Vent-Dependent Quadriplegic Bill Miller Bowls a 255 in a 674 Series
Wow. I will attempt to describe what bowling 255 and 245 in consecutive
games was like for me.
The afternoon started out pretty normal for us at our Central Florida
Quad Squad Bowling outing on February 25th at Spanish Springs Lanes
in The Villages.
We had a group of roughly 14 people
(see picture here) including
four Quad Squad Bowlers (Lilian, Peggy, Aaron, and me) and four
volunteer caddies from
LovExtension (Connie, Kathy, Nancy, and Linda). Aaron led us in
prayer to start us out right, and though I'm grateful to be blessed in
many ways, little did I know what was about to happen.
Here's the scoresheet and plenty of explanation is below:
My first game was nothing for a wheelchair user to sneeze at, a very
respectable 174, which put me ahead of my goal-pace of 167 (my goal is
to bowl a 500 series or better each time out, which is essentially three
games averaging 167 or more).
Game 2 started off fairly "average" for me with three-straight spares
(though one of the spares was a mild 3-10 split that I converted; see
frame 2 of game 2 on the scoresheet for the layout of that shot). Then
my ball started finding the pocket more consistently and with better
placement than I have ever seen before, and I actually rolled SEVEN
CONSECUTIVE STRIKES! That put me in the 10th frame with a strike and two
more shots to finish the game.
I didn't stop to do the math, but at that point, I needed three pins to
tie Jon Musgrave's overall dynamic wheelchair bowling
world record of 243 (link) --
which had stood for roughly five years. My next shot was a tad
heavy on the headpin, but eight pins fell, along with Jon's overall
record, and I was left with two pins, the 4-7 which is normally a pretty
easy spare to convert. So now the question was: would I finish with a
253, 254, or 255? I REALLY wanted to close it out with the spare and
255, and I got it.
I was in disbelief as I stared up at the monitor showing 255
(see picture here). I was
THRILLED, of course, and in addition to talking with and enjoying the
moment with everyone present, I had to make a few phone calls to share
the good news (including to my girlfriend Lisa:).
But I wasn't done.
After two games, I had 429 pins, which put me in good shape for my first
ever 600 series -- I needed "just" a 171 to achieve it.
For perspective, I wasn't sure if I would EVER bowl a 600 series --
that's AVERAGING 200 for three games. And I've gone bowling roughly
twice per month for about the last 8 years, and have "only" bowled 200 or better 15 times (my total is now 17 times). If I'm not mistaken, Jon
Musgrave is the only dynamic wheelchair bowler to have a 600 series, and
I think he's only done it once with a 619. I REALLY wanted to join him
with my own 600 series.
Game 3 started off with a turkey -- i.e. three MORE strikes!
And then a
AND THEN FIVE MORE CONSECUTIVE STRIKES!
I was shaking my head in disbelief, and saying, "this is insane" and
"all glory to God." Indeed. I told my caddy Nancy (she caddied most of
the 245 game; her sister Linda caddied my 255 game) that, "I don't know
what is happening; I'm just rolling my ball down the alley, and all the
pins keep falling down."
Ok, so now I'm about to start my tenth frame with the ludicrous thought
that I could actually break my 255 -- in the very next game -- when Jon
Musgrave's 243 stood for five years! Well, my strike luck ran out and as
the 7-pin remained standing. But I got 9 and could still break 255. But
perhaps my concentration ran out as well, because I missed it pretty
badly, and the 7-pin is a spare that I usually pickup when I'm bowling
No worries. The result was a 245, and combined with the 255, that
achieved my 500 series (usual goal) with just those two games, and with
my opening 174, I had achieved a very healthy 600 series with a 674.
For an IKAN User to bowl THAT well... and get THAT many strikes... in
CONSECUTIVE games... it's amazing. I'm grateful and blessed... indeed,
all glory to God.
All four of us Quad Squad Bowlers had moments of good bowling. Aaron had
a 166 high on the afternoon, and Peggy a 159. I don't know what Lilian's
high was for the day, but she was working with arguably the best
"amateur" bowler in Lake County, Ed Nance, on her bowling game and
strategies for the upcoming state tournament.
I should probably mention that, not just is the 255 now the overall
world record, but it's also the record for wheelchair users with spinal
cord injuries, and sip-and-puff wheelchair users also. The complete list
of various categories of records, including male and female records, is
The above link also explains why the bowling style is "dynamic" and why
the records are legitimate.
For anyone wondering what my technique is for attempting to get
strikes... here you go...
First, I setup back by the ball return in line with the third arrow on
the left side of the lane. Then I ask my caddy to set my ball in
position for its maximum curve to the left (for my ball, that is having
all the finger holes facing the left side, with the thumb hole down, and
the top two finger holes about three inches from the top; but
bowling ball curves differently).
After getting setup and with my caddy safely behind me, I drive forward,
and actually slightly to the left initially, before turning back right
and hopefully stopping with the end of my IKAN Bowler a few inches short
of the foul line, and angled to the right. The end of my bowler should
be a little left of the middle of the lane, but I'm angled to the right.
I want my ball to go between the middle arrow and the next arrow to the
right. Depending on the angle at which I stop, and how far left of the
center of the lane I stop, the ball should have a pretty nice "banana
curve" (as my MGT partner Claude likes to say) out toward the right
side, and hopefully back left into the headpin (the center pin) very
similar to the professional bowlers on ESPN -- though with not nearly as
I think the pro bowlers on ESPN average roughly 20mph with their shots,
and we (IKAN Users) get about 6mph. So with the lower ball speed, we get
less "pin action" when the ball makes impact, and the result is fewer
strikes than people with higher ball speed and the same placement. And,
it's not easy to drive the same and thus release the ball from the same
spot every time either. That's why it was so incredible that I actually
got seven consecutive strikes in my 255 game, and eight total strikes in
my 245 game -- in back-to-back games!
I'm still in a bit of disbelief.
I'm glad I had so many witnesses sign my scoresheet!
I was quite blessed to bowl so well -- and may God bless you too!
previous best game and series, which includes the list of my 15 games of
Bill Miller :-)
C1-2 Quadriplegic with a 255 High Bowling Game
Co-founder of Manufacturing Genuine Thrills Inc. d/b/a MGT