Lane’s men and ladies have a saying, “you really don’t know the challenges and problems unless you’re a lanes person.” Few people in the world, let alone a formalized group of individuals, know the many delicacies, variables and yes, even unknowns of conditioning bowling lanes.
That is where the Netherlands Lane Maintenance Team comes into play. The BOT, as they are know in The Netherlands, is a team of individuals from the Netherlands Bowling Federation dedicated to the fine art of lane maintenance and the betterment of the sport of bowling in The Netherlands and surrounding areas.
The BOT meets regularly for continuing education and practicing their lane conditioning art. They travel and perform lane maintenance at tournaments, country championships and help proprietors in maintaining their lanes for the sport and their investment. The members do all this by volunteering their spare and holiday time to help bowling and its playing field.
The group consists of a total of eight gentlemen and one gentle woman. The leader of the team isJack Edelaar, the Sports Manager of the Netherlands Bowling Federation. It was his vision four years ago, with the help of KEGEL founder and CEO John Davis, to create a technical team to assist in the overall development of the sport of bowling in The Netherlands.
From left to right: Wilbert Anthonisse, Frank Broeseliske, Axel Frehde (ETBF Technical Delegate), Onno van der Linden,
Ted Thompson (Kegel), Guus Wigleven, Jack Edelaar (NBF Sports Manager)
(Not pictured: Peter van Zijp, Gerard Schröder, Charley Blom, Betsie van Oudheusden)
Charlie Blom (deceased) is a Pro Shop owner/operator with 30 years experience in the industry. His wife Farida Pascoal was on the Women’s National Team for many years and is now competing and winning her share of Senior Bowling Events.
Peter van Zijp works in the industry of cutting tools for laminated and natural wood. His experience in floors and laminates helps a lot in understanding the facts of the lanes. He has also a very keen eye for ball reaction and is a licensed bowling coach!
Wilbert Anthonisse has recently changed his job from mechanic and lanes men in the National Bowling Center to that of tending bar and hosting guests. His fierce appearance scares off any bowler of discussing lane conditions with him.
Frank Broeselisk is working for years as a mechanic and lanes men. Currently he is employed in the bowling center of Tilburg; home of a very successful European Bowling Tour stop the Hammer Bronzen Schietspoel Tournament. In 2007 this event will be the world's first Dual Condition tournament from start to finish. In this event all pairs will be conditioned with the left lane being a long oil pattern and the right lane being a short oil pattern.
Gerard Schröder has somewhat of a reputation through as a fine craftsman in resurfacing lanes. He used to do this for years before he stopped touring the road and became a mechanic and lanes men for a conglomerate of bowling centers in The Netherlands.
Onno van der Linden is an employee at CDS Electronics' R&D department. He also is a licensed bowling coach.
Betsie van Oudheusden is a licensed bowling coach as well and for a few years ago set up two pro shops together with her husband. She gives her views particularly on the educational factor involved with this project.
Guus Wigleven is the lane inspector of the team. Many years of experience in that field makes him the right person to measure and read topography and tapes of the oil pattern
To make sure that the future of the team is guaranteed and all the work can be done, there are currently three new apprentices. Peter van Beek, René Wieling and Henny van den Bosch. They will have to prove themselves worthy of the task to become a BOT member.
All together, this team makes a great effort to make themselves obsolete. The main goal of the team is to help proper lane maintenance and fair conditions set foot in The Netherlands. If they succeed in doing so, there will be no longer need for this team. For now however, it will still be a few years to come before they can devote their interest in the game in other ways as they will continue to help educate and share their knowledge to the bowling centers and players around The Netherlands.
Special thanks to NBF’s Jack Edelaar for his contribution to this story.