PRP Officially Merged In Congress

Posted on 14 June 2011

PRP Officially Merged In Congress

PRP Officially Merged In CongressEtv2 News @14th june 2011

Remember when the American Bowling Congress (ABC) and the Women’s International Bowling Congress (WIBC) and the Young American Bowling Alliance (YABA) still existed?

It wasn’t that long ago (2005) when those three organizations still ran bowling. Then came the United States Bowling Congress, with all three of those groups merging into one. Everything was supposed to be simpler.

It really hasn’t been, though the average bowler wouldn’t know the difference. But for the two largest local associations, dealing with the USBC has been an arduous process that might finally be coming to a close.

Both the Northwest Indiana Bowling Association (NIBA) and Greater Calumet Area Bowling Association (GCABA) men’s organizations will be officially merging with their respective women’s associations before the fall season begins.

But for that to be a reality, both were asking the USBC to make a decision on the women’s membership of Plaza Lanes in Highland. You see, Plaza’s men have been members of the GCABA while the women have been members of the Lake Suburban Women’s Bowling Association (LSWBA) instead of the Calumet Women’s Bowling Association (CWBA), formerly called the Double “I” Association.

So the GCABA and NIBA could not merge with their respective women’s groups until the USBC decided which direction the Plaza women went.

“We were willing to live with any decision, but (the USBC) had to make it,” NIBA Association Manager Gene Skalba said. “We went to Greendale (Wis., which used to be USBC headquarters) and they told us to figure it out between us (NIBA and GCABA). But we have too good of a rapport and all we wanted was headquarters to make the decision.”

That decision finally was made in March after about four years of being drawn out, and the verdict was that Plaza’s women would stay with the GCABA in any merger.

Less than three months later both men’s associations are on the verge of merging with their respective women’s groups.

The GCABA and CWBA will meet separately, but in the same place (Dynasty Banquets in Hammond) at 6 p.m., then combine to meet together for the first time an hour later.

Both boards have agreed to merge into the new Greater Calumet USBC association, but it’s not official until the membership of both groups votes on it.

In fact, the new GCAUSBC (am I the only one confused with all these abbreviations and initials?) is looking for any women from Plaza who want to be on the new board of directors. Visit to download an application form.

“Our transition has been very smooth,” GCABA president Mike Kozy said. “We’ll be merged by July 16 and it takes some associations over a year.”

The NIBA-LSWBA merge will unofficially take place at its membership meeting on July 10. The two associations will be dissolved and the new merged group — Lakeshore USBC — will be formed with board of director elections and hall of fame voting. All NIBA and LSWBA league members can attend that meeting.

Both new groups will officially be merged on Aug. 1 since that’s the beginning of a new bowling season.

There are pros and cons to the mergers. About 400 new women’s members will be headed to the GCAUSBC from Plaza and Set Em Up Lanes in Griffith — that number represents women who bowled at those two former LSWBA center, but no other GCABA centers — while more than 600 members are lost to the former LSWBA.

But Lakeshore alleviates much of that loss by adding the men and women from Westchester Lanes in Chesterton (about 500) as the Duneland USBC will dissolve its adult group.

One small group of women who will save some money will be bowlers such as Becky Betts and Janee Babbitt. Both have bowled in leagues at Plaza and Olympia Lanes. They were paying $30 in association membership fees — $10 national, $7 for GCABA, $7 for LSWBA and $6 for CWBA. Now, based on current fees which are subject to change after the upcoming meetings, they only pay $17.

My take on all the confusing abbreviations is that merging will be good for local bowlers. Women may actually get city tournaments back — or at least their own divisions in the existing tourneys — since both associations have been hit or miss in recent years when it comes to organizing them. And having new blood on the boards of directors should be refreshing.

King of the Hill:  Another week, another increase in turnout for Stardust III’s King of the Hill summer series. Last week, 55 bowlers showed up (five more than Week 1) to compete on the 42-foot Kegel Stone Street oil pattern. The winner was former Purdue and Michigan City High School bowler Jason Beck, who defeated Kevin Kullman 223-206 in the championship match. Beck earns a $5 entry into next year’s Post-Tribune Tournament.

PRP Officially Merged In Congress

PRP Officially Merged In Congress

PRP Officially Merged In Congress

PRP Officially Merged In Congress
PRP Officially Merged In Congress
PRP Officially Merged In Congress
PRP Officially Merged In Congress

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