The Madison Area USBC Association is Born

May 16, 2017 was a historic day for area bowling when 56 members of the current local associations met to form the merged Madison Area USBC Association. This new association will serve bowling in Dane County, Iowa County and Sauk City. It is formed by merging the Madison USBC Bowling Association (MBA), Madison Women’s USBC Bowling Association (MWBA), Madison Youth Bowling Association (MYBA), and the Southwest Wisconsin USBC WBA (SWWIWBA). The new Association will begin, and the existing organizations will cease, on August 1, 2017.

When the USBC was formed by merging the American Bowling Congress (ABC), Women’s International Bowling Congress (WIBC), and Young American Bowling Alliance (YABA) in 2005, local associations were not required to merge their operations at that time. Locally, our associations have remained separate entities. Merger legislation was on the slate at nearly every convention (at least since 2008) and earned more and more support each year. Finally, at the 2016 USBC National Convention, the delegation voted to require all local and state associations to merge by August 1, 2018.

The local merge is one year ahead of schedule. The state merge will be completed by the 2018 deadline.

“In the field”, bowlers should not expect to see any dramatic or wholesale changes right away. Perhaps the most noticeable is dues, as the annual rate for all adult bowlers will be $23.00. This is partially impacted by the increase of national USBC dues to $13.00, from $10.00. The local dues amount will be $10.00. This is the current MBA fee, and higher than the current MWBA fee ($5.00) and SWWIWBA fee ($2.00). WBA State dues have been waived for 2017-18

Our annual tournaments will run as usual with at least minor changes in scheduling to allow tournament director attendance at all events. Expect the women’s and open senior city tournaments to be held in the fall, the youth city tournament in December, the open city tournament in January, the women’s city tournament in early February, and the Masters and Queens on the Saturday before the Super Bowl. The MBA has a number of tournament sponsors who will be contacted regarding how they want their dollars distributed, so heretofore non-MBA events could be positively effected with increased prize funds.

Another area of immediate change will likely include a revamped Award and Recognition program. Conversely, the 2017 Hall of Fame ceremonies will continue as before. It is likely that the Hall of Fame will be a singular event beginning in 2018 and going forward.

Expect some early focus to be on growing youth bowling across the association. There are fantastic youth programs in the area led by dedicated volunteers. They offer USBC certified and registered volunteer background coaches, recognition, tournament opportunities, and generous scholarship programs. The merged association and its engaged officials will now be better positioned to help develop these aspects into youth programs across the association.

Membership development – growing leagues and developing new membership opportunities is another key area to address. In the MBA, brand new bowlers generally make up 8% of our membership. Despite this, our losses each year are ordinarily 5% (this year 3%). Developing organized bowling systems and programs that appeal to and retain these perennial new bowlers is vital to curbing membership losses.

Surely the new Madison Area USBC board officials, elected at the organizational meeting, will be eager to contribute their own ideas for the future of the sport of bowling in the Madison area.

At the meeting, MWBA President Sarah Flood presented the draft budget with a local dues recommendation for the 2017-18 season of $10.00 for adults (the current MBA rate). With the USBC portion of dues increasing from $10.00 to $13.00, the total annual dues for adults next season will be $23.00. No change in youth dues is expected.

MBA President Jerry Wilson presented the transition committee recommendation of the bylaws for the new association, which were approved. A full copy of the new Madison Area USBC Bylaws will be available on this site when finalized.

Next on the slate was elections of officers, youth directors, directors, and delegates to the annual national, state BA, and state WBA meetings. Terms for officers and directors were staggered in three, two, and one year terms to allow for a proper rotation of officials in future elections. Terms of office were determined by vote count or agreement among the electees. Delegates are elected annually.

Phil Dowling ran unopposed and was elected President by acclamation for a three year term.

George Dorn, Sarah Flood, and Tim Reithmeyer were balloted for Vice-President. Sarah Flood was elected to a two year term.

Dee Dochnahl was unopposed and was elected by acclamation for a one year term as Sergeant at Arms.

The Youth Director ballot was Mary Conklin, Linda Forst, Janice Ryan, and Hannah Yelk. Taylor Lavine was nominated from the floor. Forst was elected to a three year term, Yelk to a two year term, and Ryan to a one year term.

Next was the election for the nine Directors. Don Aslakson, Karine Aslakson, Mary Conklin, George Dorn, Amanda Erdman, Trevor Habich, Phil Leighton, Tim Reithmeyer, and Chris Smith were balloted. Melissa Carlson, Char Clementi, and Taylor LaVine were nominated from the floor. Habich, Don Aslakson, and Clementi were elected to three year terms. Reithmeyer, Leighton, and Carlson received two year terms. Conklin, Erdman, and Karine Aslakson earned one year terms.

A bylaw change at the national level gives local associations a delegate for every 500 members (formerly 1000). It is projected the new association will be allowed at least 12 delegates. Three nominations from the floor were added to the original slate of six. The nine delegates, Don Aslakson, Char Clementi, Bill Dennis, Phil Dowling, Taylor Lavine, Tim Reithmeyer, Bob Ruhland, Chris Smith, and Jerry Wilson were elected by acclamation.

For State BA Delegate, Phil Dowling and Darin Johnson applied for the position. Since our local association will be merged (and the state will not), it was required to check with all other State Delegate applicants to see if they wanted to also be on the BA Delegate ballot. No yeas were received, and Darin Johnson was elected to be our State BA Delegate, with Phil Dowling as alternate.

The State WBA allows eight delegates. The original ballot was Marge Beers, Sarah Flood, Betty Jensen, and Chris Smith. Karine Aslakson, Char Clementi, Taylor Lavine, and Gayle Seltzner were nominated from the floor. Amanda Erdman was nominated to serve as an alternate. The ballot was approved by acclamation.

The meeting was adjourned.

On behalf of all of the current associations, thank you to all who attended and contributed your valuable time to the future of bowling in the Madison area. Thanks also to Midwest Regional USBC Representative George Lambert who was on hand to assist with the processes.