Florida State USBC BA Bowling Tournament – Seen through the eyes of a Volunteer/Local Association board member
My name is Celeste O’Neill and I am the 2nd Vice President for Gulf Coast USBC in Seminole, Fl. and the editor of this article.
The reason for this article is to open the eyes of associations and bowlers and others who came out and watched their families, friends bowl.
First, Walt Davis, Jr., our President, and I went down to Ft. Myers back in the summer of 2012 and watched and took notes on how they ran the tournament. Danny, President of the Southwest Florida USBC, at the time we were down in Ft. Myers, explained how things worked, how they handled different situations to us and we honestly think it helped us in many ways.
To any association who is hosting the tournament: Before the tournament came to our town, Bob Peters and Carol Trump came to our board meeting, and explained what happens and how things should be done. Listen carefully, take notes. Work with them during the tournament, makes things a lot easier, do not assume you know how everything works.
And a note to Florida State USBC BA: Remember, everyone working this tournament are volunteers. Most who probably have never even worked a tournament, but were asked to volunteer to make this a smooth process to the best of their ability. They are doing and did the best they could.
For the associations, volunteers are a huge help, and after working so many weekends, volunteers get tired of helping. We were fortunate to have some who stayed throughout the 8 weekends. And you work Saturday and Sunday and long hours.
What you have to understand for your volunteers versus the Board. We wanted this tournament. These people that you are going to get to help had no clue what to expect. On the other hand, we did not know what to expect either. The biggest tournament we have had is The St. Petersburg Women’s Classic Tournament which is 3 weekends, two shifts. So you really need to think when doing this for 8 weekends, people that have full time jobs, are going to be working 7 days a week.
I did the scheduling for volunteers. Which I will not lie, was crazy. Danny had mentioned contacting the school. We talked to our kids in our programs and reminded them this would be great for volunteer hours for school. Even boy scouts can get volunteer hours. And another thing is a lot of kids work on weekends. We also gave away tickets for every shift worked and at the end of the tournament, we drew names, for each center, one adult male & female and one youth boy & girl and they got to go to Seminole Lanes, Pro Line Pro Shop and pick out a ball. I will tell you the kids got bored. Most of them worked doing score corrections. Some learned a little more, helping with brackets and ways & means.
Another thing for the association to consider doing, buy some collared shirts to sell to bowlers, because in the rules it states shirts, must have a collar and sleeves must be half way down the arm. There is a lot of discussion about the sleeves in the check in line.
To the bowlers:
When your team captain fills out the entry form and you give that person your cash, PLEASE ask to look at the entry forms and read the RULES. Everyone must follow the rules. All bowlers’ sleeves on their collared shirt must be at least half way down your arm, pretty much touching your elbow. Bowlers please do not yell at the person who is checking you in they are only doing what is asked of us to do. It is The Florida State USBC BA that has these rules and we and the bowler are asked to follow them. Shorts must reach your knee. No hats are allowed to be worn during tournament play unless already approved to be worn by Bob Peters, Tournament Director.
When checking in, you must have a photo ID, and your current bowler’s card. When you hand the person checking you in, a 2010-2011 that does not prove to her/him that you have a current membership. You telling them that you are a current member and that they should know since you turned in your entry form that we should know if you are a member or not.
The person checking you in never sees your entry form. That is handled by Florida State USBC BA. Check in needs to see a current membership card and photo ID. If you do not have your membership card, before coming to the tournament, go on bowl.com and in the right hand corner there is a tab that says find a, click there and go to find a member, you can put in your name and then click print a card. Or you can wait till you get to the tournament and on your smart phone look it up and have it up and ready when you are in the check in line.
Be sure when you are in the check in line to have your bowler ID and photo ID out and you have your collared shirt on and shorts or pants on, when it is your turn to check in. You only can check yourself in. We have to see each person, to verify their ID’s and their shirts and shorts/pants.
Averages, there are rules, and so many people get disqualified, because rules are not read. And the strange thing is even if you do not read your rules on averages, Bob Peters before each squad goes over the rules. Here is what you need to know about averages and the 10 pin rule:
1. On the entry form use the 2011-12 yearbook average. If no winter 2011-12 use summer of 2012. If neither one use Jan 1st.
2. On the day that they bowl if they just finished the 2012-13 season and their average is 10 pins or more they must change it on their recap sheet to the higher average.
Note: If they have a 2011-12 yearbook average and their summer average or Jan 1st average is higher, DO NOT USE THE HIGHER ON THE ENTRY. That is what gets them disqualified.
And remember these years above were for our 2013 79th Tournament, years will change next year.
Bowlers please remember that the USBC rule makes each bowler and only each bowler responsible for the accuracy of their average, not the team captain or the state association.
If you do not understand this rule, ask Bob Peters at the tournament or you can email or call him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-770-6522.
Also if you need a sub, show up at least one hour prior to the start of the tournament, with your team captain. You must fill out a form and the team captain needs to sign.
The tournament announcements start 20 minutes before the scheduled shift. Practice starts 10 minutes before your squad time. Bowling for scores will be at the appointed hour. Each frame that is missed you will get 0 for. You as a team or doubles cannot wait for your partner to show up. When bowling starts you must start bowling. And the board is responsible for making this happen. I had a team stand there and wait, they said that the bowler was on his way, I told them it did not matter that they needed to start bowling, so they did, and I stood there and watched. They asked me if I planned on staying there and I said yes, because you cannot wait for your teammate. I asked them before they started practice, do you want a sub, I have someone who can bowl and they said no. The guy did not show up till the 7th frame. They asked to see the tournament director because I was standing behind them, and he told them I was right to do what I was doing.
Please visit the Ways & Means table, they are selling usually towels, some sell raffle tickets for balls. The state gives us a ball to raffle each shift each day. It is given away that shift.
Brackets are as well, important. This is important to the bowler as well, as the people running brackets. The way brackets are run, is the way the State tells us they are to be run. Again, we ask that you show your bowler ID card and a photo ID, so after you check in, be sure to leave both out so you can hand to the bracket people to check. There are handicap and scratch brackets. Do understand the handicap is not the same as the tournament, the tournament is based on 90% of 240 and brackets are based on 90% of 210.
Brackets after each game will not be posted. They will be posted when everyone is done bowling. This is a State Rule. They do this so the bowler is not leaving their bowling circle to go check to see if they are in brackets still or not. They will post after everyone is done bowling. As soon as they check them and be sure they have all the scores in, they will post the brackets. With doubles/singles, they will not post until all 6 games are complete and turned in.
Bowling Associations when running brackets, a good thing to do is when your bracket score helpers are watching the bowlers and getting ready to write their scores down, they can carry a “live list” so a bowler would be able to approach them and find out how many brackets they are alive in.
When the bowler picks up bracket money, be sure to have your photo ID with you. Be prepared to give your SS# if asked, if you refuse, you need to go see Bob Peters or Carol Trump before able to pick up your money. If you choose not to wait for your money it will either be sent to the other house, or it can be mailed to you.
Only scratch brackets are paid out. Handicap brackets will be sent out once, averages are verified and the tournament is considered FINAL.
Florida State also removes anyone who uses a lower average than they should in brackets and re-do each of those brackets to insure the bowler who uses the correct average is the winner in each round. This can only be done by hand after the end of the tournament and bowlers have been notified of being removed since they have the right to appeal the decision made.
Appeals to USBC by bowlers who are disqualified for whatever reason always hold the Prize fund up until all appeals are settled. This takes up to 30 days from the time the last weekend is finished. Florida State cannot pay off until USBC releases the prize fund after all appeals are handled.
I will say it was interesting, to see what is done behind the scenes. It was fun, sometimes challenging. Met a lot of people, from volunteers and bowlers.Look forward to bowling only in the tournament next year!!!!
Thank you Florida bowlers for coming out to Seminole Lanes & Liberty Lanes and to our area and hope to see you again in the future.