Sunday, June 30, 2013

Vent-Dependent Quadriplegic Bowls 21st 200+ Game

Many wheelchair users are not aware that a relatively new device exists that enables even people paralyzed from the neck down (like me) to bowl in a way that mimics the able-bodied bowling process.  The IKAN ("I can") Bowler® attaches to one's wheelchair and allows its user to setup, and then physically approach and release the ball upon stopping short of the foul line.  That's basically able-bodied bowlers do, and it's why the United States Bowling Congress sanctioned the IKAN Bowler® for league and tournament play, bowling with or against able-bodied bowlers and/or fellow IKAN users.

Using my IKAN Bowler, I had my 21st game of 200 or better on June 22nd, with a 213 in my first game of the day with our Quad Squad Bowling group.  Brenda, Melissa, Ben and I were the IKAN users that day, and we all had a good time as usual.  It was our first time back at what was Classique Lanes and is now Break Point Alley.  I opened with a turkey (three straight strikes) and that seemed to be validation that we made the right choice to return to the revamped bowling alley.

Here's my scoresheet, and additional commentary is below (click the picture to enlarge the scoresheet):

I followed the turkey with a 9-spare, then two more strikes, and knew I could/should break 200 unless I messed it up, which I almost did.  In my next two frames, the 7th and 8th, I missed spares I usually make.  I rebounded with a 9-spare in the 9th, which meant that a mark (spare or strike) in the 10th frame would result in 200+.  My strike ball worked twice more and I added 9 with the bonus ball in the 10th for a 213.

Just being able to bowl legitimately is fun, and I tell new IKAN users that having fun and striving to bowl personal best games are what I would try to do each time out.  I happen to have co-invented the IKAN Bowler, so I've bowled with it quite a bit, and my personal best is 255, which happens to be the overall world record for dynamic wheelchair bowling.  I'd love to break 255, but that's a really high score, and my goal each time out is to have a 500 series (three games with roughly a 167 average) because that's not easy, and takes quite a bit of quality bowling for IKAN users.

Our ball speed averages about 6 mph so we don't get nearly the "pin action" that most able-bodied bowlers do, so it takes excellent placement (and some luck) to get quite a few strikes in one game.  It takes at least a few consecutive strikes to give a person a good opportunity to break 200.  My average is about 155-160, so bowling 200 or better is fairly rare and special, which is why I keep track of the number of times I do it.

All glory to God and God bless all!

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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