AMF $600,000 National League Tournament Injustice

Posted by: Out Of Luck

AMF $600,000 National League Tournament Injustice - 03/20/11 01:33 PM

I recently was involved in the AMF sponsored $600,000 National In League Tournament and would like to share my experiences. Before I begin, I would just like to say that this experience has me not wanting to participate or bowl for anyAMF sponsored events EVER again and I will continue to bash AMF until the proper resolution takes place.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this tournament, I have included the URL so you may take your time to understand what it is and the situation that I was thrust into.

http://tournament.amf.com/Pages/Rules.aspx

I have been dreaming about going to Vegas ever since this tournament was announced and I looked very forward to displaying my skills and trying to advance to the ultimate goal which would have been an all-expense paid trip to Las Vegas and bowl in the Finals which take place next month in April. I bowled out of my center every week and paid money out of my pocket to ensure that I would make it to the next round. I made it to the Center FInals and achieved the next step which brought me to bowl in the District Finals in White Plains, NY. A week before the actual District Finals would begin, I went to the AMF Bowling Center in White Plains and had 3 practice games. I was placed on Lane 55 and 56 and I instantly became aware of an issue with the lanes, in which, I had to repeatedly call over one of the workers to assist me with issues with the lane. I thought nothing of it and just pondered to myself that I hope this issue is resolved by next week.

The following week on the day of the District Finals, I was excited to be a part of the tournament and prepared myself as best as I could. I was introduced to my lanes which just happened to be lanes 55 and 56. I had my headphones on and was in total "bowl" mode and tried to familiarize myself with the competition. I had six other bowlers in my lanes and we all were competing for that one ultimate goal. As we began our 10 minute practice period, some of the bowlers noticed issues with the lane immediately. Our " Lane Manager" was informed numerous times about issues on the lanes even before the competition began but no action was taken. We all had to bowl 4 games. After the first game and not even into the 3rd frame of the second game, I noticed one of the bowlers sitting on his seat and refuses to bowl any further and was protesting the game. The issues that were happening with our lanes were : pins missing, pins dropping on placement, after first ball, pins were reset and scores would go away, when a ball was thrown down the lane, the gate would come down prior to the ball touching any pins and possibly damaging the ball or lane even further. It had come to a point where a technician was "supposedly" watching our for problems but unfortunately for us, it kept on happening. It even came to the point where pins were being hand placed and we were delayed in our bowling game. Our "Lane Manager" was informed about issues over 30 times the entire event and one would think that we should have been moved to a breakdown lane but we were forced to stay and bowl in that lane and endure the misery of having to witness these happenings and not being able to do anything about it. The "Lane Manager" informed the District Manager who informed him to make sure we just bowl and deal with it. When that guy protested his game, he was informed that if he did not finish, he would be disqualified from the competition. I bowled well over my average and you can view my name here in this URL in Division C 8th Place.

http://tournament.amf.com/Pages/Scores.aspx?divisionId=4&eventPhaseId=3&orgId=530

Unfortunately, those who placed in 17th, 28th, 37th,40th, and 44th were bowling in the same lanes and did not do as well and were VERY dissatisfied with the events that were happening. We stayed after we bowled and demanded to talk to the Manager in charge of this event for clarification and we were informed to wait and that would come talk to us. Meanwhile, as we were waiting upstairs, the winners were being announced and that was more of a slap to the face to us. After the winners were announced, all 9 managers (Center Managers and District Managers) came upstairs and basically explained to to us that, YES, we know you guys were having problems, but unfortunately, there is nothing we can do, have a nice day. Mind you, while they were speaking to us, the technician was under the pin drop mechanism fixing it!!!!!!I instantly became enraged and lost my cool and started giving them a piece of my mind. I pulled myself to the side and the Center Manager from my town came over and spoke to me with ultimate sincerity and tried to explain to me that there was nothing that they could have done. I felt robbed, I felt cheated, I felt disgraced, and I felt for the others who travelled across states to be here and expensed hotels and food and took the day off of work.

After it became evident that nothing was going to come out of this disgrace of a tournament, I dropped my bag in front of the Managers and vowed to never bowl again. How can i bowl again for anything after experiencing this travesty. Luckily, the only good thing that happened, was that my Center Manager picked up my bag, and eventually returned it to me.

I began looking for the people responsible for the tournament and wanted this issue to be heard. I finally got in contact with the Tournament Director (Kathy Hart), only after i send a letter to AMF.com and the outcome I received was a bigger joke than what happened in White Plains. Here I was, thinking that the Director would have some type of resolution that would be satifying but instead, I got this :
Quote:

Sorry, we all came to the agreement that there were issues with Lanes 55 and 56 but we are working to make things right for the future and we welcome your concerns, and it's unfortunate that this happened but there was nothing that could have been done


Am i supposed to be satisfied with this? Am i supposed to be grateful that I got a phone call from the Director of the Tournament. Now I want to to talk with Fred Kipp, the CEO of AMF and I want him to justify what happened to all of us and resolve this issue. If any of you guys or gals have any suggestions, please let me know because I will not let this issue be swept under the rug!

Thank You for allowing me to share my story,

Luis Delgado



Posted by: dinger429

Re: AMF $600,000 National In League Tournament Injusti - 03/20/11 01:47 PM

You should demand a refund for all the money you spent on the tournament. I doubt they would refund traveling expenses, but at least all the fees you paid each week.
Posted by: spillup24

Re: AMF $600,000 National In League Tournament Injusti - 03/20/11 01:53 PM

And how would you like him to resolve the issue? What would make you happy?
Posted by: Out Of Luck

Re: AMF $600,000 National League Tournament Injustice - 03/20/11 02:05 PM

7. AMF may satisfy its obligation to a Bowler with respect to any claim or dispute relating to the Tournament, including the termination of the Tournament in whole or in part or a Bowlers participation or AMFs conduct of the Tournament or the conduct or actions of any other Bowlers in the Tournament or the decision or action taken by AMF or any Tournament Official, by refunding the entry fee to a Bowler.
Posted by: Out Of Luck

Re: AMF $600,000 National League Tournament Injustice - 03/20/11 02:10 PM

13. A Bowler who has a dispute related to the Tournament must notify (A) a Tournament Official, if one is present at the AMF center, and if not, the GM and also (B) AMF by calling 1-800-DIAL-AMF within 24 hours from the time the dispute happens. The Bowler must tell the GM, if present, and leave a message 1-800-DIAL-AMF explaining in detail the nature of the dispute and his or her contact information for return communication. The National Tournament Director, Kathy Hart, will review the dispute and notify the Bowler of her decision within two (2) business days after she receives the message from 1-800-DIAL-AMF. A decision of the Tournament Director is final and not subject to appeal.
Posted by: spillup24

Re: AMF $600,000 National League Tournament Injustice - 03/20/11 02:12 PM

What did you want them to do for you during the tournament? Doesn't look like you could've moved anywhere. Seems like the lanes were full. I am confused on what youh think they should've done during the tournament. It sucks that the lanes were a bit messed up but it also sounds like a lot of sour grapes on your end. Either way the ball is in your hand and you still had to knock down 10 pins.
Posted by: metguy

Re: AMF $600,000 National In League Tournament Injusti - 03/20/11 02:13 PM

Unfortunately, this does happen.
Big tournaments SHOULD have more than one breakdown pair available. Sounds like they didn't want to give it up for the issues you were experiencing.
Realisticly, nothing will come of it other than recognizing the significants of a strong mental focus.
Posted by: Atochabsh

Re: AMF $600,000 National In League Tournament Injusti - 03/20/11 02:16 PM

I hate to say it, but that is typical AMF management.

Was there a breakdown pair available?

I would think that the only thing you can do now is for the entire group of you that bowled on that pair, write a letter, present bills and send them to AMF. You can also write to the hosting center in Las Vegas and tell them how poorly the tournament was run and that you hope nothing this bad gets associated with their center in Las Vegas due to this tournament. Tell the Las Vegas center how much you wanted to visit their fascility and participate had you had a fair chance at competing.

I did not once participate in this tournament. I knew it would be near impossible. I would be in the top division (200+) and after the first week, the score to beat in my division was 189 pins over average. COME ON!!!!! I've been known to waste $3 on many things, but it wasn't going to be this tournament. The open division of 200+ included at least 30 bowlers averaging over 225 and about 4 that were over 230. While the other divisions were no more then a 19 pin spread, the open division was nearly 40 pin spread. Knowing I had to bowl a 790+ scratch to be competative, not gunna do it.

Erin
Posted by: Out Of Luck

Re: AMF $600,000 National League Tournament Injustice - 03/20/11 02:22 PM

I'm just sharing my story to anyone who listens. I am posting this to every bowling forum possible. I had a problem and it was swept under the rug. On facebook, AMF lanes has a web page and I posted this there and they deleted it. i asked for the addresses for the CEO, tournament director, and district manager, so I can send out letters and have not received a response Everyday I will continue to find a new way of sharing this story and I have all the other bowlers name and phone numbers and if I need to further pursue this issue then I am prepared to do so. It's not about me anymore, it's as THEY told me, "to ensure a fair, competitive, tournament for OUR FUTURE!!!!
Posted by: Out Of Luck

Re: AMF $600,000 National In League Tournament Injusti - 03/20/11 02:29 PM

No breakdown lanes, just a great workout to find our lane manager every 5 minutes though.

I contacted AMF and asked for addresses of CEO, Tournament Director, and District Manager, to send out letters and have not heard back yet....
Posted by: ffemtreed

Re: AMF $600,000 National In League Tournament Injusti - 03/21/11 08:46 AM

I think you are wasting your time and energy over this. What is done is done. The only person you are hurting with this stuff is yourself. You need to just need to let it go and continue on with your life and not stress over this.

No one reading these posts are going to stop bowling AMF tournaments because you had issues with 2 lanes. Overcoming obstacles is part of being a complete bowler.

The best thing you can hope for is to get your entry fee back.
Posted by: Calvin Pistorio

Re: AMF $600,000 National In League Tournament Injusti - 03/21/11 05:36 PM

Originally Posted By: ffemtreed

No one reading these posts are going to stop bowling AMF tournaments because you had issues with 2 lanes.


Trust me, I stopped bowling at AMF long before this ever happened by about 3 years, due to the way league bowlers were being treated. So this whole ordeal doesn't shock me. I do agree what's done is done and just move on. There are more important things in life to get worked up over.
Posted by: dmlawyer

Re: AMF $600,000 National League Tournament Injustice - 03/21/11 07:30 PM

Originally Posted By: Out Of Luck
I recently was involved in the AMF sponsored $600,000 National In League Tournament and would like to share my experiences. Before I begin, I would just like to say that this experience has me not wanting to participate or bowl for anyAMF sponsored events EVER again and I will continue to bash AMF until the proper resolution takes place.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this tournament, I have included the URL so you may take your time to understand what it is and the situation that I was thrust into.

http://tournament.amf.com/Pages/Rules.aspx

I have been dreaming about going to Vegas ever since this tournament was announced and I looked very forward to displaying my skills and trying to advance to the ultimate goal which would have been an all-expense paid trip to Las Vegas and bowl in the Finals which take place next month in April. I bowled out of my center every week and paid money out of my pocket to ensure that I would make it to the next round. I made it to the Center FInals and achieved the next step which brought me to bowl in the District Finals in White Plains, NY. A week before the actual District Finals would begin, I went to the AMF Bowling Center in White Plains and had 3 practice games. I was placed on Lane 55 and 56 and I instantly became aware of an issue with the lanes, in which, I had to repeatedly call over one of the workers to assist me with issues with the lane. I thought nothing of it and just pondered to myself that I hope this issue is resolved by next week.

The following week on the day of the District Finals, I was excited to be a part of the tournament and prepared myself as best as I could. I was introduced to my lanes which just happened to be lanes 55 and 56. I had my headphones on and was in total "bowl" mode and tried to familiarize myself with the competition. I had six other bowlers in my lanes and we all were competing for that one ultimate goal. As we began our 10 minute practice period, some of the bowlers noticed issues with the lane immediately. Our " Lane Manager" was informed numerous times about issues on the lanes even before the competition began but no action was taken. We all had to bowl 4 games. After the first game and not even into the 3rd frame of the second game, I noticed one of the bowlers sitting on his seat and refuses to bowl any further and was protesting the game. The issues that were happening with our lanes were : pins missing, pins dropping on placement, after first ball, pins were reset and scores would go away, when a ball was thrown down the lane, the gate would come down prior to the ball touching any pins and possibly damaging the ball or lane even further. It had come to a point where a technician was "supposedly" watching our for problems but unfortunately for us, it kept on happening. It even came to the point where pins were being hand placed and we were delayed in our bowling game. Our "Lane Manager" was informed about issues over 30 times the entire event and one would think that we should have been moved to a breakdown lane but we were forced to stay and bowl in that lane and endure the misery of having to witness these happenings and not being able to do anything about it. The "Lane Manager" informed the District Manager who informed him to make sure we just bowl and deal with it. When that guy protested his game, he was informed that if he did not finish, he would be disqualified from the competition. I bowled well over my average and you can view my name here in this URL in Division C 8th Place.

http://tournament.amf.com/Pages/Scores.aspx?divisionId=4&eventPhaseId=3&orgId=530

Unfortunately, those who placed in 17th, 28th, 37th,40th, and 44th were bowling in the same lanes and did not do as well and were VERY dissatisfied with the events that were happening. We stayed after we bowled and demanded to talk to the Manager in charge of this event for clarification and we were informed to wait and that would come talk to us. Meanwhile, as we were waiting upstairs, the winners were being announced and that was more of a slap to the face to us. After the winners were announced, all 9 managers (Center Managers and District Managers) came upstairs and basically explained to to us that, YES, we know you guys were having problems, but unfortunately, there is nothing we can do, have a nice day. Mind you, while they were speaking to us, the technician was under the pin drop mechanism fixing it!!!!!!I instantly became enraged and lost my cool and started giving them a piece of my mind. I pulled myself to the side and the Center Manager from my town came over and spoke to me with ultimate sincerity and tried to explain to me that there was nothing that they could have done. I felt robbed, I felt cheated, I felt disgraced, and I felt for the others who travelled across states to be here and expensed hotels and food and took the day off of work.

After it became evident that nothing was going to come out of this disgrace of a tournament, I dropped my bag in front of the Managers and vowed to never bowl again. How can i bowl again for anything after experiencing this travesty. Luckily, the only good thing that happened, was that my Center Manager picked up my bag, and eventually returned it to me.

I began looking for the people responsible for the tournament and wanted this issue to be heard. I finally got in contact with the Tournament Director (Kathy Hart), only after i send a letter to AMF.com and the outcome I received was a bigger joke than what happened in White Plains. Here I was, thinking that the Director would have some type of resolution that would be satifying but instead, I got this :
Quote:

Sorry, we all came to the agreement that there were issues with Lanes 55 and 56 but we are working to make things right for the future and we welcome your concerns, and it's unfortunate that this happened but there was nothing that could have been done


Am i supposed to be satisfied with this? Am i supposed to be grateful that I got a phone call from the Director of the Tournament. Now I want to to talk with Fred Kipp, the CEO of AMF and I want him to justify what happened to all of us and resolve this issue. If any of you guys or gals have any suggestions, please let me know because I will not let this issue be swept under the rug!

Thank You for allowing me to share my story,

Luis Delgado





Sounds like you are a sore loser. Maybe you can go bowl in Mexico ?
Nevertheless, here is the contact information for AMF - good luck:

AMF Bowling Worldwide, Inc.
7313 Bell Creek Rd.
Mechanicsville, VA 23111
Phone: 804-730-4000
Toll Free: 800-342-5263

http://www.amf.com
Officers & Employees
Title Name Age Salary Bonus
President and CEO Frederick R. (Fred) Hipp 59 600,000

VP and CFO Steve Satterwhite
VP Marketing Merrell C. Wreden 61 160,000
30,000
VP Real Estate Mark S. Hatcher
VP Legal Dan McCormack
VP Human Resources Evelyn Walter
VP Food and Beverage Joseph F. (Joe) Scarnaty 51
SVP Facilities J. Simon Shearer 54 202,000
40,000

Posted by: dinger429

Re: AMF $600,000 National League Tournament Injustice - 03/22/11 12:52 AM

Originally Posted By: ffemtreed
Overcoming obstacles is part of being a complete bowler.
I don't think that includes the constant malfunctioning of lanesetting equipment.
Originally Posted By: dmlawyer

Sounds like you are a sore loser. Maybe you can go bowl in Mexico ?
How would you feel if you had to deal with this?

While his story is somewhat over dramatic in some parts, I wouldn't say he is a sore loser. The point is they knew about this issue well ahead of the tournament and did not do anything about it. I don't know how management could have seen that as being ok. How hard would it have been to add each of the seven bowlers to a different set of lanes? It would have taken those sets slightly longer to finish, but I think it would have made the situation a lot better.

Also, I think he is really upset about the management's attitude, as opposed to him being mad about not making it to vegas. He still bowled well over average. The way it sounds, though, is that management really didn't care. They were unapologetic about the whole thing. I would have wanted at least an apology, but it sounds like they never issued one.
Posted by: B-Hammer

Re: AMF $600,000 National League Tournament Injustice - 03/22/11 02:15 AM

Originally Posted By: dinger429
While his story is somewhat over dramatic in some parts, I wouldn't say he is a sore loser. The point is they knew about this issue well ahead of the tournament and did not do anything about it. I don't know how management could have seen that as being ok. How hard would it have been to add each of the seven bowlers to a different set of lanes? It would have taken those sets slightly longer to finish, but I think it would have made the situation a lot better.


You couldn't really do that as it wouldn't be fair to the people on those pairs as you'd have 8 people breaking down the lanes and a slower pace of play then the other lanes.

They should have anticipated the need for a breakdown pair and limited the entries to 7 less bowlers, or moved 7 entries to a different region.

Management tried to offer an apology the complaint was forwarded up the ladder, but what could they really do? Restart the whole tournament for them? Give them an exemption into the next round? They had delays but they were able to complete their four games. The people on the pair didn't do great, but they also didn't finish last, and like the OP he bowled above his average.

If it happened to me I'd probably want to do the same thing as the OP did, and maybe his efforts will scare some people away from future AMF events, but there will probably be a much larger majority of people talk about how good of an experience they had.

Sorry to the OP for your bad experience, and hopefully your crusade is giving you a sense of relief.
Posted by: mmalsed

Re: AMF $600,000 National League Tournament Injustice - 03/22/11 11:33 AM

Originally Posted By: dmlawyer
Sounds like you are a sore loser. Maybe you can go bowl in Mexico ?


I wouldn't say he was a sore loser. . . not at all.

If you bowl league and you have racks that consistently drop pins, drop the fence early, etc. you're going to have the same reaction, no? I know I would. . . I think his sentiment is completely understandable.

Go get 'em OOL - get 'em good.
Posted by: dinger429

Re: AMF $600,000 National League Tournament Injustice - 03/22/11 12:06 PM

Originally Posted By: B-Hammer
You couldn't really do that as it wouldn't be fair to the people on those pairs as you'd have 8 people breaking down the lanes and a slower pace of play then the other lanes.

They should have anticipated the need for a breakdown pair and limited the entries to 7 less bowlers, or moved 7 entries to a different region.

Management tried to offer an apology the complaint was forwarded up the ladder, but what could they really do? Restart the whole tournament for them? Give them an exemption into the next round? They had delays but they were able to complete their four games. The people on the pair didn't do great, but they also didn't finish last, and like the OP he bowled above his average.

If it happened to me I'd probably want to do the same thing as the OP did, and maybe his efforts will scare some people away from future AMF events, but there will probably be a much larger majority of people talk about how good of an experience they had.

Sorry to the OP for your bad experience, and hopefully your crusade is giving you a sense of relief.
I didn't really think of how it would affect the other sets of lanes if the bowlers were moved. I guess there really would have been no way of making everyone happy. I just can't believe they didn't have a breakdown set, or anyway of moving the bowlers from the broken lanes. Did they really think the bowlers wouldn't mind the issues?

At this point, there is really nothing AMF can do. Although, I feel they should at least offer some kind of a refund for some of the fees. I also think they should put that center on some kind of a probation or suspend them from hosting a tournament like that.
Posted by: Atochabsh

Re: AMF $600,000 National League Tournament Injustice - 03/22/11 12:16 PM

I don't think he's a sore loser either. Consider the expense it took to go to that regional tournament. Especially if it was on a Friday and you miss work.

I think also if you are expecting an entire center of bowlers for a big corporate run tournament that you would have all your lanes in tip top condition!!!! We all know stuff happens to the machinery, and you might have a delay on game from time to time. But for it to be a constant unfixed issue is frustrating. I'd be pretty ticked off too.

Erin
Posted by: Out Of Luck

Re: AMF $600,000 National League Tournament Injustice - 03/22/11 04:20 PM

Thank you all for your responses and remarks. I wouldn't call myself a sore loser. Maybe if I didn't bowl 140 pins over my average, then yea, I wold be a crybaby, but my gripe here is how this situation was handled and the managers were very dismissive towards the group of bowlers who experienced this and stayed behind to the very end. I displayed RAW emotion and was pretty upset and when one of the Managers (Israel) decides its funny to laugh at a bowler who just felt the need to vent about an unfair disadvantage in bowling, then there is a problem. Bowling is a game of rhythm and when you have it, you can be very sharp. When you have it, and constantly have to wait to utilize it, it can be very discerning. I see nothing in the Rule of the Tournament about having a Fair and Honest shot. Leads me to believe that this is being swept under the rug since I have NOT heard anything else. Who knows, maybe when I bowl tomorrow, this District Manager will show up with flowers begging for forgiveness. I am forever disgraced by AMF and after my league is done, It will be the last time I bowl. Screw it.
Posted by: prov1x_nxt

Re: AMF $600,000 National League Tournament Injustice - 03/23/11 10:17 AM

Originally Posted By: Out Of Luck
Thank you all for your responses and remarks. I wouldn't call myself a sore loser. Maybe if I didn't bowl 140 pins over my average, then yea, I wold be a crybaby, but my gripe here is how this situation was handled and the managers were very dismissive towards the group of bowlers who experienced this and stayed behind to the very end. I displayed RAW emotion and was pretty upset and when one of the Managers (Israel) decides its funny to laugh at a bowler who just felt the need to vent about an unfair disadvantage in bowling, then there is a problem. Bowling is a game of rhythm and when you have it, you can be very sharp. When you have it, and constantly have to wait to utilize it, it can be very discerning. I see nothing in the Rule of the Tournament about having a Fair and Honest shot. Leads me to believe that this is being swept under the rug since I have NOT heard anything else. Who knows, maybe when I bowl tomorrow, this District Manager will show up with flowers begging for forgiveness. I am forever disgraced by AMF and after my league is done, It will be the last time I bowl. Screw it.


i will gladly take your equipment. i need a few new bowlings balls as I am just in my infancy stages of my bowling career. But being a very competitive person that plays several sports at a near pro level I will tell you no matter what happens you CANNOT give up. It does not matter if the center catches on fire and blows away in a dust storm the minute you give up the rest of the world wins. the only person you are hurting is yourself. now am i saying what happened was not wrong? no i am not. but look at it like this. even with your troubles u still got your chance to bowl. and u bowled well above your average. maybe the delays helped u in between shots! but let me give u an example from another sport that could be considered unfair. lets say the pga tour is playing the U.S. Open at pebble beach. Tiger woods gets a tee time in the morning and plays his entire round in sunshine and very low wind and finishes at 1pm. phil mickleson has a tee time at 1pm and at hole #5 it starts raining, the winds pick up, and phil's playing partner plays extraordinarily slow. why does tiger get such an advantage at such an important event? this is considered unfair. but friend let me say this. its luck of the draw. its always a factor. it does not matter how good you are at some point in time u will need to get lucky. thats where the saying better lucky than good comes into play. but if u could send me your equipment ill pay for the shipping wink
Posted by: tbill

Re: AMF $600,000 National League Tournament Injustice - 03/23/11 08:29 PM

i think the root of the issue is the poor customer service, the OP paid for a level playing field, nothing more, nothing less. it sounds as though a level playing field was not supplied, i.e. lane equiptment failure, this failure was brought to the attention of the appropriate people, and nothing was done. that's what i see as the original issue here.

not sure how i'd go about a resolution, but i can understand the OP's position.