Would you go bowling if they changed the rules?
Would you go bowling if they changed the rules? (ThinkStock)
Would you go bowling if they changed the rules?
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About a month and a half ago, Kevin Dornberger and his Swedish friend Christer Jonsson were watching a tournament in Hong Kong. They made it through most of the afternoon before Jonsson, the secretary general of the World Tenpin Bowling Association, looked at Dornberger, the president of World Bowling.

"This is boring," he said.

Dornberger nodded his head emphatically. He has bowled since he was eight, had a 40-plus-year competitive career and rolled 16 perfect 300 games. Now he heads the sport's governing body.

"I've watched more world championships competitions than anyone in the world," Dornberger said Wednesday on the sidelines of the Asian Games bowling competition in Incheon. "And it has occurred to me that the people who say we are boring have a point."

Dornberger says he has a solution. He wants to radically overhaul the very heart of the sport's complicated, but to bowlers beloved, scoring system.

What he would like to see is an arrangement similar to the soccer World Cup. That would pit players against each other in a group format culminating in finals. Scoring, possibly only in the finals, could be simplified into a frame-by-frame showdown. The player winning the frame would get one point and any player getting to six points would automatically be the winner of the game.

Another radical suggestion is to make every strike count for 30 points, no matter what the next ball is. Spares would count for 20. That would make the math a lot easier, but retain the 300 as the perfect score for a game. It's a tradition many bowlers would be very unhappy to see vanish.

"I'm open to anything because I love our sport," Dornberger said. "I love tradition, but it's vital that we become an Olympic sport. If we have to be dragged into the 21st century to do that, I'm ok with that."

At big international competitions, dozens of bowlers are playing at the same time. The winners are determined by cumulative scores, not finals. It's hard for spectators to get emotionally involved and no one knows the winners until the whole day's competition is over.

"It took 11 1/2 hours to complete the two rounds of play today," said Bill Hoffman, a five-time world champion and Hall of Fame bowler who is coaching Hong Kong's team at the Asian Games. "That is way too long."

Hoffman said the changes would likely face the most opposition from the 10 or 15 players who are at the top of the world standings. After all, the system is working for them the way it is. But he thinks major changes are required to attract spectators and sponsors and win the backing of the International Olympic Committee.

"I think we will see change," he said. "I think the industry in general knows the need for change so that we are more relevant on popular culture again."

Mike Seymour, an Australian who is the World Tenpin Bowling Association's vice president, said a working group is scheduled to make four or five proposals in December. He said top-level bowling could soon start to look more like tennis.

With each game shorter, finals could be played in a best-out-of three format. But he acknowledged that, even for supporters of the overhaul, letting go of the magical 300 is hard to imagine.

Critical thinking challenge: Is bowling boring? How will changing the scoring system make it seem more interesting, if the game remains the same?

Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/tween56/would-you-go-bowling-if-they-changed-rules/

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COMMENTS (157)
  • 13Maria-May
    10/01/2014 - 02:19 p.m.

    They are right bowling is very boring. When ever I play I end up loseing because i'm dead of boredom. Bowling would be the last sport I choose to play even over water polo!

  • Kamal-Abd
    10/01/2014 - 02:19 p.m.

    I do not know why people are saying bowling is boring.How could it get better if they added rules?Bowling is just a game you could play with your family and friends.If they added rules to bowling, people will not play the game any more.I wold recommend to keep bowling the way it is.

  • 10Kaleb-May
    10/01/2014 - 02:23 p.m.

    Why would any one change the rules to bowling there're perfect to me. Maybe not to some people some poeple might think it's boring.No they cant funest game ever! Its compotition and its for fun at the same time. You can etheir compet or have fun i usally do both for double the fun. If you did change the rules what would you change the rules to. What three spares eqauls one strike and nine spares a turkey. There's also no gutter balls. cause thats would take all the fun out of it.

  • 15Cyrus-May
    10/01/2014 - 02:23 p.m.

    After seeing that artical i honestly am amazed usually people always have fun at bowling well i guess thats what i think cause i dont go that much but if i did i still think it would be fun... But it would be cool if they did change the rules.

  • Alexis-Abd
    10/01/2014 - 02:24 p.m.

    I do not know why most people say bowling is boring because its fun because when you go bowling you can eat pizza have good times with your friends and bowl. I think most people don't like bowling because they either don't know how to bowl or they just think it's not their favorite thing to do.

    • milleand7-dil
      1/08/2016 - 01:46 p.m.

      I think bowling is fun to with my family and friends.

  • Emonie-Abd
    10/01/2014 - 02:24 p.m.

    i think it is ok for people not to like bowling beacause every body don't have to like bowling.

    beacause that is not every body favorite thing to do.

  • 18Beau-May
    10/01/2014 - 02:25 p.m.

    I dont know how you would play bowling like tennis.It would probaly be hard to get a 300 in bowling.I dont think I couldnt get a 300.

  • Coleh-Gil
    10/01/2014 - 03:21 p.m.

    Yes, in my opinion bowling is very boring. Probably one of the most boring sports in the world! I think changing the scoring system could make the sport a lot more interesting for spectators to watch. If they had bowlers going head to head we could be watching a single match and be very interested and involved in it! I think for a lot of long time bowlers they would hate to see the game change and lose the 300 point perfect score. But at the same time I think a lot more people would start pllaying and it would help the sport grow!

  • SeabassK-5
    10/01/2014 - 05:42 p.m.

    This article is about the secretary general, Christer Jonsson, and the president, Kevin Dornberger, wanting to change the rules of bowling. When they were watching World Bowling in Hong Kong. They had made it past twelve o'clock. Jonsson looked at Dornburger and said," This is boring." Dornberger had played since he was eight and he said," It has occurred to me that people who have said it was boring have a point." He would like to rearrange the bowling scoring system like the World Cup of soccer scores. It would be easier to calculate the score and every time one person won they would get a point. Jonsson and Dornberger both said it takes way to long to complete one game. If they do change the scoring system, they are worried about the loved perfect 300 going away. They don't think the bowlers will be happy about that. Why are they worried about changing the score? Who made bowling so boring?

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