Cyber Report #1045

E-dition No. 1,045 • Friday, February 22, 2019

Editor: Bob Johnson (bjibob@aol.com)

In Cyber Report No. 1,044, in the story about Mark Voight’s passing, we inadvertently identified BPAA Secretary Kevin Krauss by his father’s name, Jerry. Later in the story, we inadvertently used Krauss’s name in a sentence that should have utilized Voight’s name. We apologize for the errors. Those who receive the Cyber Report through BPAA membership received a version that had been corrected.

 

Breaking: Bowling’s Olympic Hopes Dashed Again

A Japan Times headline asserting that the Paris 2024 organizing committee has given baseball “the cold shoulder” echoes the sentiments of those in the bowling world today as the sport again has failed to gain inclusion in the Olympics.

The organizing committee for the Paris 2024 Summer Olympic Games has announced that breakdancing, surfing, skateboarding and sport climbing will be the four sports they will recommend to the International Olympic Committee for inclusion in the 2024 Games. Bowling is not being listed among other sports that were finalists; instead, those sports reportedly included baseball, squash and karate. The Paris 2024 committee’s recommendations now are pending approval by the IOC.

Breakdancing had been among sports included in the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires in October. Deadspin reported that it is “quite popular in France. B-boys from France have won the Red Bull BC One, one of the premier annual 1-vs.-1 battles, three times.”

Surfing, skateboarding and sport climbing all previously were accepted by the IOC for inclusion in the Tokyo 2020 Games.

For our report on this breaking news, with perspective from Chris Viale, who had been spearheading bowling’s Olympic cause in recent months along with World Bowling CEO Kevin Dornberger, go here: http://www.bowlersjournal.com/bowling-not-included-among-sports-recommended-to-ioc-for-paris-2024-olympics/.

 

Early Stadium Executive Reg Pearson Dies

One of the “architects” of the National Bowling Stadium, Reginald “Reg” Pearson, passed away on Jan. 28. He was 82.

During the development phase of the Stadium, Pearson was hired away from Reno’s MGM Grand Bowling Center to assist with planning, work with the American Bowling Congress and Women’s International Bowling Congress in scheduling their tournaments at the site, and be a liaison between Reno city officials and national bowling leaders.

Pearson had transformed the MGM bowling center into a moneymaker for the casino, making it a destination for both local bowlers and “travel leagues,” primarily from Northern California. Among the center’s local leagues was one for nearby brothel workers.

According to an obituary that appeared in the Reno Gazette-Journal, Pearson was raised on a family farm in Delta, Utah, and starred on his high school football and track teams. After serving a mission in Australia, he graduated from Utah State with a degree in history. He met his wife, Carol, while attending Utah State.

Business opportunities took Pearson to Northern California in 1963, and in 1977 he was recruited by MGM. He was the last original member of the resort’s senior management team when he left in 1993 to work at the National Bowling Stadium.

The long-term tournament commitments that Pearson helped secure for the Stadium were estimated to be worth more than $1 billion to the local economy, the Gazette-Journal reported.

Over time, however, Pearson tired of the local politics and the bowling politics associated with running the stadium. He left in 1998 and, embracing his love of history, opened an antique store, where he happily shared the history of the Comstock with visitors for the next two decades.

Per his request, no funeral services were held, and his body was donated to the University of Nevada at Reno Medical School.

 

Golf Addresses ‘Pace of Play’ Issue; Sound Familiar?

It became the norm in Europe before it became commonplace in the United States: paying for bowling by the amount of time used rather than the number of games bowled.

For years, “slow bowling” had been a topic at conventions and other industry gatherings, and time bowling gradually was implemented by proprietors — but only for open play, and typically only during prime-time hours when the center was packed with customers.

Pace of play also has been “top of mind” for World Bowling CEO Kevin Dornberger and, more recently, for Chris Viale in their efforts to get bowling into the Olympics. World Bowling rolled out its Current Frame Scoring System specifically to accelerate the pace of play, as well as to simplify bowling’s scoring system.

Both Dornberger and Viale have noted that bowling’s sluggish pace, particularly with drawn-out qualifying formats that often dominate competitive bowling at the highest levels, is a significant hindrance to bowling’s hopes of Olympic inclusion.

Solving the problem of slow bowling during league play — which often caused late league starts to be delayed by a half-hour or longer — was more challenging. Some even blamed slow bowling by early-evening league bowlers, in part, for the demise of late leagues.

Slow play also has been an issue in golf for many years, and two pace-of-play management solutions recently were introduced: FastLane Golf and ExpressGolf.

According to a media release, as a facility’s response to slow play, partnering course operators offer premium FastLane Golf tee times to groups committing to completing rounds in some 60 minutes under the goal time. The two-way system supports players by providing live, dynamic pace updates, along with yardage information, while operators have real-time line of sight to assist groups that fall out of position.

Courses offering FastLane tee times can realize profits of nearly $80,000 over an eight-month season, according to the release.

The ExpressGolf event format reduces tournament round times to as low as three hours, and reportedly has drawn praise from European Tour professionals.

With event-specific rules, including awarding ties to the team or player with a better pace, ExpressGolf makes pace of play a fun, tangible part of the occasion. Players play a dedicated, no-hold-ups event, the technology virtually guarantees results, and operators increase utilization.

A course hosting 40 ExpressGolf 18-hole outings within a calendar year will expect to receive an additional $155,000 in event revenue, according to the release.

“Pace of play has negatively impacted golfers — from the weekend warrior all the way to the professional,” says Tom Cox, Vice President of Sales for Tagmarshal, the provider of FastLane Golf and ExpressGolf. “Unprecedented advances are being implemented for daily play and tournament outings to decrease round times, increase player satisfaction and grow the game, as well as courses’ bottom lines, making it a win-win for everyone.”

According to USGA research, 74% of golfers say pace is crucial to their enjoyment. Furthermore, individuals are willing to pay up to 25% more for an optimized experience that is dedicated to fast play.

Do bowlers feel the same way? Centers that offer a mix of time bowling and by-the-game pricing can appeal to both preferences and optimize lane use while maximizing profits.

Business Briefs…

* It turns out that the man accused of killing three and injuring four others at Gable House Bowl in Torrance, Calif., on Jan. 7, had been convicted as a juvenile of first-degree murder in 1989. In 1997, he was convicted as an adult of possession of a gun within a school zone. Gable House is equipped with surveillance cameras and had security personnel on hand the night of the shooting, Torrance Police Chief Eve Irvine said. A Bowl Expo seminar will focus on crisis management, and a preview of that presentation will appear in the March issue of Bowling Center Management.

* The iconic sign that fronts Bonwood Bowl in South Salt Lake, Utah, was badly damaged when it was hit by a car driven by a drunk driver last October. That left the owners of the center, which opened in 1957, with a decision to make: replace the sign, or restore it. The White family ultimately decided to restore it, keeping the 8-ft.-high bowling pin that has become a local landmark. You can see the restored sign here: https://www.sltrib.com/news/2019/02/18/iconic-bowling-sign-south/.

* Snowden’s Sunset Lanes in Allegan, Mich., sustained minor damage Sunday night when a fire broke out in the attic area over lanes 1-2. Staff members worked quickly to evacuate the building and used a fire extinguisher to put out the fire. Report: https://fox17online.com/2019/02/17/allegan-bowling-alley-fire-put-out-quickly/.

* Friends of PBA Tour legends Bob Learn Jr. and Amleto Monacelli are fond of describing the long-time buddies and coaching duo collectively as “Bobleto Learnacelli.” Martin Methodist College in Pulaski, Tenn., now will be the latest locale to experience the Bobleto effect as Monacelli has agreed to join Learn, Martin Methodist’s Men’s Bowling Head Coach, as a Men’s Bowling Assistant Coach. Report: http://www.bowlersjournal.com/amleto-monacelli-joins-forces-with-bob-learn-jr-at-martin-methodist-college/.

 

Other News You Can Use…

* The sectional assignments for the 2019 Intercollegiate Team Championships, based on results during the 2018-19 United States Bowling Congress Collegiate season, were announced Wednesday. The sectional qualifiers will take place March 9-10 at four sites: 30 Strikes in Stratford, N.J.; Smyrna Bowling Center in Smyrna, Tenn.; Stardust Bowl in Addison, Ill.; and USA Bowl in Dallas. The top four men’s and top four women’s teams from each sectional will advance to the ITC, which will be held April 17-20 at Poelking Lanes South in Dayton, Ohio. Details: https://bowl.com/News/NewsDetails.aspx?id=23622332407.

* National collegiate bowling powerhouse Robert Morris University took top honors in the men’s division of the Columbia 300 Hoosier Classic, while an underdog University of St. Francis team surprised a stellar field on the women’s side at Western Bowl in Indianapolis. Lanes in the Round of 8 were conditioned partly by hand by PBA Hall of Fame lane technician Len Nicholson, who used a vintage spray gun to lay down the “Christmas tree” pattern. Bowlers found the condition particularly challenging. Nicholson followed guidelines dating back nearly three decades, as crude drawings and hand-written notes from the 1991 U.S. Open at Woodland Bowl served as a “template” for the pattern. Full report: http://www.bowlersjournal.com/chicago-area-teams-sweep-50th-hoosier-classic-featuring-antique-lane-pattern/

* B.J. Moore, a nine-year PBA member from Greensburg, Pa., who is trying for his first PBA Tour title, averaged an impressive 248 during his second qualifying round Wednesday to advance from 10th place into the lead in the Go Bowling! PBA Indianapolis Open at Woodland Bowl. Report: http://www.bowlersjournal.com/b-j-moore-takes-lead-in-pba-indianapolis-open-with-round-2-average-of-248/.

* Kyle Troup is a scratch for this week’s PBA Indianapolis Open and finds himself in wait-and-see mode as he tries to give an ailing right hand a little rest. BowlersJournal.com talked to Troup about his condition: http://www.bowlersjournal.com/kyle-troup-skipping-pba-indianapolis-open-as-hand-pain-lingers/.

* The guest this week on Phantom Radio is one of Southern California bowling’s all-time greats, Larry Gray. A story about Dick Weber predicting that his then-13-year-old son, Pete, would one day be considered among the best bowlers ever, and the time Gray got to bowl on the White House lane highlight the conversation. To listen in, click here: https://kegel.squarespace.com/phantomblog/2019/2/20/larry-gray-phantom-radio.

* CONTACT: Please send business news, event information, etc. to Bob Johnson at bjibob@aol.com. For breaking business news, visit bcmmag.com or bowlersjournal.com, and “Like” Bowling Center Management and Bowlers Journal International on Facebook. BJI Cyber Reports are now archived at bcmmag.com.

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