Tribune Print Share Text

Bowling craze produces 36 teams, more to come

Created date

January 25th, 2010

What started three years ago as a new pastime has blossomed into a full-fledged Wii bowling league, with 36 teams, 6 lanes, and countless hours of fun and exercise. [caption id="attachment_7513" align="alignright" width="280" caption="Screen shot from Nintendo's popular Wii Bowling game. (Courtesy of Nintendo)"]Greenspring s devotion to the sport garnered local recognition when the campus hosted Wii bowling s first appearance in the 2009 Northern Virginia Senior Olympics.

Forming a league

I d never even seen the Wii until it was brought toGreenspring, says community member and Wii bowling organizer Ted Campbell. As a former bowler, I decided to take part and was amazed not only by how realistic Wii bowling is, but that more than 120 people came out to watch. I thought to myself, Maybe we should start our own league. [caption id="attachment_7514" align="alignright" width="280" caption="In Forest View, Greenspring bowlers have six lanes set up for Wii competitions and practice. (Photo by Jason Connors)"][/caption] Before long,Greenspring s first Wii bowling league, consisting of four teams, began playing, and the enthusiasm of the players was contagious. It quickly became apparent that a dedicated space and more Wii gaming systems were needed to meet the growing demand. We set up our own bowling alley, says Campbell. We have a large room in Forest View where we ve set up six independent lanes. It s a busy place. The league uses the lanes from noon to five during the week. We leave the weekends open for makeup games and practice. Bowlers not in the league have lots of time to play too. The room is open until midnight every night.

Competition heats up

Last June,Greenspringwas approached by the Northern Virginia Senior Olympic Committee about the possibility of hosting the Olympics first Wii bowling event. The Commissioner came here to see what we had to offer, says Campbell. Since our lanes are set up in rows, it feels like a real bowling alley because you are bowling next to your competition. Greenspringwas selected to host the event, which took place on September 15, 2009. There were a total of 59 participants, and 29 of them were fromGreenspring, says Campbell. Our bowlers dominated the event. We play every day, and that really gave us an edge. Greenspringreceived 26 of the 31 medals awarded, including gold and silver in the age 90+ men s and women s categories. Yet Campbell and his fellow league members admit that although winning is nice, they play because of the friends they make and the fun they have. It s funny to see how involved everyone gets, says bowler Jack Keenan. They are yelling and cheering you d never know if you saw these people in the halls that they would do that. I have met so many new neighbors that I would not have had the opportunity to meet otherwise, says Joan Matteson. It is also a game you can do with your grandchildren. I know mine like to compete with me. Campbell agrees: Wii bowling is a game everyone can take part in, and that s what makes it both unique and fun. When we first started, we had people in their 80s and 90s who said they just couldn t do it. But when they tried it, they loved it, and now most of them are leaders of the league. As the new year begins, Campbell and the league look to expand with enough interested people to form four or five more teams. Like most sports, it s fun to be a part of a team, says Campbell. It s not surprising to me that it is so popular atGreenspring. We all just love to be down there playing.

Christmas came early ' to Greenspring

On December 12, 2009, Nintendo representatives visitedGreenspringas part of a 52-location tour to demonstrate New Super Mario Bros. Wii to hundreds of seniors and encourage every generation to sample the game s unique blend of imaginative, multiplayer fun. Nintendo has led the way in expanding the audience for video games, especially among seniors, said Cammie Dunaway, Nintendo's executive vice president of sales ' and marketing. By giving seniors and their family members a hands-on introduction to New Super Mario Bros. Wii, we re extending our commitment to making the best video game experiences accessible to every generation. On top of ' the hands-on learning experience,Greenspringreceived
  • A Wii system
  • New Super Mario Bros. Wii
  • Three Wii remote controllers and three Nunchuk controllers
  • A copy of Wii Sports Resort and Wii MotionPlus accessories
  • Wii Fit Plus with a Wii Balance Board
  • Mario Kart Wii and Wii Wheel accessories
In addition toGreenspring, Nintendo made similar visits to four other Erickson communities:Eagle's Tracein Houston, Tex.;Ann s Choicein Bucks County, Pa.;Sedgebrookin Lincolnshire, Ill.; andCedar Crestin Pompton Plains, N.J.