Greetings and salutations bowling friends, and welcome to another edition of Striking Spotlight.
In this edition we are going to spotlight an organization that I have been a proud member of for more than 10 years. I am talking about the International Gay Bowling Organization (IGBO), an association of over 5000 members worldwide, and continuing to grow as the number one, and official bowling organization for the LGBT community.
IGBO currently has members in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and United States of America, and are reaching out to several European countries to expand their presence and bring together the global community to the sport of bowling.
IGBO has a rich and diverse history, reflecting the organizations ideals of Unity, Fellowship and Communication. From its original six member cities in 1980, to over 250 member leagues and tournaments worldwide, IGBO has grown into the largest International Gay and Lesbian sports organization in existence today.
I am an active member of IGBO, and bowl within the Rocky Mountain Region which covers Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada and Utah. Regional Director, Greg Frey, from Albuquerque, New Mexico, is the face of the region and he makes it to nearly every tournament and fundraiser within the region. He will do anything within his power to support each and every tournament.
At this point you may be wondering “why are you writing about IGBO?” Fair question, and to answer, it is because with the decline of where bowling has been heading, not one, but two IGBO Tournaments within this region celebrated 30 years, in 2013: The Phoenix Regional Invitation Tournament (PRIT), in Phoenix, and The Las Vegas Showgirls Tournament, where else but Las Vegas. These tournaments welcome LGBT Allys (straight folk, like me) to compete and from my many years of bowling IGBO tournaments, I’ve bowled with some big names in the industry like PBA members Scott Norton, Chris Williams as well as Team USA members, Steve Smith and Dan Patterson, to name a few. In addition to bowling, the tournaments a number of nonprofit organizations receive donations collected during the tournament’s 50/50 drawing, and other fundraisers and are local so the money that is raised will stay right in the city the tournament is hosted in
Alongside the locally-hosted tournaments IGBO also sponsors a Mid Year and an Annual Tournament that are up for bid each year, and I am very pleased to add that Joe Ware and our friends down in Tucson were awarded the IGBO XXXIV Annual Tournament, to be hosted on May 12th – 18th 2014. This will mark twenty years since Tucson last hosted this event, and it was ten years ago, in May of 2003 that Phoenix hosted the Annual. Check out www.IGBO.org for more information.
Till next time stay Happy, Healthy and Bowling.
Brian Hirsch grew up in Bronx, New York. After moving to Arizona and seeing bowling on TV there was something about it that brought him to the lanes that next Saturday and to this day the PASSION for the sport is still there!!!! Off the lanes you’ll find Brian cheering on the New York Yankees! When not working, Brian can be found Coaching, working at Bowling with LEVERAGE Pro Shops and spreading the word about Bowling.
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Thank you Brian for this fantastic article! We here in Tucson are very excited to host the Annual tournament in May. We have been working for almost two years for this, and look forward to the 400+ bowlers that will be joining us.
Thank you for all the ind words & I look forward to getting down to Tucson for the IGBO Annual tournament. Hope you had a great Christmas & New Years