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Bowlers Journal Timeline TIMELINE


1984 5

Bowling’s Hall of Fame opens.

Four decades after its founding, the ABC

Hall of Fame fi nally gets a real home. The building in downtown St. Louis also has a museum, research center and gift shop, as well as four old- time alleys. Non-industry observers pronounce it the fi nest facility of its kind in America.


The TPB sues

the PBA.

The Touring Pro Bowlers is a group of Professional Bowlers Assn. members. Dissatisfi ed with various ways the PBA is being run, the TPB takes on its parent organization in an anti-trust action. The case eventually is settled out of court, with the payout leaving the PBA fi nancially crippled.


THE 1980s 1987

Bumper bowling hits it big.

As early as 1966, Bowlers Journal was reporting on carom cushions being used in the gutters of bowling lanes. But it wasn’t until the 1980s that the concept was applied to teaching beginners. As DBA Products begins mass- marketing the air-fi lled bumpers, kindergarten birthday parties are forever changed.


Bowling at the


Uncle Joe Thum’s dream is partially realized as bowling becomes a demonstration sport at the Summer Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea. Bowlers from 20 countries compete. As if to em- phasize the international evolution of tenpins, all of the medal winners are from outside the United States.

1989 6

Scores go through the roof.

The 1989 ABC Tournament,

held at the Century II Convention Center in Wichita, Kan., becomes a symbol of bowling’s scoring explosion. In this one tournament, 34 teams roll series above 3200 — compared to a total of 31 team scores above 3200 in the previous 85 ABCs combined. New record scores also are recorded in each event. And it’s only the beginning.

About The Author: J.R. Schmidt has been BJI’s resident historian since 1990. Normally, he writes the monthly “Time Capsule” feature,but during BJI’s 100th an- niversary year, we’ve asked him to assemble a monthly bowling timeline — one for each decade of the magazine’s exis- tence — to be comple- mented by photographs and illustrations from BJI’s massive “morgue.” Schmidt, an avid bowler, also maintains a blog about bowling history.

CLICK HERE: To check out his personal photo gallery of ABC/USBC Open Tournament team photos

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September 2013

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