Encouraged by my wife, Linda, I joined a league and signed up for a couple of tournaments. Once I became involved in League bowling, I noted some things that seemed to be pervasive in the sport. The format for league bowling did not deviate much from league to league and seemed geared toward getting bowlers to sign a contract committing them to 36 weeks of activity.
Well into the season, interest seemed to dissipate among those bowlers who were behind the leading teams. Absenteeism was common and substitutes were in high demand. This seemed to happen with many of the folks who signed up for the first time, or those that thought that the teams were stacked against them.
I also bowled in several ‘Handicap’ tournaments, and again, the format was fairly straightforward, deviating little from tournament to tournament. I listened to what many participants criticisms were and noted that almost all the time there was some perception that the winners had some how stacked the deck in their favor.
I had read articles about the bowling industry, how many centers were folding due to decreasing participation, lack of interest by the younger folks, and that the sport was ‘tired’. There just didn’t seem to be any ‘Fire’ in the sport, not enough excitement.
Linda and I came up with and idea that we hoped would help add some spice to the bowling experience, something we hoped would fire the imagination of League bowlers all over the country. It wasn’t until recently that we could put everything together and create what you are looking at today.
We laid out some specific goals:
- Provide an incentive to bowlers to bowl in established sanctioned leagues through the complete season.
- Encourage expansion of league participation.
- Ensure fairness and equity to bowlers of all abilities.
- Increase permanent participation in the sport.
- Offer cash payouts on a DAILY basis, with the potential of cash payouts in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
- Provide Proprietors with additional incentives to stay in the industry and improve and expand their facilities.
- Demonstrate to industry leaders that new ideas and old concepts can come together to offer a totally new bowling experience within their industry.
What, then, could we do to accomplish those goals?
- Design a tournament that is linked to league bowling whose format would excite bowlers of all skill levels.
- It should ultimately include bowlers from all over the World.
- It would run on a daily basis.
- It would merge technology with traditional sports participation.
- It would rethink traditional means of scoring and team making.
How would it work?
A bowler would bowl in participating sanctioned leagues exactly as they do today. The existing leagues continue to be set up as they are. League Bowlers bowl and score as before. The bowlers three game series pincount is posted to www.potbowling.com. Teams are created based on a formula ensuring equity between all the teams. The 3 game pincount for each bowler are compared to their 3 game average. Scores over or under their average are added to the scores from their teammates and totaled. Team scores are compared to other team scores to determine the winners. Bowlers can access the Web site to see the prize fund, see the winners, check their tournament averages, find their friends and see how they did.
The keys to the success of the idea are:
- Acceptance of the concept by the bowling community.
- Bowler’s perception that the tournament cannot be rigged or tricked.
- Multiple layers of award opportunity every night they bowl in their league.
- Qualifying for ‘Real’ tournaments at resort locations every night they bowl in their league.
- An ‘End of league season Super Pot’ based on level of participation is on the Horizon.
- Bowlers of All skill levels sharing in cash payouts.
- Members having input into tournament rules, levels of payouts and other options.
- Ability to seamlessly and immediately transmit information from a bowling center to the WEB and back to the bowler.
- Support of Bowling Proprietors, League officials and Industry leaders in launching the concept.
30 years ago, the infrastructure required to accomplish all this just wasn’t there, Today, however, the Internet affords the industry an opportunity to maximize the traditional league bowling experience by weaving old with new. The Internet is no longer a mystery to most people. Computers are everywhere in our lives, and any computer that has access to the Internet has access to www.potbowling.com. We need your support to help launch the concept and are hopeful that you see that our vision is your vision too.
So, tell your friends to give us a look. Sign up and post some scores. See what happens. Bowling is lots of fun as it is, but what a kick it could be if we could be rolling in a league with an opportunity to win BIG prizes each and every night we bowl!
If you care to respond directly to me, J. Yeatrakas send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments, questions or suggestions about potbowling.com.
Currently this is a free to play, proof of concept with the goal of adding fee based events with large prize pools, such as winner take all, one winner for every 40 entrants, or every 250 entrants and so forth.