November 20, 2017

ITRC to Host 2nd World Bowling Coach Conference

The World Bowling Coach Conference will return to the International Training and Research Center (ITRC) in May, bringing together coaches from around the world for an educational conference on the sport of bowling.

In conjunction with World Bowling, the world governing body for the sport of bowling, the ITRC staff will host the three-day conference from May 6-8 in Arlington, Texas.

The ITRC staff also hosted the first World Bowling Coach Conference in 2014, which featured nearly 100 coaches representing 28 countries.

2013ETBFiCoachRodRoss.jpgThis year’s conference will include presentations from 16 of the best bowling minds from across the globe, including Team USA head coach Rod Ross, European Tenpin Bowling Federation lead instructor Juha Maja and Team USA sports psychologist Dr. Dean Hinitz.

“We’re honored and excited to host such an incredible panel featuring some of the top minds in the sport,” said Ross (pictured left), one of six United States Bowling Congress Gold coaches scheduled to be among the presenters. “This conference will give coaches a chance to learn, discuss and apply the necessary tools to continue to build a future for the sport.”

Topics that will be presented during the conference include detailed looks into ball motion, the physical and mental game, strategies for team play and the latest advances in coaching.

Coaches in attendance will get an in-depth look at the technology housed at the ITRC and how it is applied to coaching, including biomechanical motion analysis.

As part of the conference, participants will get the opportunity to see how bowling balls, pins, lanes and more are tested prior to becoming approved for USBC-certified competition as well as the chance to see the USBC Equipment Specifications and Certifications department’s Enhanced Automated Robotic Launcher – E.A.R.L. – in action.

The ITRC is part of the International Bowling Campus and conference attendees will have the opportunity to visit the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame as part of the three-day experience. The conference will conclude May 8 with an open-panel discussion with the presenters.

Registration for the World Bowling Coach Conference is open, and interested coaches are encouraged to register as soon as possible at WorldBowlingCoach.com since space is limited.

ITRC to host inaugural World Bowling Coach Conference

ITRC Facility

The best bowling coaches in the world are invited to the International Training and Research Center (ITRC) in Arlington, Texas, next March to take part in the inaugural World Bowling Coach Conference.

In conjunction with World Bowling (the World Tenpin Bowling Association), the world governing body for the sport, the ITRC staff will host the educational conference on March 28-30, 2014.

One key topic for discussion will be the establishment of a Global Coaching System. A task force of coaches has been working with World Bowling to review international coaching programs and curriculum.

2013WTBACongressKevinDornberger.jpg

“We have seen encouraging growth for our sport in many parts of the world and identifying credible coaching programs is an important part of continuing that growth,” WTBA President and CEO Kevin Dornberger

“There are several excellent coaching certification and rating programs in different regions of the world, but no common system to compare credentials. This conference will be a great opportunity for the best coaches in the world to exchange ideas and discuss the concept of worldwide coaching standards.” (pictured right) said.

World Bowling has three zones for bowling – American, Asian and European – and more than 110 member federations. The conference will have presentations from nationally-recognized coaches from each zone as well as ITRC coaches.

The Pan American Bowling Confederation (PABCON), Asian Bowling Federation (ABF) and the European Bowling Federation (ETBF), along with the United States Bowling Congress and Kegel, a leading company in the industry, are supporting the start of a World Bowling Coach Conference.

2011USBCHeadCoachRodRoss.jpg“A key mission of the ITRC is to be a resource for all bowling coaches and federations so we are eager to be a partner in the World Bowling Coach Conference concept,” said Rod Ross (left), director of the ITRC and head coach of Team USA.

“The sport will benefit from a regular gathering of coaches to discuss best practices and consider international principals for certifying coaches.”

In addition to the top coaches who will present at the conference, any international or domestic coach is invited to attend the inaugural World Bowling Coach Conference.

For more information on the conference, fees, schedule details as well as registration are available at the conference website.

 

ITRC hosts Junior Team USA Camp

The International Training and Research Center played host to the 2012 Junior Team USA Training Camp this week, where 20 elite players focused on everything from axis tilt and lane play to the importance of team work and accountability.

“This is the strongest group we’ve ever had on Junior Team USA,” head coach Rod Ross said. “The talent is very deep on this team; these are very skilled players.”

That talent includes 2012 USBC Team USA Trials winners Danielle McEwan and Marshall Kent, who bowl for Fairleigh Dickinson University and Robert Morris University respectively. Their Team Trials titles qualified them to represent the United States at the 48th QubicaAMF World Cup in Poland this November, marking the first time both representatives of the U.S. at that event will be from the junior team.

“We’ve never had two players from the junior team win Team Trials,” Ross said. “That’s just phenomenal. The whole point is to develop these players and give them the experience of competing against world class talent. I look forward to it, and I think they’re going to do well.”

Perhaps no player epitomizes the depth of talent on Junior Team USA’s current roster than 14-year-old Kamron Doyle, who became the youngest player to cash in the history of the U.S. Open earlier this year and is the youngest player ever to qualify for Junior Team USA.

“I always dreamed of being the youngest one on the team, and for that to have come true at Team Trials feels amazing,” Doyle said. “Hopefully I get to go out and compete for my country.”

Junior Team USA members will await word on which eight players will get that chance to compete for their country at the 2012 WTBA World Youth Championships, which will be held June 22 – July 3 in Bangkok, Thailand. The team’s talent level may be an exciting prospect for Ross, but it also makes for some very tough decisions.

“Choosing which players to take with us to the World Youth Championships will be one of the hardest decisions I have ever made,” Ross said. “Any of these players could start for us.”

A wealth of objective information will factor into that decision, much of it gathered during training camp this week, including data on everything from axis tilt and rev rate to ball speed, accuracy and even the players’ athleticism in the ITRC fitness center.

“They have everything here,” McEwan said. “They have the cameras that show your shot from different angles, the televisions with delayed replay that let you watch your shots, and coaches who practically are technology themselves with how intelligent they are and how much they can help you.”

But beyond the video analysis, hours of practice on various lane patterns and classroom discussions, it is the quality of the individual that Ross and the entire Team USA coaching staff emphasize most.

“We spend a lot of time on that because it’s not just about bowling; everything you do counts in life,” Ross said. “From how you conduct yourself in line at the grocery store to how you merge into traffic, it all ties together. One thing they learn here is that who they are and what they do affects everything else. You can make excuses or you can be responsible for your actions; you can’t do both.”

The ITRC is home to some of the most innovative and cutting-edge coaching technologies available in the bowling industry today, including high-speed video cameras, motion-capture devices, foot-pressure sensors and goggles enhanced with cameras to show exactly where a player is looking during the approach and delivery. A DVR system also is in place and can record any video feed to let a bowler see what they did on their last shot as soon as they step off the lane.

A United States Olympic Committee-recognized training center, the ITRC is a joint venture of USBC and the Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America. It is the most innovative and advanced training, research and testing facility in the sport of bowling with 14 lanes for training and six for research and testing.

Gianmarc Manzione
USBC Communications

Bowling Combine set for August 7-11

After selling out in its inaugural year, the Bowling Combine for College Prospects will return in August with expanded capacity to help bring youth bowlers together with college coaches.

The Bowling Combine, which will be held Aug. 7-11 at the International Training and Research Center, will allow young bowlers to be evaluated using today’s most objective standards and give college coaches a chance to analyze the potential fit of the student-athletes for their programs.

“We had such an overwhelming response to this event last year that we are opening it up to even more bowlers who want to participate,” said Bryan O’Keefe, assistant coach for Team USA and the program director for The Bowling Combine. “Last year, we had 72 bowlers take advantage of the opportunity to have their skills evaluated, and this year, we have increased the number of spots to meet demand.”

The Bowling Combine is open to bowlers who have collegiate eligibility remaining and have completed at least their sophomore year in high school. Space is limited and those interested are encouraged to sign up early.

At last year’s combine, nearly 20 college coaches attended and several bowlers signed with college programs as a result of their participation in the event.

Mike LoPresti, who has led Fairleigh Dickinson University to two national titles, attended last year’s Bowling Combine and said the ability to evaluate so many bowlers in a short period of time made it worth the trip.

“Any opportunity we have to rank and watch prospects is a place we need to go,” LoPresti said. “This brings a lot of interested candidates to one place. This is a great opportunity for any coach, to have somebody evaluate players for them. Then all we have to do is put the pieces together.”

Athletes will be tested on specific skills and provided an overall score using the Performance Evaluation Test (P.E.T. score). These scores are an objective measurement of the bowler’s abilities and can be used to compare the bowlers against each other.

The Team USA coaching staff will direct and evaluate the bowlers during the Combine at the ITRC, the official training center of Team USA. The ITRC has state-of-the-art technology including Bowler Vision Eye Tracking, DigiTrax(tm) ball motion technology, video analysis and more.

Some of the bowler’s skills that will be evaluated include Shot Repeatability Analysis, Release Ratio, Spare Proficiency, Breakpoint Management, Vertical Leap, and Balance Test. The tests at the Combine are used to evaluate a bowler’s skills and abilities; this is not a coaching clinic.

Bowlers will receive a Recruiting Kit at the conclusion of the Combine. The kit will have video shots and bowler variables measured, and a detailed report of personal data collected during the Combine including their overall P.E.T. score. Coaches will receive an evaluation of each bowler and will have the opportunity for one-on-one contact with prospective student-athletes.

Denmark National Team trains at the ITRC

With the top training tools and evaluation systems in the world, the International Training and Research Center has attracted national teams from across the globe. Now one of Europe’s leading bowling programs has joined the growing list of nations using the ITRC as a temporary training home.

While Denmark might be the reigning men’s and women’s European team champion, both teams decided to make the trip to Arlington to see if they might discover that extra edge before they attempt to defend their titles this summer. They are the first European team to train at the ITRC.

“We’re trying to be better, of course,” Denmark coach Christer Backe said. “The reason we came here is I believe they have the best facilities in the world. I’m really looking forward to seeing how things work and how they measure everything and we’ll have something we can take away.”

 

 

Last summer, Denmark topped Finland to claim the Men’s European Championships team title and Denmark won the five-player team competition at the 2010 Women’s European Championships.

The women will look to defend their title in June while the men will look to do the same in August.

“It’s quite an honor to have a team of this caliber come over here,” Team USA head coach Rod Ross said. “They are getting ready for the championships this year. It’s great they have decided to come over here and see how we are doing things and let us help them.”

Ross said the training will not stop for the Denmark teams once they leave the ITRC.

“We’re able to give them plans for their players when they go back to help develop them and continue their growth,” Ross said. “This trip is not just about this week, but actually about the next six months to a year for the players.”

Several national teams have trained at the ITRC, including the Dominican Republic, Chile and Singapore. Following its training session, the Dominican Republic had its best performance at the 2010 Central American and Caribbean Games with three gold medals and one bronze medal.

“I want to get a better flow in my game, be more consistent and get a little more knowledge about the game,” said Mik Stampe, who was on the team that won the European title. “We’re just trying to get more consistent.”

The ITRC has some of the most innovative and cutting-edge coaching technologies available in the bowling industry today, including high-speed video cameras, motion-capture devices, foot-pressure sensors and goggles enhanced with cameras to show exactly where a player is looking during the approach and delivery. A DVR system also is in place and can record any video feed to let a bowler see what they did on their last shot as soon as they step off the lane.

The ITRC also is the home training center for Team USA and Junior Team USA.

USA wins first team gold since 1987 at WWC

HONG KONG – For the first time in nearly a quarter century, Team USA claimed the five-player team gold medal Saturday at the 2011 World Tenpin Bowling Association World Women’s Championships.

Team USA’s Kelly Kulick, Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, Shannon O’Keefe, Shannon Pluhowsky and Liz Johnson came out on top in the gold-medal match by defeating Singapore, 1,210-1,140, in the one-game match broadcast live on BOWL.com from Hong Kong Bowling City.

Johnson led the effort by starting with nine consecutive strikes and shooting a 279 game. She was followed by Pluhowsky (256), Kulick (244), O’Keefe (226) and Dorin-Ballard (205). Stefanie Nation did not compete in the championship match, but was a part of the semifinal win for the Americans, who last won the team event in 1987 and took the silver medal in 2005, 2007 and 2009.

The Singaporeans were led by Jazreel Tan’s 269 game and she was joined by Shayna Ng (240), Cherie Tan (224), New Hui Fen (214) and Daphne Tan (193).

“We have all worked so hard for this and this win is for every person who has been a part of the Team USA program over the past 24 years,” Johnson said. “We have had success all week with us winning the doubles and trios but this is the one we came for and we did it.”

Team USA trailed early in the championship match as Singapore got off to a hot start, but the Americans slowly chipped away at the lead. The match turned in the seventh frame when the United States began a string of 15 consecutive strikes as a team.

“All week we have struggled with our carry, so we just decided to be patient and thankfully the pin carry turned in our favor,” Dorin-Ballard said. “We were able to start putting pressure on them and that changed the whole momentum of the match. It was huge.”

In the semifinals, the fourth-seeded Americans took down top seed Germany, 1,080-970, while No. 2 seed Singapore defeated Colombia, 1,225-1,103. The semifinals losers shared the bronze medal.

The all-events competition also wrapped up Saturday as Denmark’s Mai Ginge Jensen took the gold medal with a 24-game total of 5,744, an average of 239.33. Canada’s Caroline Lagrange earned the silver with 5,687, while Pluhowsky took bronze with 5,607.

The top 16 players in the all-events standings advanced to Sunday’s match play Masters. Three Americans made the field – Pluhowsky, Johnson and Kulick. Dorin-Ballard missed the cut by one pin, while O’Keefe missed by 10 pins.

The 2011 World Women’s Championships features 171 bowlers from 33 countries. The teams are competing in six disciplines – doubles, trios, team, singles, all-events and match-play Masters.

Lucas Wiseman
USBC Communications

National Teams Find Success After Training At ITRC

Before finding unprecedented success at major international events this summer, several teams spent quality time training at the International Training and Research Center.

Teams from the Dominican Republic and Singapore found success in major events after training at the ITRC, located at the International Bowling Campus in Arlington. The ITRC is the home training center for Team USA, and both the Team USA men and Junior Team USA squads trained at the ITRC before successful campaigns at world championship events.

“The staff at the International Bowling Campus would like to congratulate all the teams that visited the ITRC on their great success,” United States Bowling Congress Managing Director of National Governing Body Neil Stremmel said. “We hope that more teams will visit the ITRC to take advantage of the unmatched technology and training opportunities.”

The Dominican Republic had its best performance ever at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, taking three gold medals and one bronze medal.

Upon returning home from the event, Dominican Republic head coach Craig Woodhouse said the team was greeted at the airport by two television stations and 100-plus people waving Dominican flags.

“The experience at the ITRC was absolutely a part of our success,” Woodhouse said. “Team bonding and information gathering was the focus of our week at the ITRC. I have never seen our players work together as well as they did in Puerto Rico. Truly when a medal was won, the entire group felt they were all a part of it. An attitude change was very noticeable and our trip to Texas did that.”

Team USA’s training at the ITRC helped its men’s team to a record-setting performance at the 2010 World Tenpin Bowling Association World Men’s Championships in Munich, Germany, as the squad brought home five gold medals in six events, the most by any country in the history of the event.

Junior Team USA, meanwhile, earned two gold medals and three silver medals at the 2010 WTBA World Youth Championships in Helsinki, Finland, marking the best performance for the U.S. youth team in the event since 2004.

“Having access to the training center enabled our players to be better prepared to compete in these events,” ITRC and Team USA head coach Rod Ross said. “The technology we have allowed us to achieve results in a shorter timeframe and give immediate feedback to the players while they were training.”

More than two months after training at the ITRC, Woodhouse said his Dominican Republic team is still reaping the benefits of the trip and utilizing information the team gathered.

“All the technical equipment at the ITRC provided me with tons of information, and that’s what I’m working with now,” Woodhouse said. “So the ITRC is still having an effect on our team even after the tournament is over and several months have passed. It was a great investment and we definitely would love to do it again.”

The Singapore women’s national team visited the ITRC for a week between the USBC Queens and U.S. Women’s Open. The team had three players advance to match play at the U.S. Women’s Open, and at the World Youth Championships in Helsinki the Singaporeans took home two silver medals and a bronze medal.

Another team is hoping its trip to the ITRC will pay off at a major international tournament. The women’s national team from Chile visited the ITRC this week in advance of the 2010 Pan American Bowling Confederation Women’s Championships, which begin Monday in suburban Las Vegas.

“I was here back in February for a WTBA technical meeting, and I was fascinated by the size of this place and everything it offered,” Chile head coach Jim Porter said. “The location is easy to get to and the dedicated staff are second to none. It’s a golden opportunity, and I plan to come back with our men’s team next year.”

The ITRC is home to some of the most innovative and cutting-edge coaching technologies available in the bowling industry today, including high-speed video cameras, motion-capture devices, foot-pressure sensors and goggles enhanced with cameras to show exactly where a player is looking during the approach and delivery. A DVR system also is in place and can record any video feed to let a bowler see what they did on their last shot as soon as they step off the lane.

Other technology includes Computer-Aided Tracking System, known as C.A.T.S. which consists of a series of sensors placed along the lane that measure aspects of a bowler’s game such as ball speed, accuracy, launch angle, and break-point control. CA.T.S. is combined with BowlersMAP, which breaks down video of the players, to give the athletes a real-time look at their game.

A United States Olympic Committee-recognized training center, the ITRC is a joint venture of the United States Bowling Congress and the Bowling Proprietors Association of America. It is the most innovative and advanced training, research and testing facility in the sport of bowling with 14 lanes for training and six for research and testing.

Lucas Wiseman
USBC Communications

About ITRC

 

 

 

 

The ITRC is the only training facility that sends athletes to international tournaments representing Team USA. There’s a staff of world-class coaches, atop-of-the-line pro shop and a fully equipped fitness center. It’s a facility equipped with 14 dedicated training lanes, biomechanical motion tracking, DigiTrax TM ball motion technology, video analysis from robotic cameras, BowlersMap TM, foot and grip pressure mapping, state-of-the-art robotics and eye tracking of the bowler’s vision.