In Case You Didn’t Know, Sandbagging Is Bad For Bowling.
And USBC isn’t taking it lightly either.
Ever since the USBC announced its new division changes for the Open Championships, the questions about sandbagging have been asked time-and-time again. Well, the USBC has answered them — emphatically.
If you missed their post, this is what they shared on Facebook:
Tournament management at the USBC Open Championships has charged a participant with violation of USBC Rules
17a-3 Unfair Tactics and 17b-1 Improper Conduct and with violation of 2019 USBC Open Championships rule 9b – Unsportsmanlike Behavior for the bowler’s action during Monday’s competition at the South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas.
USBC tournament management was informed of the bowler’s improper actions on Tuesday. After a review, it was determined the bowler’s scores in singles competition were not in line with the bowler’s average or his earlier performances in the competition and determined the bowler knowingly was attempting to lower his tournament average to gain an unfair advantage for future classified competitions.
The bowler has been notified of the violations, and that his singles scores will be removed from his Open Championships record and average calculation. #USBCOpen tournament management also has forwarded the matter to the USBC Rules Department requesting suspension of the bowler’s USBC membership.
The bowler has the right to appeal the decision and any suspension.
Sandbagging to lower one’s average is unacceptable at every level, and USBC appreciates the efforts of the bowlers and tournament officials who make sure their bowlers follow proper rules and etiquette at all times.”
Basically, what happened was a bowler — a bowler that USBC has yet to name — bowled so poorly that they investigated his scores and the situation and deemed that his results in singles was far, far below his tournament average and his previous event’s scores (team and doubles).
They decided that what the bowler did was, in fact, sandbagging and disqualified his singles score and decided that it would not go against his tournament average.
The bowler in question is a classified competitor. So lowering or “managing his average” to ensure that it doesn’t get too high is to their benefit if their goal is to stay in a lower division to capitalize on brackets and lesser competition.
The tournament committee determined that the bowler committed foul play and has requested that the bowler’s membership be suspended. While this may seem harsh to some, it is — in my opinion — mandatory. Sandbagging is cheating. Straight forward. And when it can be proven, it should be punished severely.
We have to maintain the integrity of the tournament and the sport in any and all ways. And if we, as a sport, want to be taken seriously, we must take these accusations seriously. The bowler obviously has the right to appeal, but if the USBC and OC tournament staff have come to this decision, it would seem that they have done their due diligence and are certain of their ruling.