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This is a very inciteful article that everyone in bowling should read.
The scoring issue in bowling reared it's head back in the really 80's and really has not been addressed.
What are your thoughts?
I read the article and while I understand the writers point of view and certainly there is some validity to the concept that there's been a decline in bowling (and I assume golf) because the game has been made artificially easier.
Also, we know all to well of the many people in related bowling businesses who believe that scoring is to blame for the decline in league play, but the real culprit is the demands on all of us. We are all consumers and we have less free time and more ways to spend that time. In these past three years we can add the fact we have less money and more economic instability.
How many people would we loose if we went back to a more difficult scoring pattern? Its difficult enough to convert open play bowlers into league bowlers because of the time commitment imagine what would happen if they actually had to practice to be competitive. No one wants to consume their time with getting better, they want to play the game and have fun, what we need to do is find the right way to combine the consumers need for instant gratification and fun into a format that provides us with some consistency of number of participants and length of participation. The term LEAGUE needs to be wiped clean from this industry, its negative inference makes getting bowlers to commit to any program more difficult.
A few years ago I took up golf, I started out by buying myself a good set of clubs, I took about three lessons, went to the driving range like four time and then said this isn't any fun..... So when I do get a chance to play golf, which isn't often, I enjoy those one or two good shots among the 100+ I take in any given round.... its what keeps me coming back and of course when I get to play with others in the bowling industry at meeting and/or conventions.
So whether scoring in golf was easier or harder than before is not important to me, I play because I enjoy the game and those I play with and if there were meetings or friends close by I would play more often.
The answer to the decline in bowling (or golf) is the same as the salvation let's find ways to make it more fun with less commitment
It doesn't matter how easy you make the lanes or how much a new ball can hook or carry. When a person reaches a certain skill level they will complain if they averaged 299 because of the horrible lane conditions and bad carry screwed them out of a 300 average (just before they quit all together). They learn this from the people who bowled before them.
The ABC/WIBC was suppose to watch out for this. Putting them in charge of lane conditions is like putting the police in charge of a DUI checkpoint in which off duty police officers are getting pulled over after leaving a FOP party. You might get a lot of talk about drinking and driving being wrong but nobody will get arrested. The USBC has more or less said anything goes since it has been formed.
The local association officers who checked the lanes were also bowlers. DUH! Us proprietors are just as bad. Tring to steal business from each other based on scoring. Customer service would have been a better waybecause our real competition is not other bowling centers it is other things to do.
I just said to another bowling center own that if the people put in charge of bowling was in charge of golf he same thing would happen that it said in the article. If it was MLB the fence would be just past the pitchers mound, oh I forgot they already did that a few years ago with drugs and Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds...... hit homeruns (scored) beyond logic and reason. Now look and see how empty the stands are.
We have a reputation of having the toughest lane conditions in the area. Guess what, our league business is up. Short and full season. You can have a league with good bowlers in it and still have fun. We haven't had a 300 yet this season but yet b******* about the "shot" is not happening.
I had a 236 average in a summer league once, it was boring and I felt I let my team down if I didn't shoot 700. I didn't have fun.
Beginner bowlers are the same breed as they use to be before the scoring issues started. They join a league because a friend or bowling center ask them. The have a hard time averaging in most cases anything above a 100 to 120 a game. The difference is the other bowlers in the league. Back in the 60's and 70's if you averaged 185 or 190 you were god. A new bowler could still get lucky and shoot 185 or 190 but now they feel left out because people average 230 and even 240 and 300 games are like 250's use to be.
The key is make things fun, give good service and make a home away from home for your guest. League bowling doesn't have to die and won't unless we let it.