USBC will get more selective in handing out prizes

Special to the Sun-StarJuly 15, 2013 

I know early on in your bowling career, you must have rolled in a league that required sponsor shirts for all league members.

If you forgot to wear your shirt during league play for any reason, you were fined $5 that went into the prize fund.

The American Bowling Congress and the Women's International Bowling Congress gave out patches and pins for games and series rolled in league and tournament play.

I rolled the first 700 series at Century Bowl one year and received a 700 patch with a card from ABC. I was so proud of the 700 and the patch, I had it sewed on my shirt right away and wore it with pride anywhere I bowled. I still have the shirt.

Bellevue Bowl gave little pins for anyone who rolled a 225 game.

Starting in the 2014-2015 season, things will be changing for United States Bowling Congress members.

The only honor scores awards that you will receive from USBC will be a 300 game, 800 series and 11 in-a-row. Gone will be the fridge magnets and key chains. Gone will be the rule books (You can still download it online).

USBC is leaving it up to each association to provide their members their own awards. Our association will have to order awards from a specialty company. Our association can add or delete awards if it wants. Group orders must be placed before Nov. 15 to get a wholesale rate on awards.

There has been a membership decline of 6 percent over the last 30 years. They have not increased the dues in eight years, but have reduced their staff by 40 percent, which reduces services.

The USBC figures to save about $1 million annually with all the cost savings to be cut.

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A total of 131 Silver Foxes Bowling Club members are signed up for the Tournament of Champions to be held Saturday at Rancho Bowl in Santa Maria. A general membership meeting and election of new officers is set for 9 a.m. Check-in desk opens at 10 a.m. and the tourney starts at noon.

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The Welcome 2 Bowling program that the USBC started last year with a few of the bowling ball companies has shown there is an 88 percent retention rate of bowlers who purchased the ball. This could mean more bowlers for the coming years in the USBC and our association. You know that if a bowler leaves for any reason, they don't come back much. The program is better than it was last year with more ball companies joining this year. Just think, a first-time league bowler can buy a mid-performance ball for only $59.95 plus $5.95 handing with free shipping to your front door. Take the ball to your local pro shop for drilling.

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Championships will be rolling in a new, $3 million bowling center at the South Point Hotel in Los Angeles. The USBC Masters, USBC Queens, USBC Senior Masters and the Team USA trials will be held there as part of a 12-year agreement. In 2014, the Open at the National Bowling Stadium and Women's will be held at the Reno/Sparks Convention Center in Reno. In 2015, the Women's Championships will be held at the stadium and the Open in El Paso, Texas.

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Hall of Fame member Carol Hickman of Merced underwent cancer surgery at the UCSF Medical Center last Wednesday. She will be spending a few days in San Francisco before coming home to recuperate. Everyone wishes her a speedy recovery and to be cancer-free.

Don Surdich is the Sun-Star's bowling columnist and can be reached at (209) 777-1111 or via e-mail at

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