About this time every year, the American Bowling Congress sends out its ABC Yearbook and Media Guide, updating facts, records, statistics and oddities from the sport through the years. The release coincides with the start of the ABC national championships, which began Feb. 3 in Reno. The facts and records are okay if you're into those things. They come in handy when you have to look up Tom Crites' birthday or something. The thin book is an encyclopedia of bowling facts and personalities, pro and amateur.
The fun part of the book is the section on oddities. A few for your enjoyment: The oldest performer in the ABC National was Joe Detloff of Chicago, 72, in the 1965 event. The youngest ABC champion? Ronnie Knapp of New London, Ohio, who bowled with the winning 1963 Booster team at the age of 16.
George Geiser's team won the title in 1917, and Geiser came back 21 years later to help win another team title.
Last year Bob Powell of Wichita, Kan., rolled a 298 game, got to thinking about it, and followed with a 129 game - a record series decrease.
The 1963 tournament in Buffalo was the first ABC event that drew entries from all 50 states.
Left-handers have won six ABC singles titles, contributed to five doubles championships, and earned four all-events crowns.
Until he died, in 1981, Bob Doehrman of Fort Wayne, Ind., had participated in 71 consecutive ABC events.
The first game by Brandon's Dave Bond in his first ABC national was a 299.
In 1936, the five men on the Moffat's Ale team of Syracuse, N.Y., all fired 192 games in the team event.
The Kendor Corp. No. 1 team of Milwaukee walked away from the 1982
tournament with five places - and $19,279 in winnings.
League season performance records also are listed, and, because they draw so many more competitors, offer greater opportunities for oddities. Here are a few: The highest game ever rolled without a strike, split, spare or foul was 90, by Mike Daugherty, Wooster, Ohio. You figure that one out.
The longest single league schedule on record is 64 weeks, by Zodiac Shirt Christmas of Del Rio, Texas - but then, Texans don't seem to know when to quit.
The oldest active bowler in an ABC-sanctioned league is John Venturello of Sunrise, who is 101. Dunedin's Charlie Lang is bowling at 104, but not in a sanctioned league.
The largest center in the county is Las Vegas' Showboat Lanes, with 106 lanes, followed by Thunderbowl, in Allen Park, Mich., with 94. The oldest active ABC-sanctioned center is the Elks Bowling Lanes of Fond du Lac, Wisc., opened in 1909.
Finally, in the realm of frustration: George Stieber, Detroit, carried a 157 average into his league and rolled a 9 - a record for most pins below average in a game. Maybe he was ill or did it to make the record book. It doesn't say.
Hudson Bowl duo scores: Owner Ron Woods and day manager Joe LaVoy won the first Upper Suncoast 7 House Scratch Doubles Tournament last weekend. Woods averaged 217 over the 21 games, LaVoy 211.
Paul Collins and Del Ferguson were second and Jim Kantos and John Bowers third. The duos rolled three games in each of the seven centers over two days.
Sportsmen's Bowl scores: Teams and individuals from Sportsmen's Bowl walked off with 10 first places in the annual Citrus County YABA Championships at Sportsmen's Feb. 3.
Brian Sanders, Jason Warren, Joe Ambrose and Randall Tobin made up the winning Division 2 team from Sportsmen's, collecting a 2,569 total. Carrie Walker, Christy Martin and Trisha and Tracy Trotter, also from Sportsmen's, won the Division 2 girls team title.
Martin and Warren won singles titles.
Around the lanes: The Pasco and Citrus men's and women's association tournaments are on the boards this weekend. The Suncoast Men's Association City Tournament also begins this weekend, at Rainbow and Leisure lanes. Lane-Glo Bowl offers a handicap senior mixed tournament March 4. There is a $20-per-team entry fee. Wendy Johnston and Anne Hayden each recorded her first 500 series last week at Lane-Glo Bowl.