World Bowling Rankings And World Tour Editorial
has long been an avid supporter of competitive bowling at all levels of the game. At our site, we have a long and documented list of articles, videos, and information systems to help bowlers become better familiarized with the sport of bowling. We provide at our BowlVersity
section an assortment of archived articles about bowling equipment, about coaching and instructional tips, and with information about the industry in general. Now we will provide occasional Editorial articles which we hope are insightful and extract thought and comments from our valued visitors to our community. Please feel free to place your comments after Editorial postings on the site and share your thoughts on how the bowling industry and its various components can be strengthened and improved in the coming years.
In a recent conversation with the Founder and CEO of bowlingball.com
, Keith Spear, Mr. Spear related to me how he believes that the industry needs an organized world ranking system for competitive players. Mr. Spear went on to say that it is difficult to identify top players around the world who compete in various levels of competition with no comparative ranking system in place and thereby successfully identify key events, organizations, and competitions which hold the highest levels of importance.
This reporter agrees with Mr. Spear's comments about the need for a World Ranking System for players around the globe and this is a long overdue concept which makes making perfect sense for the bowling industry. A similar system is already in in place in other sports such as golf, tennis and perhaps even billiards. Why not bowling? Ranking bowlers will bring a stronger standard of competition to the forefront. Top players in America should be ranked among top players of other countries and other continents so everyone knows who these players are and how high they are ranked.
Using the example of golf, the PGA Tour of America contributes a high number of its touring players to the World Golf Rankings which creates a tremendous amount of interest by fans and industry supporters in events such as the President's Cup, the Ryder Cup, and other international competitions where high world rankings permit players to qualify for these given events.
The U.S. Masters Golf Tournament is certainly among the most prestigious events in the world and its field each year in Augusta, Georgia accommodates players from around the world based on world rankings and based on their performances in ranked international events. Same holds true for the other important events around the world. In fact, professional golf tournament organizations in recent years, including the PGA Tour, have taken the approach of approving players competing in select events on other tours and receiving points for rankings and official money list considerations for good performances by member players.
If golf can have a world tour concept, perhaps bowling is in need following a similar path of a World Tour with organizations such as the PBA of America, the PBA of Europe, the PBA of Asia, or perhaps the PBA of Australasia. There can be recognized events in each tour and players can compete in any tour events and gain points for world rankings and official money earnings considerations.
In the case of the PBA, this organization is certainly not as highly rated as an impact event on national TV as in past years and in its glory days. There has been a noticeable absence of strong prize funds in PBA events over recent years and in the strength of fields in terms of number of participants as well as in the number of events hosted on the tour. Also, the PBA tour now hosts several consecutive events in the same city and at the same centers for economic reasons (taping shows for rebroadcasting) and because finding financial sponsors has been a troublesome task. In fact, there are rumblings in the industry that the PBA is in financial hot-water and struggles to retain solvency.
No one who loves bowling and realizes that the PBA has long been a "showcase" for the sport wants to see the PBA perish. The PBA is good for bowling and for promoting competitive bowling products and needs to remain in the forefront. Introducing the notion of a World Tour with World Rankings identifying the best of the best players around the globe and improving the image and worldwide stature of professional bowling is a good goal for the sport. There have been numerous international players appearing on and winning PBA Tour events over the span of many years. Recently there was a TV finals on the PBA Tour where multiple international players competed for the title on ESPN.
If the Tour was part of a World Tour concept and players from all tours were internationally ranked players, then the spotlight might be shared internationally and recognition by the world's large corporations and cartels may open new possibilities to fund the tours and create lucrative financial opportunities for players, the organizations, and investors as well. Let's face it, money makes the world turn.
Bowling should recognize its players internationally be means of a World Ranking system and prioritize events in terms of point ratings for achievement in events at many levels around the world. Bowlers in the biggest amateur events, such as the events the Team USA participates in each year in the absence of bowling being an Olympic sport, should accumulate world ranking recognition individually for its players. Several former Team USA players have won PBA Tour professional events, so we know the talent pool is world class in stature.
The talent pool around the world is more closely matched now than ever before. Kelly Kulick won a major championship on the PBA Tour and other female players have made national Tour telecasts and won PBA Regional Tournaments. All bowlers should be included in a World Ranking system. We can then create more events in more tours around the world so players can compete against peers and earn rankings based on performances and the relative strengths of Tours and organizations.
We live in a "world society" and we communicate globally via the internet and we transact international business daily. We certainly should work to find ways of returning bowling to prominence and developing a World Ranking system is one way to begin.
We would love to learn of your thoughts and ideas so please share comments with us at your leisure. Remember, our aim is to see the growth of bowling elevated to levels of prominence and not to merely point out reasons why the industry has experienced failed practices or has suffered. Let's be proactive and not reactive in our comments!
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