Blind bowling league welcomes players, volunteers

A rail set up on the left side of the bowling lane is a sign. A sign that bowlers are here and ready to go.

So what’s the deal with this tall metal rail? A guide rail is about to lead most bowlers to the start position of the lane. These bowlers are smiling, laughing and unique.

Fourth-generation volunteer Kim with the American Blind Bowlers Association (ABBA) put it simply and from the heart: “We’re a family here.”

Established in 1951 with one of their many visions being “to promote an interest in bowling activities among legally blind men and women in North America,” ABBA advocates and works diligently with the legally blind and their seeing volunteers.

So what does being legally blind mean and what is a volunteer? Being legally blind means that with corrective eyewear ones vision is at 5/20 instead of 20/20. What a person with 20/20 vision can see at 20 feet a legally blind person can only see at 5 feet. “Some of our bowlers are completely blind but many are legally blind making the league more inclusive than some may think,” asserts Monica, another fantastic blind bowler.

This summer, Coach Rich with the Greater Cleveland Blind Bowler 322 league of ABBA has an opportunity for fellowship and learning as well as some friendly competition, bowler Wilbert’s favorite part. Free lessons and pickup assisted by the RTA to volunteers and participants to have a chance to cool off from the heat in area bowling alleys will be happening.

We would love for you or someone you know to contact us at We welcome all individuals and groups to come bowl and volunteer. Volunteering means calling out pins still up and leading to the guide rail. Let’s keep the ball rolling and have some fun!

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Volume 15, Issue 12, Posted 9:23 AM, 07.05.2023