Equal Opportunity in Tournament Participation by Ed Cotter
I have a thought concerning tournaments. I’m curious what others have to say. This is strictly my opinion and not the opinion of USBC or any associations.
Here’s some of what I’m hearing and agree with. The current association tournament requirements discriminate against men. Here’s why I come to and support this conclusion. Each association is required to hold a youth, women, and open tournaments.
Per USBC rules, if you are a youth girl you have opportunity to bowl the youth tournament and singles in the women and open. If you’re a youth boy you can bowl the youth tournament and singles in the open. If you’re a woman you can bowl in the women and open tournaments. If you’re a man you can only bowl the open. That’s three tournament opportunities for a youth girl, 2 tournament opportunities for a youth boy or a woman, while a man has only 1 opportunity.
Isn’t time for the participation balance to be adjusted a little to provide ALL bowlers, REGARDLESS OF SEX the same number of tournament opportunities?
My thought is dropping the requirement for a woman’s tournament and revamping the Open format to have women, men and mixed divisions. Our youth tournament is run this way. There’s a girls, boys, and mixed divisions. Youth would still have 2 tournament opportunities, singles only in the adult tournament. Women and men would have the same.
After conducting association tournaments I have watched women’s participation slowly dwindle and the open dwindling a little less than the women’s. Those women that did participate, some had their husbands there. I think combining and revamping the tournament structure might increase turnout and allow greater opportunities for non-traditional teams and doubles. There could be a mixed singles division.
Granted I don’t have the finer details worked out, but am confident the revamped format would work and has the potential to increase tournament participation.