Cyber Report #1106

E-dition No. 1,106 • Friday, April 24, 2020

Editor: Bob Johnson (

Former Columbia 300 Owner Donates Plasma in COVID-19 Fight

It has been a long time since anyone involved with the Hermann family has had anything to do with Columbia 300 bowling balls — or anything to do with the bowling business, for that matter.

Since the Hermanns ended their involvement, the Columbia 300 brand was owned by Ebonite International for several years, and then late last year was acquired by Brunswick Bowling.

But once a member of the bowling family, always a member of the bowling family. And one of the Hermann brothers was in the news earlier this month in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, the news was good. In fact, it was heroic.

David Hermann, now in his 50s, had contracted the virus during or right after a ski trip to Colorado, although he had exhibited very few symptoms and none of them severe.

After a period of self-quarantine and subsequently testing negative twice, he donated plasma on April 7, becoming the first person in the San Antonio area to do so. Many doctors on the front lines have come to the conclusion that using plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients is the best “medicine” they have at their disposal.

On April 9, Hermann’s plasma was used to treat a 47-year-old patient named Jimmie Hayden, who had been admitted to a local hospital and soon thereafter placed on a ventilator to assist with breathing. He had not been doing well, and family members were preparing for the worst.

Two days after that, on Easter Sunday, Hayden reportedly was feeling much better. Although still on the ventilator, the settings had been lowered as Hayden was showing signs of being able to breathe normally on his own. He participated in a conference call with family members, during which he moved his head as if he was ready to talk, and gave the camera a thumbs up.

Hermann told San Antonio’s News 4 that he had self-quarantined for two weeks after returning from Colorado, during which he was vigilant about monitoring any possible symptoms.

I didn’t know if I was going to get symptoms,” he said. “I didn’t know if I would have shortness of breath or coughing. I didn’t have low-grade fever. I was taking my temperature three, four times a day, sometimes just to make sure it didn’t get worse.”

It didn’t. And when Hermann learned about a new FDA program that allowed recovered COVID-19 patients to donate plasma in hopes of helping infected patients, he stepped up. The procedure is called “convalescent plasma” and harvests virus-fighting antibodies from the blood of previously infected patients like Hermann.

The Hermann family helped turn many bowlers into local, state and national heroes on the lanes with the bowling balls they produced at their San Antonio plant through the years — including the Yellow Dot that Glenn Allison used to roll his history-making 900 series in 1982.

Now, in the midst of the world’s most devastating pandemic in a century, the term “hero” seems tailor made for David Hermann.

USBC Convention Cancelled; McDaniel Elected President

The United States Bowling Congress Board of Directors has approved a special resolution to cancel the 2020 USBC Convention and postpone the Annual Meeting until 2021 because of COVID-19 public health restrictions.

The resolution was enacted to ensure a proper governance process under USBC bylaws. It allows continuity of governance to be properly maintained in accordance with applicable laws until delegates can meet at the 2021 USBC Convention and Annual Meeting.

Under the resolution, the USBC president for the 2020-21 season may appoint, with USBC board approval, delegate directors to fill the positions of delegate directors whose terms expire July 31, 2020. The delegates will be asked to ratify the appointments at the 2021 USBC Annual Meeting.

As part of the resolution, the proposed amendments for the 2020 Annual Meeting will be decided by delegates at the 2021 Annual Meeting. Any amendments approved at that meeting will take effect Aug. 1, 2021, unless stated otherwise. The legislative process for the 2021 Annual Meeting does not change, as members may request any bylaws or playing rule changes in writing to USBC by Sept. 1, 2020.

The USBC board also held its officer elections, with Melissa McDaniel of Raleigh, N.C., elected president and Adam Mitchell of Centreville, Va., selected as vice president. Both will begin their terms on Aug. 1, 2020.

The decision to cancel the 2020 USBC Convention was very difficult and saddening for everyone on the USBC board,” USBC President Karl Kielich said. “Nevertheless, I am proud of our board for coming together on a path that puts the well-being of our members first and ensures a smooth transfer of leadership and governance responsibility. I congratulate Melissa and Adam on their elections and have full confidence in their ability to continue leading USBC in a positive direction.”

McDaniel currently is the International Bowling Campus Youth Committee chair. She has led the largest youth program in the country as center director and head coach.

Mitchell has been a board member for Nation’s Capital Area USBC since 2014 and is a current Virginia State Youth Director.

I am humbled to receive the support of the USBC board and excited about the future of our organization,” McDaniel said. “I look forward to working with our staff and board to continue advancing the outstanding programs and initiatives that we are building together.”

Mitchell was one of three appointments made by McDaniel, as incoming USBC president, to fill delegate-director positions for the 2020-21 season. On July 31, Mitchell’s first term will expire, while director Jo Dimond and USBC President Karl Kielich each will reach their term limit.

Glenda Beckett of Palmetto Bay, Fla., and Tina Williams of Pflugerville, Texas, also were appointed as delegate directors by McDaniel.

The appointed board members, approved by the full board, were selected from the slate of candidates who formed the ballot for the 2020 election. Delegates will be asked to ratify the appointments at the 2021 USBC Annual Meeting.

Applications for the three delegate-director positions that start with the 2021-22 season, with a three-year term running through July 31, 2024, will open this summer. Delegates will vote to fill those positions at the 2021 Annual Meeting.

In addition to the appointments, other positions on the USBC board have been determined.

Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America Vice President Jim Decker, the owner of Double Decker Lanes in Rohnert Park, Calif., was selected by BPAA to serve as its representative. The position currently is held by Cathy DeSocio, who reaches her term limit on July 31.

Cornell M. Jackson of Kilmarnock, Va., has been appointed to serve a sixth year as director-at-large, representing The National Bowling Association.

Nick Pate of Inver Grove Heights, Minn., and Liz Kuhlkin of Schenectady, N.Y., were elected to the USBC board by Team USA athletes, with their three-year terms starting Aug. 1.

Pate already is serving on the board, as he was appointed as an athlete representative in January to complete the remaining term of Rhino Page, who resigned to focus on new business opportunities. Kuhlkin fills the spot held by Kelly Kulick, the USBC Hall of Fame member who will reach her term limit on July 31.

Additionally, the USBC board adopted a proposal to amend USBC National Bylaws Article IV, Section E, adding a new item 15 that gives the board the authority to temporarily amend or suspend the bylaws, state, local and affiliate bylaws and the league rules and tournament rules in cases of government-declared emergencies or disasters, pandemic, attack on the United States, or any nuclear or atomic disaster.

The proposal was adopted by the USBC board, effective immediately. In accordance with Article IV, Section E, Item 14 of the USBC National Bylaws, the proposal will be presented to delegates for approval at the 2021 Annual Meeting.

With many state and local associations also unable to conduct an annual meeting in 2020, the USBC board has suspended USBC Bylaw Article VI, Section A, Item 1, allowing national delegates elected for a term ending Aug. 1, 2020, to remain in their position for the 2020-21 season and remain eligible to attend the 2021 USBC Annual Meeting for those associations unable to elect delegates for 2021.

All award winners and honorees scheduled to be recognized at the 2020 USBC Convention will be invited to the 2021 event. This includes the induction ceremony for the 2020 USBC Hall of Fame class and the recognition of the 2020 award and scholarship winners.

The decisions of the USBC board were made following recommendations of the USBC Executive Advisory Committee.

3 Tournaments Still a Go; Collegiate Expo Cancelled

Given all the tournament cancellations that have ravaged the 2020 bowling landscape, it’s nice to be able to report on three events that organizers still plan to conduct: the U.S. High School National Championship, the Teen Masters and the South Point Senior Shootout Presented by Logo Infusion.

The High School Championship has been re-scheduled to July 25-27, after Michael Nyitray, President of the U.S. High School Bowling Federation, polled coaches and received overwhelming input to re-schedule rather than cancel. The updated information can be found here:

Providing another competitive opportunity for America’s high-level youth bowlers will be the Teen Masters, which has been moved back five weeks to Aug. 2-7. For a look at that tournament’s revised schedule, click here:

For more on these tournaments, including comments from Nyitray and Teen Masters organizer Gary Beck, click here:

And on April 16, Tournament Director Ron Mohr sent out this email: “The 2020 South Point Senior Shootout Presented by Logo Infusion remains scheduled for Monday, Nov. 16 through Friday, Nov. 20. The Senior Shootout sold out in January and, with no withdrawals to date, the field remains at 180. Even with the USBC Women’s (Las Vegas, 9/19–10/18) and Open Championships (Reno, 9/12–11/21) rescheduled to the fall, the only potential conflict players may experience is if they are scheduled to bowl the last week of the OC.”

Unfortunately, there has been one more victim of the COVID-19 pandemic: the Turbo Tech Collegiate Expo. The event had been scheduled to take place July 6-9 in Las Vegas.

We believe continued precautions through the summer will be necessary to ensure the well-being and safety of all students, families, coaches, sponsor representatives and Turbo team members,” read a post on the Turbo website. “The Collegiate Expo is certainly a labor of love for our team and we’ll miss hosting this exceptional event. Our team is working on developing some new programs for perhaps later in the summer or early fall.”

What Centers Are Up Against in the Battle to Reopen

Bowling dominated Twitter early this week as pundits reacted to Georgia Governor Brian Kemp mentioning bowling alleys among the businesses that could begin reopening in that state.

A number weighed in with snarky comments that demonstrated our industry still has a long way to go in shaking its negative “bowling alley” image.

BJI Editor Gianmarc Manzione noticed the trend on Twitter and immediately began documenting it.

Politics publication The Hill, which has 3.7 million followers, was one of many news outlets that specifically referenced Governor Kemp’s mention of ‘bowling alleys’ in his announcement,” Manzione said. “That tweet alone got 790,000 views, 551 retweets and more than 1,200 likes. That’s the kind of thing that got bowling trending on Twitter as Kemp, and bowling, took a beating.”

Here’s a sampling of the tweets that subsequently went out:

* Sam Stein, Politics Editor for The Daily Beast with 463,000 followers, tweeted that “Bowling alleys, for some reason, are cracking me up. Like the entire enterprise is based around folks putting their hands on a ball, rolling it, then someone else grabbing it.”

* Newsweek ran a story about Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms telling CNN’s Chris Cuomo that she was “at a loss” as to why “bowling alleys” specifically were among the businesses Governor Kemp sought to reopen. (She later told Chuck Todd of MSNBC that “There’s nothing essential about going to a bowling alley in the middle of a pandemic.”

* Jeff Shultz, a sportswriter who covers the Atlanta beat for The Athletic and has more than 34,000 followers, said he was going to add bowling to his list of sports to include in “the Dumbass Georgia Decathlon.”

* Bestselling author Tony Schwartz, who has more than 250,000 followers, said the decision to reopen bowling alleys will contribute to “a COVID-19 surge” in the state.

* Katy Tur, an MSNBC anchor with 724,000 followers, tweeted that she did not know how one practices social distancing in a bowling center due to “shared bowling balls.”

* Famed attorney Lawrence Tribe tweeted that Kemp’s decision to reopen bowling centers will “kill your own citizens.”

* Bestselling author Luvvie Ajayi tweeted to her 215,000 followers that bowling centers are places where “everyone’s touching the same thing over and over. The place without windows. The place where you can still smell the breath of someone who yawned 15 minutes ago.”

* In an obscenity-laced tweet, Bill Palmer of The Palmer Report tweeted to his 320,000 followers that Governor Kemp’s decision to reopen bowling alleys made him a worse governor than Governor Ron DiSantis of Florida, who reopened beaches last week.

* Chris Hayes told his 2.1 million followers that he doubted “a ton of people are going to be rushing to get massages or crowding into bowling alleys. But who knows?”

* New Yorker writer Susan Glasser asked her 139,000 followers, “Has anyone figured out why bowling alleys and tattoo parlors are essential to the functioning of Georgia yet?”

* Bestselling author Saeed Jones tweeted to her 150,000 followers that the reopening of businesses like “bowling alleys” is “concerning, crazy and scary,” and asked, “Are people really this invested in bowling alleys? Y’all really ’bout that rented shoe life?”

* Singer Ricky Davila, who has 300,000 followers, said that reopening businesses such as bowling alleys was akin to committing “mass murder.”

* A twitter follower going by the handle @mterr337 who has 41,700 followers tweeted that “bowling … is one of the most germ infested things you can do.”

* Vanity Fair, with its following of 4.8 million, tweeted that bowling alleys are among places “where people spread their germs and/or are within inches of each other.”

Governor Kemp stressed that businesses being allowed to reopen should “adhere to the minimum basic operations,” which included “screening workers for fever and respiratory illness, enhancing workplace sanitation, wearing gloves and masks if appropriate, separating workspaces by at least six feet, teleworking where at all possible, and implementing staggered shifts.”

But, as one might expect, none of that information was included in the derisive tweets.

See how bowling went viral here:

More COVID-19 Updates from Our Bowling Family

* Work is proceeding briskly on Strike Ten Entertainment’s “Back to Bowling” marketing effort, which will include a comprehensive digital marketing kit, social media marketing content and more. The anticipated release date is the week of May 4.

* While bowling center operators in Georgia will have permission to reopen on Friday, Justin Amick, President and CEO of Painted Hospitality, says his upscale The Painted Pin and The Painted Duck won’t be among them. “Although I couldn’t be happier to have bowling solidified as one of life’s most essential needs, I’m surprised by the accelerated timeline to be able to reopen our doors to the public,” Amick told What Now Atlanta. “We are scared to death about the new norms, strict limitations and guidelines that will make it impossible to be financially viable. A rushed reopening could be the nail in the coffin for many companies. We won’t risk the safety of our staff, families and patrons, as their well-being is of the utmost importance. We look forward to digesting all the information and making the best decision that aligns and serves our entire community.” Read more here:

* The cancellation of Bowl Expo 2020 brought with it the cancellation of the annual Bowl Expo Raffle benefitting the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame. IBMHF Board of Trustees President Mike Aulby contacted museum patrons this week: “If you have already sent in a ticket, please reach out to any of our staff about whether you would like to make this a donation, a refund or a ticket for 2021. The raffle remains one of the main pillars of our fundraising efforts each year, and we would not be able to keep our history alive and up to date without the gifts we receive from many of you on a regular basis.”

* The museum, located at the International Bowling Campus in Arlington, Texas, has been closed since March 17 to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Added Aulby: “Please take care of each other during these challenging times, and I look forward to welcoming you back to the museum.”

* Lost amid the myriad other cancellations in the bowling industry this spring was the shutting down of the annual Southern Bowling Congress Tournament after only one weekend of a scheduled four weekends of competition had been completed in Baton Rouge, La. More than 600 five-bowler teams were entered, seeking part of a $125,000 prize purse. Officials declared the first-weekend results final, prepared a prorated prize fund and issued refunds to those that did not get to bowl. The Southern Bowling Congress is a confederation of nine Southern states that conducts an annual tournament and awards scholarships to youth bowlers. To read about the history of the SBC, click here:

* The extension of Wisconsin’s “Safer at Home” order through Memorial Day is not sitting well with the state’s bowling center owners. According to Yvonne Bennett, Executive Director of the Bowling Centers Association of Wisconsin, one proprietor in Racine immediately initiated a letter-writing campaign. That landed him on the local Fox 6 News, and that station subsequently conveyed the proprietor’s concern to the governor’s office. See the emotional interview with proprietor Phil Ontko here:

* The BCAW has cancelled its annual golf tournament, a fundraiser for the association’s scholarship program, for 2020. Plans call for the Par 4 Resort in Waupaca to host the 2021 event on Monday, June 14.

* The South Point Hotel, Casino and Spa furloughed virtually all of its employees this week, making it the last of the resorts that had been scheduled to host the 2020 Junior Gold Championships Presented by Hammer to do so. Boyd Gaming and Station Casinos already had furloughed or laid off their employees. As it became apparent that Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak did not have a plan for reopening the state, South Point followed suit. “Think of this as phase zero,” Sisolak said on Tuesday. “I’m working to update my previous directives” to meet the needs of the criteria to move into phase one.

Business Briefs…

* Skyline Lanes Family Bowling Center in Idaho Falls is closed until COVID-19 restrictions are lifted in Idaho. When it reopens, guests will be greeted by new owners: Andy Snider and Billy Taylor. Interior repairs, painting and cleaning are under way, and plans call for the addition of a pizza parlor. Read more here:

* Kegel has become the sales and distribution partner for Bowling Buddies, a patented single-use shoe cover designed specifically for bowling. With a sole that has slide material and grip material, these covers allow the customer to wear their own shoe if they prefer. Kegel has acquired all inventory of this alternative to rental shoes previously sold on and is making it available for immediate sale to bowling centers via the Kegel website. Kegel CEO Chris Chartrand said, “Amid the growing concern over sanitation due to COVID-19, our team of engineers and chemists have been focused on solutions that may face the bowling industry in coming months. One concern is the use of shared items like rental shoes and bowling balls. Bowling centers should not risk losing a single customer over the discomfort of using these items, and we feel it’s important that they give customers this new option.”

* Country Club Lanes West in Burlington, N.C., was forced to close down not because of the coronavirus, but because the center’s landlord has another use for the building. Some of the leagues had an opportunity to move to nearby Buffaloe Lanes Mebane before the pandemic forced that center to close down. The owners of Country Club — which had hosted the PBA Tour in 2001 (when Ricky Ward won), as well as in 2002 and 2003 (when Pete Weber won) — said they hope to relocate the business, and will begin looking for a new site once the pandemic subsides. More:

* Carolina Lanes in Henderson, N.C., like virtually all other bowling centers across the country, is closed, waiting word from government officials that it’s permissible to reopen. No revenue is coming in. So it was a particularly bitter pill for proprietor Benton Hight to swallow when a burglar did nearly $1,000 in damage to the center’s front door. “It’s a tremendous expense you don’t expect at this point in time,” Hight told CBS 17. Read more here:

Other News You Can Use…

* Main Event Entertainment last week provided 44,000 paper bracelets to help Children’s Health in its continued commitment to safety. Children’s Health has been providing healthcare services at its facilities in North Texas for more than 100 years, and today also serves as a voice for children in schools, corporate boardrooms, city halls and legislative chambers. “How do you say thank you to our healthcare workers battling on the front lines of COVID-19?” Main Event asked in a Facebook post. “You do what you can.”

* Not every bowling community has a David Miller, but those that do are better for it. Miller was a master organizer, league president, league publicist, reporter for bowling publications and photographer in the greater Buffalo, N.Y., area who passed away on April 15 following a minor traffic accident the day before. He was 71. Miller “always seemed to have his camera at the ready,” wrote Milt Northrop in the Buffalo News. “He took particular joy in taking photos of each of the hundred or more kids with their trophies at the annual Western New York Bowling Proprietors Association awards banquet.” Read more here:

* As the Phantom Radio trivia contest continues, the guest this week is former West Coast bowling star Larry Gray. To hear how he does, click here:

* CONTACT: Please send business news, event information, etc. to Bob Johnson at For breaking business news, visit or, “Like” Bowling Center Management and Bowlers Journal International on Facebook, and follow BJI on Twitter ( BJI Cyber Reports are now archived at Please remember that the Cyber Report is a B-to-B publication and not intended for consumers.

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