A few weeks ago, William Medellín and Carlos Velasco, both members of Los Rascadores, attended the IBPSIA Pro Shop certification program held at Las Franquesas del Vallés (Barcelona).
IBPSIA is the International Bowling Pro Shops and Instructors Association. The association did born in the early 90's in Reno (Nevada. USA), promoted by Larry Cook. In the beginning, it was called IBPSA, because it only included Pro Shop operators. But in 1993, in its congress in Orlando (Florida, USA) instructors were included and the name changed to his actual IBPSIA.
In 1995, IBPSIA started its Pro Shop operators certification program. Nowadays, IBPSIA in the worldwide standar for high level bowling drilling techniques, both in fitting and layouts, cores, differentials, etc.
This course we attended was part of the IBPSIA european tour that has certificated operators in six countries, including England, Holande, Czech Republic and Spain. Unfortunately, clinics were "closed" and just six people could attend it in Spain. You can find more information and Art's impressions on BowlingDigital.
The course was 4-day long, with intensive sessions both in morning and evenings, and was made up of theory, supported with audiovisual materials, and practical time working at the Pro Shop.
The seminar was directed by Art Mackee, superb professional and excelent human being. Art currectly works for the Hong Kong Bowling Federation as assistent coach and is the Team techinical adviser as well. In the past, Art worked for Brunswick, was driller for the PBA and served on the USBC.
In my opinion the clinic was pretty complete, because all the aspects regarding drilling were considered. From right fitting (finger and conventional grips), to the most advanced theory on core design.
As I previously said, it was not all about theory. There was theory lessons, for sure, but we did practical workfield, including polishing, sanding, drilling, layouts design from PAP localization, finding axis, etc.
In one word, all the issues regarding modern bowling balls were covered.
What followed were four intensive days with a lot of work, but also a lot of fun. Exciting time in my opinion, in which we were able to enjoy Art's deep knowledge and his bowling experience. And his funny stories on the game and bowlers bios as well, what helped a lot for making lessons pleasant.
As it was a certification course, we were requiered to pass a 80-questions-long test. We must thank Art for his understanding of our situation, because not all of us speak (enough) English. Especially because so many questions requiered long explanations of terms and concepts, and not just short A-B-C answers. Art got the problem and allowed us to type it down in Spanish. Thank you so much Art, we owe you one!
I can't finish this short report without thanking the people that made possible we attended the course.First of all, Patrick Guere, of Sweetrade, who organised everything and bring Art here, and who allowed us to use his Pro Shop during the week.
Secondly, to Bolo 11, who helped financing the course for both William and myself. And last but not least, Melvin Ocando, the translator during this four days. He had a lot of work, not only translating and helping us to understand Art's word, but taking the course himself at the same time.
As we always say, knowledge is the key, and it's this eagerness for bowling wisdom that push us forward for taking this seminars, despite the economic and personal efforts that requiere. It's the only way to keep our idea of developing bowling in Spain at all levels.