Topic outline

  • Definition

    Where Do We Start

    We all have a general understanding of what bowling is ... but there are important differences that need to be defined so we are all working in the same direction. A key understanding or should I say misunderstanding:

    "Bowling is ... always has been ... and always will be about transition"

    We need to embrace this understanding instead of fighting it because the invisible change of our playing field is the uniqueness of our sport.

    By embracing transition we can use that understanding to establish competitive guidelines and improve instructional curriculum.

    Our suggestion for a working definition for the sport of bowling is:

    “Tenpin bowling is a competitive sport which involves the objective of knocking down bowling pins with a bowling ball while navigating an invisible course on a bowling lane with varying challenge levels and constant transition"

    • A Question That Has To Be Asked

         Is The Sport Of Bowling Structurally Sound 

      Nothing Stays The Same

       

      This article has been written as part of R2SBA's showcase initiative. The R2SBA Showcase invites everyone to participate and critique.

       

      It has been my job to solve problems for many years and I am very comfortable with Critical Thinking, but I know many may confuse the thought process as criticism. Whatever judgments people make it doesn’t take away from the value of asking the questions and looking for answers. I hope no one is offended with the content of these articles, but I have viewed and reviewed these articles and believe it is to the advantage of our sports growth and development to offer my knowledge and experience for a possible solution and a brighter future.

       

      Critical Thinking - "The process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information to reach an answer or conclusion"

       

      Criticism - is the action of expressing disapproval of something or someone.

       

      Written by Rick Benoit

      Dated 5/22/2020

       

      The basic structure of a sporting industry comprises of two ends and a middle. At one end is recreation and at the other end is professional. Both ends have their own goals and initiatives but the greatest potential for the industry is usually in the middle. For a sporting industry to reach its full potential the working relationship between both ends is crucial. Bowling is no different, we already have both ends established, but the structure and synergy can certainly be improved. When looking at the structure and synergy there are several questions that come to mind. Who is responsible for recreation?, who is responsible for sport?, and what can be done to improve what we have? As far as the bowling industry is concerned, the middle is the most confusing and underdeveloped aspect of the industry, so something should be done, but how can that happen? and who is the most qualified to take the lead? These types of questions and many more need to be asked, considered, evaluated, and concluded. Every single day it is possible to get into a debate within the bowling industry, so there are lots of questions. But where do those questions go, what gets done, and was there ever an evaluation, recommendation, and conclusion? Until a solution is created to showcase what those questions are, an explanation is given, a suggestion is made, and a conclusion is reached, the questions will never stop. We hear the same questions over and over again and nothing seems to change. It doesn’t matter how hard individuals work or how qualified those individuals are we can’t just keep letting those questions appear to go unanswered. Those questions and conclusions need to be showcased, because we can’t possibly make assessments without knowing our leaders opinions and actions.

      For that reason I have created a “BowlU Showcase” resource that will hopefully ignite action and solutions to those questions that never stop. Here is an example of what you will find:

      The Question: Is The Sport Of Bowling Structurally Sound?

      ·      Consideration: First we must understand what is meant by structure. Since I asked this question I can offer that the governing body of our sport is presently the United States Bowling Congress (USBC). The USBC is making the rules for the sport and I want to know if this is best for the entirety of our sport and industry?

      ·      Evaluation: Obviously we need a governing body and the USBC has been the accepted authority for many years (established in 1895 as the American Bowling Congress and changed to USBC in 2005). Considering the evolution of our sport, I do believe chances need to be made in the leadership roles. Without objection the governing body of our sport (ABC and USBC) have been instrumental is the growth and development of our sport, but it has become outdated in many respects and there are built in biases that are constantly creating conflict at the different levels of our sport.

      ·      Recommendation: The first consideration has to be financial responsibilities. Because the USBC is a membership driven organization their first priority should be their membership. The membership of the USBC are the majority of bowlers throughout the United States which will always be league bowlers. Because of those conditions USBC’s main focus should be league bowling. There are many reasons to have different sets of rules and regulations for the current circumstances of our sport. Trying to have the same set of rules and regulations for the entirety of our sport is not recommended. So the next consideration is who should be responsible for the different sets of rules and regulations. Again we have to go to the financial responsibilities. There are a couple possible recommendations. One would be to create a separate division within the current governing bodies structure. I have reservations about this because of the financial responsibilities of the USBC. Conflict is unavoidable if the USBC membership is being forced to pay and or play by rules that are not focused on their environment and competitive circumstances. Another challenge is the track record of the USBC. Too many of their programs are outdated, their rules and regulations are not conducive to different forms of competition, and they don’t seem to have the creativity or qualifications to take the sport any further than what it currently is. Because of that, I recommend that another organization should be responsible for creating rules and regulations for the highest levels of competition and build a “Top-Down” pathway to the level of what the USBC offers for their membership. Who that organization is becomes another consideration. Since bowling is a worldwide sport I think the organization needs to have worldwide reach and resources. An important consideration is the media, support systems, and sponsorship potential throughout the world. It is a reality that the media, support systems, and sponsorship potential in the United States is not ideal, making is worthy of further worldwide consideration. I believe World Bowling and the Professional Bowlers Association are the two organizations that offer the greatest potential to take our sport into the future. That doesn’t mean USBC shouldn’t be a part of that creation, but presently the USBC has too many challenges of their own to think they can update their development platforms, management practices, and business model to be effective at a higher level of sport competition.

      ·      Conclusion: This is an important topic and will certainly cause passionate debate. This is an example of how Critical Thinking and Criticism are affecting actions and reactions in our sport and industry. At some point and time this will all come to a peak and something will be done, that doesn’t mean it will be better or worse but we simply cannot expect productive growth with the present structure and guidelines. There will always be those that think bowling Is just fine and those that think bowling should be like it use to be. But the facts are, nothing stays the same … everything is getting better or worse and for bowling to get better we need to find the people that have the knowledge and experience it takes. The areas that need to get better are:

      o   Leadership – A motivator who surrounds himself with a team of qualified skills and creative thinking.

      o   Development programs – The development programs of our current governing body are outdated and poor at best. They need dramatic revision

      o   Media Representation – The media is of the highest priority. You cannot get the sponsors and participation numbers desired until the media becomes a meaningful partner.

      o   Competition formats – how we determine skill levels and how we entertain unknowledgeable viewers and how do we attract new participants

      o   Rules and Regulations – We need more options and opportunities for the vastly different competition and development desires around the world


      • Finding A Solution

        Finding The Answers

        Finding A Solution

         

        This article has been written as part of R2SBA's showcase initiative. The R2SBA Showcase invites everyone to participate and critique.

         

        It has been my job to solve problems for many years and I am very comfortable with Critical Thinking, but I know many may confuse the thought process as criticism. Whatever judgments people make it doesn’t take away from the value of asking the questions and looking for answers. I hope no one is offended with the content of these articles, but I have viewed and reviewed these articles and believe it is to the advantage of our sports growth and development to offer my knowledge and experience for a possible solution and a brighter future.

         

        Critical Thinking - "The process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information to reach an answer or conclusion"

         

        Criticism - "The action of expressing disapproval of something or someone"

         

        Written by Rick Benoit

        Dated 5/22/2020

         

        The basic structure of a sporting industry comprises of two ends and a middle. At one end is recreation and at the other end is professional. Both ends have their own goals and initiatives but the greatest potential for the industry is usually in the middle. For a sporting industry to reach its full potential the working relationship between both ends is crucial. Bowling is no different, we already have both ends established, but the structure and synergy can certainly be improved. When looking at the structure and synergy there are several questions that come to mind. "Who is responsible for recreation?" "Who is responsible for sport?" and "What can be done to improve what we have?" As far as the bowling industry is concerned, the middle is the most confusing and underdeveloped aspect of the industry, so something should be done, but "How can that happen?" and "Who is the most qualified to take the lead?" These types of questions and many more need to be asked, considered, evaluated, and concluded. Every single day it is possible to get into a debate within the bowling industry, so there are lots of questions. But "Where do those questions go?" "What gets done?" and "Was there ever an evaluation, recommendation, and conclusion?" Until a solution is created to showcase what those questions are, an explanation is given, a suggestion is made, and a conclusion is reached, the questions will never stop. We hear the same questions over and over again and nothing seems to change. It doesn’t matter how hard individuals work or how qualified those individuals are we can’t just keep letting those questions appear to go unanswered. Those questions and conclusions need to be showcased, because we can’t possibly make assessments without knowing our leaders opinions and actions.

        For that reason I have created a “BowlU Showcase” resource that will hopefully ignite action and solutions to those questions that never stop. Here is an example of what you will find:

        The Question: What is the difference between recreational bowling and sport bowling?

        ·      Consideration: We could spend a lot of time with this discussion but in the end the important aspect of that discussion is what happens when you mix the difference in attitudes between a recreational bowler and a competitive sport bowler.

        ·      Evaluation: You can almost guarantee conflict with that mix. It is akin to a public swimming pool. The recreational swimmer wants to hang out and play around in the shallow end and that’s all fine and good until a competitive minded sport swimmer wants to start swimming laps. Guaranteed conflict will most certainly happen. The most important difference between recreation and sport is the purpose of their participation and the competitive instincts amongst the competitors not their skill level. That is why a public swimming pool provides separate areas with different rules. Bowling could certainly learn from this.

        ·      Recommendation: We should consider organizing competition opportunities with a clear understanding of “Purpose and Attitude” rankings. A simple explanation of those rankings could look like this:

        o   Recreation to Sport ranking from 1 to 10 with 1 being pure recreation and 10 being pure sport.

        o   We could also include an Intensity ranking from 1 to 10 with 1 being relaxed, kind, and friendly social interaction and 10 being the highest intensity rating possible.

        o   With those rankings in mind individuals would know what to expect going in and the organizer can reference and adjust those rankings as desired.

        ·      Conclusion: This is a worthy topic of consideration and could improve the present environment and circumstances of bowling. This could be implemented quickly and efficiently with or without the authority of the governing body. Proprietors or league and tournament organizers could do this on their own.


        Recreation to Sport Bowling Rankings

        Here is what a ranking label could look like


        We know there are many other questions and our goal is to help find solutions. There are many more examples, considerations, evaluations, recommendations and conclusions that can be found within the R2SBA Showcase and we hope you will join us as we continue to ask the questions and find solutions. 

        • Bowling's Uniqueness

          You don't want to put everything on here at once do you? ... I would probably drive you nuts if I did that

          Nothing is like the sport of bowling ... and as soon as we learn what that uniqueness is, we begin to develop greater pride and respect for everything it has to offer.

          This is an article that I will post sometime next week. 

          • Order Of Learning

            You don't want to put everything on here at once do you? ... I would probably drive you nuts if I did that

            I have always said "We don't necessarily teach the wrong things ... but we can certainly teach them in a better order"

            This is an article that I will post sometime next week.