Bowling league scores third season

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Thirty teams participate throughout the territory.

by Jim Sparks –

The top league male and female of the bowlers are father and daughter Josalyn Hunter and John Hunter [Photo by Crystal Nicholson].

The Territorial Bowling League wrapped up its third season with the Nimrods of the Oroville Corps (Del Oro Division) taking home the championship. The Nimrods finished the season with the top team average (135.3) and the Most Valuable Player, John Hunter, who had an impressive season, maintaining an average of 182.4.

This year 30 teams participated in the bowling league throughout the territory—from Colorado to Hawaii. The Territorial Bowling League is a unique program that involves corps in friendly competition. Many of them have never communicated with each other before. To participate, a corps gathers a team of four to six players and bowls three games a week for eight weeks. Teams fax the scores into the youth department, where their scores are handicapped and placed in a spreadsheet to compare with other corps. It’s really a virtual league.

The Territorial Bowling League has become much more than a bowling trip with a couple of mates. Throughout the league, corps have turned the bowling night into a family fun night, an outreach event, and a youth group gathering. Emails have come in recounting stories in which whole families have been introduced to the corps through the league. Praise God!

Major Diana Norris, Oroville Corps, shared her perspective as a corps officer (and coordinator of three separate teams) on the effect that the bowling league has had on her corps, saying, “First we want to have fun. Then we always wonder who we play against—are we playing Hawaii or Montana! Then we gather the teams for an evening of fun and fellowship.” Norris’s teams have participated for three years now. Their bowlers range from age 16 to older adults. They even have a few handicapped adults on the teams. “This bowling league gives our people a sense or realization of a bigger Salvation Army and not just their corps, in their town or city. We look forward to bowling each year,” said Norris.

Hawaii’s Waianae Outpost had four teams participate this year. Fred Mateo said that entire families came out each week to support their youth in hopes of bettering their scores. Mateo said, “Jay, one of our faithful servants, is at every function planning and supporting ‘The Rock’ [the outpost’s unofficial name]. He isn’t able to participate in many activities because he is confined to a wheelchair. He was shocked when I brought him his shoes to bowl. The bowling center has racks for children and the physically challenged. God is good, all the time!”

The Territorial Bowling League will be back next year starting in the first week of September. We encourage you to organize a team and get out there and throw strikes. Many corps have benefited from the fellowship and fun. Don’t be left out.

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