Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Critic Alleges Unfair Favoritism in Elite Women's Bowling

Someone who claims to have participated in this week's U.S. Women's Open posted an anonymous comment to one of my recent blogposts about the Open that I want to share with you, because I think it raises a very important issue.

The gist of her post is that elite women's tournaments, such as the U.S. Women's Open, unfairly favor established "pros" such as Kelly Kulick and virtually ignore "up and comers" who then sour on the game, stop entering top tournaments, and, before you know it, there are no more big women's tournaments, just like there is no more PWBA, because not enough women feel competitive enough to enter. Here are her provocative comments:

In your comment you reference the demise of the PWBA in 2003. Well let's just say that if Ebonite doesn't do a better job of running the U.S. Open tournament, this will demise as well. They had a record turn out this week with 296 bowlers, last year they had 100. If they didn't get the turn out they got this week, the tournament surely would've gone away.

Well let me say this, "professional" bowlers that are bowling in this event for one, have a GREAT advantage when competing in these types of tournaments. When you enter the tournament you're limited to 8 ball, but the "professionals have Ball Reps, that are at their beck and call to drill up balls for them at anytime during the competition, when the up and coming bowlers are limited to the 8 balls they have because the Ball Reps who should, (I would think) be there for everyone as they are trying to sell balls for their company, but the truth is they are not there for or interest talking to any one if you're not a "Pro".

These guys stand behind the pros during practice ignoring anyone else on the lanes with the "Pro", tell the where to stand and throw the ball they're using and if it's not working, they tell them that they will have another ball drilled up for them immediately. The up and coming person has the odds totally stacked against them when they're competing.

To make this an even playing field, there should only be an allowance of 8 balls for a given day,(that are weighed and serial numbers check) as I'm sure you know this is not done. If your ball or balls are not working, you need to make adjustments without help from your Professional husband or Professional Bowler Ball Rep/Reps, with you being the "Pro" should know how to make your adjustments on your own with out other professional help, as this is what the up and coming bowlers have to do when they are competing. Sounds fair to me!!!

But is this what happens ummm no!!! I bowled this week and I saw all of the "Pros" being told where to line up and what shot to shoot. With that said, I believe this is why the WPBA went away in 2003 and if they don't watch out, this will go away as well. It's obvious that the up and coming bowlers are set up to fail when this type of thing is going on, just look at who the bowlers are that continue to win these tournaments.

Take a look at how the cards are stacked against the up and coming bowler compared to the "Pro".

Up and coming Bowler
1.Pays $300-400 entry fee
2.Pays $150 per ball/8 balls
3.Pays for room and board
4.Pays for travel
5.Has to figure out lane
conditions/make adjustments
on their own/no help from
Reps you are not acknowledged
by them.

1.Sponsor pays (Ebonite, Columbia etc...)
2.Sponsor supply balls for free (Ebonite, Columbia etc...)
3.Sponsor pay for room/board (Ebonite, Columbia etc...)
4.Sponsor pay for travel (Ebonite, Columbia etc...)
5.Sponor Reps line them up, tell them what
adjustments to make when they struggle. (Ebonite, Columbia etc...)

It's obvious who the Tournament or Sponsors want to win these tournaments, and it's blatantly in your face. I guess they think the up and coming will continue to donate to the prize fund for their "Pros" to continue to win with their help. The up and coming made a statement last year and years priors (2003) hoping this year things would change but if it doesn't I'm sure this will be short lived as the women who compete in these tournaments are not STUPID!!! When you have bowlers being lined up and told where to shoot, you don't have a chance because by the time you figure out the shot or make adjustments, it's too late. But if the Pros had to figure things out on there own the field would be more equal but right now it's not.

There are other people that feel like me, the playing field should be equal. If they have sponsor, so what, but they should be restricted to the maximum amount of balls and allowed no help at all like everyone else and definitely everyone should have their balls check and weighed like they are in Nationals.(WHY AREN'T THEY)hhhmmmm!!! At Nationals a Woman Professional Bowler had a illegal ball and was told the ball couldn't be used unless she had it fixed, she refused to have it fixed and got caught trying to use it any way. I know this is a long post but, just wanted to voice my opinion. So let it be known the up and coming bowlers are talking!!!

Do you think these are valid complaints, and, if so, what, if anything, do you think can and should be done to address them?

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