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Herald-Tribune gives plenty of space to lawn bowling -- but tenpins? Forget it!

Lawn bowling is a regular activity at the Sarasota Lawn Bowling Club.
Lawn bowling is a regular activity at the Sarasota Lawn Bowling Club.

Let's go bowling. Lawn bowling, that is.

Sarasota Herald-Tribune sports editor Scott Peterson and executive editor Bill Church seem to have forgotten all about tenpin bowling -- at least as far as newspaper coverage is concerned -- but the H-T found plenty of space for lawn bowling in its Tuesday (July 8) editions.

Indeed, a four-column headline (in capital letters) that read "ROLLING ALONG" and a subhead that read "Long a part of the Sarasota scene, lawn bowling gains momentum" was followed by a full 30 inches of text. Not only that, there were three accompanying color photos -- with sizes of 8 x 3 1/2, 3 x 4, and 1 1/2 x 1 1/2 -- plus a 4-inch "Quick guide to lawn bowling" item.

To view the complete story, as posted on the newspaper's Web site, click here.

Lawn bowling may certainly be deserving of newspaper publicity, but how is the Herald-Tribune able to find so much space for lawn bowling while not giving any publicity to local tenpin bowling?

In direct response to a question about why the Herald-Tribune has no bowling coverage, Church said, "The Herald-Tribune covers a large market and has an engaged, educated readership with many interests. Invariably we're not going to meet everyone's passions, but no other news and information company offers a better day-to-day assessment of key interests."

Perhaps it's the contention of Church and Peterson that tenpin bowling isn't deserving of any coverage, but regardless, the last locally written bowling column to appear on the H-T sports pages was on Nov. 25, 2012. And the only local tenpin coverage since then came in mid-April of this year with reports on the PBA50 Sarasota Open, a professional seniors event at Sarasota Lanes.

On a near-daily basis, Peterson's sports pages continue to provide reports on local golf, and if you're interested in which foursome finished third in a low net or best-ball competition at a local golf course, the H-T is the place to look. But if a local bowler rolls a perfect game or an 800 series, such feats go unreported.

For example, Kevin Craycraft of Sarasota has rolled two 800-plus series and a perfect game, and he's averaging 244 in a summer league at Englewood Bowl, but don't expect to find anything about his accomplishments in the Herald-Tribune. However, continues to report regularly on local bowlers and their high scores, and to read about Craycraft's red-hot bowling, click here.

No matter how you look at it, there has been more Herald-Tribune space allotted to lawn bowling this week than space given to local tenpin bowling over the past 19 months.

Herald-Tribune readers can expect to see regular columns about guns and tennis in the sports pages over the next few days, but it's likely to be a long, long time until the next article about local tenpin bowling appears.

[You may subscribe to Bill Herald's bowling columns -- free of charge -- by clicking on "subscribe" near the top of the column, after which you will receive e-mail notification each time a new item is published.]

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