Bowling tournaments have new guidelines because of pandemic

Today is another of those times that illustrates there is always something to talk about in the world of bowling.

It is not the direction that I had planned to go – I mean we have had any number of 300 games in the area and we recently completed our LBA/USBC team tournament.

If you are a fan and especially a family member or classmate or teammate of a high school bowler please read and heed what is written here.

The Ohio High School Athletic Association, the coaches association for Ohio high school bowling and the BPAO – The Bowling Proprietors Association of Ohio — have gotten together and issued the following mandated guidelines for high school competition because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

You will also quickly notice that high school bowling will be under the same statewide guidelines for social distancing which have had an impact on high school football and other sports.

For the matches that begin in some areas as soon as this weekend you can expect to see the following changes from recent years:

Each team will be limited to six bowlers.

Each team will allocate six tickets to their fan base.

Bowling centers will develop a specific area where fans and student athletes can enter the center.

Temperatures will be taken as you enter the bowling centers and if you are over the targeted temperature you may not enter the center

The centers will designate areas for the bowlers and the fans and the expectation are that each will stay in those areas

Face masks will be worn at all times – unless you are actively eating or drinking

There will be clear pathways for fans to get to their seats and minimum movement throughout the centers will be permitted

Team members will wear masks throughout their matches, including while bowling.

The student athletes will not be permitted to share any bowling equipment.

When a towel is used by a bowler to clean his or her ball the towel is to be returned to the bag following its immediate use

Each bowler will be permitted one ball only on the bowling rack. In many cases there will be a lane in between where on additional ball can be stored for any need

As mentioned earlier there will be an emphasis on social distancing. At least two centers will have one team bowl on a pair with a lane in between. As an example Team A will bowl on lanes three and four and Team B will roll on lanes seven and eight. After game one the teams will then switch lanes and fans will stay in their same seat.

It is expected that each bowler will have had sanitizer stored in their bag and each team will carry a thermometer as needed

There will be one bowling bag for each bowler and no secondary trips to the car or locker for more

In most cases there will not be a junior varsity match.

I do agree that it seems like a lot and some of the elements were hard for me and others to accept. Like many, I was really looking forward to seeing my grandchild roll in this her freshman season. There is a chance that media will also be stop and go.

We have to keep in mind that the guidelines are to maximize what we can be done to assure that the youth will be able to have their season.

This was also tough information for proprietors who understand the role of the fans to the youth – especially parents. They did not really have any noteworthy role in the decision other than what they are going to do in their respective centers to assure that the bowlers and the fans are safe.

Be blessed!

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