Bowling rebrands as it looks to push for Olympic inclusion

Republished from insidethegames with permission from Paul Osborne.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

By Paul Osborne at the Susesi Convention Center in Belek

The International bowling organisations have rebranded to form World Bowling as the sport pushed for inclusion in the Olympic Games ©ITGApril 10 – International bowling organisations have united under one banner as the sport looks to push for a place on the Olympic programme.

Showcased here during the SportAccord International Convention, the new organisation sees the ten-pin and two nine-pine federations, as well as the umbrella organisation, the International Federation of Bowlers (FIQ), join together to form the all encompassing World Bowling.

The new organsation is, according to World Bowling President Kevin Dornberger, a fix to the previously “broken” system of international bowling which had seen a conflict of interest between the Presidents of each of the previous three organisations.

“The system was broken,” said Dornberger.

“So we tried and tried to reorganise and finally people had literally just had enough and in 2011 they voted by 94 per cent, the highest we’d ever got before was 40 per cent for reorganisation.

“It was just people sick and tired of the problems.

“Now I’m the President for both the umbrella and the ten-pin.

“There’s a nine-pin President but there’s no concern about what the issues are, what his issues are, what my issues are.

“They’re completed separate by our new statues.

“He does what he does, I do what I do.

“We get along fine.

“We’ve rebranded.

“So we’re World Bowling and if you think of World Bowling, the average person knows what that is.

“We’re all World Bowling ten-pin, nine-pin and FIQ.

“And I think we’ll take another step next year and legally become World Bowling.

“We’re still legally our old names but it’s a process and we’re traditional so people will just have to be walked through the process.”

Colombian world champion Clara Guerrero was at a demonstration in Belek as bowling looked to showcase its new brand ©ITGColombian world champion Clara Guerrero was at a demonstration in Belek as bowling looked to showcase its new brand ©ITG

The next step for bowling is its bid to be included in the Olympic programme, with this new rebrand a huge step forward for the federation in their pursuit of this dream.

“Certainly ten-pin has Olympic aspirations, nine-pin a little less so,” said Dornberger.

“But one of the issues that were identified by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in the meetings we had, and I love our meetings because they’re very direct, was that we had governance issues.

“There were too many Presidents and too many conflicts.

“It was a process of getting rid of our problems.

“At one point we didn’t let pros participate but now we do.

“Now it’s time for a new logo, a new trade name a new attitude about where we’ve got to go.

“I think it was a necessary step in the right direction.

“Our governance changes were necessary, the pros were necessary.

“A new brand, a new optimism amongst our members was necessary and now we’ve got to clean up everything else and we’re on that direction.”

The next opportunity for bowling to make its case for a spot on the Olympic programme is, according to Dornberger, late next year and he believes that with the changes that have come to the sport over the last three years, it has a real chance of making the shortlist for inclusion.

“I think that if you were to talk to any federation that thought they were deserving they would talk about the next shortlist,” he said.

“And under the current system the next shortlist is late next year, and certainly from a personal perspective I’d like to see us on that shortlist.

“I think it’s realistic that we could be on that shortlist, we’ll see.”