What does the return of a true PBA Tour mean for competitive bowling? What does it mean for present day competitors? What could it mean for the future of our sport? Well, let us take a look, shall we?
So, in case you have somehow missed it, the PBA Tour is back — and in full swing. The days of but a few majors and the World Series are, at last, over with. We have a full tour schedule, and I for one could not be happier.
For the current players, obviously this is fantastic. They have more opportunity to do what they love and to make more money doing it. The best bowlers in the world will have the chance to compete more often, for more money. That is, to be sure, a win for competitive bowling.
But more than that, it is a win for the future of competitive bowling.
As a kid, being able to follow the PBA Tour on a regular, weekly basis is what kept me hooked. It is what made me work harder to get better. It kept me — a young lad, at the time — hungry for more. Hungry to become better. Hungry to reach the top.
But, alas, when the time came, the full tour had already, essentially, folded; it was but a shell of what I grew up watching. And my interest and desire to bowl for a living dwindled away.
Now, though, with the re-emergence of a full tour season, there will be a whole new generation of competitive bowlers spawned from this, the same way I was as a kid.
But it will be an even better experience, when you think about it.
With technology the way it is today, there’s no more watching “live scoring” the way I had to as a child. Instead, we have FloBowling and other live streaming outlets that allow us to see every single shot when it is thrown. We are able to follow bowling in a way that has never before been done. And that is exciting.
Again, there is no doubt about the immediate impact the full tour season will have on competitive bowling. That much is obvious. But I cannot wait to see the impact it has on tomorrow’s bowlers. I think we’ll see an influx in competitive youth bowling. Even greater than we have been seeing.