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From the President’s Pen
By Mary Lynly

It’s not always easy to come up with a topic for my column but it’s hard to escape the uneasy feeling about what’s happening to bowling. Another large group of employees let go at USBC and BPAA for one, and it seems like all the Indians are expendable and only the Chiefs are left. It has been difficult to bond with anyone in the rotating employee pool (the ones who pretty much knew what was going on) and now we are probably going to be relegated to the website that’s challenging to navigate or, Press 1, Press 2, to get voice mail. I feel automated to death in trying to consummate any transactions these days and now it appears bowling is headed in that direction too. It’s like you are a prairie dog in a field of wheat trying to survive and the combine is coming and really doesn’t care who is out there.

There are pockets of groups that are doing well, most of their method of doing things borders on the way it used to be and they are thriving. Get it?

I am in touch with bowling leaders all over the U.S. and the one consolation is that I am not alone in my feelings that bowling as we knew it is rapidly slipping away. I think we all know that things change but the declining numbers can no longer be excused away. The reason people belong to things is motivation and value – we keep hoping it will come but unless you are into that other world of Elite or Youth bowling – there doesn’t seem to be anyone who really cares about communicating with local and state bowling leaders. If you can’t take it by email or website – forget it. Tweeting,Facebook and Blogs have all become gossip columns or filled with information with no need to know and as many of us believed, it has become something to be wary of – be careful what you put on the Internet.

Is this really a good way of promoting? The Jury is still out on that one but I feel I am not alone when I say I like to communicate eyeball to eyeball where ideas can be developed across the table from someone and even getting something in a newsletter works for me and lots of others. You can read it, put it down and come back to it again easily. I know, everyone is on their iPhones chit-chatting, passing pictures and doing all kinds of clever things but my guess is they are in danger of becoming social misfits, unable to function or communicate in a social situation.

I’m not whining, but I feel I am among a small group of leaders who contributed a lot to bowling, locally, statewide and nationally and we are losing our enthusiasm and love for our favorite sport. It’s too bad our parent organizations don’t see the value in helping their local and state leaders instead of just seeing them as a revenue source because numbers say the revenue source is going away.

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