League Meetings: Logic vs. Lunacy
by James Goulding III
I was inspired to write this blog post from a personal experience at one of my league meetings last night. It is the time of the year when we get together and decide what the by-laws, league dues, and any other league associated business for the season at an annual meeting. Sometimes some great ideas come from these events, and other times (like my last one) things seem to escape the realm of logic and I am leaving the meeting scratching my head and wondering how some people can function rationally on a day to day basis.
Since bowling and golf are always being compared / associated together by bowlers (because many bowlers also golf), I am going to make a few comparisons as associated to how it ties into a few items from a league meeting. I know that sounds kind of funny, but stick with me on this one, you won’t be sorry you did. I am going to cover league costs, equipment costs, and then a brief summary about the whole league meeting process.
At my league meeting we had a proposal to go from $14 a week to $15 a week. While many bowlers see any increase in dues as a bad thing that just “costs more money”, I see it as a positive thing for the entire league. Our league was going from 24 to 22 teams, which meant a slip in prize fund due to 10 less bowlers putting their $4 a week into the prize fund coffers. This equated out to about $1300 for the season, which is a significant difference. By going up $1 a week in dues, we could have added over $3800 to the prize fund, thus erasing the $1300 deficit and adding $2500 even with two less teams. Seems reasonable, right? Well, this is the point in the meeting where logic left the table, and lunacy set in.
There was a bowler who said, and I quote, “Why do we want to go up a dollar, I am not here to make anybody rich”. I defy anybody out there to find me a bowler who has gotten rich off a $15 a week bowling league. It does not exist, period. Furthermore, the money would be added to the prize fund FOR THE ENTIRE LEAGUE, NOT AN INDIVIDUAL BOWLER. You see how the logic train is becoming de-railed? So, here is where I get to the golf comparison for a minute. The bowler(s) putting up the stink about league dues also happen to golf (at least many of them do). Let’s do a quick cost comparison shall we? Average golf dues for 18 holes run in the $30 range, and many can go as high as $100 a round, but for the sake of argument I will stick to the $30 number. So, if you golf once a week you are paying what you would for 2 weeks of bowling. If you golf from May-October in Maine (which is the length of the golf season here) and go once a week, your average cost is around $780. And guess what, you get ZERO back from golfing because the money you pay in only covers your greens fees, if you want to join a golf league and try and get back any money, that will cost you more. Your $780 investment for golf has netted you NOTHING in return.
As far as bowling goes, you bowl for 33 weeks at a cost of $15 and your total cost is $495, which is $285 LESS than the golf and you do it for a longer period of time (33 weeks compared to 26). Also, you are going to GET MONEY BACK because you are putting $5 a week out of your $15 toward a prize fund. Plus, the better you bowl, the more money you can get back. Imagine that huh? I don’t understand how the same people who will pay $30 for a round of golf, which costs MUCH more than bowling and you get NOTHING in return, can argue AGAINST going up $1 in league dues to $15 a week (or half of what a round of golf costs). It boggles my mind. I know, it makes too much sense, so therefore at our league meeting the motion to go from $14 to $15 a week was shot down in flames. It was at this point I started tuning out and seeing sugar plum fairies dancing on the ceiling, because that made about as much sense as what we just voted in.
So, after I removed the steak knife from my neck after the vote on league dues, I was listening to some of my fellow bowlers around me complain about equipment cost, and how they could not afford to pay $1 more for league bowling since they are going to have to buy (2) more new balls for the upcoming bowling season. Oh boy, now the logic train is down in a canyon never to be found again I am afraid. Let me put this into perspective again with golf, as the same people complaining about equipment and going up a WHOLE DOLLAR in league dues, are the same people who golf, and I will show how their madness has reached epic levels.
Bowling balls are expensive, I will not deny you that. But, if you go to a reputable shop (like Moore’s Pro Shop in Lewiston, ME.) you can get into a high end ball for around $175 out the door. So, if you are going to buy (2) new balls for the upcoming season (which is what the people in my meeting were saying for example), it will cost you roughly $350. Now, golf clubs are a WHOLE different story. You can spend upwards of $700 on just one club. Lets assume “high end” for golf clubs since I was talking about “high end” for bowling equipment. I was doing some comparison shopping, and the average retail for a good set of high end golf clubs was $2100 (this is a set of Taylor Made clubs, and not even the most expensive type they offer, either). You can spend upwards of $4000 or more for a set of clubs easily. If you think bowling balls are expensive, and you golf, you have ZERO credibility when you say bowling balls are too expensive to me, especially if that is part of your reasoning for not going up $1 in league dues for the upcoming season. Basically, you could buy over 6 seasons worth of bowling equipment compared to the cost of (1) set of golf clubs. Wow, that puts it into perspective now doesn’t it?
Some positive things come out of league meetings, such as changing rules to benefit all the league bowlers, and conversing with the bowling center owner on things the league would like to see done differently. Not all things at league meetings are bad. But, when it comes to money, or anything associated with it, many bowlers seem to leave logic at the door, and put on their cheap skate hat no matter how much sense a proposal makes.
In closing, I would like to say that by showing the actual cost breakdown when comparing golf to bowling there is no comparison that bowling is cheaper, and offers you a chance for a return on your investment. The reason I did this, was to show a logical way to explain it to those bowlers out there who complain that league bowling is too expensive, or the equipment costs too much, or what ever reason they want to give to BE CHEAP. I guess being cheap for some people only extends to bowling, since the SAME PEOPLE who complain about going from $14 a week to $15 a week will shell out almost $800 for a golf season (which is 6-7 weeks shorter than a bowling season). I hope that you can take some of this information and present it to your bowlers at you next league meeting to avoid the same fate as the meeting I attended recently. The numbers don’t lie, and in this case it is a no brain-er that we should have gone up to $15, but hey, there’s always next year. Take care everyone, and have a wonderful bowling season. Please feel free to comment on anything you read, and I will try and get back to you ASAP, thanks.
-James Goulding III