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Weird Bowling - Tales From The Dark Side

Apr 21, 2008
Bowling is one of the most loved participant sports ever. However, when it comes to incredible mishaps and weird disasters, bowling is in a league of its own. Take a look at some of these truly ugly incidents.

Some bowling instances of intervention from the dark side.

Lowest score ever recorded in league play

A whopping 2! This, less than stellar record is held by Mike Kappa of Racine, Ws., who in 1971, during his regular Tuesday night league rolled eighteen gutter balls and two single pin balls on his way to the record.

Most splits in a single game

The most mathematically possible is 11 - one each in frames 1 through 10, then converting the split in the 10th for an extra frame. In 1969, Don Brayton of Pawtucket, RI recorded the only known occurrence of this truly weird event.

Longest team losing streak

This dubious honor is held by the "Downes Construction" team of Moravia, NY. Between 1965 and 1967 they successfully managed to lose 120 straight league games.

Most gutter balls in competition

We have to travel back to 1895 find this record. "Poodles" Nelson, a charter member of the ABC, rolled an incredible 89 gutter balls that season as a member of the Defender Club of New York city.

Lowest score ever recorded in a sanctioned tournament

In 1902, Henry Beeny was considered a fairly decent bowler by his peers who convinced him to try his luck in a major ABC tournament. Maybe it was his inexperience in tournament play or just plain nerves, but whatever is was he completely fell apart. Henry recorded scores of 59-63 and 82 for a total of 204, and thereby secured his place in bowling history.

Freakiest score ever

Joe Wondra, of St.Paul, MN. rolled a total score of 199 in a game that he recorded a whopping total of 10 strikes. That's right, 10 strikes! To accomplish this disaster he started his game with a turkey, but unfortunately only totaled 3 pins with two balls in his forth frame. He quickly recovered for another turkey, striking in frames five, six and seven. Misfortune again found Wondra in the eight frame as he knocked down 3 pins on his first ball and one on his second. He then struck out in the ninth and tenth frames, giving him a total of ten strikes and a score of 199.

Biggest Professional Tour Blunder

Considered by many as bowling's all time blunder is Dale Ballard's fall from the penthouse to the outhouse. It happened during the nationally televised finals of the 1991 Fairlanes Open held in Randallstown, Ma. Playing against Pete Weber, Dale needed two strikes and a seven count to win the tournament. He promptly drilled the two strikes he needed, and smiled as he proceeded to finish off his hard earned victory. After all, what pro can't knock down seven pins? However, the dark force had a different honor in mind for Dale. Instead of the ball charging down the middle of the lanes for a victory, Ballard slipped on his approach and sent it sailing straight into the gutter. The error cost him a PBA title and $14,500.

Biggest fall from grace

The Ladies Pro Bowlers Tour also has some disgraces. In 1986, Connie McColley, was excited to be rolling in her first professional tournament. She was quickly elated as she methodically notched up a perfect 300 for her inaugural game as a pro. However, fate had a different ending in store for Connie. During her next seventeen games in that tournament she failed to break 200 even once and ended up dead last.
About the Author
DeWitt Mosby Sr. is a certified bowling coach with a lifetime 200 plus average. His website - The University of Bowling - is loaded with FREE Bowling tips and instructions, as well as on line sourcing of quality Bowling equipment and apparel.
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