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New division for P-T Awards Tournament

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Updated: June 23, 2013 6:49AM



Over the years, the Post-Tribune Awards Tournament for women and men has gone through changes, and there are some older Northwest Indiana bowlers who have expressed their displeasure.

And I can relate to them since I’ve always been adverse to change — just ask my supervisors over the last 14 years. I can be stubborn, which is also the best word to describe those dissenting region bowlers who used to be regulars in the P-T tourneys, but are hit or miss on attendance lately.

Change is part of life, and that especially goes for bowling in which the demographics have evolved expeditiously in recent years, forcing centers and tournament organizers to go outside the box. Same goes for the P-T Tournament.

I still remember the first time I qualified for the P-T men’s tourney back before I even thought of being a media member. I rolled a 784 series at Stardust Bowl I in Hammond to earn King of the Week — the only way to qualify back in the day besides being a past champion (which is a staple of the P-T tourney in that former winners have free entries for life).

I finished sixth in that tourney which was won by two-time champ Don Draia. But there were only like 30 men because that was the way it was, for lack of a better description. There are only 30-something kings or queens of the week and a handful of past champions, and since those were the only qualifiers (all free with provided money from the P-T), numbers were never a priority.

Things changed soon after I arrived at the P-T. Numbers needed to be higher with prize money still provided, and tournament bowling in general has changed with prize funds needing to be more lucrative. Qualifying was expanded with minimal entry fees (the largest entry this year is $15 with all going into the prize fund) and entries have been as high as 120 for men.

I understand when a past champion or two wishes it was back the way it was — don’t we all wish life was the way we remember. But we must evolve, and the next step in that evolution is adding a senior men’s division.

We’ve had a separate men’s senior prize fund the last couple years, sort of like a sidepot, for ages 50 and over. But this Sunday at the annual P-T Men’s Awards Tournament at Stardust III in Dyer, we will have a separate division with a stepladder final, prize money and a trophy just like other divisions.

The only catch is that men must declare which division they will compete in — senior or open. The Open will have more provided money to start the prize fund, hence, it will be more lucrative. But I’ve had many older qualifiers mention that it’s harder to compete against the young pups.

Well, no excuse this time, and there’s a nice trophy to go with the money.

As for the oil pattern this year, those who know me well know I prefer putting out something difficult since it takes stellar efforts in league or tourney play to qualify — it’s the best of the best, right? But I’m feeling a little generous for the second straight year.

It’s still a sport shot, but, in my humble opinion, not very difficult, which is similar to last year’s event in which there were four 300 games and two other award score games on the sport shot used in high school events. But only three of those award score bowlers cashed, meaning they didn’t handle the inevitable transition.

So this year’s shot will be the 38-foot Puzzle Piece pattern that has low volume from gutter to gutter and a little more volume from 33 to 38 feet. Visit posttrib.suntimes.com/sports to find the overhead graph of the shot.



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