During a recent meeting that was attended by Major League Soccer and the Professional Bowlers Association, several new rule changes were adopted. In order to make both sports more interesting to players and spectators, the MLS and PBA exchanged rules. Beginning in 2012 there will no longer be goalies on the soccer field but there will be goalies on each lane at bowling alleys. It is hoped that this move will make the action more exciting for both sports. No longer will you see a low scoring, 1-0 soccer game. Professionals expect the soccer scores to reach 50 or more points per game.

Bowlers and fans of bowling alike will now have a chance to see some real action. As one bowler put it, "after you have seen one strike you have seen them all."  This same professional bowler commented that now spectators will get the chance to see a bowling goalie "crack his skull, split a lip or bust a knee cap."  The American Bowlers Club is hoping that this change will improve their access to new advertisers. It is much easier to get a beer company to advertise your sport when you have some blood.

It was also proposed that these two sports switch uniforms. Soccer players would wear long pants and bowling shirts and bowlers would wear short - shorts and long socks. This rule switch was voted down by both groups after seeing the bare legs of most bowlers. The bowling group also considered changing the ball from round to an egg shape but felt this may prove too difficult with the addition of  bowling goalies. Soccer also considered making the soccer ball 5 times as heavy but decided against the move after many of the players that tested the ball broke their toes.

This has spurred discussion between other sports groups. The NFL is now working with the US Badminton Association, Major League Baseball with professional chess players, and NASCAR is considering ways to combine with professional swimmers. Synchronized Swimming had recent meetings with the WWF.

"Big" Jim Denton, National Sports Magazine

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