BWAA History

Four writers covering the ABC Tournament in 1933 in Columbus, Ohio – Mort Luby Sr., Les Koelling, Glen Birchard and Paul Walker – agreed on the need for an organization of fellow writers.

The following year in Peoria, Ill. at the Hotel Jefferson on March 21, 1934, 16 Charter members formed the National Bowling Writers Association. On March 19, 1953 in Chicago, the name was changed to the Bowling Writers Association of America.

BWAA's charter members were: John Martino, Syracuse, N.Y.; Fred Tuerk, Peoria, Ill.; Mort Luby Sr., Chicago; Billy Sixty, Milwaukee; LeRoy Chase, Peoria; Ken Jones, Peoria; Sam Weinstein, Chicago; Cliff Moore, Syracuse, N.Y.; Dick McGeorge, Toledo, Ohio; Tom Bolger, Toledo; Paul Walker, Columbus, Ohio; Harold Kahl, Detroit; Les Koelling, Indianapolis; George Townsend, St. Louis; Glen Birchard, Detroit, and Eli Whitney, Chicago.

BWAA Historical Milestones
2006 - BWAA and National Women Bowling Writers merged effective Jan. 1, 2007
2005 - Delegates vote to conduct 2006 convention at Bowl Expo
2004 - Task force created to recommend future membership, sites
2003 - Luby Sr. Award becomes BWAA Hall of Fame award
2002 - Scholarship award renamed for Chuck Pezzano
2000 - BWAA Web page created; a new logo approved
1998 - Scholarship program inaugurated
1997 - First President awards go to AMF's Al Spanjer and Jack Graziano
1996 - Optional President's award adopted
1995 - First cartoonist award presented to Walt Ditzen
1994 - Staggered system of election for directors adopted
1993 - Historian position added to board
1992 - Senior and Amateur Bowlers of Year Awards approved
1992 - Pearl Keller becomes first female BWAA president
1991 - Convention registration fee inaugurated
1988 - Revised BWAA constitution provided
1986 - Collegiate Bowlers of Year award adopted
1985 - First BWAA history presented by Wayne Todd
1984 - College scholarship plan adopted
1983 - BWAA 50th anniversary
1982 - First BWAA roast hosted by Columbia; 4-day schedule; record 136 attended
1980 - First BWAA seminar; three-day schedule adopted
1978 - ABC media conference added to convention schedule
1977 - Sergeant-at-arms, two directors added to board
1976 - John O. Martino Award established
1973 - BWAA votes to allow female members
1970 - Joe Richards, Billy Sixty, Hank Sayrs named 1-2-3 on seniority list
1969 - Directors increased to 12
1968 - BWAA team authorized for ABC Tournament
1967 - New membership qualifications adopted
1966 - Board of governors created by legislation
1965 - New BWAA constitution adopted
1964 - BWAA 30th anniversary
1963 - Board chairman added to officer/director list
1961 - Flowers for Living award originated
1959 - BWAA 25th anniversary
1957 - Mort Luby Sr. name put on distinguished service award
1956 - Rip Van Winkle Award established
1955 - Eli Whitney selected first board chairman
1954 - ABC Bowling Magazine writers' competition began
1953 - Name changed to Bowling Writers Association of America
1952 - Distinguished service award established
1950 - First ABC Press Party
1948 - NBWA Woman Bowler of the Year Award established
1946 - First sponsored dinner by AMF's Bill McDonald
1942 - NBWA Bowler of the Year Award established
1941 - NBWA assists in formation of ABC Hall of Fame
1940 - NBWA bowling tournament originated
1936 - Brunswick's Bobby Bensinger becomes first sponsor
1934 - National Bowling Writers Association organized
1933 - First thoughts of creating an organization for bowling writers