For the third consecutive year, membership in the American Bowling Congress has declined. The ABC, the national governing body for tenpin bowling, had its membership drop to 2,922,829 during the 1990-91 season, down from 3,036,907 -- a loss of 3.7 percent -- from the 1989-90 season.
Darold Dobs, ABC executive director, attributes this decline to several factors: the loss of 121 bowling centers, the loss of 32 local bowling associations and general overall decline in the nation's economy.
"We are not pleased with our continuing membership decline, however it is the lowest in the last three seasons," Dobs said. xTC "This tells us that our promotional efforts are beginning to pay off. But we still have a lot of work to do. We must be upbeat on
the overall bowling picture and work more closely with the Bowling Proprietors Association of America, Women's International Bowling Congress and the Professional Bowlers Association to improve every aspect of the sport."
This season is the first time ABC membership has fallen below 3,000,000 since 1957-58. It is a long drop from the 1979-80 season when membership reached almost 4.8 million.
Mike Steinert, second seeded after the preliminary rounds, defeated top-seeded Barry Eglof in the final, 153-146, to win the Duckpin Professional Bowlers Association Tournament at Long Meadow Bowl in Hagerstown.
Steinert, who won Division C with 4-1 record by knocking down 802 pins to gain the step-ladder finals, won the top prize of $2,000. Eglof, the top qualifier with 1,303 and winner of Division A with a 5-0 record on an 816 pin fall, won $1,100.
Other divisional winners included: Roy Cochefski, Division B with 4-1 and 780 pins; Joe Franchetti, Division D, 5-0, 798 pins; and Scott Wolgamuth, Division E, 4-1 and 765 pins.
In the ladder finals: No.6 seeded Jim Reisberg ($550), defeated Wolgamuth ($450), 182-159; Cochefski ($500), 185-146; before losing to Franchetti ($660), 183-144.
Champion Steinert defeated Franchetti, 170-133 and then knocked off Eglof for the top prize.
Eglof also had the high game in the tournament with a 242 and Richie Schmidt chipped in with a 225. Other 200 games included: Lee Waltz 213, Jerry Conner 208, Hank Howard 205, Buddy Creamer 201, Paul Singer 201, Curt Johnson 200 and Rich Spies 200.
The next stop on the DPBA tour will be Oct. 11-13 at Holiday Lanes in Manchester, Conn.
John Fantini of Baltimore finished 46th in the Ebonite Senior PBA championship in Battle Creek, Mich., earning $1,025.
Paul Busch of Dover, Del., was 60th, winning $885. Busch is 18th among the money-winners on the senior tour with $10,908.