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Monday, September 26, 2022


Recent News


by Kerm Helmer
Collegiate Fever


Kerm Helmer
October 17, 1998

by Kerm Helmer

It Is - It Isn't - It Is Wichita

The on again off again scenario of the 1999 Intercollegiate Bowling Championships going or not going to Wichita is finally resolved and the answer is - IT IS. The dates will be Wednesday April 21 - 25, 1999. The host center will be North Rock.

I first heard Wichita would be the site almost immediately following last year's Championships held in Madison, Wisconsin. This was no big surprise because Brunswick at the time was a big sponsor of the Collegiate Championships and as everyone in the collegiate bowling world knows Brunswick has a love affair with the Wheat Shockers of Wichita State. When word came down Brunswick would be unable to financially sponsor this year's championships, it came as no big surprise Wichita had been put on hold. On the heels of Brunswick foregoing sponsorship for this year, came a decision Strike Ten would also be much less involved in the 1999 championships. These two announcements combined made good sense to me to consider another city.

Why not Wichita???? Wichita will be very expensive for teams to get to. Their incoming air fares will be as expensive as going to Reno was a few years ago and trust me, Wichita is no Reno. Wichita, as everyone in the bowling world knows is the home of the Wichita State Wheat Shockers, one of the most talented and financially heeled programs in the nation. You want home court-this guarantees it BIG TIME.

Why Wichita??? At this late date where else are you going? Wichita started laying groundwork in probably June when it was just a strong rumor the tournament may be coming. Strike Ten had visited Wichita to survey the hotels, center, etc. and give Wichita some idea of what to expect. To consider going someplace else at this late date would be suicide or at best a tournament not up to what we all want. I am also confident the city of Wichita combined with the college, will do a great job in the little things that count. Gordon Vadakin, the coach of the Wheat Shockers does not want a second class show and Wichita a does not want teams going away saying-WHAT A JOKE! Also, I think there may be another ACE in the Hole- a lady by the name of Cissie Bryant. Cissie is a member of the WIBC Board of Directors and will represent WIBC on the newly formed collegiate committee. Cissie lives in Wichita. I will meet her for the first time on October 17th at the collegiate committee meeting in Greendale, but from telephone conversations I have had with her, my bet is she will do what ever is necessary to make sure the championships are a class act.

Bottom Line: The tournament is going to Wichita. Yes there are some disadvantages, but I think in the end this will be a Great Tournament held in a Great Bowling Town. We may have the largest spectator audience in history.

In regards to format - who doing what, etc. these pieces of the puzzle can now be addressed by the Collegiate Committee and the host city. We have city, center, hotel, date, the rest will fall into place.


This article originally appeared in Spares & Strikes, a bowling newspaper serving the Greater Buffalo/  Western New York Area. It is reprinted here with the permission of the author.