Denver bowler reaches 55 years at WC

By Wishelle Banks
USBC Communications

RENO, Nev. -
Flanked by her teammates and a total of 35 teams from 12 states, E. Joyce Georgeson of Denver received a standing ovation as she walked to the front of the squad room Saturday to accept a plaque recognizing her for 55 years of participation at the United States Bowling Congress Women's Championships.

The 81-year-old made her tournament debut at the 1958 event in San Francisco and has been to all but one tournament since. She missed the 1995 tournament due to a series of unfortunate events that resulted from a major storm.

The journey has been filled with many highlights for Georgeson, including a Division 1 Doubles title with Bertha Keeney of Wheat Ridge, Colo., at the 1969 event in San Diego.

She has not been slowed by the loss of her hearing or obstacles like surgery on six vertebrae in 2009. Even though her bowling balls now are just 10 pounds, her motivation and dedication have not wavered. This year's milestone has been a chance to reflect on an exciting career at the USBC Women's Championships.

"There were so many people that came and congratulated me, and they said if it wasn't for our older people, they wouldn't be bowling," Georgeson said. "It just was nice. I enjoyed every bit of it."

Georgeson grew up on a farm in North Dakota and didn't begin bowling until her late teens. Bowling was a lot different back then, in general, and especially for younger bowlers and women. But after taking lessons, Georgeson realized how much she enjoyed the sport and did what it took to compete, which included renting bowling balls at one point or throwing a 16-pound ball because that's all that was available.

These days, Georgeson still bowls in two leagues in the Denver area and keeps busy facilitating golf, horseshoes and shuffleboard activities for the 55 residents at her senior living facility.

This year on the lanes at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center, Georgeson rolled sets of 538 in singles, 472 in team and 430 in doubles for a 1,440 scratch all-events score. She competed in the Ruby Division and received an additional 13 pins of handicap per game to finish with a 1,557 handicap total.

The Ruby Division is for bowlers with entering averages from 150-179, and handicap is 100 percent of 180.

Presenting sponsors for the 2013 USBC Women's Championships include Circus Circus Reno, Eldorado Hotel Casino Reno and Silver Legacy Resort Casino Reno.