Sid Allen

The interview with an Englishman that has coached all over planet. Part II

Moving onto the World Cup now Sid, When was your first involvement with this event?

As a player, in 1984 at Rushcutter Bowl, Sydney, Australia. As for the tournament, I would have liked to have scored better, but other than that, totally enjoyed the whole experience. I have many memories from the event one of which was, Janette Baker had won the previous two World Cups, she delivered the opening speech on the first day, in facing her own Australian audience, she delivered a rousing speech including “whichever one of you that wins this year’s event, you are only renting the trophy until next year” you have to love the confidence. Personally, I got knocked out early, but ended up coaching with Jack Jurek, who eventually won it. We are good friends & bonded by that moment until this day. Lane conditions were tough, and I was quoted in the ABC magazine, “when I threw my first double was the closest I have ever been to god”. My best memory as it is with many World Cup participants, relates to the many friends I created during the event.


Why do you think the tournament has lasted so long and what things do you like about it?

The World Cup has a unique atmosphere, combining competition & social connection, it makes you smile just to think AMF World Cup. It’s a unique tournament atmosphere, this creates a desire to return again and again. AMF World Cup is a brand (not unlike McDonalds). You know exactly what you’re going to get, even though it is conducted in different countries each year and over many decades. World Bowling’s, World Championships are conducted in different atmospheres, and therefore you never know what to expect. AMF World Cup has the same people greet you, and direct you during the competition, this familiarity & continuity is comforting. Comfort usually encourages longevity, it would be a very sad day for the industry if the AMF World Cup ever stopped.


The format has not changed a lot over the years, it is still quite a long format. How do you prepare your players for this tournament and does that preparation change for other events?

Players and coaches want more games, the World Cup provides that test. No player will ever complain about long formats, it’s the 6 game sprints they complain about. The fact that the pins continue to carry forward is also well received. This kind of format, now named “classic format”, is not done enough in my opinion. Training for this event is more mental than physical, most players now are well prepared athlete’s, the rigors of long formats are no longer endurance tests for the conditioned athlete. Recent QubicaAMF World Cup’s are renowned to be high scoring events, so getting players conditioned to bowling many strikes without lapses in concentration is the challenge for many. My one criticism, in the recent World Cup in Las Vegas, Kyle Troup led the field into the finals by a considerable amount, under the old format (step ladder) he could only fall to second, under the semi-final one game match format, he would not even be the runner-up if he lost his opening match. This format seems unfair after bowling so many games, that the leader of the competition would not receive some form of advantage & recognition. Sometimes we change formats for the sake of change, just to freshen the experience. In my opinion, the champion bowler should be the weeks best player, therefore, format choices should reflect that consideration. The best part of the format is the match play portion. Players love match play events, it adds pressure, especially in 10th frame close matches. The stronger bonuses given (30 pins) in World Cup formats adds to the excitement and opportunity to catch opponents. Everyone wants to make it to the excitement of the match play element, it is usually the players first goal they wish to achieve.


Of the World Cups you have been to, which ones stick in your mind?1997 - Bowling in front of the Sphinx and Pyramids.jpeg

Without hesitation, Cairo 1997. Bowling the step ladder in front of the pyramids was the most unreal experience in my bowling career. Standing on the platform constructed for the event was like playing a video game. I was amazed by our players ability to adapt and still score high in the step ladder finals.

The event was held in the middle of the afternoon, temperatures were unbearable. The glare on the lanes and the fact that the pin lighting was not visible, added to the difficulty. A coloured picture was printed on the front page of the New York Times, showed the interest that this experience produced worldwide. It was an advertising mega success, under the name AMF World Cup.

The 1997 AMF World Cup provided so many stories for me to relate to other coaches.

My favourite movie ever is Dr Zhivago, Omar Sharif was the MC at the opening ceremony. The Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak attended the opening, Omar Sharif and the president are good friends, that’s the connection. So I stood in line, with only ladies, to meet Omar, as I reached his signing table he looked up and saw a man, with no paper to sign, I addressed him with “I just wanted to tell you that Dr Zhivago is my all time favourite movie”. His response was more than anyone could have hoped for, he just looked me straight in the eyes, smiled and said “me too”.

Shalin Zulkifli made the step ladder that year, during training for the event we drilled a ball that had a brilliant reaction for her. She threw the ball only a couple of times and I insisted she put it away and not use it until arriving in Cairo. She tried to sneak it into her practice a couple of days later and yet I still wouldn’t let her use it again. On the first day of the competition we tried it in the practice shots but found it went too long down the lane, so we shelved it in order to adjust the surface for the next day. This process went on until the match play finals. Finally in the first game of the match play, the ball shape matched up to the lane condition, in her first game with the ball she shot 300.

The great thing about the World Cup is there are many stories from each competitor, each important only to them, while the world never hears. The AMF World Cup is the only championship that celebrates the most popular Male & Female bowler, its only fitting that this award is attributed to the World Cup, considered by most as the friendliest, yet competitive championship of them all.


Back to your career now and which players you have coached over the years would you say lived up to your expectations?

Coaching has many ways to explore success and failure. The obvious measurement is achievements but teaching life skills is the most rewarding for most coaches. The human-interest side is what I remember the most, having a developing player go through six games of an official championship without an open frame, leaving a 4-9 in the last frame and sparing it, with her team mates recognizing the achievement and going crazy with excitement for her as she spared it. Expectations are more about personal growth than winning an event.

I recall a father expressing to me about his son’s personal growth. His son had entered a team feeling he never belonged with other players, during his preparation for a major championship he gained the respect of his team mates, then became a major source during a team gold medal performance. The father later that day expressed his happiness on how his son had developed his inner confidence. The story didn’t end there, the father expressed how when the son would talk prior to the event about the team winning the gold medal, he felt he had to protect his son from the probability of failing to accomplish this goal. So, he felt he failed to commit with his son to the quest, he expressed that he had learned a valuable lesson and that he wouldn’t make that same mistake again with his daughter. Those are the real successes for coaches, those are the affirmations we treasure.


Interview by Dom Gall

Dominic Gall is a former bowler and founder and content manager for since its birth in 2006.

He has reported, Interviewed and Live Streamed many tournaments Worldwide and in 2013 formed the UK

Tenpin Hall of Fame. Collaborating with QubicaAMF on the World Cup since 2015.

"To be a part of the history in a small way is something special."



QubicaAMF is the largest and most innovative bowling equipment provider in the world with 600 employees worldwide. We build and modernize more bowling entertainment centers than any other company in the industry and have an installed base of more than 10,000 centers in 90 countries. The company has a sales and distribution network with worldwide reach and maintains the largest R&D team for electro-mechanical products, software, electronics, and entertainment systems in the industry.

QubicaAMF has over 100 years of experience and can provide the perfect combination of bowling equipment, products, and services for new or existing bowling entertainment centers, FECs, Cinemas, or any other facility in the hospitality, retail, or restaurant industry. Our ongoing mission is Making Bowling Amazing. We are convinced that bowling has so much more potential to attract and entertain even more people. With our products, we will help our customers fully unleash that potential.

The company has U.S. headquarters in Richmond, Virginia and European headquarters in Bologna, Italy.

Related news

Sid Allen - Change is exciting and should be embraced, cause for coaches it directs them to more comprehensive understanding and enlightenment.
Mar 26, 2019

Sid Allen - Change is exciting and should be embraced, cause for coaches it directs them to more comprehensive understanding and enlightenment.

The interview with an Englishman that has coached all over planet. Part I.