The Young American Bowling Alliance board of directors voted unanimously Tuesday to join the American Bowling Congress, Women's International Bowling Congress and USA Bowling in creating the United States Bowling Congress. The board had rejected the merger two weeks ago after voting for it last year.
"The approval of the USBC plan of merger by ABC, WIBC and USA Bowling in Wichita, Kan., earlier this month confirmed the desire of the sport's adult membership organizations to move our game forward for future generations," YABA president Mitch Mitchell said. "YABA wants to be intimately involved in making certain the new organization represents the needs and wishes of our youth."
The USBC merger takes effect Jan. 1, 2005. With the ABC's 1.6-million members, WIBC's 1.2-million and YABA's 400,000, the USBC will encompass about 3.2-million members.
YABA selected three members to sit on the first USBC board of directors when it convenes June 25-26 in Milwaukee. They are Jim Mitchell, Tommy Gann and Darlene Baker. Sherisa Brammer, 20, of Penn State University will be the YABA Youth Leader representative.
USA Bowling elected three current and two past Team USA members as athlete representatives to the USBC board. Team USA 2004 members Diandra Asbaty, Bill Hoffman and Tony Manna Jr. will be joined by former members David Garber of North Lauderdale and Sam Lantto.
The ABC and WIBC each selected six board members. The remaining four spots on the 25-person board will consist of two members of the Bowling Proprietors Association of America and two at-large representatives.
QUEENS 300: Former champion Shirley Levens of Cocoa rolled the first perfect game in the Senior Queens tournament's five-year history during first-round match play at the WIBC tournament in Wichita, Kan.
Levens, the 2002 winner, opened her first round with a 300, followed by games of 196 and 177 to beat Norma Winfield 673-519.
Former Queens champion Sandra Postma and Cheryl Maury met Wednesday in three-game, double-elimination match play for the senior title.
Seven-time Professional Women's Bowling Association winner Marianne DiRupo was the top seed going into Wednesday's regular Queens stepladder finals. She was joined by Olivia Sandham, Takiko Naganawa and former pros Michelle Feldman and Liz Johnson.
ESPN2 will air the finals on June 6 at 12:30 p.m.
OZIO WINS: David Ozio defeated Steve Neff 189-167 to win the PBA Senior U.S. Open May 14 at Sterling Heights, Mich.
Ozio struck six times against Neff, of Homosassa Springs, but left the door open with a couple of open frames. Neff, five-time senior winner, had a chance to get close, but missed an eighth-frame spare. Ozio doubled in the 10th to win $20,000. Neff earned $10,000.
Neff beat Bob Handley of Winter Park 216-202 in the first stepladder final, then stopped Bob Glass. Glass won $7,000 and Handley $5,000.