By Steve Samek
If you take a look at this list http://ubabowling.ning.com/page/official-u-b-a-teams
you would think this was a fight club, or football league. These are the names of teams from a sport that won’t cross your mind. If you even call it a sport at all. These are bowling teams. This is the Underground Bowling Association UBA for short. It’s a movement that is gaining ground. I think to sustain this movement it needs to find a home in the city of Portland, Maine.
While you can read about the history of the league here, I think it’s worth noting the current locations of the franchises. http://ubabowling.ning.com/page/u-b-a-history. The league started in New York City, then moved to the New Jersey area, then to North Carolina, Alaska,Maryland ,Massachusetts and Washington D.C. That’s the short list too. In fact, to accommodate all 200 plus teams, the league has four conferences and 16 divisions, called districts. Maine would work very well in the current All-America conference with teams from Conneticut and Massachusetts. http://ubabowling.ning.com/page/season-tour-standings-1
Portland is also very similar to the successful UBA site in New Jersey. New Jersey alone has four districts making it its own conference. Multiple teams spring up out of one another and share the same bowling alley as their own lanes. The biggest UBA event of the year Battle Bowl has been held there multiple times. The site for this even is Brunswick Zone Carolier. This is the site known for hosting the United States Bowling Open and other PBA tour events over the years. http://www.bowlingdigital.com/bowl/node/10542.
Portland’s Bayside bowl has is serving as the host for the PBA league team competition alongside other tournaments. According to this article the tour is well received by the local bowling community in Portland. http://mainetoday.com/do-this-2/professional-bowlers-association-hearts-portland/.
Strong PBA ties in Portland world enhance the product of the league and may even draw in a few of the stars to enter teams. In fact, there is a video of PBA stars bowling against the UBA on YouTube you can search for.
PBA tournament winners such as Danny Wiseman and Rhino Page have roster slots on teams. Plus, major tour sponsors Strom bowling and Turbo grips have sponsor teams, which include pro tour bowlers.
Plus, it seems almost like Bayside Bowl has its own sort of UBA. According to this article it sees like bayside bowl is all about having teams with wacky names. Even the bowlers have wacky nicknames on the individual side. http://mainetoday.com/do-this-2/rolling-with-the-pros/. Thus, would easily be par for the course as you can see in any UBA video, which features crazy named bowlers on crazy named teams. http://ubabowling.ning.com/. If enough teams join up it could be its own conference like New Jersey is, or it could even expand to other centers in Maine. I feel like enough interest could be generated based on the already present bowling culture in Portland that would support the UBA to expand there.