Working with the German Bowling Federation is no fun



    2006WYCLogo_small.jpgIf you wonder why Bowlingdigital has still not started with "Live Coverage" from the 9th World Youth Championships 2006 at Bowlingcenter Schillerpark in Berlin, Germany, here is the answer.

    It is not because it's 'just youth bowling'. I think the best youth bowlers of the world deserve world class coverage. It is not because of the host center and the proprietors. Willy Theissen and his daughter Tanya are wonderful hosts. But working for the German Bowling Federation (DBU) is absolutely no fun.

    The last international event organized by the DBU was the bowling competition within the 2005 World Games. And it turned out to be a nightmare. Fortunately - once again - the host bowling center in Mülheim on the Ruhr made sure that Bowlingdigital could cover this event live. And that was only a 44-player field and a three-day competition.

    Now at the World Youth Championships in Germany's capital city of Berlin, 266 players from nearly 50 countries participate in an 8-day event. This is what to expect if you have media accreditation:

    The wireless internet is all goofed up there ... first they have to adjust the settings of our IP addresses so that they would work at the center. Turns out when you go back to the hotel, your connection will not work there. So you have to figure out what they did and undo it. If you are unable to do this, you're lost.

    On the first day of competition (Sunday 23rd - Girls Singles) the bowling press was told that there is no internet available during the squads (only in between squads) because of the deal the DBU has with the online betting company 'Bet and Win'. They are video streaming lanes 5 and 6 and they need all the bandwidth so people can place bets on YOUTH bowlers.

    Bulletin No. 2 of the WYC says: "access to the results and to the internet will be available through a free of charge fast speed connection. We expect to be able to provide space and capacity for about 30 – 40 press officials." Unfortunately, I did not know that I should have asked 'how many minutes a day?'

    And after some writers decided to work from the hotel and I thought 'Why go to Berlin at all?" we must discover ... you can't copy or convert the results. Usually, you would expect to receive the results from a World Championship via email in a proper format. Well, the DBU serves the tournament website only, most probably to send as many people as possible to the online betting. This is what I call making money at all costs!

    Just to complete the picture, Bulletin No. 2 describes the results service as follows: The latest technology will be in use both for the present press officials … Easy access to a fast result service for all press officials - both on internet pages and EXCEL sheets, easy to distribute to partners and media around the world.

    Fact is, if you want to get any results you have to type them in as in the good (?) old days without any email and internet. I cannot remember, and if I could, I don't want to be reminded of that, either.

    And all of this for a 60 Euro charge too. Oh well, working with the German Bowling Federation is no fun.

    Herbert Bickel
    Editor of