Sunday, July 31, 2016

Incredible Three-Game Series Bowled by Power Wheelchair User

Curtis (Curt) Wolff is an excellent bowler, despite having to bowl from a seated position.

Curt was an avid bowler – averaging in the 220s – before being afflicted by the West Nile virus, which resulted in him experiencing acute flaccid paralysis and he now functions much like a C4-5 quadriplegic. Thus, Curt requires a power wheelchair for mobility.

He was thrilled to discover the IKAN Bowler® which enabled him to rekindle his passion for bowling.

And on March 14, 2016 Curt bowled an incredible three-game series: he averaged 213.67, bowling three consecutive games over 200 – a 212, a 205, and a 224 – with ZERO open frames in the series!

As a fellow wheelchair user with about 1000 games of experience with the IKAN Bowler®, please let me try to explain just how good Curt's series was.

My average is about 150 and I usually bowl three or four games twice a month with our local Quad Squad group, and have been blessed to do so for more than a dozen years. That's where the roughly 1000 games of experience comes from, and I'm also a world record holder with a 255 high game.

In roughly 1000 games, I have scored 200+ a total of 24 times. Sheesh, that makes me look like not-so-good of a bowler – but it's really not that easy to break 200! :-)

Driving our wheelchairs, we get about 6 mph of ball speed using the IKAN Bowler® which requires us to be very precise (some luck doesn't hurt either!) in order to score big. Comparatively speaking, able-bodied male professional bowlers hurl their bowling balls down the lane at an average of roughly 19 mph, and consequently, they get much greater "pin action" when their ball impacts the pins. Greater pin action leads to more strikes. More strikes leads to higher scores. Consecutive strikes in particular really help scores add up quickly, but making spares is important also.

I mention all this because in three games, or 30 total frames, Curt had either a spare or strike in every single frame.

Comparatively, despite having 24 games of 200+ out of my 1000 bowled, I think I have had at most half a dozen (six games) with zero open frames (an open frame is one without a spare or strike).

Point being, it is quite difficult to bowl 200+ and even more difficult to bowl a clean game with no open frames.

Curt did BOTH in three consecutive games.

That is mighty impressive!

And if you look at his scoresheet, you will notice he had to convert three splits in order to not leave an open frame. Two of the splits required very precise shots.

The print out of his scoresheet (viewable as a PDF file HERE) shows that he had a 2-10 split in the second frame of his first game, and if you aren't familiar with the pin positions, the scoresheet shows you where they are. Even a non-expert bowler can tell that that is a difficult spare to pick up.

In game three, Curt had to pick up a 9-10 split, which is two pins exactly side-by-side. To convert that spare essentially requires the ball splitting the gap right between the two pins – and the ball itself is just a little bigger than the gap. The space between two side-by-side pins is 7.25 inches, and standard bowling balls are 8.5 inches, so there's not much room for error if the ball is going to knock both pins over.

In totality, that is the best three-game scoresheet I have seen from a wheelchair user bowling in dynamic fashion (dynamic just means incorporating the movement of the wheelchair, i.e. not stationary ramp bowling).

In case it's not obvious by now… I am HIGHLY impressed.

Click HERE for a video clip of Curt bowling a pocket strike.

And click HERE for a video clip of Curt picking up a spare.

Keep up the terrific bowling Curt! :-)


William A. Miller, BSBA, ME
C1-2 Quadriplegic with a 255 High Bowling Game
Co-founder of Manufacturing Genuine Thrills Inc. d/b/a MGT
Business website:
Personal website: