Blind Bowlers Championship to be held in Smyrna, TN

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The American Blind Bowlers Association will hold the 67th annual ABBA National Championship Tournament in Smyrna May 21 -25, 2014. The tournament will be bowled at the Smyrna Bowling Center.

Opening ceremonies will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 22 at the bowling center. The Masters event will be held on Friday afternoon at 2:00 p.m., with singles, doubles and team competition beginning on Thursday evening and continuing through Sunday, May 25.  

"Smyrna Bowling Center is one of the finest bowling alleys our organization has had the opportunity to compete in," said Sharon Benton, ABBA tournament committee chair. Located at 95 Weakley Lane, the Smyrna Bowling Center is a 52 lane, completely accessible facility including a restaurant and pro shop.

Approximately 400 bowlers from across the country will be competing throughout the week in singles, doubles and team events as well as a scratch Masters tournament. Among the bowlers competing will be a newly-formed league from Nashville.  

The American Blind Bowlers Association is the sanctioning body for more than 1,700 persons who are blind and visually impaired across the United States and Canada. We are recognized by the United States Bowling Congress and our championship teams are acknowledged on a plaque in the International Bowling Hall of Fame located in Arlington, Texas.

The organization has bowled through the years in Las Vegas, Reno, Denver, New Orleans, Orlando, St. Louis, and Washington, DC, among other places. Our most recent national tournament was held in Indianapolis, Indiana in June, 2013. 

How do blind people bowl? Bowling is a sport which needs little or no adaptation to be fully enjoyed by people with little or no vision. Totally blind individuals use a rail to position themselves on the approach. The rail is a series of aluminum pipes which snap together and are weighted down on either end. It is then placed on the approach from the ball return to the foul line and serves as a guide for those bowlers who are unable to see the lanes. Assistance from a sighted person is needed to determine the position of the remaining pins. 

ABBA is looking for volunteers to assist with pin spotting throughout the course of the tournament. If persons in the community are interested in being a part of this wonderful event, please contact Wilbert Turner, Public Relations Director, at 216-212-4959 or Sharon Benton, Tournament Committee Chair, at 919-755-0700 or 919-740-2398. You may reach them by e-mail at  or For further information about the American Blind Bowlers Association, please visit .


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