This past weekend in Sherwood Park, Alberta the 12th Edition of the TPC at Sherwood was held. The tournament had a record number of entries- a total of 195. Other than the Regina Classic’s last year’s total of 179, these numbers haven’t been this high for decades. With the dwindling numbers in the YBC, and adult ranks, as well as local centers closing their doors more often in the last decade, these trending higher numbers in the WBT has been a positive for bowlers in Western Canada.
For many of the new bowlers to the circuit, most don’t know the history of the TPC. The TPC was formerly called the Rose Bowl ran for over 30 years before the TPC was formed. Ian Fraser, a local Edmonton legend originally started the prestigious tournament at Windsor in the early 70’s. After two champions were held and crowned there, the tournament moved to Bonnie Doon Lanes, were it was held until the early 2000’s. The Legends of the sport such as Frank Lavigne, Bruce Morter, and Brian Goodhope all came out to the event to hone their skills against the best.
In 2002, the Rose Bowl moved to Callingwood Lanes and was renamed the TPC. With the help of proprietor John Shearer, his family as well as Sean Smith and committee they created the base work of the tournament we know today. The Inaugural champion was Scott Barbour hailing from Winnipeg. No other bowler has been able capture the event from outside Northern Alberta. With the tournament being held at Callingwood, the tournament saw resurgence in entries and support. The tournament had run 9 incredible years than sadly, the center was forced to close its doors in the summer of 2012.
In the fall of 2012, Sherwood Bowl was very fortunate to carry on the TPC’s legacy. With the support of a solid committee and great local support we carried on the great tradition. The TPC at Sherwood has increased their entries rapidly since the change of venue three seasons ago. We want to share how we believe the tournament and how the WBT has thrived the past few seasons.
The great history from the Rose Bowl. The tradition from the Rose Bowl through the Edmonton bowling community is second to none. When history is talked about bowling in Edmonton- the Rose Bowl always seems to come to mind first.
The great foundation Callingwood gave us. Callingwood was a great host and venue for the event. They maintained and increased entries as the tournament grew. The Shearers were great ambassadors to the sport, and gave back to the sport with hosting tournaments like these. We would like to thank them for all the great years they held it, and the incredible amount of time they put in.
Social Media. We do an incredible amount of work with our Facebook Page ‘TPC at Sherwood’, our twitter, our Facebook Events. The way society is nowadays it is an absolute must to be on it promoting the tournaments. If anyone has seen how young the WBT is- this by far is the best way for getting the news out.
Being Personal. I can’t tell you how many people we have personally contacted to see if they are coming. I would say it would be over 200 people. Just from my personal experience, some of the other tournaments I would never have played if I didn’t get asked. Also one thing I always got out of some of the successful tournaments- A plain thank you goes a long way to thanking all the bowlers personally coming out.
Satellite Tournaments & Getting the Locals Involved- We took a page out of the Free Fall Finale. Hitting a demographic that the tournaments don’t normally hit. Getting lower average bowlers involved that wouldn’t necessarily play for a fifth of the cost makes a huge difference. We did apply it to an ‘OVER 230’ category as well. From our experience it helped the bowlers who are more cash strapped or it enticed bowlers to play a second shift more. We have given out approximately 30 entries with these events to our Main Event.
Bring a Buddy. Bringing a new bowler to the tournament with a cheaper entry incentive. For how expensive the tournament entry can be ($200ea. /$400 pair), saving $100 per pair is definitely a great incentive. This is helps out of towners with saving a little money, or helping a bowler who is a little tight on money.
Getting the Youth Involved! - By far in my mind the biggest and most important aspect we push. I am biased- I do believe the Edmonton & Area develops their bowlers better than most in the country. The only way for the kids to get experience and get comfortable in high pressure situations. We do this by a variety of ways. Through the ‘Bring a Buddy’ system, through the satellite tournaments, through word of mouth- this is the only way we can grow our sport.
Making it an Event- Don’t leave a stone unturned. It doesn’t matter how successful your tournament was the year before- there always could be improvements and changes. Whether it is selling TPC merchandise to having a silent auction for your Youth Bowling, to having free give prizes to your bowlers- there is always something to enhance your tournament.
Next year the TPC will be hosting the ‘INVITATIONAL’ as previously ran in Saskatoon for many years. It will be run the Thursday night for a $1000 buy in per bowler. We will only take the first 16 bowlers. Also- please look for more news about adding a 4th qualifying shift.
The WBT is in the best position and best possible hands for the first time in decades. The tournaments are more prosperous and growing more than ever. All stops on the tour are working together, and sharing all ideas and information. Next year the tour is looking to include memberships and a tour final based on the tour rankings. Please make sure your voice is heard- as it is very important to us. Please remember with all of these tournaments that are run- they are the bowler’s tournaments. Not the centers, not the committees, it is for the bowlers. The local support from bowlers playing or sponsoring is what it makes it so successful.
Thanks everyone for coming out to a great tournament. We really do appreciate it!
See you all at another great event in February in Regina!