Splitzter - February 27, 2003

  The Splitzter article takes a turn this week.  Iím devoting space to shed some light on a topic that will affect us all as league bowlers in the next 2 months.  Fifty points to anyone who can tell me what USBC stands for.  I guarantee you that not many know this as the United States Bowling Congress.  This single organization will be the merger of ABC, WIBC, USA Bowling and YABA to provide ďone-stopĒ service to our bowlers.  It will combine jobs duplicated at present under the current system.  The ABC delegates will vote up or down on this proposal at the annual national meeting March 14.  The WIBC reps will have the same vote April 29.

            Iíll not go too deeply into the nuts and bolts of the 170 plus pages of the proposed merger, but will highlight what will affect us here locally. 

            There will be one sanction card rather than the three currently issued (mens, ladies and YABA) with members paying dues to one association.  The Henry County Womensí Bowling Association, Henry County BA and Henry County YABA will be combined into one organization.  The Board of Directors will be comprised of representatives of men, women and youth.

            As for the cost of membership, dues will remain the same for 2003-2004.  From 2004-2007, the proposed dues structure will be: National-maximum $10; State-maximum $1; Local-maximum $10.  Actual dues will be set at each level so $21 will be the maximum.

            The local Henry County Mens, Ladies and Youth tournaments will not be changed.  There will still be three separate events.

            There are two points to ponder with this proposed merger.  One question up in the air is whether Henry County would be able remain a viable association under the new organization (ie: be forced to merge with, say Toledo).  With what I have read we would still retain our charter and continue to service our local bowlers.  It would be nice if we would know that to be factual in advance of the upcoming vote.

            Secondly, under the current structure, the membership of ABC, WIBC and YABA votes on issues at the national delegates meeting.  This power will be given to a 25 member Board, named by USBC originally.  Iím not sure Iím good with this one.  Personally, I donít see the reasoning behind changing the idea of the membership making decisions.  We can have single membership without taking away the voting rights of the membership.

            I think that the time for one governing body has come.  The convenience to our league bowlers in writing one check for sanctioning is a plus.  League secretaries will have less paperwork and easier award forms to deal with.  Are there questions with this new idea?  Sure there are.  I very much want bowlers to become informed on this issue.  The ABC/WIBC website at bowl.com has the best information available along with a question/answer online forum.  Go to the USBC link off the main page.  Get informed.  Talk about this among your bowling brethren.  Iíll let you know about the ABC/WIBC votes when the information is available.

            Splitzter is now climbing off his soapbox.  Good luck this week.