Women bowlers meet at Gutter Gussie tournament

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Over the past three weekends, Elmore County USBC Association, Inc., the local bowling association, and Freedom Lanes, have been hosting more than 400 women bowling in the Idaho State Gutter Gussie Tournament.

The last time the tournament was held in Mountain Home was 1996.

Mayor Tom Rist joined city police chief John Walter to roll out the first balls while the Mountain Home Air Force Base Honor Guard presented the colors during the opening ceremonies Oct. 3.

This year's tournament drew more than 100 teams from as far north as Grangeville and included ten teams from Mountain Home.

"We have had an awesome time here," said Candice Bishoff, Idaho State Gutter Gussie president. "We have made some great friends while we have been here the last three weekends."

The tournament also helped bring in customers to many local businesses.

"We had bowlers staying in the local hotels, eating at many of the restaurants and just enjoying what Mountain Home had to offer," said Bishoff.

"It was great to be able to host these ladies here," said Ray Morgan, Freedom Lanes owner. "I had a great time interacting with them and wish I could convince them to come back again next year."

Officials of the local bowling association called the tournament a huge success.

"All the ladies had a wonderful time here," said Chris Weaver, Elmore County USBC vice president and local tournament chairperson.

"They really enjoyed bowling here and visiting with the community. I want to say thank you to everyone who helped the city host the tournament, from the volunteers to the hotels and the restaurants, this was the whole city coming together and we couldn't have made this a success without your help."

The original Gutter Gussie Club was formed in 1946 by several Pocatello women bowlers, who set membership requirements at a 225 game or 550 series. Other state associations heard about the club and decided to form their own local clubs.

In April 1957, the first-state tournament was held under sponsorship of the Idaho State Women's Bowling Association. Following the tournament, organizers decided to hold the annual tournament in the fall and rotate the site statewide, alphabetically by city name.

In 1964, it was decided to separate the Gutter Gussie organization from the state association. It is now an entity in its own right, boasting more than 12,000 members around the state, and claiming to be the only organization of its kind in the country.

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