Sadly, professional bowling gets little respect. Probably because it’s one of the few sports that allows you to enjoy a nacho platter while participating. It is, as Mary Pilon notes in her Times article, the “corner of the sports landscape where gray-haired and balding athletes can thrive.” But 14 year-old Kamron Doyle is going to change that.
Sipping a blue sports drink and eating a Milky Way candy bar for breakfast Friday morning, Doyle, a 5-foot-5, 105-pound eighth grader, prepared for the next round of the United States Open, an event with nearly 400 competitors and a top prize of $60,000. In advancing this far he had already become the youngest bowler to reach the prize-money level in a Professional Bowlers Association national tour event.
Kamron began bowling at the age of six after attending a friend’s birthday party; something about the sport really called to him, and he began practicing and watching videos of champion bowlers on YouTube:
“I can’t really remember why I liked it so much at first,” he said. “I just remember watching some of those guys on TV and thinking I should do it, too.”
Here’s my theory, Kamron: bowling is awesome. Who the hell wouldn’t want to bowl professionally? Communists, maybe. But because Kamron is not a member of the Professional Bowler’s Association, he is not technically a professional bowler; thus, he is not eligible to compete as a professional in tournaments. Yet the governing body for bowling does allow amateurs under the age of 18 to compete for scholarship prize money, and Kamron’s already racked up nearly $20,000.
So get off your asses, parents, and take your kids bowling. And then, when you’re at the bowling alley, enjoy a nacho platter and a beer. Do they sell beer at high school basketball games? I think not. It’s time to rethink our notion of “prestige sports.”