The $250,000 Bowling Shootout Final
Posted by hyperpat on May 21, 2007
I watched the final round of this tournament on ESPN yesterday, and I must say I was happy to see one of the amateurs, Sim Dysart , end up with all the marbles. His strike shots weren’t pretty, but they all fell down, and that’s what counts. I also thought the pros, Chris Barnes and Pete Weber, acted very professionally, and accepted their loss as good sports. This kind of behavior does much to make the sport appealing, not a bad thing in terms of attracting new people to try the game, and the very fact that it shows that even someone who’s not great at the game can end up with a large amount of dollars has to be another attractor.
However, I noticed a couple of things about how this final round was run:
1. They required the players to shoot at spares if there had not been a strike rolled in that frame yet. This is contrary to the original rules and all the advertising, which indicated that it was strictly based on the first ball pinfall. I didn’t even take my spare ball with me for this reason, and if I had made the finals, this might have been a real problem.
2. After a tie had been established in a frame, they immediately went on to the next frame, not requiring those who had not rolled yet to finish the frame. Again, this is not how it was done for the rest of the tournament, where everyone had to roll every frame. I can understand them doing this in the interest of saving time for the telecast, but it was not how the rules were published.
3. In the 10th frame, they continued the rule of ‘one tie, all tie’, so that even those who didn’t strike got to continue. During the earlier rounds at Vegas, only those who struck got to continue, and the other players who didn’t were out. However, in the local qualifying at my normal lanes, we followed the rule they used for this final round. Again, there is an inconsistency here.
Now obviously the tournament organizers and sponsors can set whatever rules they want. My complaint is the lack of communication to the participants, about both these rule changes and, while qualifying was going one (for seven months), there was no feedback about who had qualified at what score. For me, this meant that I had no idea if would be going to Vegas until just two weeks prior to the playing date, making it difficult to get vacation time so I and my wife could go. If they plan on running this tournament again next year (and I understand that right now they are planning to do so), this area must be addressed. I think this lack of feedback is part of the reason that they didn’t get nearly as many participants as they had expected. I found that many bowlers weren’t even aware of this tournament or what its rules were, whereas if they had provided continuous updates about how things were going I think that many more players would have noticed, and possibly participated.
Still, this was a fun tournament, and I’m glad I participated.