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Enjoying a Sport for a Lifetime: Meet the Oldest Bowlers Around

One of the greatest things about bowling is that it can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Once you take up the sport, you know you will most likely be able to keep playing deep into your retirement years, unlike other sports that unfortunately must come to an end when we grow older.

Two news stories this week demonstrated this phenomenon by profiling bowlers who may be advanced in years but are still hitting the alley week after week.

Woody Messmer of Dyer Indiana is 97 and has been bowling for 80 years. He was named after Woodrow Wilson, who was in office when he was born. He is captain of a team in his local seniors league and maintains a solid 129 average, keeping pace with the other members who are much younger. (original story)

But Woody isn’t the oldest bowler around; in fact, he wasn’t even the oldest one profiled this week! Richard Rider of Sun City Hilton Head South Carolina is 99 years old and recently rolled an impressive 204. His average stands around 140. Rider retired at 78, and now over 20 years later he is still hitting the lanes for league play every week. (original story)

These are far from the only older seniors to still enjoy success on the lanes. 89 year old Arthur Ulmer on Melbourne, Florida rolled a perfect game in 2010, making him the oldest bowler ever to bowl a 300. He surpassed another 89 year old, Fran Lasee, who accomplished the feat earlier that very same year, although he was a few months younger. (original story)

All of these pale in comparison to our final bowler, however. Gene Scala of Jericho, NY entered the USBC record books in 2012 as the oldest-ever league bowler, at the ripe old age of 107. (original story)


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One Response to Enjoying a Sport for a Lifetime: Meet the Oldest Bowlers Around
  1. Ken
    January 11, 2017 | 4:55 pm

    The longevity of senior bowlers is amazing. A friend of mine bowled his first 300 game a month before his 90th birthday. Unfortunately this was while bowling for fun and not on one of the sanctioned leagues he bowls on. Yesterday, January 10, 2017, we had our oldest bowler (97 years old) throw a 204 on a sanctioned league.

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