California Bowling Writers

June 30, 2008

Evans to Lead BWAA – Romeo and Wyckoff Aboard
by Mary Lynly

Dick Evans of Daytona, Florida was elected as President of the Bowling Writers Association of America at their annual meeting in Orlando, FL on June 24, 2008. A prolific writer, Evans has been a sports writer for the Miami Herald since 1957, a bowling writer for Daytona Beach News Journal since 1995 and is an ABC and PBA Hall of Fame member

Jackie Wyckoff of Campbell, CA moved into the Vice President slot and Joan Romeo of Van Nuys came aboard as a Director. Also elected were Jim Goodwin, Rockwall, TX, Bill Vint, East Troy, WI and Kathy Watson of Richmond, CA.

A moving memorial by well known bowling historian Chuck Pezzano included California bowling media giants Joe Lyou and Frank Keitz, both of whom died this year.

Retiring President Hazel McLeary of Victoria BC was honored with a Life Membership in the organization. McLeary had been instrumental in facilitating the daunting task of merging BWAA and the National Women Bowling Writers Association and served as the new organization’s first president.

BWAA Executive Director Steve James who took over after the untimely death of previous Executive Director Dan Glus, announced his retirement. James said he was pleased with a 50 member increase this year in pursuit of the BWAA goal of 425. He agreed to pinch hit for Dan and somehow it stretched into ten years.

Bowling is well represented by BWAA members as each introduced themselves and the publication they represented from across the U.S.

Targets reached for BWAA this past year are writing awards for amateurs; a new logo and pin; meeting and convention fees paid by credit cards, a possible hosting of a meeting at the site of the USBC convention and trying to connect with college journalism students to make bowling enthusiasts out of them.

New this year, the BWAA booth at Bowl Expo was set up to interview proprietors, coaches and exhibitors with writers creating press releases they could use in their home areas. Individuals who attended Bowl Expo could take advantage of the 45 educational and informational seminars plus over 800 exhibits.

The $1000 Chuck Pezzano Youth Scholarship went to Thomas Madrecki of Illinois and Elizabeth Soutter of California. Both will receive a one-year membership in BWAA and if requirements are met, can re-apply for the scholarship for each of the next three years they remain in college.

“There is no way BPAA could buy the kind of coverage BWAA and related writing organizations give us” said BPAA Executive Director John Berglund as he addressed the membership, “it may continue to be a challenge to keep bowling the #1 participation sport and bowling writers are invaluable.” He announced the Bowl Expo convention will be in Las Vegas for 2009 and 2010 and 2011 in Orlando, FL again. He spoke excitedly about the new Bowling Campus and Hall of Fame in Arlington, TX and said, “although there may be growing pains for a couple of years, I feel with moving of the United States Bowling Congress (USBC) and combining our forces into one, bowling cannot help but grow.”

Berglund designated Wednesday as Hall of Fame day and each member present who was in a national hall of fame was presented with an impressive medal to wear. Tom Clark PBA Vice President and COO for the PBA announced that he was taking Chris and Lynda Barnes with him to the Associated Press Convention in Minneapolis for sports writers from all over and hosting a breakfast. The goal is to present a power point presentation about the exciting things happening in bowling and introduce them to Bowling’s most prolific couple for 2008. He said he will definitely not beg for coverage but let them know they are missing out on all of the great things going on in bowling now and that we are a tremendous audience. He said we need to introduce writers to what bowlers have to do to excel and let the media know what’s happening in bowling. Clark said, “We will have front page coverage in USA Today and Sports Illustrated.”

He announced that California’s Missy Bellinder will assist media coverage of the Pro Tour.

BWAA Webmaster Kathy Watson announced additions and changes to the website – an added memorial page, bowling publications on line, a Publicity Guide, Collegiate Bowler of the Year and a page for bowlers to report their good news. Log on!

Elaine Hagin brought us up to date on the International Museum and Hall of Fame move to Arlington, TX. The current “Hall” in St. Louis will be sold to the Ball Park Village organization. St. Louis made an attractive offer to keep the hall there but the desire to consolidate BPAA/USBC and the hall in one area was compelling. A new state of the art Hall of Fame will be designed. The St. Louis hall will be closed at the end of December.

Writers always look forward to the awards dinner. Columbia/300 has hosted this event for the bowling writers for some time and it is an opportunity to meet, thank the appropriate people and honor others. Lyle Zikes and Joan Romeo were honored June 24 at the Columbia 300/BPAA writers’ dinner in Orlando, Fla. Zikes earned a place in the Bowling Writers Association of America Hall of Fame while Romeo received her accolades as the winner of the prestigious BWAA Meritorious Service Award. Diandra Asbaty was the recipient of the World Bowling Writers Female Bowler of the Year award.

The writers are fortunate to enjoy two breakfasts hosted by Brunswick and Storm. Brunswick shared information about customer trends – league play ebbing and open play growing – and that they are concentrating on entertainment and focus products and programs that drive open play. Brunswick has 100 centers in the U.S. and they are promoting in Russia, the hottest market right now, and Japan. Storm’s success is reflected in its rapid growth. In just fifteen years, Storm has captured the number one position in the high performance bowling ball market and a significant portion of the lower priced ball business. Their latest new element to the game is scented bowling balls and they said the response was overwhelming.

There are many accomplished and well known writers who are a part of BWAA and bowling is well covered from a variety of perspectives throughout the U.S. and foreign countries by its members.