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Sunday, September 25, 2022


Recent News


by Kerm Helmer
Collegiate Fever


Kerm Helmer
September 23, 2000

by Kerm Helmer

“The Man In The Back”

Throughout my athletic career having the opportunity to be involved on the administrative end of many tournaments I quickly realized the truth behind the adage;"You are only as good as the people who surround you”. Many times it is the individual or individuals the participants never see, the person in the back, that really makes your event a success.

How important is it to the participants and the tournament director to have lane assignments completed with a rotation that is fair for everyone? How important is it to have the results as soon as possible after a game or a block? How important is it to have the final results not only correct but in the format you want? If you want your tournament to be a success you had better make sure these are among your priorities and you have an individual to insure the job is done.

Collegiate Bowling and Y.A.B.A. have “The Man In The Back”. Steve Lawson, long time coach at the Univ. of ILLINOIS, Sec. Of the NCBCA, and an Associate Director for ABC is the individual the participants rarely see during the Collegiate Bowling Championships, Junior Gold, and the Coca-Cola Youth Bowling Championships, but may be the most important individual in the building.

I have known for sometime Steve was taking care of the nuts and bolts for these events and took what he did for granted; BIG MISTAKE. After working with Steve during the three events this past summer I found myself asking the questions; ”Where in the Hell would we be without him”?

Anyone that writes a program for a tournament then puts it into action realizes unexpected glitches can occur or someone doesn’t tell the programmer exactly what they need, then ask for it in the middle of the event. The key is to be able to “duct tape” it without affecting event and not to lose your patience when the computer screen in one form or another tells you,”Sorry don’t understand please try again”. Tommy Gann a member of the YABA National Board worked with Steve during a glitch at Junior Gold. Although the participants believed the event was operating like a Swiss Watch, Steve was into a big role of duct tape. When everything was back to Steve’s expectations Tommy called me aside and stated; “Kerm, the man has the patience of a Saint, I would have had a hammer through the screen hours ago and he never lost his cool or sense of humor.”

What would you to expect to compensate an individual who writes the program, stays in a room for 12 hours a day for 15 days away from their family to insure your events run smoothly, then let you take the bows for a job well done. Here is a news flash, CBUSA and YABA are getting a real bargain.

If you coached or participated as a player in the Collegiate Championships, Gold, or Coke take a minute to e-mail Steve and just say thanks. Trust me, thanks for a job well done makes all the effort worthwhile.


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.