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USBC publishes Open Championships survey findings

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Survey findings from a third-party research firm show that participants at the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships support recent changes to the tournament, including the addition of a third average-based division and withholding publication of lane conditions to improve fairness.

The USBC Open Championships survey was reviewed and analyzed by Victus Advisors. Victus concluded the survey has a margin of error of +/- 1.6 percent.

In 2017, USBC introduced significant changes to the Open Championships designed to improve the experience and competitive environment of the event, including a new division intended to increase peer-to-peer competition. Now that bowlers have experienced the changes for two years, USBC conducted a survey to determine the acceptance and approval of the changes.

Victus found bowlers responded with an overwhelming acceptance and approval of the change in division structure for competitiveness (85 percent) and a strong positive majority (76 percent) about overall changes to the division structure and average requirements.

Registration trends for the 2019 Open Championships in Las Vegas also support these findings. To date, 8,230 teams have registered for the event. If current registration trends continue, 2019 projects to be the largest tournament since 2012.

Victus’ key findings from the Open Championships survey data include:

The overwhelming majority (85 percent) said that the new division structure allowed them to be more competitive or made no difference to the competitiveness of the Open Championships. This is a clear indication that the addition of a third average-based division at the tournament had its intended effect of increasing peer-to-peer competition at the event.

Overall, 76 percent of respondents said they think the three-division structure is positive for the long-term success of the tournament or that they agree with the goals of the changes. This is indicative of the generally positive view of the new division structure.

A total of 65 percent of respondents indicated they agreed with or had no opinion about keeping lane patterns secret until after the conclusion of the event. This majority shows a positive leaning toward the changes made in lane condition communications in 2017 and 2018.

The survey also asked bowlers to identify their levels of satisfaction relating to 19 aspects of the 2018 tournament. Victus observed that overall satisfaction with tournament operations was among the best performing categories in terms of bowler satisfaction, which further indicates there has not been a significant backlash to the operational changes made in 2017 and 2018.

Squad-time schedules was among the lowest performing categories.

The complete Victus Advisors report on the 2018 Open Championships survey can be found here.

Herbert Bickel

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