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#7299 - 11/29/09 10:48 AM Re: Limit the number of bowlers at school... [Re: VandyBurger]
SSolovic Offline
forum member


Registered: 10/06/08
Posts: 23
Loc: St. Louis, MO
I don't see why limiting the size of a program would even be a discussion. Programs that are huge are not huge because a bunch of people coincidentally decided to enroll there. Programs like the ones mentioned are successful because they offer good things to the students/players. Some may offer competitive scholarships. Some may offer equipment sponsorships. Some may offer the best coaching or practice facilities around. Some may offer all of the above. Limiting the amount of bowlers that can be in a particular program is limiting options for students/players, and essentially making them go somewhere that wouldn't be their first choice.

As far as limiting the number of teams to 3 per school per tournament - why? I don't know the answer to this question, so maybe it happens all the time, but when is the last time a "D" team or beyond cashed? Schools that bring A-J teams to a tournament are simply trying to get a little experience for the players and let them have some fun. If Coach Lightfoot and Coach Vida are able to handle a group of 60+ college kids for a weekend, I say good on them.

It would likely benefit my school (Missouri Baptist), at least in the short term, because 9 times out of 10 when someone is looking for a college in the St. Louis area, they are going to choose Lindenwood over us, for obvious reasons. Our program offers competitive scholarships but schools with a prior history of success like LU and McK are hinderances to our recruitment process. This is the way it should be, so I disagree with limiting rosters. May the school that is most competitive and can benefit the most students win.

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#7300 - 11/29/09 11:19 AM Re: Limit the number of bowlers at school... [Re: SSolovic]
VUbowl Offline
forum member


Registered: 12/03/08
Posts: 74
I want to emphasize a point that was alluded to in the responses. This proposal would NOT prevent a school from having any number of players in their program that they wanted, the proposal would limit the number of ELIGIBLE players for competition.

This is a distinct difference in that schools could still recruit large numbers, effectively making a "jv" type squad and/or "developmental" teams. It would just limit how many of those players would be eligible to actually compete in tournaments in any given year.

Again, I say strongly, this proposal was not directed at Lindenwood. In reality it is an NAIA issue of which Lindenwood just happens to be one of the schools within that body. There are several other programs that also have large numbers besides Lindenwood which Karl did mention during the proposal.

We still all have to step back and take a look at what should be best for COLLEGE BOWLING, both short term and long term, way past when any of the current athletes might be at a particular program and probably past when many of the current coaches might still be there.

Is it in the best interest of growing PROGRAMS, not just adding bowlers, but developing athletes within a sport, and within a given program. That, I think, is the real issue that has to be looked at before it gets to a point of no return. Personally, I dont have the answer, I'm on the fence both ways, not wanting to tell a school how many players they can have but yet knowing that if this continues to happen, THERE WILL BE PROGRAMS THAT WILL FOLD BECAUSE OF IT.

This is an issue that is obviously highly volatile and has many things that have to be looked at. But for collegiate bowling to continue to lead the "sport" of bowling, which I think it is doing right now, we all have to take a step back and look at the overall picture of what might happen.

Gary Sparks
Vincennes University
NCBCA Vice President

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#7301 - 11/29/09 11:28 AM Re: Limit the number of bowlers at school... [Re: VUbowl]
RIT_Kerp Offline
forum member


Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 160
Loc: Rochester, NY
More great points Gary.
_________________________
Josh Kierpiec
Rochester Inst. of Tech.

Trading A's for Strikes since 2006.

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#7302 - 11/29/09 11:36 AM Re: Limit the number of bowlers at school... [Re: VandyBurger]
RIT_Kerp Offline
forum member


Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 160
Loc: Rochester, NY
Zach, as stated multiple times, this doesnt seem to be a "target" toward any individual school, nor does it seem to be a "target" of any sorts. Simply, college bowling is what could save bowling as a sport (if you havent noticed, USBC is paying a bit more attention to us as of late, even Gary Brown is posting information on the forums now). But you really hit the nail on the head on what the problem is with out "sport" - there are a LOT of people that join the bowling team, no matter which school/program, to "get away from stressful college life for a weekend". How many NCAA football players do you think there are that start for their teams that go just to "get away". I would be very willing to bit that that number is rather small, close to even being nonexistent.

I personally like the fact that people are finally taking strides to make our sport more credible on the Collegiate level. These are some of the steps that will need to be taken to really take strides towards reaching that level of credibility. And one of the first big steps is eliminating the "strength by numbers" approach during competitions. This isnt "expansion" of the SPORT of bowling, just expansion in the number of people participating. Yet they are similar in explanation, they are very different things. If you doubled the number of alley shoes/house ball bowlers would you consider our SPORT expanding? I would have to say no there. The hope here is to start educating people about the sport, pass on the information about the finer points of the game, and try to rub away that notion that bowling is a GAME for "fat, smoke filled, beer drinkers" and get the recognition for it being a very competitive and intricate sport.
_________________________
Josh Kierpiec
Rochester Inst. of Tech.

Trading A's for Strikes since 2006.

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#7303 - 11/29/09 12:27 PM Re: Limit the number of bowlers at school... [Re: SSolovic]
Dugbark Offline
forum member


Registered: 12/12/06
Posts: 54
I rarely weigh in on things here but this struck a cord. I ran the Kentucky tournament which has been referred to a couple of times.

This is from my personal point of view and does not necessarily represents the views of Bellarmine.

We have yet to get close the proposed 28 limit, however as Bellarmine is on a path to grow substanially in the next few years, I can see it happening.

I see NO positive purpose in limiting the roster size. I am glad this came up somewhere because I was not aware of the proposal (different issue but it seems to me that coaches that can't make the meetings for whatever reason still deserve a voice and communication). Programs that have the large groups such as McKendree, Pikeville, Lindenwood, RMU have done TONS to build this sport at the collegiate level (Pikeville and Morehead are responsible for the great growth in Kentucky schools) and for tournaments having to limit the number of teams from each school to two (such as at the Boilermaker this year). There is no other logic that I can see except to penalize the programs that are doing all they can to make it a sport. These schools pay coaches (relatively) well, they have some scholarship money to give to their athletes, fund the program to some extent, encourage walk-ons, grow bowlers and give us MORE athletes competing as adults. Because Kentucky is such a small state population wise, the positive affect of High School and College Bowling on leagues and tournaments are very visible, and isn't that one of the top 5 goals of Collegiate Bowling, growing our sport?

The purpose of the Collegiate Programs is most importantly to help these athletes get a degree because as we know, most of them are never going to make it on TV or be able to bowl for a living full time (and full time coaching gigs are rare). There are of course exceptions, but the big picture is we are here as coaches and programs, to help them get to the next stage of life and be successful (so you all can take care of us coaches we when are old, LOL).

This is always, just like every other sport at the college level, going to be a case of who has the financial support of the school will be the most successful. Just look at the top 10 in college bowling right now, while a school or two without much support may sneak in, those with that support are consistently there. That is what College Sports, rightly or wrongly, are all about. So, this is where I disagree with the USBC stance that we are not a sport like others. Collegiate Bowling is VERY much like other Collegiate Sports in that regard. We are not like other sports in many of the good things we do, and I suspect at other schools and know at Bellarmine, that our team GPA is both higher then the school average and the athletic department average.

Why would we deny an opportunity to every person who wants to compete in our sport. That is not growing our sport.

I understand as a coach that someday I may not be able to take every one of my athlete's to tournaments because of limits of the number of teams we can bring to some tournaments (I personally will do all I can to never have that happen at the BTM Striking Knights if I have to go to two shifts at two different houses) but if a young person wants to come out and join the club there is no reason why they should not be able to compete at least a couple of times.

One other item to keep in mind is that while there is a limit to how many scholarship players teams can have at the NCAA level, and there may be roster size restrictions for competition, there is no rule that limits coaches/schools to how many players they can have on their team (that I am aware of at least), so they can take as many walk-ons as they want. NCAA Div 3 gives NO athletic scholarship money.

I spoke with some of the USBC staff this summer about the need for another Tier 1 tournament in the midwest. They said there is plenty and they pointed out the Holiday Tournaments. I replied they it is against our school philosophy to travel during the holidays. I was told that the tournaments are not on holidays and I disagreed even though from a strictly technical point of view, I understand what they were saying. My point was that is family time and NOT a time I, as the coach, choose to compete and it is our team takes a hit because I (with the support of the school) make a decision to not travel during finals, during break or during the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend. It is a decision WE make and because of that we pay a price in the number of Tier 1's we compete in. If schools either can't or decide to have big squads and accept all the negatives that can go with it (which there is a long list), why should those who decide to do it a different way penalize the big squads?

So often things are proposed that are not what is good for the overall game, but good for the individual who makes the proposal. We've lost sight of the big picture of what we are doing and focusing on micromanagment which is NOT the roll that any type of ruling body should have.

My philosophy and one that I think is what everyone should have (my team can tell you I am never short of opinions) is that sports help people get better grades, teaches them valuable life lessons, keeps them out of trouble, and if they get in trouble it's generally not as bad, and increases their chance of graduating. These are what this coaching and athletic sport programs (be they clubs or NCAA/NAIA sports) are really all about.

Sorry for the long post, but I had a lot to say.

KK I know you are lurking and would enjoy hearing your thoughts on this.

Dug Barker
Bellarmine Bowling Coach
Positive Coaching Alliance Double Goal Coach

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#7304 - 11/29/09 03:19 PM Re: Limit the number of bowlers at school... [Re: Dugbark]
VUbowl Offline
forum member


Registered: 12/03/08
Posts: 74
Dug,
Just a few comments on some of your points. First, the NCBCA annual meeting has been held in conjuction with the National Collegiate Team Match Games tournament for as long as I can remember, over 20 years, so there is really nothing surprising about the meeting being held then.

Our summer meeting date actually was changed for this upcoming 2010 summer. Where in the past few years we have had our coaches meeting in conjunction with Bowl Expo and IBPSIA's coaches summit, from a recommendation by Gary Brown, we have shifted the meeting for next year to a lead-in for the Jr. Gold tournament in Indianapolis. This hopefully will provide a dual opportunity for the coaches to attend the meeting while at the same time allowing for a recruiting opportunity via a booth at Jr. Gold registration and/or talking with and meeting potential athletes at the tournament. Im sure more details on this will be coming at a later date.

Next, as I had highlighted in my last post, the proposal that Karl presented does NOT limit roster size for a school, what it proposes is to limit eligibility for participation in tournaments of those athletes to a set number of 28. A school could still have more players on their squad if they desired but a maximum of 28 would be able to bowl in tournaments any given year.

Concerning your comment about the schools having the most money being able to be the most "successful" or being able to carry more players is interesting to say the least. Im not sure I could be convinced that a theory like that is in the best interests of bowling as a sport. Keeping in mind that most other sports at a varsity level typically DO have some type of restriction on the number of players that can be on scholarship for that specific sport as you mentioned.

And I dont think anyone is wanting to "deny" a person a chance to bowl or participate, this about having some logical means to fairness for ALL programs so that 5 years from now we don't end up having the same number of bowlers but with 15 fewer programs. What the proposal is looking for is that more programs will have at least a viable chance of recruiting bowlers from the same area rather than one school potentially having 100 players on their "team." You cited Morehead as an example of helping to grow bowling and I will use it from the other direction as well. Not that many years ago, Morehead's womens program was THE premier program in the country. Now Morehead doesnt even have a women's program. Lots of reasons could be proposed for that but I dont discount the possibility of what we are talking about adding to it.

Also, if we are really honest about the size of the squads...and I give credit to the NAIA coaches at the meeting....they all were very candid in stating that the large rosters are basically a school enrollment driven item and really nothing to do with building bowling as a sport, is this really in the best interests of collegiate bowling overall?

Gary Sparks
Vincennes University
NCBCA Vice President

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#7305 - 11/29/09 04:33 PM Re: Limit the number of bowlers at school... [Re: VUbowl]
Dugbark Offline
forum member


Registered: 12/12/06
Posts: 54
Gary,

Thanks for the reply in the public forum and I like having a rational discussion so I was glad to see it.

Yes, I know the coaches meeting is held every year at Match Games, and previously at Bowl Expo. I'm not surprised and I'm sorry it came off that way. What I was trying to say was to find some way for those coaches who do not make it to be included in the meeting. We have way too much technology available freely not to be able to do that. Sorry if it came off the other way. I was trying to say the same about the Bowl Expo meeting. I can tell you more of what I am thinking off line if you would like, but I think it would be fairly simple to offer coaches an internet way to attend the meeting and vote in some way shape or form.

I'm not saying that it's good that the schools with the money are the most successful, my parallel was to other collegiate sports and to the point that some were saying were are not acting like a sport. In my experience, we certainly are.

I agree with you on Morehead but there is more to the story and I don't claim to understand it all. However, Morehead has a long tradition which helps with Kentucky schools and Pikeville has demonstrated that it can be very good publicity for a small school. With the exception of U of L, all of the schools that have started programs in Kentucky are from small schools that are able to see other small schools having success.

If you aren't letting everyone compete from a squad I believe the word "deny" is correct. So Karl and everyone else knows, I have the utmost respect for him (he is the stuff just for volunteering to do this web site) so this is nothing but seeing the glass from a different angle. Just as I have a ton of respect for Gary (and so many others in this coaching community).

As I understand it, and you certainly have better access to this data than I do, Collegiate and High School Bowling are both growing very quickly. All of these schools have had large squads for a while (at least 5 years with the exception of RMU, which has been building in size since they started) and it, in my opinion, has been one of the drivers of this growth along with every increasing High School bowling and the Collegiate presence at Junior Gold. Why we would want to make this big of a change when things are clearly working so well are beyond me.

Certainly the numbers are about enrollment. I would not deny that. If I bring in 15 kids out of a class of 500 (the size of the freshmen class for BU the last 5 years) that do well in school, in looks great for the bowling team, will in the long run lead to more support, and if done right, will improve the team. However, we as coaches are still growing the sport by having all of these kids compete.

I think this is a half full/half empty discussion, and I am a half full guy. As I've heard so many times here "If it ain't broke don't fix it" and right now Collegiate Bowling in the big picture is clearly not broken, in my humble opinion.

Thanks for the discussion and hopefully so others will join in.

Sincerely,

Dug


Edited by Dugbark (11/29/09 04:35 PM)

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#7306 - 11/29/09 05:51 PM Re: Limit the number of bowlers at school... [Re: Dugbark]
fishe0711 Offline
forum member


Registered: 03/30/08
Posts: 43
Loc: Saginaw, Michigan
I'm sorry but limiting the number of "eligible bowlers" is just stupid to me. If anything it would just make college bowling smaller. Because at SVSU we hold tryouts and i myslef am on one of our lower teams and i know that i would not pay fundrasing to be on a "developmental" team with no chance to get out and bowl in a collegiate event. And i know that many other guys on our lower teams would feel the same way.

As a school we don't get much funding or scholorships from the school, so we must fundraise to bowl and we still get a large team every year. And that is because of what we offer not how much money we have. We offer the opportunity to bowl 6 tournaments a year no matter what team you are on as well as knowing you are apart of a team that wants to win and expects to win.

Our school has a winning mentality and a winning tradition and that makes kids want to come here. we are only able to give out 5 out of state waivers yet we still have 10-15 out of state bowlers. all because they want to bowl for our school. And im sure if we had to limit how many eligible bowlers we had a lot of these guys would not come to SVSU and some like me would just no bowl collegiatly.
_________________________
Bobby "Aquaman" Fisher
S V S U

"second place is just the first loser"

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#7307 - 11/29/09 06:42 PM Re: Limit the number of bowlers at school... [Re: fishe0711]
VUbowl Offline
forum member


Registered: 12/03/08
Posts: 74
Bobby,
Thanks for your comments as we definitely, as Im sure College Bowling would as well, like to hear as many views as possible on this subject.

The comment I would make to what you said though is, the number proposed is 28, which STILL allows participation of up to as many as 5 teams.

Is saying that more than that is too many really going overboard? We have to keep in context that a number of 28 is still more athletes than all but about a handful of programs have currently. This is one of those measures that needs to be looked at in long term consequences and what could potentially happen to "programs" as opposed to just bringing in "bodies" to bowl.

Dug,
Thanks again for your comments too. It definitely is refreshing when these message boards can be used for an exchange of ideas and thoughts where people may have differing view points while still keeping it civil and professional.

The comment about the voting process and opening up avenues via technology would be a great topic/agenda item for our summer meeting. Hopefully you can make that meeting since Jr. Gold is back in Indy again and it can be discussed at length at that time.

Gary Sparks
Vincennes University
NCBCA Vice President

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#7309 - 11/29/09 08:57 PM Re: Limit the number of bowlers at school... [Re: VUbowl]
Dugbark Offline
forum member


Registered: 12/12/06
Posts: 54
I'll be there. :-)

I think Gary makes a great point. Let's hear from the athletes.

Dug

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