12 wishes for upcoming bowling season By Dick Evans

    07/31/08

    Column

    ColumnistDickEvans.jpg Things I would like to see happen in the bowling industry next season:

    1. The International Bowling Campus to be even more dazzling and energetic than the dreams of the visionaries who conceived it in the first place.

    2. League bowlers to realize what a bargain USBC membership rates are when compared to tennis. The United States Tennis Association charges a $40 a year membership fee and all you get is a monthly magazine and maybe a U.S. Open cap if you are lucky.

    3. John Berglund to change his mind and serve another 10 years as executive director of the Bowling Proprietors Association of America. He is one of the best things ever to happen to the bowling industry.

    4. The secretary general of the United Nations and other global leaders to attend a NABI tournament or a World Youth Games to see how bowling is a universal sport and is based on respect for everyone in the world.

    5. Mike Hennessy to fully recover and compete in the Best Comic Standing contest. The audience was in stitches when Mike was inducted into the USBC Hall of Fame last May.

    6. Somebody to devise a plan for bowling centers that is similar to what is used at golf and tennis clubs. Year round membership cards could be great for the bowler and super for bowling centers. Golf and tennis clubs have flourished during a yearly membership fee for decades upon decades.

    7. The Professional Bowlers Association's plans for its 50th anniversary celebration make PBA founder Eddie Elias smile up in heaven.

    I think every bowling writer asked to vote for the PBA's top 50 players should print his/her 1 through 50 picks. There is no right and wrong on the picks, but they should make for lively conversation.

    The PBA should get more respect from ESPN, the USBC and BPAA and from bowlers. Without the PBA, there would be very little reason for a young boy or girl bowler to want to excel in a sport without a first-class pro organization.

    8. Bowling proprietors who live in a lively bowling area to look into bringing a club franchise like the NABI to its area and sponsor the whole deal.

    After talking to NABI members for three years, I have a deeper understanding about what bowling clubs like NABI can do for an area. Most of the NABI bowlers I spoke to average two or three NABI tournaments a month. That could be a good guarantee income for three or four area bowling centers each month.

    Although NABI winners are decided on averages, the tournament competition encourages more bowlers to become dedicated sport bowlers. The winner of the last NABI tournament said she had gotten serious about the sport and had hired her own coach and ball driller.

    9. Hazel McLeary, whose two-year term as president of the Bowling Writers Association of America ended July 31, finally to get the world recognition she deserves for covering national and international amateur tournaments for the Canadian press during the past two decades. And she did it on her own dimes most of the time.

    10. Lydia Rypcinski, one of the elite bowling writers in the country, to enjoy good weather and great competition while covering fast pitch softball games during the Summer Olympics Games in China. She made a big time media name for herself years ago during the AMF World Cup.

    11. Members of Congress who support legalize online gambling legislature to garner enough votes to make it law.

    Legalize online gambling could do wonders for the Professional Bowlers Association, especially when the PBA gets down to the top 32 after qualifying.

    I remember betting on bowling in Las Vegas, Laughlin and Reno but it was only small-time action. I can guarantee you that the PBA matches would be a big hit with online bettors across the world.

    They even bet on matches during the World Youth Championships two years ago in Germany, but none was allowed during the 2008 Youth Games in Orlando earlier this month.

    There never should be any kind of legalized gambling on youth bowlers.

    12. Bowling proprietors to get on the ball and form summer bowling camps for children next year.

    Every spring the Daytona Beach News-Journal prints the summer camps youngsters out of school for the summer I am baffled why bowling proprietors don't jump on the summer-camp bandwagon.

    I was reminded of this fact when I read Al Neuharth, a former editor at the Miami Herald when I was young, and his column about kids' summer camps.

    He wrote in USA Today that more than 6.1 million children will attend camps this year and according to the National Camp Association that's up about 100,000 from a year ago despite the slumping economy.

    Bowling should join the summer camp bonanza and even run sleep overs on a few nights. A few years ago, I drove to Miami and picked up two of my late brother Lee Evans' five grandchildren and drove them 270 miles back to Daytona Beach so they could participate in our tennis club's weekly camps.

    The cost was $100 each for five days of golf/tennis/swimming and included a small lunch and a lot of cold beverages.

    The camp lasted from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. They had a blast and one just graduated from high school back in Miami and wrote "I never will forget that magical week in Daytona."

    In this area there are camps for chess, beach volleyball, basketball, baseball, football, shuffleboard and even skate boarding to name a few sport.

    But I can't find any bowling camps.

    If I owned a bowling center, especially one that features other sports, I would fill my bowling lanes with summer campers even if I had to set up basketball and maybe archery out in the parking lot.

    The possible benefits are staggering. You could make big bucks on your slowest summer days – Monday through Friday – without spending a bundle on advertising or manpower.

    To be truthful, a lot of parents just want some form of summer exercise for their child when she/he is out of school.

    If you are really dedicated to the summer camp bowling program, you can bring in PBA players who can coach for a day, invite some of the PBA players who do trick shots or tiny pros like Missy Bellinder to show young girls that you don't have to be muscular to excel in bowling.

    In our area, a lot of the summer camps get some TV exposure on the early afternoon newscasts.

    I know, some of you will be shaking your head and saying, "No, you can't have a summer bowling camp in a bowling center because it will upset the seniors or ladies."

    We paid $1,000 a year to play tennis yet for nine weeks in the summer we knew that up to 100 sweaty camp youngsters were going to descend on our tennis club at 10:30 each morning.

    There are all kind of ways that bowling owners can prosper even if it means copying other sports.

    Email address: Evans121@aol.com