When you think of the great names of this sport, Anthony, Williams, Roth, Weber, Duke etc… all of these men had their chance to shine bowling on the PBA tour as it was in full force. Asbaty, Nation, O’ Keefe, Pluhowsky, what do you think of when you hear those names? Four of the most talented bowlers in the world, that do not have a tour to showcase their talents on. With the LBPT folding up in the mid 2000s, the window for women’s bowling has shrunk, it basically has become extinct, and it is a damn shame.
If you listen to the podcast we just recently had with 2012 Queens champ Diandra Asbaty, the women only have 2 events to bowl in a year to themselves. That is flat out disgusting. Of course these women can compete on the PBA Tour, and can probably beat most of the men out there, but it isn’t their tour like the LBPT of yester year. Does the bowling world have ANY idea of the amount of talent they are missing out on seeing by not having a women’s tour? As I have written before, I live in New Jersey, and in this area alone, the amount of female talent is thru the roof. Where do they have a chance to showcase their skills? Local county and state tournaments? TNBA tournaments that offer a women’s division? That’s it, and personally, it ticks me off. TNBA (The National Bowling Association) has tournaments all across the country that are quite lucrative, and are worth a plane ticket to bowl in. Personally, I used to bowl the TNBA Bacardi Scratch Classic every year right outside of Cleveland, great event. The amount of women from local leagues in the NJ, Philadelphia, any NYC area that would make the trip to Cleveland blew my mind. This tournament would draw roughly 100 women or so to bowl, that is a fantastic turn out. If a tournament that is sponsored by the TNBA can draw 100 women bowlers that are coming in from across the country, what could a LBPT tour stop draw? Is it fair that for a woman to compete at the highest level they have to go overseas to bowl? Packing up for a couple weeks, leaving their families and going to whether it’s Asia, or Europe to bowl is not easy by any means possible, and it isn’t fair at all.
I bowled in college for Morehead State University, home of PBA T of C champion Kelly Kulick. Morehead was always known for having a great bowling program, and they still do. The girls team for Morehead was always a powerhouse. Majority of the girls that bowled for Morehead always had aspirations of bowling professionally, winning a LPBT title, and becoming the next Kelly Kulick. What happens to those girls now? What are the dreams of that senior in college that want to be a professional bowler now? I can’t wait to only bowl the Queens and the Women’s US Open? With only 2 “big” events to bowl, the dream, and the thrill of throwing a bowling ball for a living is gone. And it is a damn shame!!!
What can we do to bring women’s bowling back? I think the USBC or the PBA should really step in and start the tour up. The PBA could really split the calendar up, have the WSOB, have the men’s division and women’s division run the same time, as they did the first year in Detroit. Once that is completed, have the men tour for X amount of weeks, and once the men are done, start the women’s tour up for X amount of weeks. And as far as the PBA goes, they could have coverage on Xtra frame, and that would only make more money for the PBA, so already it’s a plus for them. Don’t you think that women that compete at that high of a level would rather be in the states to bowl then bowling in Europe? I know I sure would. The PBA and the USBC need to figure out a solution to get women’s bowling back on the map and do it in a hurry. Honestly, since last Tuesday’s telecast of the Queen’s finals, I have bowled league once and been in my pro shop once. And the topic at hand that I heard in the shop and on the lanes was ALL about the Queens show. Imagine having women’s bowling on ESPN every week, putting the names of today, Asbaty, O’ Keefe, Nation, Pluhowsky, Kulick, in the national spotlight and put them in the same spotlight that women like Wagner, Sill, McPherson, Duggan, Barrette-Hulsenberg lived in for so many years. Bring the women’s tour back!!!
Mike Valanzano, 29 from NJ. Bowled for Morehead State University and has competed and had success at all levels of this game, he is the holder of 21 300 games, 10 800 series, with a high of 856 (with an open frame). Mike is married to his wonderful wife Lynda and have a baby girl, Daniella. Some of Mike’s interests, he’s a HUGE New York Mets fan, he loves poker, traveling, and fine dining. He is also a big advocate of zumba classes. Mike has one of the largest video collections of old bowling shows anywhere. He has every amateur bowling show ever aired and has a wide collection of numerous PBA, Sr PBA, LPBT shows from the 1950’s thru today.