If you're a sanctioned league bowler, how do you feel about the awards given out by the USBC? Are they important to you? Would you miss them if they were discontinued?
Those questions have become important, because the USBC will be eliminating all awards on a national level except those for 300 and 299 games, 11 strikes in a row and 800 series beginning with the 2014-2015 season.
The classic awards, which date back further than I've been bowling, were sew-on patches. For the men, they included 700 series, 150 pins over average series, all-spare game, triplicate award, big-four split conversion, 7-10 split conversion and senior awards for 125 pins over average series and 75 pins over average game. Throwing a game 100 pins over average got you a watch.
A few years ago, the USBC switched to refrigerator magnets and added several game and series awards based on bowler average. For instance, rolling a 200 game while holding a 160 or lower average. And, although average-based awards used to kick in on your new average after 21 games, they now do just 12 games into the new season.
As a result, there's been a lot of awards to hand out on banquet night.
Not a lot of people sew anymore, so I could see the switch to the magnets. But here we are a few years in, and how many magnets do we need?
My feeling is that the USBC gave up trying to figure out what else they could do for awards, and punted the question under the guise of giving us more choices. When the 2014-2015 season rolls around, associations like the one in Door County will be given the opportunity to purchase whatever awards they want to give out, with the option of doing so through the USBC at bulk rates.
To fund those awards, the USBC is also going to lift the cap on local association dues. Currently, I believe that cap is at $11, with an additional $10 going to the national association. The Door County USBC now charges local dues of just $6 and only $1 for seniors.
Between now and September of 2014, the Door County USBC must decide what awards it will offer to its bowlers. It's a little early to make final decisions, since we don't know what options will be available through the national association and what they will cost.
But it's not too early to begin discussions on how important awards are to our membership. Some love them. Some don't care one way or the other. How do we balance the awards between higher-average and lower-average bowlers? And, if we continue to hand out awards, how much will we raise local dues to cover the cost?
This will be one of the topics at the upcoming delegates meeting, to be held at Apple Valley Lanes on Monday, May 6, at 7 p.m. We will also be electing new members of the Door County USBC Board of Directors. Although each league is asked to send a delegate, all sanctioned Door County bowlers are welcome to come and join in the discussion.
It's time for spring tournaments in Door County. The Sister Bay Bowl is holding its annual 9-Pin No Tap Team Tournament, while Apple Valley Lanes puts on its own 9-Pin No Tap Tournament - this one for individual bowlers. Call the Bowl at 854-2841 or AVL at 743-6997 to get in on the action.
Congratulations this week go out to John Maccaux, who rolled his first ever 600 series in the Apple Valley Majors in a big way - a 679 with a 264 game. Nick Van Ess also recorded his first career 600 series in the Wednesday Night Washout.
Leading the Majors was John Moore with 693, followed by Josh Techmeier at 687. Karen DeJardine topped the 600 mark with a 601 in the Women's Apple Corps fueled by a 230 high game. In Sister Bay, Brett Anschutz led the Tavern League with 663-258. Rose Polcen (575-238) and Laurel Bennett (560-214) had the best results in the Women's Masters.
In the seniors leagues, it was Fran Schneider (567) and Russ Nielsen (202) leading the men in the Apple Turnovers with Shelby Swiggum rolling 465 for the women. The Wednesday Seniors saw John Vogel at 589 and Carol Dvorak at 454.
Joey Plaskiewicz shot a 257 game in the Youth Seniors and a 575 total, edging out Jared Meyer (571-239). Mandy Plaskiewicz led the girls with 518-196. The Youth Juniors had Preston Haen at 349-179 for two games and Mckenzie Sperber roll 300-179 to top the girls.