Proposal to allow professionals on agenda again at WTBA Congress


    WTBA News

    Republished courtesy of Kevin Hazaert, USBC Communications (June 14, 2007)

    WTBALogo.jpg Delegates at the World Tenpin Bowling Association Congress in August will once again be faced with a proposal to allow professional athletes to compete in WTBA tournaments, a measure that is critical to the sport's quest to join the Olympics.

    The International Olympic Committee recently published updated criteria in order to be considered for the Olympic program. The biggest obstacle for bowling remains the exclusion of professionals from international competition.

    By 2009, two current non-Olympic sports may be selected for inclusion into the 2016 Summer Olympics.

    KevinDornberger.jpg "Bowling meets most of the criteria the IOC has published, and we're working to improve the areas where we don't," said Kevin Dornberger (pictured left), USBC Chief Officer of National Governing Body, Federation Internationale des Quilleurs first vice president and a candidate for WTBA president. "I am cautiously optimistic the governing federations from around the world will view the long-term consequences when they vote on this issue."

    Needing a two-thirds majority, the measure failed two years ago by just one vote, 36-19 in favor of admitting professionals to the WTBA ranks.

    If the proposal to allow professionals passes, future international team members could possibly include some of the world's best bowlers. Imagine the United States being represented by Walter Ray Williams Jr., Parker Bohn III, Tommy Jones or Chris Barnes, or Finland sending Mika Koivuniemi and Venezuela sending Amleto Monacelli to WTBA tournaments.

    The 2007 WTBA Congress will be held on Aug. 29, prior to the start of the Women's World Championships in Monterrey, Mexico.