Highlights and Rules Changes from 2010 USBC Annual Meeting
by James Goulding III
Hello fellow bowlers! Here I am again blogging just after midnight EST in Maine, and I have many topics running through my head. One of which was the annual USBC meeting which was just held on May 1, 2010 in Reno, NV. There are numerous changes that come up for review as it applies to league, tournament, and format rules every season, and most of the time bowlers are only informed of those changes when a violation of a newly adapted rule takes place. Well, to try to avoid such a situation for the upcoming 2010 – 2011 bowling season, I am going to list the approved rules changes as well as some of the other highlights of the annual meeting, and give a synopsis of my personal view on how some of (if any) of the rules changes may actually affect bowlers out there.
- USBC will offer a new credit card partnership with Nationwide that gives card users free USBC national membership and other bowling-related benefits.
- USBC will put the U.S. Women’s Open on hiatus for 2011.
- U.S. Bowler magazine will be an electronic-only publication, while U.S. Youth Bowler will continue to be mailed to homes.
- The 2011 USBC Intercollegiate Team Championships will be broadcast exclusively on BOWL.com.
James’ opinion on the program changes:
Two of the changes I am fine with, which is the new credit card partnership and the USBC Intercollegiate Team Championships being broadcast on bowl.com. But, I do not agree with suspending the U.S. Women’s Open or eliminating the mailing of U.S. Bowler magazine. I think that there are some great female bowlers out there who have shown that they deserve every benefit the men receive as far as tournament availability goes. The fact that women like Kelly Kulick can compete with (and beat) the men proves that point. The USBC will say that women are allowed to bowl in the regular U.S. Open, but, I believe that women having their own U.S. Open was something special, and I do not agree with suspending it at all. Also, I enjoy the U.S. Bowler magazine. There are some really good articles, coaching tips, and bowling ball advertisements in the magazine. I may still check it out online, but I am much more inclined to pick it up and read it if it comes in my mail rather than having to hunt it down on bowl.com, which is not exactly the user-friendliest site out there (in case you haven’t noticed).
League Rules Changes
- Amendment No. LR2 (Approved)
Rule 102c. Duties of the President, Item 3
Requires bank statements to be sent to the president.
- Amendment No. LR3 (Approved)
Rule 102f. Duties of the Treasurer, Item 7
Changes the time frame for retaining treasurer records from 120 days to one year from completion of the season.
- Amendment No. LR5 (Approved)
Rule 106a. Series – How Bowled
Allows for each game or frame to be bowled on a different pair of lanes.
- Amendment No. LR6 (Approved)
Gives leagues more flexibility for requesting pre/post bowling.
James opinion on league rules changes:
I am actually fine with all four rules changes for leagues next season. I think that the LR5 Amendment which allows for each game or frame to be bowled on a different pair of lanes is an interesting change. This could allow for some really neat alternate format leagues that may swap pairs of lanes each game, making it more like some tournament bowling that I have done, like the USBC Masters, for instance. It is also good to have treasurer records kept for up to one year, just in case a discrepancy arises and those figures need to be retrieved. I will be curious to see the exact wording of the pre/post bowling rules change in the new rule book, as it is pretty vague right now. I am not sure what they mean by “more flexibility” for requesting pre/post bowling.
Tournament Rules Changes
- Amendment No. TR2 (Approved)
Rule 319a. Conditions that Apply
Treats all averages, including summer averages the same.
- Amendment No. TR6 (Approved)
Rule 320a. Two Lanes Required
Allows for each tournament game or frame to be bowled on a different pair of lanes.
- Amendment No. TR7 (Approved)
Rule 329. Protests and Appeals
Changes the time frame for protesting rule infractions to 72 hours and the time frame for appealing tournament management’s decision to 10 days.
James’ opinion on the tournament rules changes:
Now that I am a tournament manager, I have a problem with the wording of Amendment No. TR7, which “changes the time frame for protesting rule infractions to 72 hours and the time frame for appealing tournament management’s decision to 10 days”. Now, the old rule stated that you had to appeal before tournament prizes are paid out, which is normally 30 days, and now will be 10 days, which I think is fine. But, for example, the tournament I run is the Maine Invitational Scratch Tournament, and it is a one day tournament where prizes are paid out the same day. So, that 10 day appeal rule for tournament manager’s decisions doesn’t make sense since we pay out the same day. The old rule said protests have to be filed by the completion of such a tournament, but there is no mention of that language in the rule amendment. I am going to reserve final judgement of this until the amendments have been applied fully to the new rule book, but, just try to be aware of this possible change it you either a) have a tournament appeal to make, or b) are a tournament manager taking the appeal from a bowler.
USBC National Bylaws Changes
- Amendment No. B1 (Approved)
Article VI, Meetings
Section A. Annual Meeting, Item 2
Provides for electronic balloting as the final system used for voting, unless the president determines the circumstances require a different method.
James’ opinion on the national bylaws rules change:
I really don’t have much of an opinion on this one, except that electronic balloting may take some human error out of the equation for voting, which is probably a good thing overall.
Here are a few other interesting tidbits from the annual meeting:
- Darlene Baker, Mahomet, Ill., was named USBC president at the Annual Meeting. She is the first female president in the history of the organization. Baker will begin her term Aug. 1. The remaining board officers will be announced following the June board meeting.
- USBC once again generated significant financial support for charity. USBC Bowl For The Cure led to a more than $1.1 million donation to Susan G. Komen For The Cure at the 2010 meeting. Contributions to Bowlers to Veterans Link from USBC were nearly $826,000, an increase of more than $100,000 from the previous year.
- Creation of a new independent corporation to oversee and manage SMART (Scholarship Management and Accounting Reports for Tenpins) funds. The corporation will have its own board of directors comprised of bowling industry leaders with financial backgrounds.
I have been highlighting approved rules changes, as well giving my personal opinion on each type of change, but there are many more rules changes that were rejected that I did not touch upon. If you would like to check those out, as well as the official summary from the USBC about the annual meeting, please follow the link below:
The only rejected rule change I will talk about is the one that rejected going up on national and state dues for the USBC. There was a proposal to go from $10 to $15 on a national level, as well as go from $1 to $2 at the state level, and both were rejected. This is a change that I agree with, to an extent. Since the USBC has significantly cut down on the type and number of awards given out, I do feel that freezing dues is in order at this time. I think bowlers would have a hard time stomaching a dues increase when they are getting less recognition of accomplishments from the USBC. But, I think it would be better if, overall, the USBC researched how much of a dues increase it would take to get back some of the awards they have cut back on in recent years, and then went ahead with that proposal, instead of just freezing dues and cutting back on awards. If that means going from $10 to $15 or so, I think most bowlers would be o.k. with that providing that they get the proper recognition again from the USBC in the form of national awards being expanded once again. That is my take on it anyway. I know many bowlers who are upset that such awards as the Big 4 and 7-10 split have been removed, as well as the 299 and 298 rings. Those are just a few examples, but if the USBC actually listened to the bowlers on this subject, I think they would come to a different conclusion than just freezing dues for another calendar year.
In closing, I would like to say that I have tried to highlight some changes for bowlers to look at, and get familiar with, before the start of the 2010 – 2011 bowling season. It is always nice to be up to date on the USBC rules manual, because you just never know when an obscure rule you never heard of before ends up changing the course of a night of bowling for you. As always, the opinions expressed in this blog post are my own, and do not represent those of the MSUSBC or any of its members. Thank you for reading, and feel free to comment on anything you read in the blog. I will respond to your questions or comments ASAP, and enjoy the interaction with all of you bowlers out there who care enough to read and post on the blog. Good luck and good bowling!
James Goulding III
Maine Invitational Scratch Tournament Manager