League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline!

Posted by: stroker2005

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

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
Posted by: VtwinPodec

Re: League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline! - 07/31/05 11:16 PM

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?
Posted by: Atochabsh

Re: League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline! - 07/31/05 11:53 PM

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
Posted by: stroker2005

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

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.
Posted by: VtwinPodec

Re: League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline! - 08/02/05 03:51 AM

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.
Posted by: shark rouleur

Re: League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline! - 08/02/05 09:34 AM

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.
Posted by: Darrell

Re: League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline! - 08/02/05 09:35 AM

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.
Posted by: Angel

Re: League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline! - 08/02/05 12:29 PM

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.
Posted by: Atochabsh

Re: League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline! - 08/02/05 03:44 PM

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
Posted by: Angel

Re: League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline! - 08/02/05 08:41 PM

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?
Posted by: Atochabsh

Re: League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline! - 08/03/05 01:45 AM

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
Posted by: Angel

Re: League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline! - 08/03/05 02:19 AM

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.
Posted by: VtwinPodec

Re: League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline! - 08/03/05 01:06 PM

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.
Posted by: Atochabsh

Re: League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline! - 08/03/05 02:22 PM

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
Posted by: VtwinPodec

Re: League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline! - 08/04/05 12:41 AM

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.
Posted by: Atochabsh

Re: League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline! - 08/04/05 02:36 AM

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
Posted by: VtwinPodec

Re: League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline! - 08/04/05 03:05 AM

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?
Posted by: Filos

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

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.
Posted by: VtwinPodec

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

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
Posted by: Angel

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

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.
Posted by: stroker2005

Re: League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline! - 08/04/05 11:44 PM

</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="VERDANA,ARIAL,HELVETICA,TAHOMA">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="VERDANA,ARIAL,HELVETICA,TAHOMA">Originally posted by Angel Zobel-Rodriguez:
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.
</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="VERDANA,ARIAL,HELVETICA,TAHOMA">Angel, obviously there are many reasons bowlers quit, but I was really trying to weigh what this and other forums are posting about USBC's possible changes. Many people believe that if the USBC makes radical changes, lets say to lane conditions(making them more tougher), the average bowler would probably quit, thus the continuing decline in bowling. I on the other hand think that more bowlers are quiting b/c of league formats not being fair play.

"Almost every league I bowl in has some sort of rolloff and round winners. Divisions on top of it?"

In this format, only division winners would advance. No need for roll-offs or 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."

Well, unless the team is that good that they can turn on a "switch" and start to play, nothing is guaranteed. In fact I think this will make teams concentrate better b/c they must win their division to make the playoffs. True, there will be teams according to their W-L record shouldn't be going to the PO's, but is it their fault that teams with better records don't take care of their own business? Besides, any changes in format or league rules will be done at the meeting, everyone will know first hand what's up! Another thing, shouldn't every team be given a chance to win the league? Just b/c there are teams that are not good, they don't deserve a chance? Like I said before, I don't like the 100% handicap system, but to me any handicap system isn't going to be fair to the weaker teams. Think of the long bowling season like a marathon. During the season every team will have its up and downs, but teams that will be able to ride out the slumps, make adjustments, and be consistant, will end up winning or be near the top, and those are the good strong teams. The weaker teams might be able to win in a 40yd dash(short season), but not a long one. In my case, there are 32 teams @ 36 weeks, all 32 teams under one roof. How fair is that? At midseason when there are many teams out of contention, why go on bowling? Under the standard format, there is more reason to have the "I'll take it easy now and start bowling to win" attitude! How? Well, I've seen it happen! Those teams will do a little sandbagging, coast a little, win enough games to stay within reach. Then they'll make their move knowing that the weaker teams won't have enough in them to catch them.

This divisional format would also eliminate the useless position round at the end. Most of the time PR's aren't important, b/c first place has already been decided. I remember at our meeting, we were dicussing PR's, and our president said that a "couple of years ago" first place came down to the final position round. A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO??? How about every year? Wouldn't it be more exciting if first place came down to the final night? That's the way it should be!!

I'm a competitor and I like challenges! So I'm always up for new ideas to make the league more interesting. If my team is a strong team, I know we would welcome the challenge to face an inferior team in the playoffs or for the championship knowing that all it takes is for them to have an incredible day, and they would win. But if we are a good team, we would dig deep and bowl are best, b/c we don't want to lose to an them. smile
Posted by: VtwinPodec

Re: League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline! - 08/05/05 12:04 AM

Stroker, the way you have it laid out, sounds very interesting. Now, at what point do you figure teams will start being eliminated? You said 36 weeks for standard league now? How many weeks would the teams have to prepare/compete for those spots to move forward?
Am I undertanding this right? At some point teams will start being eliminated and those that remain will be bowling another night?
Posted by: Angel

Re: League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline! - 08/05/05 02:43 AM

I guess I'm of the bowling can be complicated enough variety. I can just imagine trying to explain this to someone barely comprehending the 4 point system. smile

Personally, I prefer just smaller niche leagues over trying to make one large league "work" better. But to each their own.
Posted by: VtwinPodec

Re: League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline! - 08/05/05 03:00 AM

Angel, I will have to check in this area and see what is offered. At my previous 'home alley', there were four choices, men's league, mixed, ladies, kids. All were handicap.
I honestly do not know if there are choices in this area, as they are mostly closed for the season.
Posted by: Angel

Re: League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline! - 08/05/05 12:02 PM

You might want to check with a few different houses then. If you build a good rapport with one center, you may end up creating your own league. Personally I am not a fan of 32 team leagues as they are pretty impersonal (especially for people starting out). I even prefer to split my Adult/Jr. leagues into leagues of 10-12 teams each rather than a 24-28 lane megaleague.
Posted by: stroker2005

Re: League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline! - 08/08/05 04:10 PM

</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="VERDANA,ARIAL,HELVETICA,TAHOMA">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="VERDANA,ARIAL,HELVETICA,TAHOMA">Originally posted by VtwinPodec:
Stroker, the way you have it laid out, sounds very interesting. Now, at what point do you figure teams will start being eliminated? You said 36 weeks for standard league now? How many weeks would the teams have to prepare/compete for those spots to move forward?
Am I undertanding this right? At some point teams will start being eliminated and those that remain will be bowling another night?
</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="VERDANA,ARIAL,HELVETICA,TAHOMA">Sorry I took so long to respond. To answer the first part of your question, in order for teams to advance to the playoffs, they have to win their respective divisions. Just like your major sports, NFL,NBA,etc. From there, they will go to the playoffs. This could take place the following week, or what ever your league would decide. It could possibly come to the last night of the regular season for some divisions to be decided. To me that's GREAT! Because alot of teams will have a chance to advance to the playoffs. Another thing I wanted to point out was picking teams to be in each divisions. The way I would pick 'em would be to have the top 8 (my league is 32 teams w/4 division, 8 teams each) team averages in one division, the next 8 in the next division, and so on. In other words, the bottom 8 team averages would makeup the last division. So you see this format gives every team a better chance of making the playoffs and winning the league title. You would have 4 teams making the playoffs from different skill levels. Isn't that more fair than the standard format and raising the handicap?
Posted by: Angel

Re: League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline! - 08/08/05 06:27 PM

</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:
The way I would pick 'em would be to have the top 8 (my league is 32 teams w/4 division, 8 teams each) team averages in one division, the next 8 in the next division, and so on. In other words, the bottom 8 team averages would makeup the last division. So you see this format gives every team a better chance of making the playoffs and winning the league title. You would have 4 teams making the playoffs from different skill levels. Isn't that more fair than the standard format and raising the handicap? </font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="VERDANA,ARIAL,HELVETICA,TAHOMA">OK, this is the point I have a problem with. The 8 strongest teams could only advance ONE team to the playoffs, and one of the 8 weakest would advance as well? This kind of flies in the face of attempting to field a competitive team, because a weak team is going to make the playoffs. Why try to make the most competitive team in a league if all you have to do is take 4 newbies, start out in the weak division and have them improve all season?

Maybe I'm seeing this wrong, but I couldn't suggest this with a straight face to anyone.
Posted by: stroker2005

Re: League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline! - 08/08/05 08:51 PM

</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="VERDANA,ARIAL,HELVETICA,TAHOMA">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="VERDANA,ARIAL,HELVETICA,TAHOMA">Originally posted by Angel Zobel-Rodriguez:
</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:
[b] The way I would pick 'em would be to have the top 8 (my league is 32 teams w/4 division, 8 teams each) team averages in one division, the next 8 in the next division, and so on. In other words, the bottom 8 team averages would makeup the last division. So you see this format gives every team a better chance of making the playoffs and winning the league title. You would have 4 teams making the playoffs from different skill levels. Isn't that more fair than the standard format and raising the handicap?
</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="VERDANA,ARIAL,HELVETICA,TAHOMA">OK, this is the point I have a problem with. The 8 strongest teams could only advance ONE team to the playoffs, and one of the 8 weakest would advance as well? This kind of flies in the face of attempting to field a competitive team, because a weak team is going to make the playoffs. Why try to make the most competitive team in a league if all you have to do is take 4 newbies, start out in the weak division and have them improve all season?

Maybe I'm seeing this wrong, but I couldn't suggest this with a straight face to anyone. [/b]</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="VERDANA,ARIAL,HELVETICA,TAHOMA">Angel I'm not sure I understand your post. The idea here is to give every team a chance to win. So, if the league randomly drew divisions, then you might have good teams in each division, which would defeat the purpose of this format. Hey, there might be a better format out there, but you know what? I haven't seen one better! We've all been bowling under the same format for so long, that anything else seems wrong. I bring up the NFL, NBA, b/c this format is modeled after those sports. If you follow those sports (MLBA included), you know that some teams really don't deserve to be in the playoffs. And you also know that the team with the best record don't always win it all. But that is the exciting part of this format, every team would have a chance and anything could happen! Dividing the league by team averages to me is the best way to go about giving every team a chance. I just don't see the fun in being in a league, and by Christmas, some teams are saying," We'll get 'em next year!". Angel, obviously you don't agree with the format, and that's fine! I'm trying to reach those that are looking for something different in the league. I'm trying to reach those that are always on the losing end of the stick, and don't have any chance of winning the league. There are people out there that might like this idea. I know there will be alot of opposition on this, and it probably won't even pass in my league. But I'll keep on trying, and one of these days, there will be people who are willing to give it a try.

I don't know if I answered your post correctly, again explain your post.
Posted by: stroker2005

Re: League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline! - 08/16/05 09:47 PM

Well, another idea shot down! I don't think the league understood what I was explaining. Anyway, the playoff format thing is dead! I guess wait till next year....LOL!!!
Posted by: ron shields

Re: League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline! - 08/20/05 09:37 PM

We have 6 divisions and two confernces. each division has a winner and each conference has a wild card. every quarter we roll off. 8 teams winner advancing 3-8 are based on on total pin fall. 10 pins added for beating your man and 50 pins for a team victory.

Makes it real interesting during position round and roll offs.

Question: What can be done to make roll off night interesting for the teams not in roll off? I was thinking maybe a team individual or doubles bracket.
Posted by: Atochabsh

Re: League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline! - 08/20/05 11:29 PM

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.

Erin
Posted by: BillinPhilly

Re: League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline! - 11/13/05 11:17 AM

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.
Posted by: mrsuthern

Re: League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline! - 11/14/05 01:20 AM

</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.
Posted by: Jock

Re: League formats not ball specs are reason for bowler membership decline! - 11/14/05 02:25 AM

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).