A Men’s Only Tournament – WHY ? – By David Charron

Recently there has been a poll generated by the State Board asking the following Question.


Men’s Tournament
MSUSBC is considering adding a Men’s Tournament. Men, please indicate how this decision would affect your tournament bowling.

  • I would bowl only in the Open Tournament.
  • I would bowl only in the Men’s Tournament.
  • I would bowl in the Open and the Men’s Tournaments.


I would like to start this post by first saying I think a Men’s Only Tournament ADDED to the Tournament Schedule is a bad idea. Secondly, the poll as it is posted does not necessarily give the appropriate choices for responses that would help identify why I think it is a bad idea.

First, let me give some reasons why adding a Men’s Only Tournament is a bad idea.

  •  Adding a Men’s Tournament is only going to take Entries and Prize Fund Money away from the Open Tournament.
    o In this economy bowlers are not going to spend more money on bowling. If they say they are going to bowl in both tournaments they are going to bowl less in the Open in order to spend that money in the Men’s only event.
    o Those who respond that they would bowl in only the Men’s Tournament are then forgoing the Open Tournament which would obviously adversely affect the Prize Fund in that Tourney.
  • It is a lot of work to put together a Tournament; we already have Youth, Women’s, Senior, and Open Tournaments, which are overseen by the State. Why is it necessary to add another event to the schedule?
    o Certainly this newly created tournament would take even more considerable work to get going the first year, for which almost assuredly will be a small tournament to start in this economy.
  •  The argument of the Women have their own tournament why don’t the men just doesn’t make sense to me.
    o Women over the years that they have been allowed to participate in the Men’s and now Open Tournament have put more money into the prize fund then they have taken out. And certainly the bulk of this Prize Money women have won has been in the handicapped divisions.
    o I agree that it is not necessary fair that Women also have their own Tournament in addition to being able to compete in the Open Tournament. However it is only benefiting the Men when they bowl in the Open Tournament because they are simply adding more money to the prize fund.
    o Currently Women account for roughly 10-13% of the overall Entries in the Single and Doubles events of the Open Tournament during the last 3 Years. (Can’t Count Team Events – data available doesn’t list bowlers but I would guess the number is a little less because quite a few Men bowl on Multiple teams whereas most Women only bowl on one Team in the Open Tournament.) In Contrast they only account for roughly 4-6% of the overall Scratch and Handicap awarded Prizes in those same Categories.

Now, let me add what will probably be a fairly controversial solution to the whole problem. I am not sure if I really think this is the way to go, but just a suggestion and why it could be a good idea.

  • Maybe the route we need to go instead of adding a Men’s Only Tournament is to run the Open and Women’s tournament in conjunction with each other, same center, same time, same everything at the same time adding Mixed Divisions to the Tournament.
    o How about is we extend the Tournament, to 8 Weekends instead of 6, Start it a little earlier so that we don’t have the Tournament on Mother’s Day, and have different divisions; Men’s, Women’s and Mixed – These divisions would be based solely on Gender, Women do not have the opportunity to complete for Men Prizes and Team’s with both Genders are considered in the Mixed Category Only. This idea might actually make the Open Tournament Bigger and Better, by adding a Mixed Division that may give a boost to entries.
    o If you were to go this route the Tournament would have separate prize lists for Men, Women, and Mixed based only on the entries received for those divisions within the tournament.
    o The only pitfall I see to this would be that obviously the Tournament Management would have to put more work into running a tournament which would be considerably larger and run 2 extra weeks compared to the Open Tournament as it is now. The second pitfall maybe that it may not meet the Merged Association Requirement which mandates an Open, Women’s, and Youth event each year.
    o Also having a combined Tournament like this would possibly boost entries because you don’t have 2 tournaments overlapping as the Women’s and Open Tournament is doing this year
    o After all and as many have said previously. Why should the Women have their own Tournament when the Men don’t?

Finally, perhaps we need a couple of different Polls that asks these Questions.

  • MEN – If we were to add a Men’s Tournament how would this affect your Tournament Bowling?
    o Would you Continue to bowl the Same Amount in the Open Tournament ONLY
    o Would You Bowl in Both Tournaments, but bowl less in the Open Tournament
    o Would you bowl in Both Tournaments, and Continue to bowl the same amount in the Open Tournament
    o Would you bowl in the Men’s Tournament ONLY


  • MEN & WOMEN – If we were to have a Combined Open Tournament that instead offered Divisions of Men’s, Women’s and Mixed at the Open Tournament how would this affect your Tournament Bowling?
    o Would not Bowl in the Open Tournament at all     
    o Would Bowl in only Gender Specific Divisions in the Open Tournament (Men’s or Women’s) thus not increasing or deceasing my Tournament Bowling.
    o Would Increase my Tournament Bowling by adding some Mixed Division Events to my Tournament Schedule

I hope this post has been thought provoking, I am sure it will be very unpopular with many people, but it is meant to be the start of topic conversation. As always your comments and opinions are welcome and encouraged. Please post your responses and thank you for reading the Bowler 2 Bowler Blog. Good luck and good bowling hope to see all of you (Men and Women alike) at the State Open Tournament in Brunswick.

4 responses to “A Men’s Only Tournament – WHY ? – By David Charron

  1. David,
    I proposed a combined association tournament, due to the size of our womens tournament. Our womens tournament is shrinking every year. One of the counters I was told, “there are more women who will not bowl with men and vice versa”. That may be true for the first year or two, but I would be will to wager that it would change when bowlers realize that the combined format will not change and is here to stay.

    I, myself, prefer the combined approach. Building the tournament in WinLABs would take a little more effort to ensure the divisions (women, men, and mixed) were setup correctly compared to the Womens and the Open. If we don’t find creative ways to make these tournaments (or a combined tournament) more productive, tournament managers are going to feel like they’re doing a lot of work for very little return. The associations (women, men and youth) have merged and there’s a proposal for the national convention to set a date for all associations to merge, no exceptions. Maybe it’s time to save some effort and combine the womens and open tournaments to form a combined.

    Though change is always hard to introduce to those who view themselves as traditionalists. My comment to them is the same thing I told my sons. If we didn’t change things over the years we’d still be walking everywhere and wouldn’t have a car to drive. To have a car meant introducing something new and changing how we got from point a to point b. Just my thoughts and input.

  2. I voted in the poll that I would bowl in both and I mean it in equal portioning. I make an effort to bowl singles, at least 1 team, and 2-3 doubles in the state and portland city tournaments. I would bowl the same amount in a men’s only tournament as well.

    To this day I don’t understand the reasoning behind why women can have their own women’s only league and women’s only tournament yet us men aren’t “allowed” to hold our own because of discrimination issues. I agree that everyone should be treated equal no matter the age, race, gender, etc. but if the women are going to demand that they can bowl with the men and have their own leagues/tournaments, then men should be given the same right, that’s all i’m saying.

    If having an all men’s tournament/league is offensive or not going to work out, then I like your idea about having 1 big tournament. But instead of holding the women’s tournament and the open tournament all at once, it should be combined. No women’s only tournament, just one big tournament where you have men’s champion, women’s champion, senior champion, mixed doubles/teams champion, etc.

    I think its a very interesting proposal you make and should be debated in the future. Good job.

  3. Chris,

    Thank you for the response. My Proposal is exactly as you suggest, one big tournament, with seperate prize funds for Men, Women, and mixed events based solely on gender. Women can;t enter Men’s Events and vise-versa.

    Keep reading the blog and keep commenting.

  4. bad idea—it’s bad enough that allot of the decisions the state board is making lately are costing us entries…why add another.

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