Virginians compete from wheelchairs in 2007 USBC Women's Championships


    United States

    Northcross Lanes and AMF Carolina Lanes in Charlotte, NC (April 12 - July 2, 2007)

    20067USBCWomensChampionshipLogo.jpg How they approach the pins has changed, but Judith Williams-Mosher and Janet Norwood's love of bowling remains the same. The two women competed from their wheelchairs Sunday in the 2007 United States Bowling Congress Women's Championships at AMF Carolina Lanes.

    Norwood, of Portsmouth, Va., has been bowling from her wheelchair for about five years. She said when bowling from the sitting position there is less room for error.

    "It's a whole different game," Norwood said. "Your perception changes. I can be off my mark by a half a board and it's the difference between a strike and a gutter."

    Williams-Mosher, of Chesapeake, Va., saw her average drop 70 pins when she began bowling from her wheelchair in 2000, when, like Norwood, she was diagnosed with a neurological disorder.

    "The greatest challenge was the emotional and psychological aspect," she said. "You go from being an above-average bowler to a mediocre bowler."

    Williams-Mosher said relying on a wheelchair has helped her keep things in perspective.

    "When you're given restrictions, you learn to see not what you can't do, but what you can do," she said. "I wasn't going to quit bowling. We can do it. It may not be the traditional way, but we find a way to do it."

    Both women compete in leagues and tournaments every year and have raised their averages to around 140. Norwood's high series from her wheelchair is a 548. Williams-Mosher's is a 514.

    Norwood said if given the chance to go back in time and change what happened to her she wouldn't because of the things she has accomplished and friends she had met while in her wheelchair.

    "There's too much good that has come from it," she said. "We're not disabled. We just have a different perspective."

    Williams-Mosher said people restricted to wheelchairs who want to bowl shouldn't hesitate.

    "You can do whatever you want to do," she said. "You just need to just pick up a ball and do it," she said. "You'll be surprised that you can do it even if you've never bowled before."

    The Women's Championships, which is the largest participatory sporting event in the world for women, will continue through July 2 at two suburban Charlotte bowling centers. Northcross Lanes in Huntersville, N.C., will host team squads each day while doubles and singles competition will take place at AMF Carolina Lanes in Matthews, N.C.

    The USBC Women's Championships are sponsored by Eldorado, Silver Legacy and Circus Circus Hotel/Casinos in Reno, Nev., as well as Kegel, the official lane maintenance provider.