December 5, 2007 19:00
By Missy Bellinder
We traveled to Wyoming, Mich., for the fourth and final stop of the PBA Women's Series and competed in the Great Lakes Classic at Spectrum Lanes.
The previous week, the PBA Women’s Series took the week off for Thanksgiving. Even though the Denny's PBA Tour still held a tournament, almost all of the women went home to spend the holidays with friends and family. I went home to California.
The week off was relaxing, even though I managed to figure out I had a sinus infection and spent most of the week sleeping. However I did spend Thanksgiving with my family, enjoying a 30 pound turkey dinner with all of the fixings.
While I was home, I also got a little Christmas shopping done on Black Friday, bowled a win-a-spot tournament, practiced and went to Disneyland.
When we returned for the final women's appearance on the PBA Tour, several of the men said that they had missed us last week. They mentioned that last week, the whole mood of the field had changed and everyone seemed to be more edgy and stagnant, as opposed to the weeks before.
Over the four weeks of the PBA Women’s Series, bowling alongside the men and at the same venue each week was a great experience. We practiced and qualified together, shared the paddock, ball spinners and equipment workout tables together. As you may notice, we were around each other a lot and often hung out together after competition.
Through talking and bowling with some of the exempt bowlers, the women could really learn a lot of valuable information, especially from the bowlers who have been on Tour for a few years, like Walter Ray Williams Jr., Parker Bohn III and Tom Baker. I know I personally learned a few things from watching, bowling and talking with the men and better yet, I made some new friends.
Over the four weeks of the PBA Women’s Series we were welcomed not only by the PBA, the exempt bowlers, and bowling centers but also welcomed tremendously by the fans. By having both the PBA and PBA Women’s Series tournaments at the same venue, it gave the fans, bowling centers and cities tremendous exposure and a unique experience.
Fans were able to watch the best of the best in both men and women’s bowling and also bowl with both the men and women professionals in the PBA Pro-Ams. This exposure of such an elite group of men and women bowlers gave fans the ultimate experience both in the bowling centers and on ESPN and created a lot of positive feedback.
Having never had the opportunity to bowl on the now defunct PWBA Tour, these four weeks of the PBA Women’s Series were a dream come true for me. It was an unbelievably amazing experience that I wish would have never come to an end.
At the conclusion of our last stop, saying goodbye to all of the bowlers, staff and fans was really hard.
Hopefully next year, we will have a bigger and even better Tour with more stops and more sponsors.
Bowling needs women’s professional bowling to come back. This is not a biased opinion but reality when it comes to the well-being of our sport. Without women’s professional bowling, who can little girls look up to and aspire to be?
The PBA Women’s Series was a definite step in the right direction!
For more information on Missy Bellinder, visit her website at www.missybellinder.com
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