Busy weekend of bowling: Jamestown to host state women’s tournamentIt’s not as big as it used to be, but the state women’s bowling tournament is still a pretty big deal.
By: Dave Selvig, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
It’s not as big as it used to be, but the state women’s bowling tournament is still a pretty big deal.
The 71st annual tournament will feature about 150 women’s teams, which will cap off a busy weekend at Buffalo Lanes, which also serves as a nice boon to Jamestown’s economy.
Longtime state director Julie Schmidt of Jamestown has been in charge of organizing the event and it is a significant undertaking.
“It’s quite a job, but I have really good people helping me,” she said, singling out Thelma Trecker, Leann Christensen and Brenda Moritz. “This is a big tournament and we want to make sure it’s done right and everyone has a good time.”
The weekend activities begin tonight with a social at IDK, but things get really busy Saturday.
Buffalo Lanes proprietor Casey Dodgson will hold a workshop at 8 a.m., followed by the N.D. Women’s Bowling Association’s annual meeting at 9 a.m., which will feature special music by Diane Witzig. Both events will be held at Quality Inn.
Opening ceremonies for the tournament begin at around 2:30 p.m., featuring the presentation of the colors, national anthem sung by Jessica Moritz and then 87-year-old veteran Jamestown bowler Esther Strausburg will roll the first ball to officially commence play.
“She’s had bursitis in her shoulder, but she’s already told me, ‘I’m rolling the first ball,’” Schmidt said. “She’s an inspiration.”
The tournament rotates yearly between Grand Forks, Fargo, Jamestown, Bismarck, Dickinson and Minot. Schmidt, who has been the women’s state director since the mid-1980s, remembers a day when over 1,000 teams used to compete at the state tournament.
“We wish we’d have more teams like we used to,” she said. “We have fewer than last year when there were just under 200 (teams) in Fargo, but we’re very happy about the teams that are coming.”
Teams from all over the state will be in attendance. Several will stay overnight and eat in local establishments over the weekend.
“There’s hotel costs, food costs and some really like to party. If they want to bowl with a hangover I don’t care,” Schmidt joked.
There are two divisions in the tournament. About 1,000 bowlers will be in town this weekend, competing for cash and trophies.
The tournament is a handicap format, with handicaps based on 90 percent of the difference between the bowler’s average and 200. Participants must be members of the N.D. USBC Women’s Bowling Association and the U.S. Bowling Congress.
Schmidt said if you like good bowling, Buffalo Lanes is the place to be Saturday.
“It’s the biggest tournament of the year for women, so we get a lot of really good bowlers,” Schmidt said. “It’s going to be busy, but we plan on having a lot of fun.”