I have bowled in many different States and in many different Associations within the State of Maine. I have been in every imaginable League Officer Position over the years on various leagues, and recently have become a Board Member on one of my Local Association Boards. There are many bowlers out there who both have been bowling for many years and even some who are very new to the sport of bowling but love it dearly, ask yourself this question, why serve.
For me this answer is easy, I wish for the sport to be on a fair and competitive level and for the rules to be enforced on a consistent basis for all bowlers, all of the time. This is why I have served for many years as a League Officer. Just recently I have made the move into the “politics” of the Local Association Board. Now again for me the answer to why is an easy one, I wish to effect change, I wish to make my Local Association Board be more about the Bowlers it is in place to serve and less about all the other things that make up the “political” side of my local association. The only way I see to effect the change that I feel is so desperately needed is to become involved, now this holds true not only for bowling, but for anything if you really sit and think about it.
Now, I know this opinion is not going to be popular with many people, but it is my opinion. If you are currently a member of you Local or State Association Board, a Committee Member, or a League Officer for any of the following reasons
- It looks better on your Hall Of Fame Resume
- You have a Personal Agenda or Personal Vendettas
- You wish to have Power over your fellow Bowlers
- Financial Gain – Pay from the League or Board; or other Financial Gain
RESIGN – Resign immediately. You are not serving the Bowler’s, you are serving yourself and frankly that is not what being a League Officer or an Association Board Member is suppose to be about.
Now with that said, these are Voluntary Positions, how do we fill the seats of those who have departed recently, or those with terms that are expiring. Recruit, Recruit, Recruit. If you are a bowler reading this Blog and have always wanted to get involved but didn’t know where to begin. Ask current board members when and where the next board meeting is; you don’t have to be a member to attend these meetings. You will be both surprised and inspired by what goes on during these proceedings. Get involved attend meetings, run for office, become a board member, or even the Member of a Committee (you do not have to be a member of the Board to be on a committee). However with that being said if you are going to serve your fellow bowlers in this capacity, make sure you are doing it for the right reasons.
- DON’T become the Secretary / Treasurer of your League only because the position pays for your bowling, or for other financial gain. DO take on this position because you have the skills and ability to do a great job at it, do it right, and provide a valuable service to your league.
- DON’T become a League Officer on your League only because you don’t like the rules and want to try to change them for your own benefit or for your team’s benefit. DO run for these positions if you’re doing so to make sure that everything runs smoothly and that all USBC Rules and regulations are applied fairly and evenly to all bowlers on all teams.
- DON’T chair a Tournament Committee only because there is pay involved, or only because you wish to control certain aspect of the Tournament (Lane Assignment, Who bowls with who, or what lanes they bowl on, Oil Patterns or Oiling Schedule, etc.) DO chair this committee if you have the time, expertise, and organizational skills to run a successful event for all of the bowlers who choose to enter.
- DON’T chair or become a member of your Association Board or of any committee simply because you wish to control outcomes with your own personal agenda or wage personal vendettas. DO become members of these very important committees because you wish to serve all bowlers in a fair and consistent manner and have the time to do so.
- DON’T volunteer to do anything for which you do not have the skills or time to do. It does your fellow board or league members no good for you to volunteer your time to do a job and then not do it, only to have others have to pick up the slack at the last minute. This behavior is counterproductive and not in the best interest of the bowlers you wish to serve. DO volunteer as much as you can, without overextending yourself, your service is needed and greatly appreciated.
In Closing, I urge all bowlers who truly care about this sport to become involved. Go to League Meetings; go to Local and State Association Meetings. If you possibly can, run for office (League or Association) volunteer the time and the energy to keep our sport alive. Please do it and do it for the right reason, your local association needs more people to become involved.
Opinions expressed in this post are solely mine and may not reflect the opinions held by MSUSBC or any other Local Association. 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 hopefully I will see all of you on the lanes or even better at your next Local or State Association Meeting.