Miller's 223 and 12th 200 Game -- and 564 Series
Squad Bowling yesterday, I bowled my top score ever -- a 223 -- and my
second best series of three games -- a 564. Did you know that I'm
paralyzed from my neck down and ventilator dependent? And that my score is a
legitimate world record for wheelchair users who drive via sip-and-puff?
All the above is true, and if you want to know more about how, why
and/or to see pictures, checkout
the below details and this blog entry about Quad Squad Bowling in
Below I describe bowling yesterday and keep reading for the real meaning
of "Handicap Zero!"
Here's my scoresheet:
We had A LOT OF FUN yesterday at our central Florida Quad Squad Bowling
outing. We had four power wheelchair bowlers / IKAN Users: Peggy, Lilian,
Rhonda, and me; five volunteer caddies to help us: Linda, Nancy, Pat,
June, and Marguerite -- and additional family, friends, and caregivers
too -- a big crowd! And I almost missed the fun because the weather was
so bad on our drive over that we stopped for a while and nearly decided
to head home.
Anyway, after our weather delay, I was late starting, and Peggy wound up
completing her second game and posting a 157 just as I was
finishing my first game. A 157 is a solid start to the $20 "Quad
Squad Challenge" (my Dad offers $20 to any IKAN User who can beat my top
score of the day, which he says is for "ego" control, and I say is for
fun and livelier competition:). Some days 157 will be the top score. Not
The real fun started when my beloved caregiver / Aunt Jackie saw me
needing to finish strong (with a spare and a good count in the 10th)
after I bowled my first ball of the 10th frame. Jackie said loudly,
"Hey Peggy, sit up (she was tilting back in her chair) and watch a grown
Seemingly everyone started laughing at Jackie's comment, partially out
of shock! My reply, was "Whose side are you on, anyway?!" It was all in
good fun. But maybe that helped me concentrate a bit more on my 1-2-8
spare (the 1-2 are diagonal and close; the 8-pin is a sleeper behind the
2-pin) which I picked up (and looked like I knew what I was doing:). I
didn't choke on the last ball either, needing six pins to surpass
Peggy's 157 and getting nine to post a 161. And, yes, the crowd,
including Jackie, cheered when I didn't choke after Jackie's friendly
Perhaps all that propelled me to bowl my best game ever in my second
game of the day. But it only started out "average" after a spare in the
1st frame and an open frame in the 2nd -- on a nasty 4-10 split,
which you can see on the detailed scoresheet here:
Above you can see the pin placement for what I had left in the 2nd frame
(and all the frames). That shot is possible, but extremely difficult due to
the angle at which we must barely clip the left side of the 4-pin in
order to get it to cross the lane and hit the 10-pin. My angle wasn't
quite good enough, but I did get the 4-pin. Then I followed with two
spares, and then a turkey -- three straight strikes! After another
spare, I rolled another strike in my 9th frame and said to my caddy,
Marguerite, "How about I strike out?"
That's bad in baseball but good in
bowling (completing the rest of the game with nothing but strikes). It
was partly "wishful thinking" when I said it, but I nearly did it. I
rolled two more for another turkey, and had a good chance with my extra
ball in the 10th (which appeared to be pretty well placed in the pocket)
but my nemesis, the 10-pin, remained standing.
Nonetheless, the result was 223, which topped my previous best of 221
HERE for details).
My goal for bowling, besides enjoying the camaraderie and fun with
everyone, is to bowl a 500 series every time out -- which is a 166.7
average over three games. My typical average is about 150, so a 500
series represents some pretty quality bowling (to do so typically
requires about 8 marks per game, unless several of the marks are
consecutive strikes, which boost one's score much faster than solo
strikes or spares).
After the first two games, I had 384 total pins, and thus only needed
116 for a 500 series. After bowling as well as I had, I would've been
disappointed if I failed to reach 500 pins. Fortunately, I still had my
"A game" for the most part, and posted a 180 for a 564 series -- my
second best series ever.
My best series ever was a 570 (169, 206, and 195: click
HERE for details).
My bowling performance that day was slightly better overall because I
had fewer strikes in the three games, and thus had to convert more
spares. But in both that series and yesterday's series, I only missed
two non-split spare attempts in my three games. That's why they are my
best two bowling performances.
But what is my favorite thing about such bowling performances?
Below my name on the scoresheet, it says "Hdcp 0" i.e. "Handicap ZERO!"
Technically, that means we aren't bowling in a league or tournament and
therefore aren't using our averages as something called a bowling
"handicap" for the event.
However, I choose to view "Handicap Zero" as the number of limitations on those of
us who bowl with an IKAN Bowler via our wheelchairs, which are necessary
due to significant physical disabilities. Despite such physical
disabilities, the IKAN Bowler gives us a
fair "playing field" on which to compete (so says the United States
Bowling Congress -- and users like little ol' me:).
"Handicap Zero" is also a mindset I choose to use in approaching life.
Sure, I'm currently a quadriplegic and thus must do some things differently
and require assistance for others, but I can still accomplish much -- WE
ALL CAN -- in this game called life -- if we keep a positive mindset and
think of what we can do and disregard the rest.
Some final notes on bowling yesterday: Peggy makes some spare pickups
look real easy. Rhonda is trying to find her bowling "groove" again
after not being able to bowl for several months. And Lilian is trying to
find her left-handed bowling groove (she recently switched from
righty-style to lefty-style for strike attempts). But we all had fun,
and Rhonda put the exclamation point on the day as she was the last
bowler to finish and did so with a strike in her 10th frame to the sound
of many cheers.
Thanks for reading -- and God bless!!!
Bill Miller :-)
C1-2 Quadriplegic with a 223 High Bowling Game
Co-founder of Manufacturing Genuine Thrills Inc. d/b/a MGT