With the bowling season opening at most Tampa Bay area centers this week, players are more attuned to the game and perhaps looking for personal and professional information on the Web.
I've compiled a list of Web sites that should be helpful throughout the season _ especially the links pages, which can take surfers to even more sites. (Web addresses are listed on the next page).
The American Bowling Congress (ABC) site includes the Women's International Bowling Congress (WIBC), the Young American Bowling Alliance (YABA), the Bowling Proprietors Association of America (BPAA), USA Bowling, the college game and marketing.
New features include the capability of league officers to post their scores on the site, call up other leagues across the country and check for rules changes.
The Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) and the Women's Professional Bowling Association (PWBA) are the men's and women's tour sites, complete with tournament results, schedules, player profiles, news and features.
The PBA resumes action Oct. 7. The PWBA is on a three-stop swing through Florida.
The intercollegiate season opens Oct. 6 with the TV EBA Invitational at Houston and ends with the national team and individual championships in April in Grand Rapids, Mich., and Omaha, Neb.
The University of Florida and Florida State University will have men's and women's squads, and their team pages are on the new college Web site, or soon will be.
The University of Miami and Florida A&M University had teams last year, but they haven't listed their squads this season.
Steve and Trudy Lavoie's Youth Bowlers Tour site is updated often with its tournament winners, pictures, a list of the finishers in each division and a schedule.
It's next event is Oct. 22 at Seminole Lanes in Pinellas County.
Bowling World, Bowlers Journal and Bowling Digest magazines provide a wealth of news, features and opinions worth surfing to keep abreast of the latest.
You can find an archive of Journal articles on the ABC site.
The National Amateur Bowlers Inc. (NABI) site lists results, schedules and national clubs, including the local club managed by Larry and Debby Roesler.
The St. Petersburg Association's site includes the slate of officers, city tournament results, the delegates meeting, pictures and results of the state YABA tournament.
Webmaster Don Hamilton updates the site frequently.
DomeJohnny's Favorite Links is the most comprehensive bowling links site on the Web.
It includes personal Web pages, tournament schedules and results, industry sites, centers sites, the pro tours and even a page on Australian bowling.
If I've left out any Web sites, please let me know.
KIDS FUN: Cheryl and Bill Bedford have opened the winter youth leagues at Countryside Lanes with four divisions and 80 bowlers.
Entries are being accepted in the Olympians Division, which could increase the total to 12 teams.
Players are competing under the Junior Gold program, the former Olympic name dropped by the YABA to avoid possible conflict.
Team No. 1 _ comprising Billy Kitchens, Scott Meredith, Shawn Ryan and Jamie Potter _ took the first-week lead in the Countryside Elite division with a 12-2 record.
Scoring is based on a points-won, percentage system.
Ryan led the squad with a 14-0 mark. The team rolled an 871-2,506 scratch game-series.
Team No. 6 is second. The members are Chris Fecke, Jillian Pavlak, Ryan Helbig and Mike Marias.
Marias had the week's high scratch and handicap game-series of 279-785 and 314-890.
Team No. 8 is 11-3 and leading Team No. 13 by half a point in the Olympians Division.
Drew Finnegan, Justin Williams, Chris Roccho and Bobby Fiermonte are Team No. 8.
High scores included Kyle Trager's 221-529 scratch and Nichole Honey's 448 scratch series.
Team No. 12 _ Brittany and Stephanie Scanlon, Chris Grube and Justin Fecke _ is the Junior Olympians Division leader with a 10-4 mark.
The Fireballs, including George Petersen and Vincent Sadowski, are the Young Olympians Division frontrunners at 9-5.
The leagues compete every Saturday morning.
TOWNSEND WINS: St. Petersburg's Larry Townsend stopped Clearwater's Dan Krapf 204-168 on Aug. 27 at Rainbow Lanes, winning his second NABI tournament and $300.
Dave Kampman of Pinellas Park took third. Linda Peters, Palm Harbor, was fourth; and Largo's Richard Porter finished fifth.
Townsend won the new Platinum Division with 195-229 averages.
Bradenton's David Downey defeated Palm Harbor's Pat Scanlon 195-186 on Sunday at Sunshine Bowl, capturing his 13th NABI title and $270.
Clearwater's Judi Fincher was third. Oldsmar's Tom Varillas placed fourth, and St. Petersburg's Clark Valette was fifth.
The NABI players are at AMF Clearwater Lanes this weekend.
SCORES: Center proprietors and league officers are encouraged to send scores in weekly for publication with this column.
Scores can be faxed to (727) 392-3481, e-mailed to xerxes6aol.com or mailed to Phil Gulick, 8495 Magnolia Drive, Largo, 33777.
Scores should include the series and honor games in all leagues. The deadline is noon Wednesday.
AROUND THE LANES: Largo's John Hendry put together three 279 games and a 289 for a 1,126 four-game scratch total at Liberty Lanes. John Smith nailed a 299 game. Frank Stowger fired a 300-740 at AMF Kenneth City Lanes. Chris Trauner recorded a 300-741 and Kevin Brazell a 299 game at Rainbow Lanes. The entry deadline for the St. Petersburg Women's Classic is Oct. 15.
_ Phil Gulick can be reached at xerxes6aol.com or xerxes6Juno.com.