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Ask Bob (June 2015) - Wilkinson Elected USBC President 6/4/2015

by Bob Korth - Stars & Strikes Newsmagazine

Frank Wilkinson of Staten Island, New York, has been elected president of the United States Bowling Congress by the USBC Board of Directors and Cathy DeSocio of Wichita, Kansas, will serve as vice president of USBC for the 2015-2016 season. Wilkinson, 28, has served as USBC vice president the last two seasons and will assume his new role o n August 1. He takes over for Andrew Cain of Phoenix, who is completing his third and final term as president. USBC presidents are limited to three one-year terms; Cain will continue to serve on the board as an athlete director.

"This is an exciting time for USBC and the bowling industry," said Wilkinson, who will become the youngest president in USBC history. "I look forward to serving and working with our stakeholders as we continue toward achieving our goals of building a future for our sport for generations to come."

Wilkinson, the owner of Rab's Country Lanes, has been involved in the sport most of his life. He joined the USBC board as a youth committee representative in 2010 and currently serves as the Youth Committee chair. He was elected to the Bowling Proprietors' Association of America board in 2014 as a USBC representative and has been a director on the National Council of Youth. He has received many honors, including the Staten Island Chapter of the American Cancer Society Distinguished Community Service Award in 2012, and in 2013 received the NYSUSBC Youth Leaders Bridging the Gap Award and the Staten Island Small Business of the Year presented by the City of New York. He recently was recognized as one of Staten Island's Top 20 under 40 leaders in business by the Staten Island Economic Development Corporation.

DeSocio, who was the first female president of BPAA, also has been involved in the bowling business her entire life. She currently is president of JOMA Company, which operates seven centers in Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, and also is vice president of the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame. She has received several honors for her work in the sport, including the Great Plains USBC Hall of Fame Pioneer Award for Exceptional Leadership, Continued Support and Distinguished Service to the Sport of Bowling in 2014, and the Wichita Business Journal Women in Business Award in 2013.

Q. Our winter league is over and I have been asked to join a summer league. I have always refused to bowl in the summer because of the long season. But each year I start the winter leagues very slow. It takes a month or so to get back my feel for the game. Do you bowl in a summer league? Do you think it helps for the next season?

A. I used to take the summer off to recharge my mental game, or so I thought. I have since about 5 years ago changed my feelings about summer league. Since becoming older I found it is not so easy to keep my game in decent shape. I now do bowl in a summer league. I do not however bowl in a high powered scratch league. I find it to be relaxing to bowl in a fun mixed league for the summer. We have a Reno League where I live. On my own team we have a 95 average bowler. There is no pressure and I can work on my game without feeling like I have to score. At the same time I sometimes score better because there are no expectations. I just bowl that league once a week and it keeps me in the game for the four months I used to miss. It is fun and I am not starting from scratch at the beginning of the new season. I recommend a relaxed summer league to keep your game in shape.

Q. How often should you clean a bowling ball? And do I have to use products made by the ball companies or can I use some household products? Like alcohol or Mr. Clean?

A. You should clean the ball after each use. It only takes a minute to wipe it down after a league session. Yes you should only use products made for bowling balls. Yes they cost a little more but they have been approved for this purpose by the USBC. This assures you they won't harm the surface of your ball. Same goes for polishes I have heard of people using car polish on them but this generally is not a good idea. The polishes for bowling balls have been tested and will give the best results. It is also a good maintenance tip to take your ball to the pro shop once or twice a year for a check up. It might be getting oil soaked and the pro shop can remove much of that oil. They can also resurface the ball back to factory specs.

Q. This summer I have been asked to help in a few senior bowling classes. I have done juniors and I am sure there are different things to watch out for when helping seniors. What should I watch for?

A. I have instructed seniors many times and I am a senior myself there are many differences. First thing you need to do is ask them about any physical limitations they may have. Joint replacements, arthritis, bad knees or hips. These are things you have to work with. There many times things they just can't do, so be prepared to find out of the box solutions. Most seniors are not expecting to go on the pro tour so they are very easy to please. They just want to improve a little. To get the most out of a seniors game work on them on hitting a target, move them to a place on the lane where they have the most opportunity to knock down the most pins on the first ball. Then give them a spare shooting system to help get more spares. More spares will improve a seniors game the most. Also don't forget to look at the ball they are using. I have found many seniors with a bad fit and many using a ball that is too heavy.

Article was posted with permission from Stars & Strikes, America's Bowling Newsmagazine.