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Karl Nickolai
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#3820 - 04/24/08 02:42 PM What about a new format for singles?
alberson847 Offline
forum member

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 36
I'm just wondering why the format for qualifying for singles is the way it is? I have an idea for a different format which would allow the top 32 or 64 players with at least 50 games in their average throughout the year to compete in the tourney. I know people will complain that we all don't bowl on the same shots and at the same tournaments, but why have a tournament for singles that people qualified for by only bowling six games. I know some of the "stars" ended up qualifying for it, but wouldn't it be an amazing tourney if say the top 64 collegiate bowlers were invited to the tournament? Say only 60 show up for the tournament then you have a certain number of game qualifier to get down to the top 32 then have matchplay after that. Any input or other ideas?
Ryan Alberson
Calumet College of St. Joseph

#3821 - 04/24/08 03:58 PM Re: What about a new format for singles? [Re: alberson847]
Karl Nickolai Administrator Offline
forum member

Registered: 12/08/06
Posts: 629


In answer to your question about the format, the history behind it goes back to the old college union (ACU-I) regional events that ended for intercollegiate bowling about 5 years ago now (they still have ACU-I regional competition in things like table tennis, chess, recreational bowling, etc.).

The regional format was 9 games, with the top individual player from each of 15 regionals and one or more additional players (I thnik it was based on regional field size) to complete the individual national field. It has been a long time, but I think at one time the national field was more than the top 16 (24?). I remember some discussions from 10 years ago or so, that because of budget cuts, the field would be reduced rather than cutting the benefits given to the participants.

When the ACU-I ended holding an intercollegiate bowling event, CB USA and the coaches agreed there was a need to continue an individual collegiate national event. Then CB USA Director Brian Graham picked it with suggestions from the coaches and came up with what we have today. The idea was to make it possible for any college student to participate and the day before sectionals seemed like the best way to get people to travel to participate. With the record entry this year (depsite a fee increase), I think the timing works.

The immediate problem with expanding the national field is how to pay for it. USBC Collegiate picks up the expenses for the 32 athletes (16 men / 16 women) that currently qualify for indiviudla nationals. I think at the present the event is a break even at best when considering the fees to partiicpate and the expenses of qualification and conducting the national finals.

I speculate, but USBC Collegiate must clearly have money issues that would preclude such an expansion. I say that because of several things, including but not limited to:

1) The cuts at the 2008 ITC included a greatly reduced program book, no team photos, and no sponsored lunch on Thursday. The staff did an outstanding job with the event, but these little things were noticeable to anyone who has participated in the ITC before 2008.

2) The outstanding USBC Collegiate Handbook was eliminated before this season and the money allocated elsewhere (outside of the collegiate division). In its place, we got a rules pamphlet. I understand that the collegiate division fought to get even that, but it angers me to think of all the work that went into developing the handbook format and content. Gone because someone in "communications" had no clue how important it was to us.

3) Team and Individual fees for sectionals and the singles qualifying event were increased this year.

The other issue I can immediately think of is the event is a singles event, and not every competitive player bowls for a school with a team. By using the top average differential players (a much better number to use than top averages), you eliminate anyone who does not compete in the team tournaments during the season. That is what is tracked in the average / average differential lists at this site.

I certainly agree some type of event with the top individual players would be exciting. It just seems at this point it would be financially impossible to do. I thnk it would be difficult to get the players to attend from distant locations without financial support.

Karl Nickolai

#3826 - 04/25/08 03:12 AM Re: What about a new format for singles? [Re: Karl Nickolai]
Rizzo Offline
forum member

Registered: 10/09/07
Posts: 82
i know this was posted about the singles, but i recently had a thought about the team event. How come it's double elimination, unless you're the team that makes it to the finals in the winners bracket? The winners bracket should have to lose twice as well. So if team B is in the losers bracket and team A is on the winners side, team B will have to beat team A twice in order to be declared the winner, and team A needs only one win. Is there anyone else who shares this sentiment?
#3827 - 04/25/08 10:52 AM Re: What about a new format for singles? [Re: Rizzo]
Karl Nickolai Administrator Offline
forum member

Registered: 12/08/06
Posts: 629


There are no "winner's" and "contender's" brackets for the teams that reach the ITC finals. The two teams are considered the red bracket and blue bracket champions. Each is the winner of its respective bracket and has defeated the other seven opponents in its bracket best of seven double elimination all the way to the end. The red and blue bracket champions roll-off in the best two out of three Baker game television finals.

The problem again comes down to the simple issue of money.

When the ITC switched to a match play format from the old "bowl a lot of games, cut to three and have a step ladder finals", the coaches wanted the same number of games for every match inlcuding the finals and double elimination all the way to the end. CB USA (now USBC Collegiate) said that was not feasible because of the cost of television taping and production time. Besides the cost, they did not want to chop up longer matches to fit a televison time slot and did not want a second "contingent" match (i.e. no double elimination final).

In the end, the coaches compromised on a best two out of three game, single match (no double elimination) finals when there was television. My recollection is that we did have best of seven, double elimination all the way to the end at the one or two events were there was no television.

The bracket was originally 16 teams, and when television was present, the problem existed with the final match and you would ALWAYS have undefeated team versus a team with one loss. With the winner-take-all final, the contender could win the title beating the undefeated team one time in the best two-out-of-three match.

The solution was to break the 16 bracket into two 8 brackets (red and blue) and play those out to "bracket champions" (best of seven, double elimination all the way). This year those was UNLV and Wichita in the men and Wichita and Pikeville in the women. The bracket champions then roll-off in a single best of three Baker game match. It is possible one bracket champion has a loss in their bracket and the other does not as was true in the men this year. However, once you win your bracket all prior win-loss records go away, and it is a roll-off between the two winners - red and blue.

The one potential drawback is that one bracket may be "tougher" than the other which has clearly happened in the men's division each of the last two years. That was the trade off for the best option to obtain the double elimination element the coaches wanted. It is now possible that neither red or blue bracket has a loss, or both have one loss. However, that really does not matter as it is bracket champion take-all in the one two out of three game match.

I hope this answers your question.

Karl Nickolai

#3829 - 04/25/08 11:35 AM Re: What about a new format for singles? [Re: Karl Nickolai]
Scott Offline
forum member

Registered: 03/27/08
Posts: 18
Loc: Lansing, MI
For the singles Nationals question:

I think a better way to do national singles is take the top 16 from each sectional, keep them ranked from how they finished at sectionals 1-16, and do a 64 person bracket, single elimination, each match being best 2 out of 3 match play. That would be very exciting and it would be much more competitive in the sense that you will have your "stars" there along with the bowlers who just got lucky for 6 games and made it in the top 4. Also there wont be much "question" about who the "most deserving winner" would be since they would have to keep winning every match from the fresh-transition-burn.

For the Team Nationals finals:

I like the format of the team nationals all the way up to the finals. I understand the money situation, but in the finals, if USBC is not going to allow the undefeated team a double elimination format (have to get beaten twice), atleast make the finals best 4 out of 7.
Or if its fair to keep the double elimination for the undefeated team all the way into the finals, do 2 matches, double elimination, best 2 out of 3.
Just seems like 2 out of 3 games, single elimination, isnt enough to determine the national champs.
Scott Honeysett
Michigan State University

Were you high today or was I?

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