"All for one and one for all" is the rallying cry of the American Bowling Congress, Women's International Bowling Congress, Young American Bowling Alliance and USA Bowling. The ABC, WIBC and YABA govern and sanction adult and youth bowlers, and USA Bowling is responsible for Team USA's makeup and international competition.
The idea of a single membership organization has been floated for at least 10 years. Representatives of the "alphabet associations" finally voted last month to seriously consider the proposal.
The initiative was unanimously endorsed and a 10-person task force was named to move the idea forward.
"The task force will be looking at the feasibility of industry unification as a way to better meet the needs of bowlers," said Sylvia Broyles, a WIBC board member and chairman of the task force. A single membership organization would show strength in the sport's quest for Olympic recognition.
The organizations also are preparing a second presentation to the Florida Legislature this year for tax breaks on a proposed World Bowling Village near Disney World and Orlando.
The ABC announced a new tournament within its Championships Tournament that starts Feb. 12 at the Albuquerque Convention Center. Get in the Zone Challenge is a two-game sweeper that features two divisions, 190 average and above and 189 and below. Players can compete before or after their competition in the main event. Entry fee is $40 and one in five will cash.
The ABC VIP competition is open to players who purchase certain items at the Brunswick merchandise booths.
The WIBC National Championship starts March 11 at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev.
DUKE CONQUERS JAROS: Norm Duke, a former Texan now living in Clermont, beat Steve Jaros 267-266 and win the PBA's Don Carter Classic on Sunday at Dallas. Steve Hoskins, nine-time tour winner from Tarpon Springs, was fifth and earned $4,500. Duke won his 17th career title and $20,000 when Jaros, needing two strikes in the 10th, left a 6-pin on a spare attempt. Jaros earned $10,500.
Ryan Shafer shook off 14 years of frustration and won his first PBA event, the Orleans Casino Open on Jan. 23 in Las Vegas. Shafer, who held the record for career earnings ($522,164) without title, beat Mike Aulby 211-202 to take home $25,000. He earned a spot in the Brunswick World Tournament of Champions.
The PBA is using its new eight-man championship format, giving more players a shot at the top money.
The tour is in Chattanooga, Tenn., this week with the finals 12:30-2 p.m. Sunday on ESPN.
As expected, the 2,800 members of the PBA Tour gave their board the authority to negotiate a purchase of the tour. PBA commissioner Mark Gerberich said that a deal is in the works, but not finalized.
The board also approved allowing non-members to compete in the national tour. As many as three non-members who meet the 200-average requirement and pay the $450 entry fee are eligible for all but a few stops.
PWBA NOTES: The Professional Women's Bowling Association named Wyatt Slaughter its national tournament director. Slaughter was tournament director in 1975-76 and 1981-82 . . . Ballots are out for the WIBC Player of the Year that includes many women pros and four amateurs, all Team USA members.
_ Phil Gulick can be reached at Xerxes6aol.com or Xerxesjuno.com