL,HELVETICA,TAHOMA">Actually I like the sounds of that format. Definately puts an interesting spin on it. Would still end up with your basic "high Rollers" that are established at that house (over there 15 yr. residency) take tops. But It keeps it exciting through the Meat of the season to where everyone now has a Short Term more attainable goal rather than the Long term hopeless one. Again I also like the idea of possibly splitting the High Rollers up as team captians also. Atleast for handicap leagues anyway. After all even though your there to win there is way too much emphasis on just that. It's not like it's the 70+ avg bowler is that one wall thats keeping ESPN from beating down your door.
Besides, how are the less learned going to learn if they aren't exposed to knoweledge. I know their is a general willingness to share tips and tactics among players. Also though the average bowler is timid and see's the clique with high rollers. Left with the constant battle of self esteem like that of a teenager..."I don't want to risk looking like an idiot asking dumb questions". So maybe splitting the High Rollers up into a seperate group could eliminate that by giving them the competition between each other benefitting the league instead of just their "established" team. The knoweledge would be more forthcoming and volunteered to one up their buddy. Thus encouraging competition and not so much hindering the newbie.
Again this is just a thought for the handicap leagues. The money leagues with the PBA bowlers and the overachievers. Well until I get to that pedestal, I am at a loss.
Yesterday is a memory, Tomorrow is a premonition, but today is a Pain

#6562 - 11/14/05 02:25 AM Re: League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline!
Jock Offline
Team USA Contender

Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 406
A/S/L: 51/M/France, right handed
We do it this way. A few weeks before the start of a new league, we put out a notice explaining the rule and regulations of the new proposed league and ask everyone who wants to bowl to put their names on a list. After the closing date for the inscriptions, we have a meeting and the teams are made up by taking the names, one by one, out of a hat.

That way, we are always the same people bowling, league after league (except for new comers) but never in the same team.

Nobody complains and if you get picked to play in a team that have (theoretically) no chance to win, you just use this league as practice (under good conditions) and wait for the next one (the leagues last roughly 3 months here).
I've upped my average, so up yours!

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