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PWBA Gets Temporary Help; Florida Bowling Going Smokeless July 1

Jun 9 2003

The cash strapped Professional Women's Bowling Association got temporary good news Monday in the form of a money infusion that will enable the PWBA to stage live ESPN telecasts for the next three Sunday afternoon.   John Falzone, president of the PWBA, refused to devulge the name of the backer.  He only would say that after a lengthy meeting Monday in Rockford, Ill., it was determined that the PWBA, thanks to the backer, was solvent through the June 29th telecast and would not have to shut down after this Sunday's telecast.  Falzone also hinted that there was a longshot chance that additional money could be forthcoming that would keep the PWBA afloat through its final scheduled live ESPN telecast on July 13.   

     More Smokeless Centers     

Bowling centers, one of the last bastions of cigarette and cigar smokers, are gearing for when Florida's smoking ban becomes law on July 1.  Pam Luther, executive director for 139 members of the Bowling Center

Association of Florida, says: "BCAF has been very proactive monitoring the Florida Clean Indoor Act and has conducted two symposiums to help proprietors learn marketing skills to use starting July 1."  The BCAF has sent members posters that say:"Come on Back! Enjoy the Great Indoors...Go Bowling, It's a Breath of Fresh Air." 

Tom Romanik, who bought Miami's Cloverleaf Lanes 26 years ago, is getting his 50-lane center ready for the transition.  "We're getting ready for the new law. We're painting the ceilings and recarpeting  and we're going to build our bowlers an outside area so they can step out and smoke without harming their bowling shoes," Romanik said. 

Paula Carter, marketing director for Don Carter's Kendall Lanes, says the 72-lane center will replace its carpet in order to remove the smell of smoke. "We're thinking positive about the new smoking law," Paula Carter said. "We realize we may lose some of our bowlers who still smoke, but we think we're going to get back a lot of people who left because of the secondhand smoking issue."

Slowly, states and bowling centers across America have been responding to the public's demand for smoke-free areas. Many bowling centers already have adopted a nonsmoking policy, others have decreed no smoking on certain days or at certain hours, etc.

"Bowling is a family sport and we promote healthy activity," said Romanik. 
Bowling becomes a healthier sport in Florida starting July 1.

    2-Hour PBA Telecasts 

The Professional Bowlers Association just announced its 2003-2004 tour that will start Oct. 8 and for the first time in history will feature a pair of two-hour live telecasts on the ESPN network. Two of the tour's four major tournaments - the ABC Masters, the U.S. Open are scheduled to run 120 minutes, 30 more than the conventional telecasts. 

     Bowling Leaders Die

Bill Todd, whose late mother Phyllis Todd was president of the Greater Miami Women's Bowling Association when the WIBC was contested in Miami 25 years ago, was killed in a freak boating accident in the Bahamas last week. He owned two bowling centers in the Daytona Beach area. Todd previously sold one of his bowling centers in the Orlando area to Jimmy Carter, son of Don Carter.

The legendary Sam Weinstein, known throughout the bowling world as "Tenpin Tattler" for his 60 years of radio broadcasts in Chicago, has died at the age 88. He started reporting about bowling in 1931.  Sam was a classy man with a heart as large as Chicago.  He will be missed.

       Webpage Rampage

I realize I come from the old school, but I hate it when someone tells me that I can find information for a story on a webpage. Give me the days of record books and telephone calls that get answered.  

Often I am in a writing mode and not a research mode and don't want to take time to go on line to find a webpage and then have to take more time to find the information I am looking for on the webpage, copy it, print it and then make it part of my story.  I still believe in the old fashioned press release that has taken on new life on the Internet. And I don't like to download the information because it often comes up as a secret Chinese document.  Therefore I have to applaud the press releases sent out by the PBA, PWBA, ABC, WIBC, Bowling Inc. and BPAA.

I don't think any sport will grow that depends on Web-pages to spread information. It's good for those deeply involved in a sport, but web-pages never will attract people outside the sport.  In other words, if you don't want to grow then Web-pages are the only way to go.  Besides, did you know that according to USA Today, there areapproximately three billion web-pages in the world, or about one for every two humans.  I wonder how many bowling Web-pages are floating out there in cyberspace?

       Good-bye phone calls

When I first started writing bowling in 1957, I was impressed with the way bowling centers in South Florida would recruit new bowlers via the telephone. It was in a way a boiler-room operation where four to six women would take a telephone book and call every home in the bowling center's general area and invite the residents (especially housewives) in for free bowling clinics that led to sanctioned league play.

Now Uncle Sam is on the brink of shutting down all unwanted solicitation by pesty telemarketers.
Wonder how many bowling centers still use the telephone to attract new customers?