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Bowling Congress garners approval

Published May 14, 2004

Women's International Bowling Congress delegates opened their ballot box last week and out popped a genie named the United States Bowling Congress.

American Bowling Congress delegates revealed their ballots at the same time and also found a genie. Historically, genies grant three wishes to their masters. And six may be just enough for the USBC to become a reality by its Jan.1, 2005, operational date.

A work in progress for more than five years, the USBC became a reality when ABC and WIBC delegates unanimously voted for the move. The USBC will gather the ABC, WIBC and USA Bowling under one umbrella. The Young American Bowling Alliance, which voted for the measure last year, has until Saturday to reverse its recent "no" vote.

Details of the USBC plan are at where several PDF files explaining the procedures can be downloaded. The Florida supplement is the most pertinent of these instructions.

Some of the details affecting Florida associations include:

State and local men's and women's associations must become fully "chartered" by May31, 2006. That means they must be approved as a USBC state or local association, serving bowlers in the association's specified geographic area; comply with all USBC bylaws, policies and procedures; and either become merged in that state or local area or remain nonmerged and incorporated.

For example, if your association is merging, it must combine into one of the existing bowling associations in your area or into its newly created state or local USBC association as determined by the merging associations. Your association, however, may choose to remain nonmerged. In that case, if your association already is incorporated, then it must vote to amend and conform its governing bylaws so they are consistent with the requirements and rules of the USBC charter. If your association is not merging and is not incorporated, it must incorporate and develop governing bylaws within the national USBC charter.

All merging associations and unincorporated nonmerging associations also must vote to determine whether to transfer their assets and liabilities from their current association to their incorporated merged or nonmerged association.

Pinellas County counts five adult associations: the St. Petersburg men's and women's associations, Clearwater Women's Association and Suncoast men's and women's associations. There are the Greater Pinellas YABA, Upper Pinellas Junior Bowling and Suncoast YABA, but they are out of the picture until the national YABA makes its decision.

Through the years, what once was one or two associations has since fractured into many because of politics or personalities. That, again, may be the wrench in the works.

WINNERS HONORED: Gilbert and Edna Berry, April Lewis and other city tournament winners accepted their plaques at the annual St. Petersburg Association delegates dinner at Banquet Masters on Saturday.

Chuck Brush, a long-time Pinellas County bowler, owner of four 800 series and 20 300 games, was inducted into the association's hall of fame. Brush has carried at least a 220 average for the past 15 years. The Berrys won the doubles event and Lewis captured the singles title, the first women's winners in the association's 67-year city tournament history.

Gilbert shot a 677 series and Edna added a 573 for a 1,250 scratch total to win the doubles title. Lewis, 20, a St. Petersburg College freshman, rolled a 574 scratch series, added 222 handicap pins and won with a 796 series.

Jim Higdon was elevated from first vice president to president, replacing outgoing Don Hamilton. Jerry Vann, Keith Korneisel, Don Vauiso and Jim Jones are vice presidents. Ron Mowbray and Mike White were joined as directors by Ron Jones, Don Vinson, Edna Berry, Clay Hatfield and Jerry Koenig. Koenig, former ABC general counsel, past president of the FIQ and executive director of USA Bowling, was the guest speaker.

AROUND THE LANES: High scorers: Pat Klotchko 299-751 at Countryside; Greg Sexton 299-759 at Liberty; Bob Eggert 299-796 at Dunedin; Tim Quick 300-728 at Rainbow; Gary Halstrom 300 game at Seminole. ... Jim Campbell's Top of the Line Pool Service squad still leads the Regular Division team all events at the ABC Championships in Reno, Nev. ... Jack Reichert, 73, ABC and PBA Hall of Fame member, died May9 in Lake Forest, Ill.

- Phil Gulick can be reached at

[Last modified May 14, 2004, 01:02:21]

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