Bowling commentary: No logic in USBC ruling
By Steve T. Gorches 648-3141 or firstname.lastname@example.org October 23, 2012 11:32PM
Jeffrey D. Nicholls/Post-Tribune Post-Tribune sports writer Steve Gorches
Updated: November 25, 2012 11:57AM
So it looks like the latest bowling tourney brainchild of Stardust III manager Shaun Ciesielski — the Thanksgiving Eve King of the Hill Baker Doubles — is getting a good response. Only one problem: The United States Bowling Congress is getting in the way of more entries.
The tourney will be at 10:45 p.m., on Nov. 21, with doubles teams (made up of two men, two women or mixed) bowling five Baker games (alternating frames) before cutting to the top 32 teams for match play.
Regular readers of my bowling columns know I’m not a big fan of our beloved USBC. Don’t get me started on the SMART Fund scholarship program that must be used for sanctioned youth tournaments (which is why our annual Post-Tribune Youth Scholarship events are not sanctioned since we don’t like the idea of sending money to the USBC with no guarantee of getting it back if kids don’t eventually go to college).
This time, it’s the vagueness of USBC Rule 400, which speaks of youth eligibility for tournaments. Most bowlers know about youth being able to compete in most adult singles events as long as their prize money is in the form of scholarships, and goes to the SMART Fund if USBC sanctioned. The rule doesn’t specifically say anything about doubles or team events — hence, the vagueness.
Here’s my concern. The rule does talk about youth being able to get in sidepots in either adult or youth events as long as they’re “paid” in scholarship money. Now I understand, sort of, why youth can’t bowl with adults in doubles or team competition — helping an adult win money even if the kid isn’t borders on unethical. But sidepots mentioned as being OK in a youth eligibility rule ... that really seems unethical.
And furthermore, why can’t two kids bowl together in this particular doubles tourney? That’s not unethical. But USBC rules counselor John Budnik told Ciesielski that “youth cannot compete if any teams receive cash prizes.”
Huh? So two youths can’t do that, but a single youth can bowl any event as long as the tourney organizers only pay the single youth in scholarship money even though every adult in the event is still receiving cash? There’s absolutely no logic in that ruling whatsoever. I’d call Budnik and ask him about that, but I’m really trying not to lose my temper over illogical reasoning.
So for adults who want to bowl in the Thanksgiving Eve Doubles, the entry is $30 per bowler, $60 per team. For more details, call 322-3666.
Lakeshore Master and Queens: The Lakeshore Bowling Association will hold its annual Masters and Queens tourney at 10 am.on Sunday (check-in at 9 a.m.). The cost is $60 and the event is open to Lakeshore Association members only. Prize fund ratio will be 1-in-5 and paid out after stepladder finals. Only cash entries are allowed now.
There will be a dress code — only collared or mock-style shirts, skirts or slacks for women, pants but no jeans for men, and no hats. For more details, contact tourney manager Ken Laviolette at 763-2034 or email@example.com.
NWIJTPA returns: The Northwest Indiana Junior Tournament Players Association is back for its second season, holding youth scratch tourneys across the region with Junior Gold qualifying spots in the mix, too. The schedule begins on Nov. 4 with the Lake County Open at Plaza Lanes in Highland (check-in at 9:30 a.m.).
Events are open to both members and non-members, but Junior Gold spots are awarded only to NWIJTPA members. Last season, almost $7,000 was awarded in scholarships. For more details, visit www.ihsbsuburban.com and click on the NWIJTPA tab.
Crosstown Classic returns: Almost 20 years ago, bowlers competed in a monthly tournament that had them bowl three games at Olympia Lanes in Hammond and three games at Plaza Lanes. Called the Crosstown Classic, the event returns in November with a new challenge for bowlers.
To take home the $600 first place prize (based on 50 entries), a bowler will have to master this past year’s USBC Championships oil pattern.
Tournament directors Mike Kozy (Olympia Lanes manager) and Timm Sieber (Plaza Lanes manager) hope the scratch tourney will return to being a monthly event, but are only scheduling November at this point. Unlike most of the area’s sport shot sweepers, the Crosstown Classic is USBC sanctioned.
The entry fee is $40 ($22 to prize fund, $18 to lineage) with high scratch series at each center earning a $100 bonus. Squads are scheduled at 6 p.m., on Sunday, Nov. 11, and 7 p.m., on Monday, Nov. 12, at Olympia Lanes. Squads at Plaza Lanes will be at 1 p.m. on Nov. 11, and 7 p.m. on Nov. 15.
Bowlers must bowl all six games to cash and one re-entry is allowed. Youth bowlers can compete with prizes going into their SMART Fund account.
For more details or to make a reservation, call Kozy at 933-6677 or Sieber at 923-3800.