The signs are everywhere By Joe Lyou (Tenpin Slants)



    2007BowlExpoJoeLyou.jpgThe signs are everywhere.

    The sport of bowling, after experience a steady decline for more than two decades, is on the rebound. There is now a feeling of optimism where there was once doom and gloom.

    And cooperation among the integers of bowling abounds. As an example, Jeff Boje, a proprietor, has been elected president of the United States Bowling Congress. Cross my heart and hope to die!

    Instead of bowling centers closing, new ones are going up around the country. Also, it's great to see that the professional women bowlers are back in action.

    Kelly Kulick, arguably the best of the best, won the recent USBC Queens. And Liz Johnson captured the revitalized Ladies & Legends, a popular tournament featuring contestants from the PBA Senior Tour and the PWBA (Professional Women's Bowling Assn.).

    Then, in August, the Women's U.S. Open will be held at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno. This "major" competition hasn't been conducted since 2003, the year the PWBA Tour went under.

    Scores from the Open will be used to determine 16 exempt players for the upcoming Women's Mini Tour, cosponsored by the PBA and USBC. It's a five-week elimination tournament and will be shown as a part of ESPN's PBA Fall Tour.

    And even though organized leagues are still down, open play is thriving. That's because proprietors are promoting birthday parties, junior bowling, Cosmic bowling, corporate/private parties, etc.

    Meanwhile, the USBC has been doing a fine job with its Ambassador Program, which features the likes of Kim Terrell, Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, Diandra Asbaty and Chris Barnes. Terrell is also involved with boosting collegiate bowling, while Dorin-Ballard is doing the same with high school bowling.

    It's all good. I'm telling you, the signs are everywhere.