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#6529 - 07/31/05 09:55 PM League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline!
stroker2005 Offline
Junior

Registered: 07/14/05
Posts: 27
A/S/L: 43/m/tx
That's right! I think that league formats have alot to do with declining membership than the ball specs or any changes the USBC might have in store for us. Let me explain: Your standard mix league with say, 32 teams are under one division, making most of the teams out of the mix. Let's face it, the goal of each team is to win first place! Sooo, to me the handicap, even if it's 100% still won't make the weak teams able to compete with the good teams. What I think bowling should do is start promoting league formats that are similar to the professional sports, like the NFL, NBA, and MLB. What I mean is dividing your league into divisions, thus creating a playoff. Of course the reason for a playoff is to crown a "true champion". I think this would be fair, exciting, and fun for all leagues. Think about it, even if the USBC changes lane specs, or further changes ball specs, average to low bowlers really won't be affected by the changes, at least that's my opinion! And that's whom everyone is worried about, the low average bowler. No matter that bowlers say that they are here for the fun of it, people will always be people, and people want to win, that's just being human. I know there are leagues already that have some form of a playoff or roll off, but most of those are scratch leagues, at least in my city.
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? What's your reaon for liking or disliking this format? Do you agree or don't that boring league formats are a big reason for membership decline? Ok, I'll shut up and let ya'll resond. laugh

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Legend

Registered: Fri Aug 27 2004
Posts: 10100
A/S/L: Mountain View, CA
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#6530 - 07/31/05 11:16 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
I have seen some leagues that always have the same players on the same teams. I do not know if this is normal, but there were about 12 really good players in the league, and they always made up three of the teams. Why bother paying league dues when Midnight bowling is so much cheaper?

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#6531 - 07/31/05 11:53 PM Re: League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline!
Atochabsh Offline
USBC Bronze Coach

Registered: 02/13/01
Posts: 6565
A/S/L: 50/F/California
Though its a good thread, I don't think that league formats are the cause of decline in bowling. There's just so much choice out there, that any level bowler can find a niche....if they want.

I am dead set against 100% handicap. It doesn't promote improvement at the lower levels, doesn't reward hard work at the higher levels. I mean if you are going to be brought up 100% to the level of a 220 bowler, why bother to get better? Its much easier for the 150 bowler to bowl 20 pins over their average then it is for the 220 bowler to bowl 240+. The only advantage the 220 bowler has is that they are more consistent, so they will not have as much dramatic highs and lows as the 150 bowler. But, IMO, the 100% handicap that is gaining popularity is partially to blame for the decline in bowling. It makes all my hard work to get better; meaningless. It makes all levels of bowlers feel that all they have to do is stay at status quo. No further education required. It encourages sandbagging at the 200+ level.

But you do have levels of league play already. You have various scratch leagues. Some have caps like 675 trios and others have caps of 775 quads. There are also handicap leagues that are more and/or less competative. Throughout the week, we have at least 6 6:30 mixed handicap leagues that fill the 32 lanes, and 1 9:15pm mixed handicap league. Of those mixed leagues, our 9:15 league is more competative, even though averages vary from the 130s to the 200s. The "flavor" of the league is fairly competative.

You as a bowler, just have to decide what kind of league you want to participate in. Handicap? Scratch? fun nascar or ball leagues?, mixed handicap? There's a bunch out there to pick from. The manager and league co ordinator can tell you which leagues have what kind of competition.

Erin

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#6532 - 08/01/05 09:11 PM Re: League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline!
stroker2005 Offline
Junior

Registered: 07/14/05
Posts: 27
A/S/L: 43/m/tx
I agree! I don't like 100% handicap either.

I guess what I'm saying is all leagues, whether they're mixed, competative, or real competative, there should be some kind of format in place to determine a champion. I've bowled in all types of leagues, and everyone of those leagues, I hear bowlers concerns about the same teams winning every year. Of course the handicap thing I don't agree with. So I read an article in bowl.com, about a new format. This new format was thought of by Bob Jarlenski. He named it the UBL, or Ultimate Bowling League. He created this format b/c many leagues in his area were experiancing drop outs. He learned the reason for these drop outs were bowlers starting to lose interest b/c of their team losing and having no chance to win first place. The league I'm in is a very good and competative league. It's just that it's become boring. The format that is! Bowling needs a shot in the arm, and I think something like this would do wonders for bowling. I know every league has it's own rules and it's own way of doing things, that's why I suggested that the USBC should promote this concept as an alternative format.

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#6533 - 08/02/05 03:51 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 believe the 100% handicap "may" be the cause of higher average players from loosing interest, but this cannot explain why new members are not taking their places.

Maybe it is true, that anyone can find a 'niche' but it's been my observation that teams can be formed by those who want to form a team. People pick partners that help improve their odds of winning.
Like I said earlier, the reason I never joined a league, even though I wanted to, is I could not see a reason too, it was cheaper for me to practice with my friends (who were on the league) than to bowl with them during the league. The only benefit of bowling with the league would have been my 168 average would have been official. I would never have been on a team that had a chance for winning, even with handicaps the same top players were always on the same top three teams. The handicaps could not make up for that kind of consistency. Now, I think the best team should win, but there should be a system to keep all of the best players off the same teams. This format that prevents higher than a set combined average for the team sounds good, but I have never seen that firsthand.

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#6534 - 08/02/05 09:34 AM Re: League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline!
shark rouleur Offline
Junior

Registered: 12/07/04
Posts: 22
A/S/L: 30/Male/PA
I like the idea of a playoff to increase interest, but perhaps not in every sort of league. I am not sure it would be appropriate in every type of league.
As for caps on team averages, I think there should be. I was in a scratch league without a cap on averages for teams. The purpose of teams in leagues like this is more about money than it is about winning because these leagues tend to get members by advertising big prize funds. I think this is destructive to participation as well because a few teams with 220 plus bowlers only on the team rule the league. I am a 200-205 bowler and I am not rejoining the league this year along with many other people. At this point there are not enough bowlers to start the league at the end of the month.
I want to give kudos to an area house for starting a PBA pattern league. Hopefully it will inspire people to learn and be challenged.

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#6535 - 08/02/05 09:35 AM Re: League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline!
Darrell Offline
High Roller

Registered: 01/25/05
Posts: 319
A/S/L: 46 Male Michigan
I am a firm believer in practice in everything that I do. Consequently I spend a lot of time on the lanes. I never heard of or saw the lower average bowlers in my league practicing until the end of the season. But every time I am in the center the higher average bowlers are there working hard.

The top five teams in our league had the best bowlers in our league. In the top five were all five 300 games the only 800 and all the mid 700's.

VtwinPodec, have you ever heard of the Falstaff's Beer Bowling Team, Blatz Beer Team, Hamm's Beer Team, The Famed Budweiser Beer Team-featuring [censored] Weber and Don Carter, and the Stroh Beer Bowling team-featuring Joe Norris and Ed Lubanski. These were classic City and traveling Bowling teams in the 1940's and 50's, who boasted all star members many who became the PBA's first stars. They were the teams to beat and they lured the best bowlers only.
_________________________
Darrell "D Man"

--------------------
May all your corner pins fall

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#6536 - 08/02/05 12:29 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
Almost every league I bowl in has some sort of rolloff and round winners. Divisions on top of it? No thanks. It gets to the point where you're bowling the entire season and what's the point? Just wait til the last few weeks and then try to win. The entire Western Division of the National Baseball League pretty much stinks and one team gets to go to the playoffs while stronger teams in other divisions don't. What's really wrong with some people is that no one wants to work for anything. They want 100% handicap so they don't have to actually get better and they want to make the playoffs without being the best team.

As for the reason for league decline, I think you could award first place to EVERY team and I swear you'd still have turn over. People don't come back for a *variety* of reasons--some mentioned and others as simple as work schedules, busy family schedules/wanting to spend more time with their families, the increased costs of everything, you name it. If that format works for your league, great, but I strongly recommend against every league going out and implementing it and expecting no future turnover.
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#6537 - 08/02/05 03:44 PM Re: League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline!
Atochabsh Offline
USBC Bronze Coach

Registered: 02/13/01
Posts: 6565
A/S/L: 50/F/California
Angel,

I've often wondered about the commuting work force these days and how much time they spend on the road. As you know, many in our state commute well over an hour each way to work. With leagues starting at 6:30, its no wonder there's a decline. How does a commuting worker, get to a 6:30 league? My center has mostly 6:30 leagues. I think it might be better to have a handful at 7pm, but what do I know? Does your house have 7pm leagues and if so, how do they work out with the commuting workforce?

Erin

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#6538 - 08/02/05 08:41 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
Commuting has its effects no doubt, since few people get off at 5 or 5:30 and live within driveable distances. Here the "standard" times are 6 and 9. Leagues at 6 pm are indeed full, because people don't want to bowl at 9. I guess the people that bowl either leave work early those days or they bowl on a day off. Some houses start leagues on slower nights at 7 or 7:30 (and forgo the late league), opting for open play after league until close.

I personally think one of the biggest issues is how busy people are with their kids' schedules. I can't believe how many lessons, classes, sports, and the like kids are involved with that parents must shuttle to and from. Even people without kids seem to have commitments that would be unheard of years ago. Who wants to commit to 36 weeks when they know they're going to be out of town or on business a good chunk of them?
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