Improved equipment brings better bowling scores

Bowling_ball_and_pinsA good indication of how new and improved bowling balls and lane conditions have influenced tenpin bowling is high average winners from 1974 -75 to the present. Don Wira was the best back then with a 195 mark followed the next season by Win Green at 198 and Joyce Campbell 179 for the women. Al Schatz stepped up with 194 while Dorothy Green’s 187 topped the ladies in 1976-77. John Greaves then was number one at 196 along with Campbell’s first of three in a row at 181. Finishing off the 1970s was Wira at 193 and 204, the first ever 200 average, and Campbell’s pair of 182s.

Greaves returned in a big way with a record 219 average along with Wendy Zielonka’s first ever 200 for the women, a 201. Ed Maurer was the best the next two seasons with 207 and 214 while Campbell notched six in a row at 188, 193,190, 189, 188 and a record tying 201. For the men, Howard Kotchie dealt a 215, Earl Demmery had 213 and 202 and Nobby Herchenroder, a 216. In 1987-88 there was a tie at 216 with between brothers Ed and Joe Maurer while Val Chastney set a women’s record at 204. Another tie highlighted the next season at an even 200 among Syd Clark, Ron Smith and Ed Maurer while Campbell returned after a one year absence at 186. The 1980s drew to a close with Don Schatz at 202 and Jane Amlinger 194.

Schatz repeated in 1990-91 with a 208 mark, joined by Laura McKnight with 195. Ed Maurer scored a 213 the next season along with Jane Amlinger’s first of two in a row, 199, followed by a 201 in the season that Bill Rowe Jr. set a new high for the men at 221. Reliable Al Tone topped the men in 1993-94 at 217, joined by Tamie Monteith’s 194. Tone repeated the next season at 215, tied with Ed Maurer while Ed’s wife, Kathy, was the best for the women at 198. Mid-way through the ’90s, Bill Rowe Jr. ran off three in a row with a record setting 232, followed by 225 and 219. At the same time, Connie Ward tallied 211, also a record, then 204, followed by Wendy Wira’s 205. Then Tim Enoksen stopped Rowe’s run with a 222 along with Shirley Tiffany’s 205.

At the turn of the century, Bill Rowe Jr. turned in another string of three in a row with a record setting 233, then a record tying 233, then a drop off to 222. Rowe was joined by Amy Visentin 210, Connie Ward’s 208 and Nadine Hamilton’s 204. During the next two seasons Connie Ward hit 210, then a record 215 while Lionel Lewis Jr. scored a 217 and Ryan Dickenson a 225. Lewis then ran off an impressive string of five high averages with 227, 232, a record 235, 225, and 231. During the same time the best women were Laura Wilmer, 201, Wendy Zielonka, 212, Sioban Frey, 211, Catharine Rowe with a record 217, and Sioban Ryans at 214. In 2009-10 a new name on top for the men was Sean Patterson at 229 and a familiar name for the women, Catharine Rowe at 217. Ryans returned for the women at a record 219 and Chris King showed up at 226. For the last two seasons, Rowe was back on top at 208 and 205 and for the men, Matt Lewis had 226 and Jeff Easton had 228.

During these 39 seasons, Campbell was the best for the women 11 times, including six in a row, and Bill Rowe Jr. topped the men seven times with Lionel Lewis the best five times in a row. The first to break the 200 barrier were Wira, 204, and Zielonka, 201, and the highest averages are Lionel Lewis Jr., 235, and Sioban Ryans 219.

While these averages might seem high, they are low compared to record high averages in the U.S. The highest ever was an incredible 261 by Jeff Carter of Springfield Illinois in 2001. Topping the ladies is Liz Johnson of Buffalo at 244 in 2005. Highest in Canada is 240 by three Windsor men.


Ten years ago in September 2003, Luke Muilwyk rolled a 298, Chris Marquette 288, Tom Simpson 279, Tom Johnston 278 and Nobby Herchenroder 276.

Five years ago in September, Shawn Anderson fired a 300 and Howard Sculnick and Ed Maurer had 290s, Walter Balog 289, Vic Riding 279 and 15-year-old Jennifer Lewis, a 249.

What will September 2013 bring? Stay tuned.