New Overall World Record for Dynamic Wheelchair Bowling

This was the overall world record, and is still the record for males with spinal cord injury, and
male wheelchair users who drive by sip-and-puff. The new overall world record is HERE.

Game was bowled: 2/25/2012; Posted here: 2/29/2012

Vent-Dependent Quadriplegic Bill Miller Bowls a 255 in a 674 Series

Wow. I will attempt to describe what bowling 255 and 245 in consecutive games was like for me.

The afternoon started out pretty normal for us at our Central Florida Quad Squad Bowling outing on February 25th at Spanish Springs Lanes in The Villages.

We had a group of roughly 14 people (see picture here) including four Quad Squad Bowlers (Lilian, Peggy, Aaron, and me) and four volunteer caddies from LovExtension (Connie, Kathy, Nancy, and Linda). Aaron led us in prayer to start us out right, and though I'm grateful to be blessed in many ways, little did I know what was about to happen.

Here's the scoresheet and plenty of explanation is below:

My first game was nothing for a wheelchair user to sneeze at, a very respectable 174, which put me ahead of my goal-pace of 167 (my goal is to bowl a 500 series or better each time out, which is essentially three games averaging 167 or more).

Game 2 started off fairly "average" for me with three-straight spares (though one of the spares was a mild 3-10 split that I converted; see frame 2 of game 2 on the scoresheet for the layout of that shot). Then my ball started finding the pocket more consistently and with better placement than I have ever seen before, and I actually rolled SEVEN CONSECUTIVE STRIKES! That put me in the 10th frame with a strike and two more shots to finish the game.

I didn't stop to do the math, but at that point, I needed three pins to tie Jon Musgrave's overall dynamic wheelchair bowling world record of 243 (link) -- which had stood for roughly five years. My next shot was a tad heavy on the headpin, but eight pins fell, along with Jon's overall record, and I was left with two pins, the 4-7 which is normally a pretty easy spare to convert. So now the question was: would I finish with a 253, 254, or 255? I REALLY wanted to close it out with the spare and 255, and I got it.

I was in disbelief as I stared up at the monitor showing 255 (see picture here). I was THRILLED, of course, and in addition to talking with and enjoying the moment with everyone present, I had to make a few phone calls to share the good news (including to my girlfriend Lisa:).

But I wasn't done.

After two games, I had 429 pins, which put me in good shape for my first ever 600 series -- I needed "just" a 171 to achieve it.

For perspective, I wasn't sure if I would EVER bowl a 600 series -- that's AVERAGING 200 for three games. And I've gone bowling roughly twice per month for about the last 8 years, and have "only" bowled 200 or better 15 times (my total is now 17 times). If I'm not mistaken, Jon Musgrave is the only dynamic wheelchair bowler to have a 600 series, and I think he's only done it once with a 619. I REALLY wanted to join him with my own 600 series.

Game 3 started off with a turkey -- i.e. three MORE strikes!
And then a spare.
I was shaking my head in disbelief, and saying, "this is insane" and "all glory to God." Indeed. I told my caddy Nancy (she caddied most of the 245 game; her sister Linda caddied my 255 game) that, "I don't know what is happening; I'm just rolling my ball down the alley, and all the pins keep falling down."

Ok, so now I'm about to start my tenth frame with the ludicrous thought that I could actually break my 255 -- in the very next game -- when Jon Musgrave's 243 stood for five years! Well, my strike luck ran out and as the 7-pin remained standing. But I got 9 and could still break 255. But perhaps my concentration ran out as well, because I missed it pretty badly, and the 7-pin is a spare that I usually pickup when I'm bowling well.

No worries. The result was a 245, and combined with the 255, that achieved my 500 series (usual goal) with just those two games, and with my opening 174, I had achieved a very healthy 600 series with a 674.

For an IKAN User to bowl THAT well... and get THAT many strikes... in CONSECUTIVE games... it's amazing. I'm grateful and blessed... indeed, all glory to God.

All four of us Quad Squad Bowlers had moments of good bowling. Aaron had a 166 high on the afternoon, and Peggy a 159. I don't know what Lilian's high was for the day, but she was working with arguably the best "amateur" bowler in Lake County, Ed Nance, on her bowling game and strategies for the upcoming state tournament.

I should probably mention that, not just is the 255 now the overall world record, but it's also the record for wheelchair users with spinal cord injuries, and sip-and-puff wheelchair users also. The complete list of various categories of records, including male and female records, is here:

The above link also explains why the bowling style is "dynamic" and why the records are legitimate.

For anyone wondering what my technique is for attempting to get strikes... here you go...

First, I setup back by the ball return in line with the third arrow on the left side of the lane. Then I ask my caddy to set my ball in position for its maximum curve to the left (for my ball, that is having all the finger holes facing the left side, with the thumb hole down, and the top two finger holes about three inches from the top; but each bowling ball curves differently).

After getting setup and with my caddy safely behind me, I drive forward, and actually slightly to the left initially, before turning back right and hopefully stopping with the end of my IKAN Bowler a few inches short of the foul line, and angled to the right. The end of my bowler should be a little left of the middle of the lane, but I'm angled to the right.

I want my ball to go between the middle arrow and the next arrow to the right. Depending on the angle at which I stop, and how far left of the center of the lane I stop, the ball should have a pretty nice "banana curve" (as my MGT partner Claude likes to say) out toward the right side, and hopefully back left into the headpin (the center pin) very similar to the professional bowlers on ESPN -- though with not nearly as much speed.

I think the pro bowlers on ESPN average roughly 20mph with their shots, and we (IKAN Users) get about 6mph. So with the lower ball speed, we get less "pin action" when the ball makes impact, and the result is fewer strikes than people with higher ball speed and the same placement. And, it's not easy to drive the same and thus release the ball from the same spot every time either. That's why it was so incredible that I actually got seven consecutive strikes in my 255 game, and eight total strikes in my 245 game -- in back-to-back games!

I'm still in a bit of disbelief.

I'm glad I had so many witnesses sign my scoresheet!

I was quite blessed to bowl so well -- and may God bless you too!

For my previous best game and series, which includes the list of my 15 games of 200+, click HERE.
Bill Miller  :-)
C1-2 Quadriplegic with a 255 High Bowling Game
Co-founder of Manufacturing Genuine Thrills Inc. d/b/a MGT
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