World Bowling News
Incumbent re-elected as President | Photo Album |

1st September, Las Vegas: Incumbent, Sheikh Talal Mohammad Al-Sabah of Kuwait was re-elected President of World Bowling to serve his second four-year team after defeating standing opponent, Perttu Jussila of Finland, 82 to 22 at the World Bowling Congress on Sunday.

Sheikh Talal, since being elected President in 2015 in Abu Dhabi, has overseen significant changes in his first term achieving such milestones as being granted recognition of the sport by the International Paralympic Committee and initiating a long-term broadcast strategy which has seen broadcast partners such as CBS Spors Network come on board.

During the course of the Congress, Sheikh Talal indicated that key topics for his next four-year term would be a Quality Control Programme for sports equipment, commercialisation of World Bowling properties including data and broadcast, sports presentation of events and the continual movement towards Olympic inclusion.

Following his re-election, Sheikh Talal said, "I thank those who voted for me and I thank those who did not vote for me. All I ask is that we work together for the future."

Sheikh Talal Mohammad Al-Sabah serving another four-year term

Fifty-eight member federations with fourty-six proxies totaling 204 votes, attended the congress where a total of 17 items in the agenda released well ahead were tabled. Mr Kevin Dornberger, CEO of World Bowling was appointed as Chairman and Ms Vivien Lau as Secretary of the meeting by the President.

This followed memorials calling for a five minutes silence in respect of the passing of the late Mr Kim Jensen, a delegate to the board from the European Tenpin Bowling Federation and the passing of the late Mr Sidney Tung, former Vice President of Asian Bowling Federation and a long serving secretary general of the Malaysian Tenpin Bowling Congress.

Roll calls were made and the number of votes and proxies were verified. Voting remote controls, courtesy of USBC, were distributed accordingly to facilitate the voting processes for the Presidency and Vice Presidency elections. The voting remote controls will also be used to vote on numerous proposals and legislative changes put forward by the member federations. Atfer the current members of the Executive Board were introduced, the John Davis Award was presented to former secretary general of FIQ/WTBA, Mr Christer Johnsson by Sheikh Talal.

This was a third such award, with the first and second being awarded to Mr Kauko Ahlstrom of Finland (a long standing President of Finland Bowling Federation, who was instumental in the formation of FIQ/WTBA and Mr Jack F. Reichert, former Chairman and CEO of Brunswick Corporation.

Sheikh Talal also presented a token of appreciation to Mr Shi Guo Tai of China, for his contribution in finnancing the expenses of World Bowling's bid for tenpin bowling inclusion in the 2024 Paris Games.

Before the congress got underway, several keynote speakers were invited to speak and they were Ms Irina Gladkikh, Head of Winter Sports & Recognised Federations for International Olympic Committee, Mr Matt Jeschelink, CEO & Founder of Boulder Creek International and Mr Andy Friedlander, CEO & Founder of The Sports Presentation Company, Mr Andy Friedlander.

After the presentation, a lunch break followed. The congress started off with a call to approve the minutes of the previous Congress held, which were subsequently and unanimously approved. The President and Secretary General reports were also unanimously approved thereafter. Also distributed were reports from the Presidents of Asian Bowling Federation, European Tenpin Bowling Federation and the PANAM (formerly known as PABCON).

The Committee reports from the Competition Committee, Technical Committee, Youth Development Committee and the PR and Marketing were also approved. There will be a few proposals put forward by the Competition and Technical Committee which will be tabled during the legislative session.

New World Bowling Executive Board Members

There were no proposed expulsion of member federations but proposal for the admission of Nigeria and Ehtiopia as new membegrs was unanimously approved. Presentation of Financial Report and Auditor's Report were distributed and were also unanimously apporoved.

Before the legislative session begun, the first proposal from the out-going Executive Board members was to expand the number of members 10 to 12 which will now include the President of the newly-formed Oceanic Zone, Mr Michael Seymour and the President of the newly-formed African Zone, Mr Farouk Haridi. This was approved without any objections.

Five major proposals were received for the lesgislative session some of which were fairly straight forward and some generated a fair bit of discussions. A few major proposals were accepted and some rejected.

Among them were the return of dual lane conditions for World Championships, the reduction of 36 to 32 countries for the World Championships (Combined). Playing format for World Men's and World Women's Championships to be changed commencing in 2022.

The proposal to use the World Bowling new scoring system was also accepted which will be implemented in the World Youth and World Junior Championships commencing in 2020. Japan Bowling Congress' proposal to have two divisions - 65 & Under and 65 & Over be introduced at the next World Senior Championships was also accepted.

Two of the five proposals put forward by the European Tenpin Bowling Federation were accepted. The accepted ones were changing the Team events preliminaries into Baker format (i.e. 20 games from 6 bowlers) and to add to the Technical Delegate, an IT/Adminstrative Director for all World Championships.

USBC's proposal to eliminate proxies for Congresses were rejected while the final proposal put forward by Oceanic Zone/African Zone were that they be allowed to continue to participate in the Asian/European Zone championships.

With the legislative session out of the way, it was time for the election of the President and the two Vice Presidents. Sheikh Talal were re-elected President. Out-going 1st Vice President, Ms Suwalai Satrulee withdrew her candidacy for the Vice President post while out-going 2nd Vice President, Mr Ulf Sjoblom, Mr Marios Nicolaides from Cyprus and Mr Martin Faba of Costa Rica, PANAM President contested the post.

In the first voting process, Mr Faba received 58 votes, Mr Nicolaides 33 and Mr Sjoblom 13. Mr Faba was then declared the 1st Vice President. In the second voting process between Mr Nicolaides and Mr Sjoblom, Mr Nicolaides received 82 votes and Mr Sjoblom 22, hence Mr Nicolaides was declared the 2nd Vice President.

There being no other matters, the congress was called to a close at 6.25 pm. The next congress will be held in the 2021 World Championships in Kuwait.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Las Vegas, USA.

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