Bob's Blog of Random Thoughts

Thursday Night Winter League

The Importance of the Summer Meeting

Every year, the start of the new season is preceded by an organizational meeting two weeks before the first night to adopt the rules.  League rules can be as abrupt or as detailed as a league chooses; ours covers a lot of details with the hope that there is no confusion on things that USBC allows leagues to set while the national rulebook covers things that are common to all certified leagues.

Included in our rules (as most leagues do) is the schedule that reflects weeks off for holidays and such.  Being a Thursday league, Thanksgiving is automatic; the previous two seasons (2008-2009 and 2009-2010), we had to take an additional two weeks off for Christmas and New Years Days, then Eves.  As we are contracted for 35 weeks regardless of what dates we do/don’t bowl, we finish later in the Spring with the more weeks we take off.

We have always gotten the jump on the season by starting in late August to get two weeks in the books prior to Labor Day weekend.  Last year was an exception: we got in three sessions.  It wound up a brilliant decision for 2009-2010 as we had to postpone a week due to one of the major snow storms so our end date was in the middle of May instead of the first week of May … (and I remain thankful that it was JUST one week – we were up to our knees in snow last year)

This year, Christmas and New Years Days fall on Saturday so the small group of 15-20 members who showed up for the organizational meeting in August approved bowling straight through December as long as we had no position rounds in late December in case individual teams needed to pre/post bowl for those weeks and could work that out with their opponents.  No problem; position round schedule adjusted and we are good to go.

On the first night, every team captain gets a folder with (among other things) a copy of the rules that details this.  And these same rules are on the league’s web site.  I’m guessing teams don’t read them because the questions of bowling in late December did not come up until the first week of December.  The team captain even asked to change the schedule to NOT bowl the 23rd and 30th.  As the schedule is part of the rules, it would take 100 percent written consent of the team captains and I told this team captain that it likely won’t happen … (and we got the one verbal dissent needed to end that in a hurry).  Meanwhile, my own team had already made arrangements with our opponents from the 23rd as everyone else will be away.

Let’s put things in perspective.  Had the league voted to take these next two weeks off and yesterday’s snow storm was strong enough to postpone the entire league session, our end date jumps from the last week of April to a week before the start of the Memorial Day weekend.  When would you prefer the season end?

Summer organizational meetings are when things are decided and rules adopted, not in the middle of the season.  Hopefully, this will get more people to attend the summer meeting because 17 percent attendance (20 out of 120) is not a strong showing.