Cyber Report #1101

­E-dition No. 1,101 • Friday, March 20, 2020

Editor: Bob Johnson (bjibob@aol.com)

Update: COVID-19’s Impact on the Bowling World

At the beginning of March, there was growing concern over the worldwide spread of the coronavirus.

A week later, events across the United States were being cancelled, as the term “social distancing” became part of the American lexicon.

And here we are a week after that, with much of America shut down and citizens being strongly urged to stay home so that the spread of the COVID-19 virus can be mitigated.

About the only places we’re seeing large gatherings of people are grocery stores, while restaurants are being allowed to stay open only if they can provide take-out, drive-through or delivery service.

Across the country, places where people congregate — from workplaces to places of worship, and from shopping centers to bowling centers — have been told to close their doors for periods of time mandated by state or local governments.

As a result of the forced closures and their unknown durations, countless city and state association bowling tournaments have been either postponed or cancelled entirely for 2020.

The USBC Junior Gold Championships, Presented by Hammer, is scheduled for July 10-18 in Las Vegas. It’s a go at the moment, although its ultimate fate may be determined by Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak.

On Tuesday, Sisolak ordered a month-long closure of “non-essential businesses,” including casinos. All host bowling centers for Junior Gold — Suncoast Bowling Center, Texas Star Lanes at Texas Station, South Point Bowling Center, South Point Bowling Plaza, Sam’s Town Bowling Center, The Orleans Bowling Center, Gold Coast Bowling Center, and Strike Zone at Sunset Station — are housed in casinos.

Meanwhile, numerous national tournaments and conventions already have been either postponed or canceled. Here’s a summary:

* PBA Storm World Series of Bowling XI — Match play and championship rounds of three “animal pattern” events postponed indefinitely.

The decision was made to enable “all competitors, including several international bowlers, to return home before federal airline restrictions took effect,” the PBA said.

The PBA World Championship finals took place Sunday instead of Wednesday, as originally planned, because the five finalists were on hand in Las Vegas and wanted to complete the 2020 Go Bowling PBA Tour’s fourth major championship. Australia’s Jason Belmonte won the event in front of an audience restricted to a handful of PBA players, their family members, tournament officials and BJI.

The telecast aired live on FS1, and was the network’s most-watched program last week. Look for our on-the-scene report on this most unusual event in the May issue of BJI.

* PBA Playoffs — Postponed.

* PBA League Draft — Postponed.

* All other PBA, PBA50 and PBA Regional tournaments — Postponed.

“This is a completely unforeseen, unprecedented issue of global concern,” said PBA CEO Colie Edison. “The PBA greatly appreciates the understanding and cooperation of its players, business partners, tournament hosts and all other parties impacted as we try to do our part in keeping everyone as safe as we can.” All scheduled events will be re-evaluated in early April.

* PWBA Tour — Start of 2020 season postponed.

The PWBA will evaluate adjustments to the schedule, which includes the USBC Queens, after CDC regulations evolve to allow for competition to resume.

* USBC Masters — Postponed.

* USBC Convention — Postponed.

* USBC Senior Masters and Super Senior Classic — Postponed until later this year.

These two events originally were scheduled to take place back to back, starting May 27 with the Super Senior Classic, at Sam’s Town Bowling Center in Las Vegas. USBC said it would work with the PBA on rescheduling the Senior Masters, a major event that is part of the PBA50 Tour schedule.

* USBC Senior Championships — Cancelled for 2020.

USBC said that those already qualified for the 2020 event will be invited to compete concurrently at the 2021 tournament. Details on the 2021 event will be announced later.

* Intercollegiate Singles Championships and Intercollegiate Team Championships — Canceled.

We had hoped to find a way to conduct the Intercollegiate Championships within the 2020 academic year,” IBC Youth Development Managing Director Gary Brown said. “In speaking with the USBC Collegiate Advisory Committee, it was clear schools would not be able to send athletes to compete after May and, therefore, conducting Sectionals and Nationals became unworkable. Unfortunately, scholastic events simply don’t have the flexibility to move back later in the year.”

* USBC Open Championships and USBC Women’s Championships — Opening dates delayed until May 23.

An updated reservation calendar was scheduled to be available by Thursday (March 19), which includes expanded team dates for the Open Championships through Aug. 29. The Women’s Championships will be expanded through July 31. The goal is to provide teams maximum flexibility to shift their dates to later in the year, keep their current reservation, or move to earlier dates, as circumstances change.

* Billiard and Bowling Institute of America Convention — Cancelled for 2020.

The board of directors has given [Executive Director] Bill Supper the authority to negotiate with the Omni Cancun to see if we can defer our convention obligations to 2021,” said BBIA President Jimmy Land in an email to BBIA members. “As of this writing, the Omni Cancun has agreed to allow us to meet in 2021 with no cancellation fees or penalties, and will hold the price we were quoted.”

* Storm Youth Championships — April 18-19 tournament at Mermaid Lanes in Mounds View, Minn., cancelled.

Six other events set for later in the year remain on the schedule.

Bowlers Journal International Editor Gianmarc Manzione has been providing up-to-the-minute reporting on the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on the bowling world on the BJI website. You can read his series of reports here: https://www.bowlersjournal.com/

World Bowling, QubicaAMF Confirm Kegel Role

QubicaAMF Worldwide, in agreement with World Bowling, has just confirmed that Kegel will be the official lane maintenance provider — including lane preparation and lane conditioning — for the following World Bowling tournaments:

* World Youth Championships

* QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup

* International ParaBowling World Cup

* World Bowling Tour Finals

Other News You Can Use…

* If it seems as though the end of the world is upon us and you happen to work at Kegel in Lake Wales, Fla., you’re in luck in at least one respect: With hand sanitizer virtually non-existent at your local grocer, drug store or hardware store these days, Kegel decided to take matters into its own, ah-hem, hands. It’s making its own. Kegel supplied each of its employees with a 16-oz. bottle to use as they wish and even take home for the benefit of their families. And the company has the capacity to make more should their employees need it. Full story: https://www.bowlersjournal.com/amid-shortage-due-to-covid-19-kegel-provides-employees-with-custom-made-hand-sanitizer/

* The Cyber Report has learned that U.S. Polychemical has used its resources to launch a hand-sanitizing product, and it working quickly to get it out to its local community. We’ll share more on that effort as we learn more.

* One of the demographics within the bowling community that has been dealt an especially heartbreaking blow by COVID-19’s impact is college bowlers, particularly seniors, who now are grappling with the reality that the dream they chased all season long has been taken away from them by circumstances beyond anyone’s control. That is why our guest on the latest episode of the BJI Podcast is 2019 Intercollegiate Singles Championships runner-up Matt Hibbard of the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, who spoke with us about his devastation over the news that the 2020 Intercollegiate Team and Singles Championships have been cancelled. Listen to the conversation here:

https://soundcloud.com/user-658733792/matthibbard

* The Cyber Report has learned of the passing of Kenny Lytle, the owner of Anchorman Sales until a few years ago. We’ll have more in next week’s Report.

* Need a break from all the COVID-19 news? Check out this week’s edition of Phantom Radio, as Jim Goodwin takes part in the show’s ongoing trivia contest. To listen in, click here: https://kegel.squarespace.com/phantomblog/2020/3/18/jim-goodwin-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. Please remember that the Cyber Report is a B-to-B publication and not intended for consumers.

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