Thursday, July 5, 2012

BPAA Director Steve Johnson and Stefanie Nation Defend 2012 U.S. Women's Open Finals Venue

Many people besides me have been talking in public forums about the U.S. Women's Open, including BPAA Executive Director Steve Johnson who unabashedly says that he's the one who takes sole responsibility for greenlighting the venue, and I'd like to direct your attention to some of these discussions.

A great discussion can be found here at Here is one of several comments by the BPAA executive director:

The 5 ladies that made the show did not withdraw because they are elite athletes that have a competitive side that drives them to persevere and tackle any challenge that confronts them.
They are very classy and great ambassadors for our industry and I am proud of all of them. As I told them they are all champions in my eyes.

Having this event in Reno and on the streets was 100% my call. Don't blame the BPAA blame me.
How many people are talking about the Queens event a few weeks ago? How many people are talking about the 2010 Womens US Open and the pattern they bowled on? The answer is simple, no one.

This industry has to wake up and do some things differently. Did we purposely put dust on the lanes and turn a wind machine on? Not a chance. We staged a major event under one of the greatest icons that shouts Americana in a city that has invested millions into our sport.

Your classifying this as a disaster is your opinion but as you stated unlike our great athletes you would have refused to bowl. If they would have followed your lead and quit, we would have had a disaster but fortunately their professionalism and willingness to do what is best for our sport kept them focused on capturing the championship.  

It has been 1 week since the event and people are talking about it which is about 6 days longer than most events get discussed For those that are talking good or bad about the event, thank you for doing so.

Steve johnson
Executive director of the bpaa

And here is an eloquent critique of the finals from a forum member:

What bowler -- professional or amateur -- in the entire world, in the entire history of bowling, have you ever known or heard of who practices or has ever trained for bowling on a mountain of dust and debris on the bowling lanes?

No one does this.  No one ever has done this.  And no one ever will do this.

What the BPAA brought was a complete disaster.  It was not bowling.

To say that it was "fair" because all contestants faced the same conditions is disingenuous.  You could have removed the lanes and set the pins on the pavement on 3rd Street.  It would have been "fair" because all the bowlers would have faced the same conditions.  But at what point does it cross the line and no longer be a test of BOWLING?

The wind alone was enough of a distraction.  The women's hair was blowing in their faces.  In what bowling center anywhere in the world has that ever been an issue even once?

How does a player train for or prepare for what they faced on the telecast last night?

I know you worked for the BPAA during the tournament, so I recognize that you have a stake in the public's perception of this event.  But I'm telling you as someone who has been bowling since 1957, THIS WAS NOT BOWLING, and it most certainly was NOT FAIR TO THE CONTESTANTS.

It was a gimmick, and it cheapened the event.

Oh, it made it a spectacle, alright.  I know that's what the BPAA was going for.  But at what cost?  How did it promote bowling?  How did it promote women's bowling?

Let me tell what I would do if I was in a tournament and made the TV show, only to find that the lanes were covered in a mountain of dust.  I would have withdrawn.  I would have withdrawn right there on national television and let the whole world know that I was not about to stand for this, the money be damned.

The BPAA is a laughingstock as it is already.  They have had their way with bowling for the past thirty years, and look where it's gotten the sport.  What was once easily the most popular recreational sport in the nation is now an afterthought.  And it's largely because the BPAA has dictated the terms on which bowling's rules are formed.  While the old ABC used to govern the sport with an iron fist (and the game flourished), the minute the BPAA got the power to force the USBC to back down and let the proprietors decide what's best for the sport, it's no longer a top tier sport in America.

That's no coincidence.

I am not a fan of the BPAA, as you can clearly see.  They have done more damage to the sport of bowling than any other agency in the industry.  And this latest event is just another example of a governing body run amok.

I feel sorry for the women that they had to put up with it.  If I'd been in their shoes, I'd have walked off the telecast in protest without a second of hesitation.

It was simply not a test of any skill for which any professional bowler has ever in their life trained.

How can you possibly call that bowling?

And below is an interview that Kegel's Gus Falgien conducted with Stefanie Nation and BPAA Executive Director Steve Johnson.

1 comment:

  1. With the US Open coming up again, I do hope they do not repeat this error. They forgot to mention how unenjoyable it was to watch! If they do it again, I'll not waste my time watching it.