Arizona bowler celebrates five decades at OC

RENO, Nev. - Lowell Rothschild of Tucson, Ariz., may not have flashy scores or on-lane accolades, but his passion for the administrative side of bowling and his many contributions to the sport earned him a spot in the United States Bowling Congress Hall of Fame in 2009.

This week at the National Bowling Stadium, Rothschild reached another milestone as he became the 164th bowler in history to make 50 appearances at the USBC Open Championships.

His election to the USBC (then American Bowling Congress) Board of Directors led to his Open Championships debut at the 1963 event in Buffalo, N.Y., and the only year he's missed since was 1997, when his designation as one of Arizona's top lawyers earned him an invitation to speak at an international law conference in Amsterdam.

"I was so well-received by the ABC and immediately got active in a few different committees," said Rothschild, who served as the organization's president during the 1977-78 season. "I just thought it was a privilege to be involved in the growth of a national sport, and part of that meant supporting and participating in the tournament. I am just an average bowler, but I got entranced with the game and the competition."

Rothschild's legal experience was a valuable asset, and he was a regular contributor on the rules, legal and legislative committees. He also played a key role in raising the funds necessary to create the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame, originally in St. Louis, but now part of the International Bowling Campus in Arlington, Texas.

The 85-year-old has rubbed elbows with some of bowling's greatest minds and performers, but he was both humbled and excited while walking down Center Aisle at the NBS on Friday to claim his place in tournament history.

"It meant a lot for me to be honored," said Rothschild, who received a plaque, chevron and diamond lapel pin to commemorate his achievement. "I really wanted to make 50, and thanks to good health, great teammates and a supportive family, I was able to get there. A lot of bowling stars, friends of mine and others who have helped shape the history of the game have come down Center Aisle, so it was a proud moment for me."

Rothschild's support system includes his wife of almost 60 years, Anne, who didn't make the trip this year, but has been to many events along the way as well as his longtime teammates, who recently captured a league championship together.

In the team event Friday, Rothschild posted a 425 series and was joined by Lonnie Hicks (584), Terence Thompson (508), past USBC president Walton Roberson, who made his 42nd tournament appearance (483) and David Knuttinen (447). The group finished with a 2,447 total.

The teammates returned to the lanes at the NBS on Saturday for doubles and singles, and Rothschild added 432 in singles and 367 in doubles for a 1,224 all-events total. In 50 tournament appearances, he has knocked down 64,696 pins.

"The game has done so much for me personally, and now, it's all about the fellowship," said Rothschild, who also participated in wrestling, track and numerous other sports while growing up. "This has been a crazy year for me on the lanes, and it's been great. We plan to defend our league championship next year, and if the team still wants to bowl here, I'll definitely be back."
Presenting sponsors for the 2013 USBC Open Championships include Circus Circus Reno, Eldorado Hotel Casino Reno and Silver Legacy Resort Casino Reno.