Tribune Print Share Text

Aiming for perfection

Wii bowling league at Eagle’s Trace doubles in size

Created date

July 19th, 2016
Judy Doba celebrates her eighth perfect game of the spring Wii bowling season at Eagle’s Trace.

Judy Doba celebrates her eighth perfect game of the spring Wii bowling season at Eagle’s Trace.

Wii bowling at Eagle’s Trace may be the hottest social ticket of the week. Step into the community’s Audubon Clubhouse on Saturday mornings, and you’ll find the living room swarming with residents, all sporting their team shirts and hoping for that elusive 300 game.

Six televisions span the length of the room, transforming it into a virtual bowling alley. Wii bowling, introduced by Nintendo in 2006, is a video game that simulates the look and feel of bowling. Players use a Wii remote controller to mimic the action of rolling a bowling ball down an alley toward virtual pins.

At Eagle’s Trace, a group of interested residents formed a Wii bowling league in 2008. 

“We started the league with 24 players—six teams of four—and now we’re up to 48 Wii bowlers,” says Joy Nall, the league’s secretary. “We currently have 12 teams and a list of pacers [substitutes].”

Part of a team

Max Henry moved to Eagle’s Trace in November 2014. He took note of the Saturday bustle in the clubhouse and decided he’d like to be part of the action.

“Some of the more experienced players offer lessons during the week,” says Max. “I took lessons from Judy [Doba], Kay [Foster], and Joy [Nall]. At first I thought Wii bowling looked so easy. Then I realized they were making it look easy. It’s all about consistency—knowing where to put the ball and putting it there over and over again.”

The Eagle’s Trace Wii bowling league runs two 22-week seasons a year, one beginning in January and the other in July. Max just completed his first season with his team, the Motley Crew, alongside teammates Kay Foster, Garland Walker, and Bud Guy.

“I like the fun and companionship of being part of a team,” says Max. “Saturday’s my biggest day for social activity.”

Aiming for perfection

The league uses handicaps to level the playing field so newer players can compete against more experienced players.

“That’s the challenge,” says Judy Doba, after she bowled her eighth 300 game of the season. “You can’t just beat the other team. You have to constantly be improving your own score.”

Each team bowls three games every Saturday morning, competing against another team. Joy, the league’s statistician, compiles the scores in a spreadsheet and emails the results to league members. 

At the end of each season, league members gather to recognize the winning team and individual accomplishments, including awards for the most improved players.

Luis Ortiz was named most improved for the fall 2015 season. When he started bowling with the Sweet Peas, Luis says his average score was 150 a game. Now he’s bowling 220 and higher each week. 

“I’m on my way,” says Luis. “I used to say that I joined the league to meet girls, but now I’m really getting the hang of it.”