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Thread: A Question for Bowlers Everywhere

  1. #21
    Pin Crusher Phonetek's Avatar
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    Our lanes have been certified this year. The restrictions have stayed consistent with previous years. Last year they were not done due to Covid. The owner insists on having it done every year even though we have zero certified competition.

    The only problems we had was an issue with our pin decks being a tiny bit out of spec as far as being at the proper angle. We did not have the so appropriate level at the time to adjust them properly. The second issue was a couple cracked boards on the lanes. Both issues have been rectified and we are 100% in spec on all lanes.

  2. #22
    Bowling God Aslan's Avatar
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    see...Phonetek's center is an example of what the USBC was hoping for.

    Put out the standard...centers will take it seriously...and since centers are assumed to be generally keeping their machines/lanes in good order anyways...any deviations will be minor, taken seriously, and repaired in good order without any need for enforcement actions.

    The question is...of the centers in your area...are they more like Phonetek's? Or not so much?

    There are 8 centers in the Des Moines area. That seems like a lot...but coming from Southern California...it seems like a bit of a downgrade. And I can tell you, having bowled at all of them (except one)...at least recreationally...my opinion is:

    Bass Lakes Pro: Bowling alley inside a sporting goods store...I don't think it's even USBC sanctioned...just a tourist place to waste money in a black light environment with aquariums around. Only place I haven't bowled.

    Air Lanes: No idea. Bowled there a handful of times. It was difficult to get to and really humid inside. I don't think they do tremendous business...so I doubt they'd be lining up to fix things if there were issues.

    Gameday Lanes: Bowling alley in the basement of a mall. It closed and re-opened under new management. It's had a history of technical and lane issues that supposedly new ownership had fixed. I bowled there last summer and can tell you new ownership has not fixed the issues. Unlikely this place would pass any USBC inspection of any kind and since it already made so little money that it closed down...I doubt it would infuse more money into it to fix major issues.

    Great Escape: This center does a good deal of business and is one of the two legitimate centers in the Des Moines area. The owner is pretty high up in the BPAA. If there is anything wrong, they'd either fix it with no fight or have the sway to fight it.

    Bowlerama: The other legitimate center. They probably are the most legitimate center in the area and do the best job with lane maintenance and machine maintenance. They'd fix whatever needed fixing without a fight...assuming anything was wrong.

    Val Lanes: This is the biggest center in the area...but not in the best of shape. The USBC would likely have a list that looked like Santa Clause's naughty/nice scroll when they got done in there. And, the owner probably can't afford to fix everything that is wrong. They make decent money on open bowling, have some birthday parties, and a few leagues...but they struggle to get by.

    Warrior Lanes: Probably not much wrong here. It's a newer center...and a small center. It mainly caters to youth bowling and birthday parties. If they lost USBC sanctioning they probably wouldn't care because they mainly just have 1 sanctioned adult league...if that per year. But, they probably would want to keep the sanctioning for the youth stuff they do. They don't have a ton of money to work with...so if there was anything major wrong, they might choose to drop sanctioning.

    Adel Family Fun Center: This is a small house in the country. Just changed their lanes from wood to synthetics. A kid owns it. It probably would have numerous issues. Each league night there are all kinds of issues with scoring cameras. The pins probably needed to be replaced a while a go. But, the lanes were just redone recently. The owner kinda does work on the place a little at a time as he can afford it. So, an inspection may force him to change things at a pace he can't afford to...and he might have to go non-sanctioned. I don't think he'd close down...he makes a decent amount of money off birthday parties and open bowling...and there's not a lot of options for the country fellas to bowl leagues unless they wanna drive all the way to Des Moines.

    So, IN SUMMARY;

    Of the 8 centers in this area...1 I don't think is sanctioned now. Five of the remaining seven I think would be willing to lose their USBC sanctioning depending on what work needed to be done. Of those 5, probably only 1 (Warrior) would pass an inspection...because it is newer and well taken care of. So, if the USBC pushed the inspection protocol here...hard...I think we'd have a couple centers that would make some changes (like Phonetek's center)...because they are essentially on top of things anyways...and they are a little bigger...do a LOT of league business, etc...

    But for the remaining six...they would have to look at the items from the inspection versus how much money they are brining in and decide how much their sanctioned leagues are worth to them. One of the six centers doesn't have leagues. Two don't really have any sanctioned leagues that I know of. The other only has 1-2 sanctioned leagues this fall and no leagues in the summer. And the final two, of the six, only have maybe 3-5 sanctioned leagues in the fall that they'd lose. That VAST majority of sanctioned leagues are either at Great Escape or Bowlerama.
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  3. #23
    Pin Crusher Phonetek's Avatar
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    I can't speak for other centers aside from a handful around me. I can tell you that there are quite a few that are no shows for BPAA meetings. That is considered to be an insult right there. Missing one meeting is one thing but constant no shows is another.

    The BPAA is there to help the bowling centers and bowling as a sport. I can only assume if they can't show up for a simple luncheon I have little faith they care much about the USBC.

    In my opinion, any place that doesn't certify their lanes shouldn't be allowed to have any USBC competitive play. If they are more worried about family fun then do that. People paying the USBC dues deserve to be bowling on lanes within spec at the very minimum.

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