Saturday, December 14, 2013

Watch Missy on ESPN January 5th at 1pm EST

Tune in to watch Missy Parkin on Sunday, January 5th at 1pm EST (10am PST) on ESPN, as she defends her Women's World Bowling Tour Title. 

Missy qualified 3rd for the World Bowling Tour Finals and will face No. 2 seed Liz Johnson. The winner goes on to face top seed Kelly Kulick. 

The World Bowling Tour is comprised of tournaments all over the world which award points based on finishing positions in each tournament. The World Bowling Tour consists of a cumulative two-year point system, with the top 3 men and top 3 women earning a spot for the TV show and the $20,000 first place prize.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Watch Missy Defend her WBT Title

Come and watch Missy Parkin as she defends her Women's World Bowling Tour title at the Southpoint Hotel and Casino arena in Las Vegas, Nev. on Sunday, November 3rd at 10am.

Admission is free to watch the TV taping of the Women's World Bowling Tour final. Click here for FREE Tickets.  

The Women's World Bowling Tour finals will air on ESPN on Sunday, January 5th at 1pm EST.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Missy Conducts Clinics in Turkey and Greece

This week, I ventured to Istanbul, Turkey and Athens, Greece to conduct clinics on behalf of Columbia 300. The clinics, which primarily targeted women, were the first of this nature in both countries.

First, I travelled to Istanbul, Turkey to meet with the Ebonite International exclusive distributor Trianka and Trianka Bowling Academy. Since the clinics started at night, to accommodate the working bowlers, I was able to go sightseeing during the day.

Istanbul’s rich history really makes the City one of the most fascinating in the world. On Day 1, I was able to visit and drive along the Bosphorus, a water channel that connects the Sea of Marmara to the Black Sea and separates Europe from Asia. This unique and picturesque waterway is the narrowest strait used today by many commercial ships transporting goods across Europe and Asia. We stopped for a traditional Greek Breakfast along the Bosphorus and the food is so amazing. I challenge everyone to not judge a book by its cover when it comes to food because I otherwise wouldn't have been able to experience the rich food of Turkey.

Later that evening we started Day 1 of the clinics. In Istanbul, the clinic was comprised of a two-day event, allowing women and junior bowlers to attend. The seminar marked the first time in Turkey that a seminar was geared specifically towards women.  Several of the women bowlers did bring along their spouses, who were able to attend the classroom portion of the event only. Day 1 focused on Bowling Tips as well as covered the entire line of products in the Columbia 300 brand. After a classroom session, I then worked one-on-one on the lanes with the bowlers, helping with their physical games.

During the day on Day 2, we were able to visit several historical places in Istanbul. We first went to the Basilica Cistern, an underwater reservoir that was built by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian in the 6th century. This enormous underground palace, as it’s referred to, is definitely one of the ancient marvels of architecture from that time period and can hold up to 100,000 tons of water.

Next, we ventured to Hagia Sophia, which was originally built as a Greek Orthodox church in 537 A.D. In 1453, the church was then converted to an imperial mosque. It is very interesting to see both religions displayed throughout the beautiful structure, for example a minbar, also known as a pulpit, (which is where the Muslim leader of the mosque speaks from during prayer time) is situated right in front of a beautiful mosaic of the Virgin Mary.


Our next stop was the Blue Mosque, built in 1609, which is one of the most famed historical spots in the City. Although we didn’t get to go inside, since we were there during prayer time, we did get to see the intricate structure up close. After a yummy Turkish lunch, we then made our way to the Grand Bazaar, which was originally constructed in 1461 and is one of the largest and oldest indoor markets. I was able to purchase a few souvenirs and not get lost in the 3,000+ shops that encompass the venue.

Day 2 of the clinics focused on lane play. After a classroom session, the bowlers were then able to compete on three different lane patterns using the skills they learned in the classroom. All of the bowlers were able to compete on all of the patterns, as I went around and helped them get lined up.

The next day I flew to Athens, Greece to meet with our new distributor 9th Frame. After checking in to my gorgeous ocean view hotel room, I quickly changed and then was off to conduct the first of two clinics. In an effort to boost the level of competitive women bowlers in Greece, the clinics in Athens were open only to women. The clinic focused on lane play strategies and allowed the bowlers to also compete on three different oil patterns, which is a first for clinics in Greece. The clinics also heavily focused on explaining the Columbia 300 brand of products, since this brand is specifically struggling in Greece.

After the clinic, we then went out to a traditional Greek dinner, which meant we ate at 10pm and ate A LOT of yummy food. I’m pretty convinced that Mediterranean food is the best food in the world. Several different plates of seafood, salads and meats kept coming to the table and everyone eats family style, which makes it nice since you are able to try a little bit of everything. After our 2+ hour meal with over 15 people in attendance, we then called it a night and I went back to the hotel.

The next day, I was able to go sightseeing around Athens. I had been to Athens once before on my honeymoon, but it was only for a small portion of the day since it was a part of a cruise ship sightseeing tour. I was very happy that I was able to again visit the Acropolis and climbed up the hill to again see the Parthenon and neighboring structures. This time, I was able to explore a little more of the historical City, by also visiting La Plaka, a section of small alleyways that have tons of shops and cafes, as well as visit the ancient market and Athens Flea Market. We had lunch in La Plaka at a Scholarhio, which is a family restaurant that doesn’t have a menu. The waiter brings out several small dishes that have already been prepared and you choose 3-5 items from the tray. This also proved to be very yummy, did I mention I think I gained a few pounds on this trip.

One of the very interesting new things I was able to do was visit the Acropolis Museum, which wasn’t finished when I had previously been to Athens. That museum was absolutely gorgeous and I can definitely understand why it’s already one of the top museums in the world.

After a day full of amazing sightseeing adventures, I then headed to the bowling center to conduct the second clinic. After another successful clinic and a great turnout, I had another late Greek dinner before going back to the hotel and packing for my trip home.

I had such an amazing time promoting the sport and meeting tons of new friends along the way. I want to again thank Columbia 300, Trianka Bowling Academy and 9th Frame for making this trip possible.  I hope to make it back to this part of the world sometime soon!  J Till next time…

Friday, October 4, 2013

Missy Posts High Woman's Score at the Vienna Open

Missy Parkin shot games of 204, 193, 236, 246, 228 and a nearly perfect 298 for a 1405 series to jump into the top 8 and be the high woman in the Vienna Open. Adding to her 1405 series is 48 pins handicap, 8 pins per game, that each of the women receive in European Bowling Tour events. Missy bowled her set during the 11th qualifying squad of the Vienna Open, sponsored by Columbia 300.

There are a total of 20 qualifying squads and the top 56 make the finals on Sunday. Missy used her Columbia 300 Enigma during the block.

For the complete story, click here

To keep up with tournament results, click here.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Missy Selected for 2013 Top 100 Coaches

Missy Parkin was selected by Bowlers Journal International as one of the Top 100 Coaches for 2013. In the recent announcement in the September edition of Bowlers Journal International magazine, Missy was also featured as one of 10 coaches to provide "tips" in the article accompanying the announcement. This is Missy's 5th time being selected for the prestigious Top 100 Coaches.

To subscribe to Bowlers Journal International magazine and read the entire article, please click here.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Team USA Women Earn Silver in Team at WTBA Worlds

The culmination of the 2013 WTBA World Championships comes down to the event that everyone wants to win - Team event. We competed on the 33' Sydney oil pattern for 3 team games and then on the 39' Seoul oil pattern for 3 games.

The short 33' Sydney oil pattern proved to be our nemesis the entire tournament. After the first 3 games on the short, we were in 8th place overall and 91 pins from the top 4 finals. With a day of rest in between patterns, we got ourselves in the right frame of mind and came back firing on the medium 39' Seoul pattern.

We bowled 5-person team games of 1074, 1191 and 1226 for 3491 (+491), setting a new 3-game team record at the WTBA World Championships and moving from 8th place into first place overall for the top 4 finals. For those that were able to watch those 3 team games, it was invigorating and the most fun I've had bowling since competing in collegiate competition.

We were all super pumped up going into the finals. In our semi-final match, we faced the No. 4 seed Venezuela. Although we got off to a rough start, we came on strong to finish the one-game team match winning 1014 - 921. During the semi-final match, I strung 8 strikes in-a-row to shoot 259 using my new Columbia 300 Smack Down. 

In the other semifinal match, No. 2 Seed Malaysia faced No. 3 seed Korea. Korea started striking early and gained a big lead, defeating Malaysia 1065 - 966.

For the Gold Medal, we then faced Korea in the championship match. We got off to another rough start and unfortunately could not recover from it as Korea started striking early and never really stopped. We lost the final match 1159 - 992 to claim the silver medal in Team Event. 

Check out the full results, videos and story here. 

Here are a few pictures from the closing banquet of the WTBA World Championships
(From Left to Right: Trainer Nick Bohanan, Stefanie Nation, Shannon O'Keefe, Liz Johnson, Shannon Pluhowsky, Missy Parkin, Assistant Head Coach Kim Kearney, Kelly Kulick)

 Getting our Silver Medals at the Banquet

The USA Men's Team, also earning a Silver Medal in Team Event

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Missy and Kelly win Silver in Doubles

Missy Parkin and Kelly Kulick won the Silver Medal in the Doubles event of the WTBA World Championships.

Parkin and Kulick teamed up to shoot 2736 for their 6-game block, making the top 4 finals by 2 pins.

In the semifinals, they faced the top seed Venezuelan sisters Alicia and Karen Marcano. In the one game match, Parkin-Kulick defeated the Marcanos 483-373.

Also in the semifinal match USA Teammates Shannon O'Keefe and Stefanie Nation defeated Australia's Ann-Maree Putney and Carol Gianotti 469-430, making for an all-American final match.

In the final match, O'Keefe-Nation prevailed defeating Parkin-Kulick 482-438.

For more information and the full story, click here.

Missy Competing at WTBA World Championships

Watch Missy Parkin and the rest of Team USA as they compete in the 2013 WTBA World Championships at Sunset Station in Henderson, Nev.

Joining Missy on the Women's team are fellow teammates: Kelly Kulick, Liz Johnson, Shannon Pluhowsky, Shannon O'Keefe and Stefanie Nation.

The Men's team consists of: Chris Barnes, Tommy Jones, Bill O'Neill, Mike Fagan, John Janawicz and John Szczerbinski.

The World Championships consists of Singles, Doubles, Trios, Team and Masters events and runs from August 16-30.

Watch LIVE streaming on on BowlTV. Also follow LIVE scoring on

Monday, August 5, 2013

Missy Selected to the Bowlers Journal All-American Team

Missy Parkin was selected to the 75th Bowlers Journal All-American team.

Joining Missy on the team are: Diandra Asbaty, Lindsay Boomershine, Liz Johnson and Kelly Kulick.

The Men's First Team is comprised of:
Jason Belmonte, Mika Koivuniemi, Scott Norton, Sean Rash and Pete Weber

For the full story, please click here to subscribe to the Bowlers Journal International magazine.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Missy Selected for World Championship Team

Missy Parkin was selected to represent the USA in the 2013 World Tenpin Bowling Association World Championships to be held in Henderson, NV in August.

As a member of Team USA, Missy along with teammates Shannon Pluhowsky, Liz Johnson, Kelly Kulick, Shannon O'Keefe and Stefanie Nation will look to defend the Women's Team title at the most prestigious team tournament in the sport.

For the full story, click here.  

Friday, June 14, 2013

Missy's Run at the PBA Summer Swing

Recently, I competed in the PBA Summer Swing in Milwaukee, with three separate tournaments and three brand new PBA oil patterns being introduced. This definitely led to some challenging conditions and an up-and-down few weeks.

The first two tournaments didn't go as well as I had hoped. First, we bowled in the PBA Badger Open at Waukesha Lanes, a wood bowling center. We competed on the new Badger oil pattern which is 52 feet in length and is the longest of the PBA patterns. As with many longer patterns, I played near the middle part of the lane using a Columbia 300 Enigma. Although I missed the cut in this tournament, I was very happy with how consistent my scores were - high game 238, low game 190, shooting +171 for the 10 games of qualifying. I finished 35th overall.

The next tournament - The PBA Wolf Open, was contested at AMF West Lanes. The new PBA Wolf oil pattern is only 32 feet in length and is the shortest of the PBA oil patterns. Going from one extreme to the other in pattern lengths meant that we had to completely change where we were playing on the lane, as well as make speed and release changes. For this pattern, I played the extreme outside part of the lane, trying to get my breakpoint to 1-2 down lane, so that the ball was almost teetering in the gutter.   Unfortunately, I felt that I didn't execute as well as I could have during this tournament and shot +139 overall for the 10 games of qualifying, which put me in 42nd place in the tournament, again missing the cut.

Due to the fact that the first two tournaments didn't go as well as planned, I did get to take in the sights of Milwaukee. Scott Norton and I took a tour at the Miller Brewery, which was pretty interesting to see how they actually make beer. I don't drink beer, but nonetheless still interesting.

We also visited the site of the oldest sanctioned bowling lanes in the world - The Holler House, which consists of two lanes in the basement of an old bar. The bowling lanes still use pin boys to spot the pins, so you must call ahead of time if you want to bowl. We didn't actually bowl, but we did have an amazing time with the owner - Marcy.


We also had time on the actual "off" day to take in a baseball game at Miller Park and watch the Brewers take on the Pirates. The Brewers ended up losing the game, but it was still a fun time. Also on our day off, we visited the coolest bar/restaurant I've ever been to. If you are ever in the Milwaukee area, you MUST visit the SafeHouse. This spy themed bar/restaurant, complete with a secretive entrance and all of the pomp and circumstance you can imagine was completely flawless for pulling off the secretive "spy" world. Can't say more than that, you just have to go there and experience it for yourself!  :)

So, on to the last of the three main PBA events for the PBA Summer Swing - The Bear Open, which was contested at Bowlero Lanes. The new Bear oil pattern is a 40 foot flat pattern, meaning that the lane conditions are very difficult and hitting your mark and picking up spares are a premium. I used a Columbia 300 Omen during a majority of qualifying. I played the lanes incorrectly to start and then decided I was not going to play further right than 13/14 at the arrows. I played a pretty tight inside angle, very similar to how I played the PBA U.S. Open last year when I made matchplay at Carolier Lanes in NJ. 

I shot games of 171, 223, 227, 255 and 196 for +72 the first set. I was close to the top 24 cut after 5 games and needed to stay strong. The next 5 games of qualifying, the lanes were even tougher due to tighter backends, making the carry suffer a bit and making it harder to hit the pocket. I shot games of 186, 190, 192 and then finished big with a 235 and 215 to squeeze into the cut number with +90. It ended up taking +74 to make the cut. 

Even though I had a good day, +90 wasn't quite enough for me to qualify for the overall top 28 in the PBA Milwaukee Open. I finished 32nd and missed the cut to that tournament by only 28 pins. 

The next day we bowled 16 games of round robin matchplay with 30 bonus pins awarded for each match win. I again used my Columbia 300 Omen as well as my Columbia 300 Enigma. I started off strong shooting 243, 190, 209, 254, 232 and 247 being 4-2 in matchplay. I had moved into the top 5 and had gotten as high as 3rd place in the overall standings. I then lost shooting 190 and ended on a bad note having some execution problems the last game shooting 158. 

Going into the final 8 games of matchplay, I was in 9th place and 63 pins out of the top 5. I drilled another Columbia 300 Omen, pin up to use towards the end of the block. I started out the block with 3 losses shooting 198, 214 and 178. Then I decided enough was enough and started bowling really well, shooting games of 241, 243 and 246, winning all three matches. I had made it back into the top 5 with two games to go. Then I moved down to the low end of the house and hit an atrocious pair. I couldn't stay out of trouble, leaving splits and couldn't figure out one of the lanes. I had a disastrous game at the worst possible time, shooting 154 which knocked me into 10th place and 31 pins off the show going into the position round. 

The last game, there were 6 people in range of obtaining the final spot on the TV show. I knew that I needed to just throw great shots and hope that the pins fell my way. I started out with the front 3 strikes and then left a 10 pin. I never missed the pocket, but couldn't seem to string any more strikes together shooting 213 and winning my match, but coming in 7th place overall. Tom Hess, who was in 8th place going into the position round and 16 pins out of the top 5, started out with the front 8 strikes shooting a 268 to earn the final 5th spot on the TV show. 

Although I missed the TV show which was upsetting and disappointing, I was still happy with my performance, finishing 8-8 in matchplay and only 70 pins from the TV show. Finishing 7th is now my new high at a PBA Tour National event. My previous high was tied for 9th place at the 2012 USBC Masters. So I can't be upset about that.

All in all a roller coaster of a week, but at least I ended on a good note.

Until next time...

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Missy Featured in May issue of Bowlers Journal International Magazine


Check out the Bowlers Journal International magazine May issue to see Missy Parkin featured on the "The Pro Approach" article. USBC Hall of Famer and Gold Level certified coach Bill Spigner breaks down Missy's physical game, properly explaining Missy's high backswing, as well as other elements in Missy's physical game.

To subscribe to the Bowlers Journal International magazine, click here. 

Missy's PBA Regional Whirlwind

In the past couple of months, I have been competing in many PBA Regional events. PBA regional tournaments are a great way for me to stay sharp, get in some great competitive practice, as well as get a chance to bowl on the PBA patterns.

My first PBA Regional event of the year was the PBA West Ebonite Open at Palm Springs Lanes in Cathedral City, CA. In this event, we competed on the Chameleon oil pattern. After the practice session on Friday afternoon, myself, Scott Norton and Dave Wodka put on a great clinic for the bowlers in the area. We focused on physical keys to improve bowler's individual games as well as spare shooting techniques. We had a great turnout and everyone seemed to have a great time!

The next day we started qualifying and the lanes ended up being pretty high scoring for the event. I shot 224, 235, 211, 239, 169, 225 and ended on a big note shooting 258, 258 for my last two games. This put me at +219 for the 8-game block. However, I ended up missing the cut by 1 pin to make it to the top 16 matchplay finals. I still cashed in the event, but making matchplay would have been nicer. ;)

The next PBA Regional event I competed in was the PBA Earl Anthony Memorial Classic at Earl Anthony's Dublin Bowl. We competed on none other than the Earl Anthony oil pattern, which played very tough all weekend long. Scores were low, so shot making and spares were premium!

During qualifying I had a very roller coaster day, shooting games of 201, 177, 256, 202, 158, 279, 215 and 183 for +69 on the day. That score put me in 6th place overall going into the top 16 matchplay finals. In this regional, we bowled the old PBA Regional format, which is16 games of round robin matchplay on Sunday.

I bowled extremely well on Sunday, shooting +231 scratch for the 16 games and also won 10 out of 16 matches. Each match won earned me an extra 30 pin bonus. However, despite the great bowling and number of matches I'd won, I remained in exactly 6th place for the tournament. Still a great cash and great weekend!

Next stop for the PBA Regional series lead us to the amazingly beautiful state of Hawaii, where we competed in three separate events on the islands. 

The first event was a one day event at Schofield Lanes on the Schofield Barracks Army base on the island of Oahu. We competed on the Scorpion oil pattern. Scores were pretty low for this event, which cut to the top 8 for the matchplay finals. I stayed fairly consistent but ran into a little trouble in the middle of the block, shooting games of 201, 222, 167, 213, 179, 215, 195 and then a BIG 235 the last game to be +27 and sneak in a check, cashing in the event which took +20 to cash.

My best friend Scott Norton had an amazing look all day. He lead qualifying, shooting +239 and then went 5-0 in matchplay to win his 5th PBA Regional title, defeating Rhino Page 245-214.

Our next event, was the PBA Naval Station Open, which actually took place at the bowling center on Pearl Harbor Naval base. We bowled on the Chameleon oil pattern for the event. To say that the lanes were hooking is saying it mildly! I didn't have a great look all day and shot -49 in the event. It took +17 to cash and only +64 to make the top 8 matchplay finals. I will say that it was really cool to be able to bowl on the Pearl Harbor Naval base. I guess if I had to pick an event to miss the cut at and have an extra day off, I'd pick it to be in Hawaii.

After our "wonderful" day of bowling, we decided to do something fun. So we headed up towards Hanauma Bay and actually saw a pod of whales, which breached a few times for us!

Our final event, we flew to the Big Island and ventured to KB Xtreme Lanes in Kona. The bowling center was really nice and had been recently remodeled. We again bowled on the Scorpion oil pattern and the lanes were again low scoring. I shot games of 214, 227, 200, 202, 174, 188, 241 and 254 to be +100 and qualify in 4th place. It only took +38 to make the top 8 matchplay finals.  

In matchplay, I faced Tom Daugherty in the best of 5 matchplay finals. Tom won the first 2 games, and facing elimination, I struck out in the 10th frame the 3rd game to win and stay in the match. However, I couldn't get lined up well enough and Tom defeated me in game 4. I came in 6th place overall in the event.

After all of the regional tournaments, Scott and I decided to stay on the Big Island and sightsee for a couple of days. We had one of the most amazing experiences - snorkeling at night with Manta Rays. It was incredible! We also ventured to the Volcanoes National Park and got to see the glow of the Kilauea crater. 
Til next time...

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Missy Leads World Bowling Tour Rankings

Missy Parkin has jumped into the lead of the World Bowling Tour points standings after finishing in 1st place among the women competing at the USBC Masters tournament last week. The USBC Masters is a major stop on the World Bowling Tour and therefore rewards double points.

Read the full story here.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Missy's Cashes in USBC Masters as High Woman

This past week, I ventured to New York City as well as New Brunswick, NJ for the USBC Masters at Brunswick Zone Carolier Lanes, the previous site of the PBA U.S. Open.

We bowled three 5-game blocks of qualifying and then the field was cut to the top 63 players and last year's champion Mike Fagan for the double elimination match play finals.

I bowled on A squad and therefore had my first two squads on the fresh oil pattern and finished the last qualifying squad on the "burn squad," where the lanes were not re-oiled.

My first block, I shot games of 214, 230, 200, 225 and 186 for +55, using my Columbia 300 Oath and Enigma as well as my Hammer First Blood. That put me about 30 pins out of the cut to the top 63.

The second block of qualifying, the heads started out hooking more and the backends were a bit tighter, so that made for a bit lower scoring pace. I shot 222, 176, 175, 221 and 233 using my Columbia 300 Enigma, Ebonite Game Breaker and Hammer First Blood. Even though I struggled in the middle games, I was happy with how I finished the block. That put me at +83 overall and about 70 pins out of the cut to the top 63.  

Needing a big set in my final block of qualifying, I started out strong with a 246 game. I then hit a couple of rough pairs and couldn't get the ball to quite go through the pins correctly to carry. I shot 195 and 189, which both should have been a lot higher. I finished out the set with a 214 and 236 for +80 on the block and +163 overall. I came up 31 pins short for making maychplay, which ended up taking +194.

Overall, I am very pleased with how I physically bowled. I was having to use my "Z" game for the last two blocks, keeping my speed down and using a different release to get more revs on the ball. Physically, I felt my execution was really good all considering. I never missed a single pin spare and picked up quite a few splits and washouts.

I ended up coming in 78th place overall out of 468 bowlers. I was also the high woman in the tournament.

Prior to the USBC Masters, my husband Drew and I ventured to New York City with Scott Norton and his husband Craig. We spent an awesome few days around the City and had a great Valentine's Day dinner. Here are a few pictures from our trip.

HighLine in Chelsea, an above ground park along the Hudson River

The Empire State Building colored Pink, just for me.  :)

Spin New York, a Ping Pong bar in the City 

Valentine's Day dinner

Until next time...

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Watch Missy on Feb. 3rd at 4pm EST on ESPN

Missy Parkin will be one of the featured professional bowlers competing with celebrities in the Chris Paul PBA League All-Star event airing on Superbowl Sunday, February 3rd at 4pm EST on ESPN.

Missy teams up with NBA All-Star and Slam Dunk Champion Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers, in the eight-team Shootout competition. This marks the first time that a female professional bowler has competed in the Chris Paul Celebrity Charity event since its inception five years ago.

Tune in to ESPN to watch all of the action!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Missy Ventures to Japan for DHC Intl Championships

This week, I travelled to my favorite country abroad  - Japan, to compete in the DHC International Bowling Championships at Inazawa Grand Bowl, just outside of Nagoya, Japan. Inazawa Grand Bowl is the largest bowling center in the world, spanning 116 lanes straight across.

Inazawa Grand Bowl

The trip was very eventful right from the start. My travel day to Nagoya was very long, stressful and scary at times. I was traveling with my best friend Scott Norton and we thought that we were booked on all of the same flights through to Narita airport in Tokyo. However, upon a late arrival into San Francisco and a brisk walk to our connecting flight to Tokyo, we realized that we were not on the same flight.

So splitting paths, I quickly boarded my plane for my nice 10 ½hr flight to Tokyo (minus a personal TV in the headrest in front of me…NOT happy!) To make matters worse, the flight was then extended another hour due to horrific turbulence upon arrival into Tokyo.

We circled the airport and attempted to land two different times before successfully landing on the 3rd attempt. Side not…I’m not a nervous flier and I was pretty scared and started saying some prayers... Then we finally landed to find that Narita airport was covered in a winter wonderland with blizzard-like conditions. Another 45 minutes crawling to our gate and then we finally were able to get off of the plane.

The airport was a zoo with flights delayed, immigration lines incredibly long and everyone trying to get somewhere in a hurry, with little success. I couldn’t get ahold of Scott, whom I hoped had also landed safely in the mess outside. Finally after getting through immigration, getting my bags, going through customs, getting lost in finding the rebooking area (since my flight to Nagoya had been cancelled), I finally rebooked my ticket and was only told “hurry” to get to my next flight.

Running through another airport, getting through security and finding the bus to my gate and plane, I finally arrived as one of the last people to board the last flight of the night to Nagoya. Thank goodness as soon as I got on that flight, I saw Scott.

That was just the first of many crazy events on this trip to Japan.

Scott didn’t receive any of his bags and the airline had no idea where they were (which is always a good thing.) So long story short, that next day, the only way for Scott to get his bowling balls and lugagge in time to actually compete in the tournament was for him to take a bullet train back and forth from Nagoya to Narita airport in Tokyo (which is 265 miles away.) Taking the Shinkansen or bullet train is NOT cheap in Japan, so I was not able to go with Scott to help him out. Luckily our very amazing and helpful friend Mr. Noda met Scott in Narita and helped him sort everything out. He arrived back at the hotel with all of his bowling balls and luggage around 11pm that night.

The next day, Day 3 of our trip, I watched Scott bowl the qualifiers. I had been invited to the tournament and was therefore seeded into the main event. Scott successfully qualified on his first attempt but bowled another squad for practice, while I practiced for about 2 ½hrs trying to work out some kinks.

The next day, we had the official practice session followed by the opening ceremonies and then started our first block of qualifying. Qualifying consisted of 9 games, in sets of 3-game blocks. Then the field was cut to the top 24 players and then another 6 games were bowled to determine the top 5 stepladder finalists for the TV show.

I had a VERY rough start to say the least. I played the lanes incorrectly, missed some easy spares, left a couple pocket 7-10s and just simply didn’t throw the ball well. Meanwhile, the rest of the field was shooting 300 like it was nothing and the scoring pace was extremely high. I dug a HUGE hole for myself, shooting -67 with the cut being around +70. So needless to say, not a good start. The only good thing about the day was that afterwards, Mr. Noda graciously took Scott and I out for some yummy Shabu Shabu, which is raw meat cooked in boiling water with vegetables - my favorite!

Mr. Noda preparing our shabu shabu

After talking with others that scored well, thinking about things I didn’t try and just re-evaluating everything, I made some major adjustments for the next day. Needing two big sets, I started out with a 233, followed by a clean 192 (never missing the pocket) and then shot 239 to be -3 overall. They didn’t re-oil for the next set and I needed a big set to make the cut.

Changing hand positions and opening up the lanes, I shot 244 and 247, putting me at +88 going into the last game. I needed one more big game to make the cut, and then I hit a bad pair. Starting out with a double and then leaving a pocket 7-10, it was all downhill from there and I missed the cut to the top 24, which ended up taking +135.

I will say that I was especially impressed with 14-year-old Japanese youngster, Shion Izumune who nearly made the championship TV show. She did, however, qualify for the trios event representing Japan. 

Shion Izumune and I 

Immediately after getting done with my final game, I was heading over to see how Scott was bowling (the guys took a lot longer to bowl each block and were therefore still bowling), when Kelly Kulick ran up to me and said “Missy, Scott is looking for you, he wants to go to the hospital.” Being completely stunned and in shock, I quickly ran over to his pair to find out what was going on. He looked like a ghost and was still attempting to bowl his 2nd game of the block.

He quit after that game and I with the help of our friends and the staff of the tournament, rushed him to the nearest hospital. Thankfully we were seen fairly quickly and he was super dehydrated and needed an IV for an hour and received some medicine. He got his color back and slept for the next 13hrs once we got back to the hotel.

Thankfully that was the end of the craziness. The next day, Scott was much better and we went to watch the TV show and attended the farewell party.

Big congratulations to Shayna Ng from Singapore and Tommy Jones who won the tournament.

Tommy Jones during the title match

Although this was a very short, yet eventful trip and definitely the worst I’ve ever bowled in Japan (prior worst finish being 6th), I still enjoyed seeing all of my friends and eating yummy Japanese food. I just hope that it’s not too long before I venture back to my favorite country abroad!