Safe, Sanitized, Ready to Roll.
That’s the call of a petition started by the Greater Portland USBC (GPUSBC) in conjunction with the Oregon State Bowling Proprietors Association (OSBPA). The petition calls for Governor Brown to consider moving bowling to Phase 1 of Oregon’s reopening plans. Currently, the re-opening of bowling centers is only for counties in Phase 2. This has left the Portland Metro area bowling centers and Umatilla County bowling centers closed under the current guidelines. You can read and sign the petition at the following link.
While the focus on this petition will fall primarily on the Portland Metro centers, it is relevant for the rest of the state as well. The uncertainty of the progression of the pandemic means that it is entirely possible that counties could be shuttled back to Phase 1, as seen with Umatilla County. If bowling is allowed in Phase 1, then bowling centers can still operate even in this context.
The OSBPA has diligently been working with government officials in a cooperative effort to demonstrate the safety of operating a bowling center. In reading the petition on change.org, you will find a clear and concise summary of how the proprietors have prepared a detailed plan to operate in a safe manner.
For the most part, Oregon has been spared the devastation to the bowling industry as witnessed in both Washington and California. However, Washington bowlers mounted a focused campaign and were able to win limited re-openings of bowling centers from the Washington legislature. California bowlers are also now heavily waging a campaign to help re-open that state’s centers as well. You can read about some of the efforts in California through a Facebook page, Open California Bowling Centers Now started by Ric Hamlin at https://www.facebook.com/groups/590585188290806/. Now is the time for Oregon bowlers to also step up and let our voices be heard too.
What this says is that bowlers once again are standing out and showing their strength of character and demonstrating why bowlers are so unique in the sporting universe. Just listening to comments on various social media platforms, bowlers are scattered across the entire political spectrum, and yet, bowlers have been able to come together and put aside their political differences to unite in the common goal of saving bowling. In fact, the Open California Bowling Centers Now page specifically states to check your political views at the door and comment only on how to best support the re-opening of California bowling centers.
So please, take the time to sign the petition and maybe leave a comment. Let your voice be heard and help protect our bowling centers and our sport.
Gary Yamasaki, OSUSBC Association Manager